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, scientific facts with contemporary creative arts, resulting in works that bloom gracefully and endlessly.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

New Members:
Ronda Ballard
Nels Broste
Leanne Canty
Kristi Czajkowski
Laura Farnsworth
Elizabeth Fonseca
Barbara Holden
Marj Hopkins
Jayme Irvin
Karen May
Doug McCallum
Ted Milner
Lois Nakhleh
Nannette Nielsen
Rebecca Swain
Karey Swan
Andrea Wolf
Penelope Yerigan

March meeting

Sunday, March 29, 2015 from 1 to 3 pm
Location: Roxborough Library
     Lockheed Martin Community Meeting Room
               8357 N. Rampart Range Rd.
               Littleton, CO

1.Welcome new members
2.General housekeeping
3.Open Press workshop – have an opening spot
4.Ronda Ballard (professional framer) will go over framing parameters for the Rare II Exhibit
5.Update on business cards from Dorothy DePaulo
6.Update on RARE II
7.Update on Wicked Plants Exhibit
8.Update on Gathering of the Guilds
9.Open discussion- any topics that need to be discussed
10.Update on RARE II Photo montage –   Patti Hearn will bring what she has put together from the last meeting.  Attendees will help with finalizing.

Scans due by 11:59 pm, March 31, 2015, to rmsbartists@gmail.com (300dpi, 8x10)

Of Very Special Note
Congratulations to Connie Sayas for her cover of the current ASBA Botanical Artist! She prepared this lovely watercolor of Red Onions for the Small Works show at the ASBA meetings here in Denver last fall.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Meeting rescheduled

Still digging out?

Our February meeting, cancelled as a result of a whopping snowstorm, has been rescheduled for March 1, 2015, at the same location: Columbine Library, 7706 W. Bowles Av, Littleton, CO, 1-3 pm. The agenda remains the same. Bring your Wicked Plants related materials and literature -- and ideas -- and we'll also have a look at the photo project in support of RARE II.

We do hope the snow clearance goes well following the next shot from Winter.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Daffodils are emerging in my yard -- too early!

Art living among us in disguise?
Consider the website Hyperallergic.com (Sensitive to Art and Its Discontents), which is about art as an alive, changing event in all our lives : Food for thought for artists as activists. Lifting a page now and then from radical artists’ playbooks, as Libby Kyer suggests, might spur us to grow botanical art first as a recognized ART genre (we’re all artists here…) and secondly as the visible science contribution to education about life on the planet!

Upcoming Meeting Locations
February 22, 2015  1-3 pm  Columbine Library, 7706 W Bowles Ave, Littleton, CO 80123
March 29, 2015  1-3 pm  Roxborough Library, Lockheed Martin Meeting Room, 8357 North Rampart Range Road, Littleton, 80125

Membership dues: are you overdue?
Here is a link for both your ASBA and RMSBA memberships. To go directly to the ASBA site to join or renew your membership use this link:   http://asba-art.org/join/joinrenew-now
For persons who wish to pay by check, please fill out the membership form and prepare a check for $90 made payable to ASBA. Send the check to: ASBA Membership, 2900 Southern Boulevard, Bronx, NY 10458-5126.
Please email any questions to our treasurer, Ronda Ballard: RMSBAtreasurer@gmail.com
Remember to renew your membership no later than January 31st each year…

Call for Entries: Wicked Plants    
RMSBA is hosting a non-juried exhibition inspired by Amy Stewart’s book Wicked Plants. Posted nearby is the Call for Entry and Entry form.  Something new we have added to this CFE is the Email Intent to Enter.  If you know you are going to participate but don’t know the botanical plant you will be illustrating, don’t worry, just show TBD in the form. Our intent is get a count of how many art pieces we can expect to hang. 

If you have a copy of the book, please bring it to our meetings for members to look at and get ideas.  You can purchase the book on Amazon or at Denver Botanical Gardens.  Check your local libraries; they may have copies as well.  

We really encourage you to have fun with this.  You can add other elements to show why your plant is wicked, i.e., a plant with thorns could have blood dripping off or a poisonous plant with skull and crossbones.  I know that you can come up with some very clever ways to illustrate a wicked plant.

RMSBA has extended a special invitation to the Denver Botanical Gardens School of Botanical Art and Illustration students who are not RMSBA members.  We are excited to have them participate with us and to see what benefits they can have as members to our great organization.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Botanical Business Cards

Art for Business cards RMSBA is having business cards printed, and on them we want to show a cross-section of our wonderfully talented artists. We have found a printing company that will do several images per order, and we thought it would be fun to have five or six different images on our cards.

