Mission Statement

The Rocky Mountain Society of Botanical Artists is an open and diverse group of artists, collectors and admirers who share a love for the practice and perpetuation of botanical art and illustration with a fond focus on plants in the Rocky Mountain Region.
We encourage and participate in educational outreach, juried and non-juried exhibits, lectures, workshops and regular chapter meetings. The RMSBA is proud to be the very first chapter affiliation of the international organization, the American Society of Botanical Artists.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

…and at last the Sun shone upon the Land…

Graduation Congratulations go out to the proud parents, aunts and uncles (and Grands and Greats) supporting various forms of student life this high school and college commencement season. Your persistence has paid off, and another generation has moved a tassel from right to left. Next stop: the Twilight Zone (better than your basement).

Helen Byers wants us to come to New Mexico to play and draw! She has recently joined our organization, and offers some opportunities for formal instruction in northern New Mexico.


RARE II is now receiving visitors at the Raton Museum (108 South 2nd Street, Raton, NM) through the end of the month. Go catch the show and the wildflowers.

Tryptich Gallery, Norlin Library (N345) at CU Boulder. The Shakespeare’s Bouquet exhibit is hung in this lovely space adjacent to the Rare Books Room. A life-size Flat Will is the thorn between a sweet Rosa rugosa portrait (his right hand) and an aggressive Rosa alba-Rosa gallica group portrait (his left). Do find time to visit this joint CU-SBAI event, which in August will accompany the First Folio during its stay in Boulder.

Open Studio was lots of fun. We had a little carbon dust demonstration, a trio of pears in colored pencil, lovely birds, and pencil dust generally filled the air. A quartet for lunch – a lovely second Tuesday. Join us in June. 

ArtBag Reminder. Here’s the ad. Just get one. (or two, if you need different sizes)

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Happy Mothers’ Day

Shakespeare’s Bouquet in Boulder. Some of our members have pieces in the Denver Botanic Gardens – University of Colorado exhibit of plants from Shakespeare’s plays.
A copy of the First Folio from the Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, DC will be on display in this 400th anniversary year of the Bard’s death. The Artists Reception is at the Norlin Library on Saturday, May 14, 2 – 4 pm.


Open Studio Resumes Tuesday, May 10, 9 am – 1 pm, Valkarie Gallery, 445 S Saulsbury St, Lakewood.
Gathering of the Guilds. We all had a great time on April 24 at Boettcher Mansion on Lookout Mountain in Golden. Beautiful weather this year. We enticed a sale or two, reacquainted with friends in other guilds, swapped business cards, sampled the fragrant 
offerings of Golden Moon Distillery, and made a few select purchases from among the available wares from bath salts to wooden tables. Looking forward to next year!

April Members Meeting on April 23 was very interesting. James Holmes from the Cherokee Ranch & Castle Foundation informed us about the cultural and natural heritage of the CRC, and reminded us about public tours beginning at 11 am Tuesdays through Sundays. For various upcoming activities available at CCR, including monthly exhibits by local artists, plein air paint-outs, and birding projects, visit the CRC website. There also find access to sign-up for the Arts Afield sketching opportunities we have as Artists in Residence. Our Vanessa Martin and Jan Boyd Haring are on the Art Committee for CCR (lucky us!).

Lucky, too, because guest speaker Susan Panjabi from the Colorado Natural Heritage Program at Colorado State University advised us of additional illustration opportunities. A new list of rare plants next up on CNHP’s radar is available and we will post it around here. Artwork is always welcome in those identification guides. Susan advises us the check for field trip opportunities with the Colorado Native Plant Society at the CNPS website.

RARE II: Springtime in the Rockies. On Saturday, April 30, having observed weather and road conditions for two days, your intrepid Editor set forth to travel I25 south to Raton, New Mexico, for the RARE II Opening Reception at the Raton Museum, 108 S. 2nd Ave. The highway was wet in Douglas County but clear and dry all the way to Raton – and back next day. 



Kathy McQueary and the Staff put on a lovely Artist Reception spread including four varieties of wine, fresh vegetables and sweets, and truly excellent meatballs. 
Your Editor gave a brief presentation about our process and techniques to the gathered wildflower followers and other guests. 

A Silent Auction offered bids on a number of lovely antiques and artifacts accompanying our artworks. Your Editor tried to respond coherently to questions from the local on-line paper that serves the area from Walsenburg, CO to Las Vegas, NM, but was unable to catch the journal’s title.
The second floor gallery space is a treat! Skylight passage for the first floor! 



