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, 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.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Heading East? Check Out This Terrific Exhibit

Click on this image to see an enlarged, easy-to-read version.

Curious about the term 'chapbook? Thanks to Wikipedia, we find that "A chapbook is an early type of popular literature printed in Early Modern Europe. The tradition of chapbooks arose in the 16th century, as soon as printed books became affordable, and rose to its height during the 17th and 18th centuries. Many different kinds of ephemera, popular or folk literature were published as chapbooks, such as pamphlets, political and religious tracts, nursery rhymes, poetry, folk tales, children's literature and almanacs. When illustrations are included in chapbooks, they are considered popular prints. The term "chapbook" for this type of literature was coined in the 19th century. The corresponding French and German terms are Bibliothèque bleue and Volksbuch, respectively.

The term "chapbook" is also in use for present-day publications, usually poetry, of up to about 40 pages, ranging from low-cost productions to expensive, finely produced editions."

Click HERE for more information about this unique opportunity to see into the mind of an amazing artist.

Exhibit is at: Steinhardt Conservatory Gallery at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden
990 Washington Avenue
Brooklyn, NY11225
(718) 623-7200

Thursday, September 4, 2014

"Drawing Nature" art exhibit, San Francisco Botanical Gardens at the Library

Drawing Nature artists reception
Artists Reception
Thursday September 6, 5–7PM

Celebrate fall with the Sonoma County Colored Pencil Artists at a special reception Thursday, September 6 at the Helen Crocker Russell Library of Horticulture. The exhibit runs September 5 – December 30 and focuses on the changing colors of falling leaves, fruit and flowers. All artwork in the exhibition is for sale, with a portion of the proceeds benefitting the Library.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

In Just 121 Days All This Can Be YOURS!

Time flies. 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're going to love this adventure!

Monday, August 25, 2014

High on Botanicals - Exhibit This Friday, Pick-up On Saturday.

This exhibit closes August 29th.  The feedback I have received was all very complimentary.  I believe some bin work was sold but as of today no original works were sold. We need to pick up our framed and bin work on Saturday August 30th between 11 AM - 4 PM.  I know some of you have already made arrangements for others to pick up your work.  If you are not able to pick up your art you must make arrangements for someone else to get it as the gallery owner does not have the space to store it.  

I will be at the gallery for a few hours to assist. Let me know if you have any questions.  Thank you all for your participation, I am looking forward to our next show.


Yes, we've had several days where the sun wasn't shining every minute. As Coloradans we simply expect better. To lift your spirits and give you inspiration, check out this amazing site by clicking HERE   to see some 'tunnels' you won't believe.

Incredible Tree Tunnel in the Netherlands 12 Amazing Tree Tunnels You Should Definitely Take A Walk Through
Tree Tunnel in the Netherlands