Wouldn't you like to see your artwork on our cards? 

Please submit a high-quality botanical image (300dpi) of your favorite botanical artwork. We will show the images at the meeting in March when we vote on our new tag-line The six images earning the highest number of votes will be the artwork for our new cards.

So before you think about it too much, just send Dorothy (ddepaulo@gmail.com) an attachment of your favorite image!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Tagline Contest for RMSBA Members - with a Prize!

Tagline Contest 
Let’s get a tagline for RMSBA, many organizations have one. 

Tagline – A slogan or catchphrase conveying important attributes or benefit the group wishes to convey

Example:  Denver Botanical Gardens – ‘Connecting people with plants…’

Email your tagline entries to Vanessa Martin at martin.vanessa655@gmail.com during February; use Tagline contest in the Subject reference. She will compile all of entries and send out an on-line vote for members to for favorites and the winner will receive a $10 gift card to Meininger’s.

January’s early submissions
First entry from Susan Fisher: “Plant portrayals promote preservation…”

Helen Smithwick has a few:
"Art with altitude" 
"Everything you love about illustration"
"Empowering the illustrator"

Heather Myers offers:
 - Art from the ground up!
- Glorious plants, glorious art.
- Art from the plant world.
- Portraits from the plant world.

Send yours in now!

January Meeting at Golden Library

January 25, 2015, Golden Library, 1019 10th St, Golden, CO

1) State of the Organization 
2) Mission Statement and By-Laws
3) Tagline contest
4) RARE II Update
            a. Need committee to handle photo gallery addition to exhibit
5) Upcoming Exhibits
            a. Gathering of the Guilds
            b. Wicked Plants
                   1)  Decide on non-member entry fee
            c. Tagawa Gardens
6) Membership Recruitment Drive
7) Proposed schedule for 2015
8) Member discussion on ideas for workshops and other activities
9) Share favorite books

The complete Minutes of the meeting are posted to this Blog under Documents of Use

Proposed (and accepted) 2015 schedule of meetings
1) January 25th - Golden Library - 2015 kick off
2) February 22nd - Meeting cancelled due to snow; rescheduled for
     March 1Columbine Library - RARE Photo gallery, work on project
3) March 29th – location TBD - Discussion on digital techniques
4a) April 24th (Friday) - Framing RAREII at Sharon Eatons’s
4b) April 26th (Sunday) - Gathering of the Guilds – Boettcher Mansion
5) May 31st – Rocky Mtn Land Library - Film
6) June 28th – location TBD - Susan Fisher workshop/ Color Force
7) July 26th - Plein Aire at Mt. Goliath
8) August 30th - Bar-B-Que at Vanessa Martin’s house
9) Sept. 27th - Aurora Plains Conservation Center Tour
10) October 25th – location TBD - recap of Miami ASBA conference
11) November 29th - no meeting
12) December 20th - location TBD - Holiday party

RARE II Exhibit Update (further details in the January Minutes)

Adding a Photo Gallery as an interpretive component to the exhibit received enthusiastic support. We need all RARE artists to forward any photos of field work, herbarium specs, on-location photos with botanists, anything that would interest the public. These will show the story behind the process, how we go about researching, field work, looking for plants etc. 

Send digital photos to Susan Fisher at susan@susantfisher.com. Please explain the photos so we can create captions. At our next meeting we will work on this project. Bring your ideas! We need volunteers for a committee; please let Vanessa, Dorothy or Susan Fisher know if you can help us with this creative project.   

Question: Will those RARE artwork pieces not accepted into the traveling exhibit be included in the catalogue?  Answer: Yes. 

Upcoming Exhibits (further details in the January Minutes)

Gathering of the Guilds – Sunday, April 26th, The Boettcher Mansion on Lookout Mountain, Golden, 9am-4pm – RMSBA will have a table. Members are invited to sell their prints, note cards, etc.  If interested in participating, please contact Sharon Eaton and Patti Hearn.

 Wicked Plants Exhibit– An exhibit inspired by the book “Wicked” by the author Amy Stewart.  This non-juried show is open to RMSBA members with a special invitation to DBG non-member students. The show will be in October at the Aurora Cultural Arts district gallery.