Quite nice textile banners and portraits of the New Mexico wildflowers from the museum collection decorated the walls along with our 40 plant portraits, 5 posters, 2 maps, and our acknowledgements. The RARE II banner is in the street level front window. 

This is a very lovely hanging, and it would be a shame if only the one RMSBA member got to see it. Go down to Raton this month and see what a great job they did.

RMSBA Board. Consider serving on the RMSBA Executive Committee. Positions open for 2017-2018: President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and a couple other choice opportunities. Give it some serious thought: service to friends and fellow artists.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

What was that cloud yesterday?

Reminder – Members meeting Saturday at Koelbel Library from 11-1 pm, April 23, 2016.  Besides membership updates, we have guest speaker Susan Panjabi from the Colorado Natural Heritage Program to discuss additional illustration opportunities. Also, we have a guest speaker from Cherokee Ranch and Castle for discussion of upcoming events and a chance to ask questions.

Reminder -- Gathering of the Guilds. The event is Sunday, April 24, 10-4 pm at the Boettcher Mansion on Lookout Mountain in Golden. Attendance is free; just tell them you are a participating member. This event is a lot of fun, and worth the drive on a lovely Sunday.


RARE II opens in Raton, New Mexico.

Pack your bags, artists! The Reception is April 30, 3 – 5 pm, 108 South Second Street, Raton, NM. The exhibit will show until May 28, 2016. You folks from south of Monument Pass do have a much shorter drive so go visit the neighbors. Among the local attractions is Climax Canyon Park, where there is an exposure of the Iridium layer marking the K-T boundary and demarcating the extinction of the dinosaurs.



Folsom, NM, homeplace of the Folsom Point (and its culture) and Sugarite State Park are off to the northeast, while Capulin National Volcanic Monument is a few miles east. 


Sunday, April 10, 2016

A Little Catching Up

Executive Committee/Board meets Monday, April 11, 11 am – 2 pm, Hooked on Colfax.

Open Studio Tuesday, April 12, 9 am – 1 pm, Valkarie Gallery, 465 S Saulsbury, Lakewood.

We Love Publicity! A message from Teresa Burkert:


If you have not yet seen it, on page 5 of the April 2016 issue of Colorado Gardener (free at garden centers) there is a very nice paragraph about RARE II under the heading Exhibitions! I am not sure whom to thank or congratulate for getting this information in there so I am sending this for the Blog. Happy Spring!!

Friday, April 1, 2016

It’s April Already, No Foolin’

Arts Afield: This just in from Jan Boyd-Haring.

Hi. I promised Vanessa I would create a fantastic masterpiece from this road grader sitting behind the corrals at Cherokee Castle and Ranch. We thought we could entice other artists to partake in the adventures awaiting them at Cherokee.  

It turns out this machine has a story: An Austin-Western from the 1950s, it has Green Mountain Falls Municipal stickers on each side. I showed this to a friend who owns heavy equipment and is local to Green Mountain Falls. He says his dad, who also ran heavy equipment, sold it to Green Mountain Falls years ago; GMF rolled it and crushed the cab. Our friend, who is 60, was not old enough to remember, but he does remember pictures of the unfortunate mishap hanging in the fire station. This explains the red machine with a sky blue cab. So pretty I had to paint it!

Thanks, Jan. Nothing could be prettier on April Fools’ Day.

Executive Committee Meeting Reminder: Monday, April 11, at Hooked on Colfax, 11 am.

A Link from GNSI: Check out the pollinator portrait by Vladimir Nabokov, Butterfly Illustrator at http://www.newyorker.com/tech/elements/vladimir-nabokov-butterfly-illustrator. Who knew there was a book out called Nabokov’s Butterflies?!?

Call for Entries: Smithtown Township Arts Council seeks entries for juried fine art exhibition “Of a Botanical Nature” at the Mills Pond Gallery. A call for original artwork that reflects the beauty and uniqueness of flora (realistic or representational style). Plants and all aspects of plant development such as seed pods, leaves, fruits, and flowers are appropriate. All media considered except photography and computer generated art. Entry deadline May 12, 2016. Exhibit dates June 18 –July 20, 2016. Juror: Wendy Hollender. Open to local and national artists. Prospectus at http://www.stacarts.org/exhibits or email gallery@stacarts.org.  660 Route 25A, St. James, NY 11780.  (631) 862-6575. gallery@stacarts.org  $45/3 entries. Cash Awards 1st, 2nd place.