Mission Statement

Founded in 1997, the Rocky Mountain Society of Botanical Artists (RMSBA), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, is the first regional chapter of the American Society of Botanical Artists (ASBA).

The Society is dedicated to promoting public awareness of contemporary botanical art, honoring its traditions and furthering its development. It is open to all, artists and art patrons alike. We believe that by joining together, we foster increased awareness and appreciation for this beautiful art form. It is our goal to educate the public about botanical art, support the artist creating these works, and support awareness of plants place in the world, and their environmental challenges with a special focus on plants in peril.

These artworks are realistic portrayals of plants, their flowers, fruiting bodies, seeds, roots and pollinators. Each piece is scientifically accurate, insuring all aspects are true reflections of the plant portrayed. Modern elements of of light, depth, composition and increased 3-dimensionality grow the tradition. The resulting renderings are exquisitely detailed, able to illustrate far more detail than found in photographs.

Work is presented in all 2-dimensional media, including ink, watercolor, gouache, scratchboard, acrylics, oils, graphite, carbon and colored pencil, excluding photos and computer generated images. Sculpture that meets scientific accuracy is welcome.

We are in an era of resurgence of interest in botanial art. These artists produce images that seamlessly blend old traditions and new, scientfic facts with contemporary creative arts, resulting in works that bloom gracefully and endlessly.



Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Lots of News

I had to take a month off as BlogMeister, due to some health needs. Feeling much better, and with my apologies regarding timeliness of posting, here's all the news that's fit to print!

First up: ASBA Conference!
This was an amazing event. Attendees were blown away by the organization, support and content offered to them. At the banquet, Susan Fisher called up Committee Chairs, and then, in her inimitable style, thanked each committee members. In your Botanical Artist, which should have just arrived, you'll find a rundown on the happenings and most importantly, the vibe of this conference, which included the most intense sharing, conversation, friendships and fun I ever seen. So, check out the details in TBA!

Conference Coordinator Marilyn Garber loved working with us, and sent this lovely card and note:


Dear RMSBA Members,
Thank you soooo much for everything you did to make the ASBA Denver Conference successful!  Your great team made my job easy.  We could never accomplish such a diverse and interesting conference without the support of people "on the ground"  Your willingness to pitch in and get the job done is much appreciated.  Every detail was taken care of by you all - from the complexity of putting on Small Works to choosing the right hotel the right transportation company, to the lovely brush holder gift, to the beautiful banquet center pieces - and much, much, much, more.  Even the zombie event was lots of fun for our members!  Like the first conference in Denver, this second one was a huge success - all due to your work.
With great appreciation,
Marilyn

The wrap party happened at our regular October Member Meeting. Becky Hall organized and managed amazing finger food, Heidi Snyder provided an heirloom Black Forest Cake made with, truly, an heirloom kirschwasser (cherry liquor) as a a special ingredient, as well as sugar/gluten free individual cakes for those who require them. There was champagne, mimosas, and faux-mimosas with great sparkling apple cider.

Dorothy DePaulo led the discussion assessing strengths and weaknesses, how to help the next Conference organizers for the event in Miami next year, and then passed the podium to floor, asking each member present who had attended the conference to discuss their individual experiences. Again, there were helpful comments, but the theme of all comments was the absolute pleasure working together provided. We were all somewhat tearful that the effort was over, and yet happy to have done it right!

In closing, on behalf of RMSBA, Dorothy presented Susan Fisher, Conference Coordinator, and Ronda Ballard, who were present at committee meetings, work sessions, stuffing events and pretty much anywhere you needed them for the entire year of planning, with gift certificates. Many thank yous,  followed by applause from the entire group and hugs all around closed the meeting. Susan and Ronda send many thanks to the members for their help AND the lovely gift certificates.


Susan (left) and Ronda say, "Thank you, RMSBA, for your kind thank you gift. The ASBA conference was a great experience for us because of this terrific group of hard working botanical enthusiasts!"
 
Changes Afoot!
Every healthy organization benefits from changes in leadership, and we are definitely a healthy organization! In that vein, here are some things to look forward to in 2015:
RMSBA President: Vanessa Martin has accepted the position of RMSBA president. You know Vanessa from her tireless work for Exhibitions. In her new position, she'll continue to lead us into new growth and adventures.
Treasurer: Vicki MacWilliam has served in this position forever! Many thanks for her amazing dedication. She has now passed the baton to Ronda Ballard. Ronda was our first Treasurer, and we're so pleased she's helping again!


November Member Meeting:
Don't miss this opportunity to hang out with fellow artists at the Rocky Mountain Land Library. This amazing resource serves botanists, artists, authors, naturalists and historians with a collection of books that exist because of this land we live on.
 
The meeting this month will be on Sunday, November 30th at 1:00 p.m. at the Rocky Mountain Library's  Waterton Canyon Library (located at Denver Water's Kassler Center). 
This library is so unique and such an important resource for us as botanic artists. It is truly one of the most unusual libraries in America! and it is right here in Colorado! You don't want to miss this.
Please visit the Rocky Mountain Land Library at https://landlibrary.wordpress.com/ to find out more about about this unusual library.
We will be visiting their Waterton Canyon Library and they will be telling us more about their South Park Library/Inn as well. 
As always, feel free to bring a piece of art to share with us.

Directions from C-470 & Wadsworth Blvd:
Go south on Wadsworth, 4.4 miles. Turn Left onto Waterton Road. You'll quickly pass the Audubon Center to your left. Continue on Waterton and you'll see a cluster of White brick buildings to your right. At the far end of those buildings, turn right into the Kassler Center parking lot. The library is located in the brown building, which is the first building to your right as you pass through the gate. 

Here's anAudubon link that has a couple of maps (folks just need to remember that we are just south of Audubon, and on the opposite side of Waterton Road):
http://www.denveraudubon.org/auduboncenter/location-hours/

New BlogMeister: Libby Kyer (that's me!) created our blog 3.5 years ago. I offered to do this when the Board was trying to decide how/if to continue the website. At that time, the best option for an easily updated web presence was a blog. Benefits included it's complete timeliness, as it could be updated each and every day if needed, as well as flexibility in layout and design. Since then, it has become a valuable tool for RMSBA functions and mission goals. However, it's time for Libby to pass our blog to a new BlogMeister. Our immediate past president Dorothy DePaulo has volunteered to step in and learn the ropes.  Here's Dorothy!

 
Dorothy is an accomplished artist and becoming an author with her book with Heidi Snyder about Wild in the City - the flora and fauna that thrive in city parks and preserves. To add to her busy schedule, she's volunteered to be your BlogMeister starting in January of 2015. Here's a sample of her artwork, entitled "Spotted Towhee," created in colored pencil on film:
 

Dorothy is excited about learning to create an interesting and informative blog for you. You can help her by emailing her images and words about your life as an artist and RMSBA member. Let her know if March's Drawing a Day theme is something you enjoyed and benefitted from. Have a conversation about online exhibitions using the blog - pro or con! Update your member gallery, to provide fresh new artwork for members and patrons to enjoy. And look for great new things right here! Starting with about 12,000 views in our first full year, we now total over 74,000 views from interested folks around the world! Yep, WORLD!! Take advantage of this wonderful service to you, your art, and our organization.

I'll continue until the end of the year, and then help Dorothy learn the ropes in the next couple of months. This has been a great learning experience for me, and rather unexpectedly, so much fun! I'll miss providing this service to you, but have loved the support offered, and know the new Blogmeister will love it as much as I have.
 

Friday, November 21, 2014

In JUST 41 Days All This Can Be YOURS!!!

You may delay, but time will not.”
Benjamin Franklin
We NEED and WANT YOU NOWas  a new Blogmeister! Libby has produced and managed our blog for the last 3 years, and it's time for a break! However, she's happy to shepherd a new Blogmeister into easy and fun understanding and use of the blog design tools provided by Blogger, and to provide some ideas for future interesting and informative spots on the blog to get our new leader started. Get in step with time. Contact Libby HERE to make your move NOW!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

In Just 81 Days All This Can Be YOURS!

“Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.”
Anthony G. Oettinger
We NEED a new Blogmeister! Libby has produced and managed our blog for the last 3 years, and it's time for a break! However, she's happy to shepherd a new Blogmeister into easy and fun understanding and use of the blog design tools provided by Blogger, and to provide some ideas for future interesting and informative spots on the blog to get our new leader started. Click HERE to contact the Blogmeister herself. Time yourself on how fast you can jump into this adventure. .

Saturday, September 27, 2014

You're Gonna WANT This Volume! Act Now!

 
DBG''s SBAI Program Created This Unique and Wonderful Book - the Ultimate in a Contemporary Botanical Artists' Journal - and Shares It With You.
See what program manager Mervi Hjelmroos-Koski has to say about this project:
 
Click on Image to enlarge
Judy Vanderbosch                                         Cynthia Rothbard
 
Dear all,
Practice Makes Perfect, A Botanical Illustration Sketchbook, is created by Denver Botanic Gardens’ School of Botanical Art and Illustration. It's the brainstorm of Mervi Hjelmroos-Koski, scientist, botanical artist, and manager of the SBAI program. This special edition volume not only represents skills and abilities, but also creativity, ideas and friendship from a consortium of masters and students in the program. In this collective work, each page and image presents a unique view from the illustration community, and reveals something of the heart and mind of the artist. Illustration can take many forms; it has an ability to transform a page and can add magic to words to present what simple text might imply, but can not say.

#1 BIG news: We know at this point that our Kickstarter campaign has been successful for our first goal - we have reached the $20,000 mark needed to print this amazing volume. We have gone over our base publication amount, and so are pushing to do two things:
        1. Sell the remaining limited edition book, in order to,
        2. Fund our new Artist Residency Program.
Since I have gotten so many questions from you, here are the answers to your most frequently asked questions:

1. Printing is secured. 212 books are reserved and we have 288 left of the limited edition.
3. Our KickStarter project continues for just eight additional days, until October 5, 11:04 a.m.
4. The price of the book until October 5 is $48, after that it's $90!
5. From here on, every penny raised goes towards our Artist/Illustrator in Residency Program. Every $3000 unlocks one 6-week position We hope to fund three 6-week positions, available each summer, open for everybody to apply, from the U.S. and abroad.
As of today, we have raised $1853 towards unlocking the first 6-week position!
 
For those who would like to get the book at the special KickStarter rate, and are wondering how Kickstarter funding works, click HERE. Open the link, and on the right you will see a green button “Back this project.” Click and that directs you to a new page where you have different support options to select from. For example: $48 for one book, $95 for two books, $150 one book and you get your name into the book acknowledgements etc. Select the option you like best, click 'Continue. 'That directs you to a page where you create a secure Kickstarter account. After creating your account, you are directed to Amazon.com where you use your amazon account for the pledge. Your credit card is not charged before October 5th. Everything that you pledge above the reward level is tax-deductible.

And here's something fun, if you pledge more than $100 above your pledge level, your name will appear as a supporter of the project in the printed acknowledgements.

More later – I’m so excited to get the Artist in Residency program running and open for you to apply! 
 
If you have any questions, click HERE to contact me.

Mervi
(Mervi Hjelmroos-Koski, Manager, SBAI, Member, RMSBA, ASBA
 
Barbara McKee                            Annie Reiser
 
 
 
 
Jessy Bergeman
Contributing Artists:
Karla Beatty, Boston, MA; Beatrice Coron, NY, NY; Susan DiMarchi, , Denver, CO; Sarah Homfray, U.K; Mervi Hjelmroos-Koski, Lafayette, CO; Renee Jorgensen, Lakewood, CO; Ikumi Kayama, College Park, MD; Veiko Kespersaks, London, U.K.; Libby Kyer, Denver, CO; Jenny Phillips, Melbourne, Australia; Lauren Pierson, Denver, CO; Randy Raak, Golden, CO; Annie Reiser, Estes Park, CO; Susan Rubin, Denver, CO; Constance Sayas, Denver, CO; Ann Swan, Rowde, U.K.  - Maria Bumgarner, Denver, CO; Lauren Bassing, Lebanon, NH; Jesse Bergeman, Denver, CO; Michele Bloom, Denver, CO; Leslie Boose, Englewood, CO; Nels Broste, Fort Collins, CO; Cindy Calkins, Aurora, CO; Karen Cleaver, Littleton, CO; Hayley Cook, Denver, CO; Rebecca Corbett, Denver, CO; Lauren Cotie, Denver, CO; Susan Curnutte, Colorado Springs, CO; Shanelle Deater, Aurora, CO; Estelle DeRidder, La Crescenta, CA; Susan Dorsey, Broomfield, CO; Emerson Easley, Saga, Japan; Teri Eichhorn, Ramona, CA; Laura Farnsworth, Denver, CO; Emma Felt, Santa Fe, NM; Meredith Feniak, Denver, CO; Carol Ferguson, Aurora, CO; Linda Forbess, Schofield, WI; Karen Genoff-Campbell, Greely, CO; Noreen Goetz, Aurora, CO; Megan Maksimovich Goodenough, Fort Collins, CO (label calligraphy); Rebecca Hall, Parker, CO; Erin Haley, Denver, CO; Jan Boyd Haring, Cascade, CO; Helen Hasting, Morrison, CO; Marj Hopkins, Colorado Springs, CO; Christina Hubbell, Colorado Springs, CO; Dawn Huston, Colorado Springs, CO; Diane Inman, Corrales, NM; Sendy Issanti, Calgary, Alberta, Canada ; Margaret Johnson, Boulder, CO; Vanessa Martin, Aurora, CO; Judy Matthews, Fort Collins, CO; Karen May, Erie, CO; Douglas McCallum, Longmont, CO; Mary McCauley, Fort Collins, CO; Elizabeth McCauley, Fort Collins, CO; Kathy McCrery, Galesburg, IL; Barbara McKee, Louisville, CO; Martha Narey, Denver, CO; Peter Orleans, Denver, CO; Carla Pawlewicz, Lakewood, CO; Alice Pearson, Greenwood Village, CO; Kirk Pfeffer, Broomfield, CO; Cynthia Rothbard, Nokomis, FL; Jaclyn Sachleben, Richmond, VA; Helen Smithwick,  Colorado Springs, CO; Irma Sturgell, Centennial, CO; Susan Stutzman, Golden, CO; Lesley Switendick, Boulder, CO; Mary Tharp, Arvada, CO; Angela Tingle, Buena Vista, CO; Karen Tillou, Oregon City, OR; Judy Vanderbosch, Denver, CO; Vickey Wood, Highlands Ranch, CO; Megan Wyeth, Saint Joseph, MO; Penelope Yerigan, Littleton, CO.

Monday, September 22, 2014

In Just 101 Days All This Can Be YOURS!

Time marches on. We NEED a new Blogmeister! Libby has produced and managed our blog for the last 3 years, and it's time for a break! However, she's happy to shepherd a new Blogmeister into easy and fun understanding and use of the blog design tools provided by Blogger, and to provide some ideas for future interesting and informative spots on the blog to get our new leader started. Click HERE to contact the Blogmeister herself. You'll be so glad you stepped up to the plate.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Sawdust and Sunshine


Here is the group that sanded, stamped and varnished the gift RMSBA is giving to ASBA conference attendees.  This great group gathered to do the finishing work after Vanessa Martin and Rebecca Hall sourced the wood (Ponderosa Pine - all from Colorado) cut the grooves, did the major portion of sanding, set up everything (saw horses, tables, gloves, paper towels, etc.) and ordered pizza in Vanessa's beautiful backyard and  then invited us over to help them finish. Libby created a great stamp and a cool-looking color for marking the back of each gift.  Thank you all for making this a fun and special event.  AND the product turned out looking spiffy!  Oh, are you wondering what the gift is?  Well, register for the conference and find out.

Check Out Portfolios and Galleries of Artists You Admire

Looking to learn a new technique or understand an old one better? Check out your favorite artists online. Here a few that might get you started:

Catherine Watters, Orinda, CA
Catherine works beautifully in watercolors. Click HERE to see her portfolio site.
 
 
Susan Rubin, Denver, CO
Susan is a master in colored pencil. Click HERE to see her portfolio site.
 
 
millie acharya, Ithaca, NY
Allium sativum
millie works in watercolor. Click HERE to see her portfolio.
 
Robert McNeill
Robert is a watercolorist in Britain. Click HERE to see his work.
 
So, you can see, there's a lot of inspiration online. Tap your favorite artist's site every now and then, just to see how he or she is progressing, and watch the growth that is so obvious in wonderful online portfolios.
 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

A Special Opportunity to Support the Renaissance of Botanical Art


SBAI Kickstarter Project Has Launched!

Please help publish the limited edition Practice Makes Perfect: A Botanical Illustration Sketchbook (formerly called SBAI 2013 Chronicles), and help us establish an Artist/illustrator In Residence program!

Seventy-six original illustrations (words and pictures) were created by 16 instructors and 60 artists from the School of Botanical Art and Illustration (SBAI)at Denver Botanic Gardens. This volume celebrates the program’s 34th anniversary and its restructuring in 2013 as the SBAI.

“Botanical art is undergoing a great renaissance and it is delightful to see such a wide and lively interpretation in this charming sketchbook.”  Dr. Shirley Sherwood

This volume not only represents skills and abilities, but also creativity, ideas and friendship. Even though this is a collective work, each page and image presents a unique view from the illustration arts community, and reveals something of the heart and mind of the artist. Illustration can take many forms; it has an ability to transform a page and can add magic to words to present what simple text might imply, but cannot say.

The project is loosely based on the Sketch travel project founded in Paris in 2006 when Gerald Guerlais and Daisuke Dice Tsusfumi created a book that traveled from hand-to-hand among 71 artists all over the globe. Our own sketchbook was completed in one year with participants from the Gardens’ botanical illustration community, including international artists. 

An original, handmade 160-page springback bound book with 90 lb. Fabriano Artistico HP watercolor paper and protective reindeer-leather box was made for our purpose by Mervi Hjelmroos-Koski, SBAI Manager. Then, each of the artists used one 11x7.5” page, with up to one week to complete the work. The book was never mailed, but traveled from hand-to-hand within the artist community for 365 consecutive days. 