The Call For Entry will be posted soon with the details. We need a good turn out because the gallery is huge and we need to fill it: we estimate a minimum of 45-50 pieces. We will also be able to sell originals, prints and note cards at this venue; gallery takes 25% commission. 

Tagawa Gardens – Patti Hearn is negotiating with Tagawa Gardens for us to set up one weekend in August to sell our art. Also they want someone to conduct a workshop for 10-12 year olds.  Tentatively Sharon Garret has volunteered to work on this. More details once Patti has finalized the commitment.

Membership Recruitment drive – (further details in the January Minutes)
Vanessa encourages all members to think of ways to get new members. We will be getting business cards for members to carry to pass out to prospective new members. Members who take classes at DBG should promote RMSBA. We want to send the message that you don’t have to be a graduate of the DBG school in order to join, we welcome newbies to the botanical art world. 

Exhausted from so much thinking and planning and proposing, we shared our favorite books and magazines and munched on snacks… Ahhhhh, it was a good meeting!

Monday, January 19, 2015

It's Stock Show Season - Why Isn't It Cold?

Our First Meeting of 2015
          is January 25, 1 - 3 pm, Golden Library, 1019 10th Street, Golden.

Bring a book that inspires you as an artist, a light snack to share, and your ideas. We are planning our RMSBA year. Please find your fellow artists more compelling -- and more fun -- than the Stock Show this afternoon.

If you have information to post to this Blog, please send it to the Blogster at the salt mine here.

From Our President
Happy New Year to all!

Re-energize – to give energy to; rouse to activity…
First I want to say how much I appreciate the opportunity to serve as your new President.  I know I have big shoes to fill but I am up for the challenge.  The new Board had its first meeting early January… hold onto your hats because they are energized and full of great ideas for this coming year.  Coming off of the annual ASBA conference we hope to ignite a new sense of purpose and excitement for our organization. 

Amend – To change for the better; improve…
Our January 25th meeting will be an important and informative one to attend.   We have a number of agenda items that we want to present to members.  Among the topics for serious discussion and ultimately a vote will be to amend our Mission statement and By-Laws.  We are proposing to change our mission statement, goals and objectives to better reflect and serve its members…you. 

E-mailed to you for review, the current Mission Statement and By-Laws, and proposed changes also can be downloaded from the Documents section of the Blog.  We will have a discussion and decide by vote for an amendment to these documents.

Below is a brief summary of some of the other agenda topics.
Agenda for January 25th at Golden Library

1.      State of the Organization
2.      Mission Statement and By-Laws amendment
3.      Tag Line contest
4.      RARE II Update
5.      Upcoming Exhibits
          a.      Gathering of the Guilds
          b.      Wicked Plants
6.      Membership Recruitment drive
          a.      RMSBA business cards
7.      Proposed schedule for 2015
8.      Members to suggest ideas for locations, workshops and other activities of interest
9.      Bring your favorite book that inspires you or the one you always to go.

If you have other topics you want to discuss please bring your ideas.  Let’s have some fun!

Vanessa Martin, President, RMSBA

RARE II Artists
A new list of available plants for RARE II is coming your way. Check your email. Any scans of additional work submitted for RARE II must be received by March 15, 2015 March 31, 2015. If you opt for another plant, please advise us at drop point.

Open Studio 
              at Valkarie Gallery, 445 S Saulsbury St, Lakewood; Second Tuesdays

We had our first Open Studio on Jan 13, and had a grand time. Usefully spent, too. We raised clouds of graphite and colored pencil dust, and sprinkled a bit of watercolor. We sought and gave advice. We also got to see the pieces (some actually of pieces, as below; very imaginative artist!) on display at the gallery. I don't know what the Artist's Stefan Begej's title is for the montage; I call my photo "A Burst of Sax."

We'll gather again on February 10. Come join us!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Happy New Year!

Your Board, having survived our first meeting on January 8!

Come to the January 25 meeting at the Golden Library and help make the Plan for the coming year. We also need to discuss our By-laws, last revised before the Great Recession.

Bring a book that inspired you as an artist. It need not be any particular art form, or even art at all, just inspiring.

Open Studio January 13: at Valkarie Gallery, 453 S Saulsbury St, Lakewood, 9 to 1, bring your stuff. This monthly second-Tuesday opportunity begins tomorrow.

An exhibit in Loveland featuring Susan Rubin, Constance Sayas, and Carol Till,:

Don't forget the Coors Western Art Show and Sale at the National Western Stock Show through January 25, featuring Carol Till.

(flyer forthcoming)