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.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Punxatawney Phil may (or may not) have it right – regional meteorologists disagree – just keep shoveling


New logo. RMSBA’s new logo appears at the top of the Blog.

Last Look tomorrow at Spark Gallery, 9th Av & Santa Fe Drive, for Susan Rubin’s “Political Landscape” colored pencil drawings, Carol Till’s “Arboreal” etchings, and Tom Mazzullo’s natural realism silverpoint offerings. Noon to 5 pm. If you have other obligations, try again Sunday afternoon (1 – 4) to get a glimpse as they fly off the walls. See you there.

Urgent reminder! Renew your ASBA membership by February 10, 2019 for the full year of member benefits until December 31, 2019, including all four issues of The Botanical Artist! To renew, please first go to the ASBA web page, then click on Member Login in the upper right corner; use the email address associated with your ASBA Membership account to log in. Do not neglect indicating your membership also in RMSBA, the first ASBA Chapter.

“Lost in the Woods” now departs extended until February 22 at the CU Museum of Natural History in Boulder. “Cannabis: A Visual Perspective” opens soon at the Center of Southwest Studies at Fort Lewis College in Durango. Information forthcoming about an Opening and any related activities.

Call for Entries. As promised, here is the announcement of the upcoming member show “Feathers and Flora: A Natural Relationship.” The Prospectus is available for download at OnlineJuriedShows.com. We recommend a YouTube journey with John Muir Laws’ “How to Draw Birds” offering, recently revised according to the New Birds Drawing Systems. Check it out!

Reminder about Framing and Matting. Our accepted frame sizes are 12x12, 12x16, 16x20, and 18x24. Currently, we prescribe the Blick Essentials Wood Gallery Frame in Natural (Dick Blick 18862-1904, -1906, -1908, and -1909). Mats white or off-white. Do remember that D-ring flat hangers are much preferred; no little toothy rack things or eye screws.

Mountain report: The deep mountains have snow, and piles of it at the foot of Mount Elbert. Quality for recreation very high, but I fear the moisture content is lower than we ourselves have experienced right here in New Frontrangia. I got to lift a great deal of it off when I returned from a most satisfactory snowshoe expedition. Oh, well, upper body exercise…

Thursday, January 31, 2019

The Better New Year


New logo. RMSBA’s new logo appears at the top of the Blog.

Renew your ASBA membership by February 10, 2019 to enjoy a full year of member benefits between January 1 and December 31, 2019, including all four issues of The Botanical Artist! When renewing, please first go to the ASBA web page, then click on Member Login in the upper right corner; use the email address associated with your ASBA Membership account to log in. Do not neglect indicating your membership also in RMSBA, the first ASBA Chapter.

Call for Entries. As promised, here is the announcement of the upcoming member show “Feathers and Flora: A Natural Relationship.” The Prospectus is available for download at OnlineJuriedShows.com. We recommend a YouTube journey with John Muir Laws’ “How to Draw Birds” offering, recently revised according to the New Birds Drawing Systems. Check it out!

Reminder about Framing and Matting. Our accepted frame sizes are 12x12, 12x16, 16x20, and 18x24. Currently, we prescribe the Blick Essentials Wood Gallery Frame in Natural (Dick Blick 18862-1904, -1906, -1908, and -1909). Mats white or off-white. Do remember that D-ring flat hangers are much preferred; no little toothy rack things or eye screws.

“Lost in the Woods” now departs the CU Museum of Natural History in Boulder. “Cannabis: A Visual Perspective” opens soon at the Center of Southwest Studies at Fort Lewis College in Durango. Information forthcoming about an Opening and any related activities.

ASBA’s Silver Anniversary. The Mother Ship encourages us to participate in the events over the next year observing this anniversary with distributed activities. They of course solicit entries for their show in New York. We here at RMSBA are organizing a workshop in silverpoint as a medium on April 27. More information forthcoming shortly.

Executive Board met January 13 to plan the upcoming year’s activities. March 31 we gather (11 – 2) at the BioLounge at the CU Museum of Natural History in Boulder for some sketching. June 23, Dorothy De Paulo will present a workshop/class on colored pencil rendering of birds on Mylar drafting film. September 29, Judy Vanderbosch will guide us through the process of making our own spiral-bound sketchbooks, using the papers near and dear to our hearts.

Speaking of paper: On January 15 from noon to 1 pm, the Strathmore paper company brought their merch to Gates Hall at Denver Botanic Gardens. Not only did we score some sample papers, we got a random selection of General’s drawing media and a few other items, so we could try all of them out on the sample sheets. Fun!

Monday, December 31, 2018

First Flakes for the New Year


Holidays. First out of the gate was Hanukkah, to celebrate a miracle; next was Pearl Harbor Day, to remember a disaster. La fiesta de la virgin de Guadalupe brought children’s parades. Next was our own Holiday Party, followed by Solstice and a full moon. Christmas Eve, carolers and maybe a Vigil; elves and reindeer and Santa in the night on the roofs; brightly dawns Christmas Day! Take-it-all-back-returns Day, Boxing Day, and Kwaanza! New Year’s Eve, to reflect and have a nice toast to what must surely be a better New Year.

Renew your ASBA membership by February 10, 2019 to enjoy a full year of member benefits between January 1 and December 31, 2019, including all four issues of The Botanical Artist! When renewing, please first go to the ASBA web page, then click on Member Login in the upper right corner; use the email address associated with your ASBA Membership account to log in. Do not forget to indicate your membership also in RMSBA, the first ASBA Chapter.

Women's Winter Kits. Several of us from RMSBA, supported by the Mile High and Very Deep Book Club, gathered for an assembly party for these on December 6th at Judy Vanderbosch’s house. Well, she put us right through our paces, organizing tasks and taskees, while finishing up a few last minute items and making soup for our lunch. Irma Sturgell did some fabulous skewered accompaniments. These kits are quite practical packets of personal items, including a USB flash drive – handy at the Library. The bags are sewed cotton cloth – each different and all pretty -- and have button closures.


















Holiday Party. We had a lovely Chinese Year of the Earth-Dog repast at Shiere’s on December 15. Thank you, Shiere, for hosting. Thanks, Eileen, for the goods. Thanks, Irma, for moving all along. We enjoyed good attendance and interesting conversations.

Reminder about Framing and Matting. Our accepted frame sizes are 12x12, 12x16, 16x20, and 18x24. Currently, we prescribe the Blick Essentials Wood Gallery Frame in Natural (Dick Blick 18862-1904, -1906, -1908, and -1909). Mats white or off-white. Do remember that D-ring flat hangers are much preferred; no little toothy rack things or eye screws.

“Lost in the Woods” is still up at the CU Museum of Natural History in Boulder, until January 5, 2019. “Cannabis: A Visual Perspective” opens soon at the Center of Southwest Studies at Fort Lewis College in Durango. