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.



Friday, July 25, 2014

Don't miss this unique and beautiful exhibition!

 
 
Click on any picture for a larger version of the work
 
Dorothy DePaulo and Heidi Snyder had a great idea for this large body of work - document the natural visitors found in a city park near their homes. Dorothy and Heidi have been working on this project for over a year, trekking out in all weather, to find all the nooks and crannies of Belmar Park. And the things they have found are wonderful. Here are a couple more images to whet your curiosity!
 
Cattail Habitat, colored pencil on Mylar, Heidi Snyder
 
 
 
Blue Heron, colored pencil on Mylar, Dorothy DePaulo
 
 
 


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Developing Storybook Illustrations

Martha Narey shares a bit of her process in developing illustrations for The Missing Creek, and it's great to see the artist's mind's eye at work, as well as how relatively simple drawings hold her vision intact as the book develops. Martha's comments serve as the captions for the images below.

 
 Quick blue-pencil-on-newsprint characterization of a Plains grassland landscape: mountains, forested mesa, grama grasses in foreground.
 
 Graphite sketch on sketch paper: visualizing in a very sloppy thumbnail approach
 
 
Graphite sketch working some ideas
 

Sketch for title page background landscape; 2H, Verithins, black ink on bumwad trace. Shows placement of title initial letters. Red crop marks for pencil draft; blue crop marks show shift to place large leaves in final cartoon.

Letter form and character for opening initial
There are so many facets in illustrating a book, including designing a page to present the story as well as provide a pleasing and accurate illustration. You can see the development of the images here, progressing to the more complete study of the little mouse protagonist climbing down on an illustrated initial. Natural science illustration combines with botanical illustration in this effort, to provide an exciting and educational experience for young readers.

Monday, June 23, 2014

High on Botanicals - Entry Reminder and Last Call

Vanessa Martin has secured a terrific gallery event for us in July of this year, at Square Deal Framing and Gallery J(click HERE for information about this gallery), July 15 through August 29th. This gallery has a number of exhibits annually, and we are delighted we are on this year's schedule.

We are invited to submit any images which include botanicals. This is a little more open event than some, and is unjuried. You may submit up to 3 artworks, matted and framed in the manner you wish, and ready to hang with hanging wires.

We will hang at least one, but hope to be able to include more. The entry form allows you to number your images in order of hanging preference. Images labeled as "1" will be hung first, and then we'll hang the others in your order of preference once space is determined. We have room for 45 to 50 paintings.

Works may be for sale. Gallery retains 25% commission. There is a small entry fee ($25) to support organizational expenses and tasty treats for the opening, which is scheduled July 19th, 2014, 4-6 PM.


High on Botanicals
Specifications:*Submit up to 3 artworks, number them for hanging preference.
*Submission deadline: 28 June 2014
*Artworks must be matted, framed and wired for hanging.
*Drop off art Saturday at Square One, July 12th between 1-4pm
*Exhibit Start: July 15, 2014
*Reception: July 19, 2014, time to be determined.
*Exhibit closes August 29, 2014.
*Pick up artworks August 30th, between 1-4pm
You may enter up to 3 artworks. Please fully complete all requested
information on the entry form.

Location: Square Deal Gallery
1460 S. Colorado Blvd, Denver, CO  (next to Black Eyed Pea Restaurant)
Contact: Vanessa Martin; Click HERE to contact her.

Special Exhibit Information: You may enter up to 3 matted and framed
artworks, wired and ready to hang. At least one artwork will be hung, and
second and third images may be hung if there is room. We have room for about
45 to 50 paintings. Please include genus and species if known, common names are always good, and you may title the work.
Click HERE for the Entry form.

Monday, June 16, 2014

July Member Meeting is a Special Tour of the Plains Conservation Center Short-grass Prairie

All images courtesy of the Plains Conservation Center:

Plains
Short-grass prairie at the Plains Conservation Center
Hi Everyone!

Come and explore the 8,000 acre short-grass prairie natural area with the Center Naturalists. We will explore the prairie, watch the skies for raptors, visit the bison herd, and there will be time for some sketching along the way. We'll meet at the Center in time to depart at 8 AM on the tour buses.  The Plains Conservation Center will provide transportation to West Bijou (45 minute ride) and lunch is included.
 
For lunch, there will be two different types of bread, meats (ham, turkey, roast beef), cheeses, lettuce, mayo, mustard - for making sandwiches, fresh fruit (depends a bit on what is available & what looks good); potato or macaroni salad & dessert (usually brownies). All you have to bring is a water bottle, sunscreen, close-toed shoes and dress for the ever-changing Colorado weather.

We will leave the Plains Conservation Center at 8 AM returning to the center at approximately 3 PM. Cost is $30 which includes lunch and transportation to West Bijou. We will be driven in 2 vans, with the total number of passengers limited to 14.

So, if you are interested in going and would like to reserve a spot on one of the buses please email me by July 14th. This will be an invaluable experience to see this unique ecological area and gain information about the plants and animals in this area from the Plains Center Naturalists who will be guiding the tour.

Don't drag your feet! Send me an EMAIL to reserve your seat and for more information!

Have a wonderful Colorado day,
Carol
Carol Ferguson


Making hay while the sun shines
 
 

Ferruginous Hawk
Raptor rising on the thermals over the plains. You'll see lots of these!
 


A ram of many horns, one of the residents at the Center, with a magnificent woolly coat
 


Historic housing and at moonrise
 


Mother and Calf
Spring calf and shaggy mama, one of many such pairs in this season
 
For more information about the Center, click HERE.

High on Botanicals - Entry Reminder

Vanessa Martin has secured a terrific gallery event for us in July of this year, at Square Deal Framing and Gallery J(click HERE for information about this gallery), July 15 through August 29th. This gallery has a number of exhibits annually, and we are delighted we are on this year's schedule.

We are invited to submit any images which include botanicals. This is a little more open event than some, and is unjuried. You may submit up to 3 artworks, matted and framed in the manner you wish, and ready to hang with hanging wires.

We will hang at least one, but hope to be able to include more. The entry form allows you to number your images in order of hanging preference. Images labeled as "1" will be hung first, and then we'll hang the others in your order of preference once space is determined. We have room for 45 to 50 paintings.

Works may be for sale. Gallery retains 25% commission. There is a small entry fee ($25) to support organizational expenses and tasty treats for the opening, which is scheduled July 19th, 2014, 4-6 PM.


High on Botanicals
Specifications:*Submit up to 3 artworks, number them for hanging preference.
*Submission deadline: 28 June 2014
*Artworks must be matted, framed and wired for hanging.
*Drop off art Saturday at Square One, July 12th between 1-4pm
*Exhibit Start: July 15, 2014
*Reception: July 19, 2014, time to be determined.
*Exhibit closes August 29, 2014.
*Pick up artworks August 30th, between 1-4pm
You may enter up to 3 artworks. Please fully complete all requested
information on the entry form.

Location: Square Deal Gallery
1460 S. Colorado Blvd, Denver, CO  (next to Black Eyed Pea Restaurant)
Contact: Vanessa Martin; Click HERE to contact her.

Special Exhibit Information: You may enter up to 3 matted and framed
artworks, wired and ready to hang. At least one artwork will be hung, and
second and third images may be hung if there is room. We have room for about
45 to 50 paintings. Please include genus and species if known, common names are always good, and you may title the work.
Click HERE for the Entry form.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Get Your Sketch ON!

Springtime is a good time to sketch, and inside or outside, sketching informs our finished artworks by teaching us how to see differently, observe carefully, figure out light on form, and test new techniques to solve problems. You can get good results with limited materials. The images below by Frank Merrem use graphite, sepia pencil, and white pencil on white and brown papers. Lots of variety and pop here. Frank is having some fun with these sketches. He tells us:
"Some in Black & White on Brown Paper and some Graphite on White Paper. Nothing great, lots of fun. I'm really enjoying the B&W on brown."
 
Here are some of his works:

Sphere exploring light changes in a very graphic way.
 
 
The pictures below are Frank's, and sadly, we can't get them to present in proper rotation. So, please tip your head to see these neat sketches.
 
Vase and glass on brown paper, using white and black pencil
 
 
Leaf on vine, using white and black pencil on brown paper
 
 
 
Study of sunflower petals radiation patterns, using black, gray and brown pencil on white paper
 
 
 
Detailed sunflower study in graphite on white paper
 
 
This cheerful fellow is white and black pencil on brown paper, and he proves that any subject is a good subject if you have a great time sketching. All the above images are by Frank Merrem.
 
 







Monday, June 9, 2014

High on Botanicals - Entry Reminder

Vanessa Martin has secured a terrific gallery event for us in July of this year, at Square Deal Framing and Gallery J(click HERE for information about this gallery), July 15 through August 29th. This gallery has a number of exhibits annually, and we are delighted we are on this year's schedule.

We are invited to submit any images which include botanicals. This is a little more open event than some, and is unjuried. You may submit up to 3 artworks, matted and framed in the manner you wish, and ready to hang with hanging wires.

We will hang at least one, but hope to be able to include more. The entry form allows you to number your images in order of hanging preference. Images labeled as "1" will be hung first, and then we'll hang the others in your order of preference once space is determined. We have room for 45 to 50 paintings.

Works may be for sale. Gallery retains 25% commission. There is a small entry fee ($25) to support organizational expenses and tasty treats for the opening, which is scheduled July 19th, 2014, 4-6 PM.


High on Botanicals
Specifications:*Submit up to 3 artworks, number them for hanging preference.
*Submission deadline: 28 June 2014
*Artworks must be matted, framed and wired for hanging.
*Drop off art Saturday at Square One, July 12th between 1-4pm
*Exhibit Start: July 15, 2014
*Reception: July 19, 2014, time to be determined.
*Exhibit closes August 29, 2014.
*Pick up artworks August 30th, between 1-4pm
You may enter up to 3 artworks. Please fully complete all requested
information on the entry form.

Location: Square Deal Gallery
1460 S. Colorado Blvd, Denver, CO  (next to Black Eyed Pea Restaurant)
Contact: Vanessa Martin; Click HERE to contact her.

Special Exhibit Information: You may enter up to 3 matted and framed
artworks, wired and ready to hang. At least one artwork will be hung, and
second and third images may be hung if there is room. We have room for about
45 to 50 paintings. Please include genus and species if known, common names are always good, and you may title the work.
Click HERE for the Entry form.