Practice Makes Perfect: A Botanical Illustration Sketchbook showcases a unique collection of talent and expertise, including natural science illustrations, artistic explorations and calligraphy with a personal touch. It includes a foreword by Dr. Shirley Sherwood, Kew, UK,  with the full color illustrations, each presenting insight into the artist's way of working.

 
Images by Ann Swan and Constance Sayas
 


Kickstarter is a crowd-sourced method of providing funds for special projects. It’s an all-or-nothing way of funding, with a 30-day funding period. Unless our goal of $20,000 is reached within this time, no funding will be provided at all. You contribute online, but your credit card will not be charged until after the 30-day funding drive expires with our goal met. This project is a Kickstarter Staff favorite pick!

For more information and to contribute, click HERE: Follow the instructions on the right hand column.

If you not familiar with how Kickstarter works, click HERE to see the inner workings:

AND, please let your friends and colleagues know about this unique  opportunity – they as well as you might also be interested applying for the Artist in Residency program later on. Word-of-mouth is THE power for these projects

Contributing Artists:
Karla Beatty, Boston, MA; Beatrice Coron, NY, NY; Susan DiMarchi, , Denver, CO; Sarah Homfray, U.K; Mervi Hjelmroos-Koski, Lafayette, CO; Renee Jorgensen, Lakewood, CO; Ikumi Kayama, College Park, MD; Veiko Kespersaks, London, U.K.; Libby Kyer, Denver, CO; Jenny Phillips, Melbourne, Australia; Lauren Pierson, Denver, CO; Randy Raak, Golden, CO; Annie Reiser, Estes Park, CO; Susan Rubin, Denver, CO; Constance Sayas, Denver, CO; Ann Swan, Rowde, U.K.  - Maria Bumgarner, Denver, CO; Lauren Bassing, Lebanon, NH; Jesse Bergeman, Denver, CO; Michele Bloom, Denver, CO; Leslie Boose, Englewood, CO; Nels Broste, Fort Collins, CO; Cindy Calkins, Aurora, CO; Karen Cleaver, Littleton, CO; Hayley Cook, Denver, CO; Rebecca Corbett, Denver, CO; Lauren Cotie, Denver, CO; Susan Curnutte, Colorado Springs, CO; Shanelle Deater, Aurora, CO; Estelle DeRidder, La Crescenta, CA; Susan Dorsey, Broomfield, CO; Emerson Easley, Saga, Japan; Teri Eichhorn, Ramona, CA; Laura Farnsworth, Denver, CO; Emma Felt, Santa Fe, NM; Meredith Feniak, Denver, CO; Carol Ferguson, Aurora, CO; Linda Forbes, Schofield, WI; Karen Genoff-Campbell, Greely, CO; Noreen Goetz, Aurora, CO; Megan Maksimovich Goodenough, Fort Collins, CO (label calligraphy); Rebecca Hall, Parker, CO; Erin Haley, Denver, CO; Jan Boyd Haring, Cascade, CO; Helen Hasting, Morrison, CO; Marj Hopkins, Colorado Springs, CO; Christina Hubbell, Colorado Springs, CO; Dawn Huston, Colorado Springs, CO; Diane Inman, Corrales, NM; Sendy Issanti, Calgary, Alberta, Canada ; Margaret Johnson, Boulder, CO; Vanessa Martin, Aurora, CO; Judy Matthews, Fort Collins, CO; Karen May, Erie, CO; Douglas McCallum, Longmont, CO; Mary McCauley, Fort Collins, CO; Elizabeth McCauley, Fort Collins, CO; Kathy McCrery, Galesburg, IL; Barbara McKee, Louisville, CO; Martha Narey, Denver, CO; Peter Orleans, Denver, CO; Carla Pawlewicz, Lakewood, CO; Alice Pearson, Greenwood Village, CO; Kirk Pfeffer, Broomfield, CO; Cynthia Rothbard, Nokomis, FL; Jaclyn Sachleben, Richmond, VA; Helen Smithwick,  Colorado Springs, CO; Irma Sturgell, Centennial, CO; Susan Stutzman, Golden, CO; Lesley Switendick, Boulder, CO; Mary Tharp, Arvada, CO; Angela Tingle, Buena Vista, CO; Karen Tillou, Oregon City, OR; Judy Vanderbosch, Demver, CO; Vickey Wood, Highlands Ranch, CO; Megan Wyeth, Saint Joseph, MO; Penelope Yerigan, Littleton, CO.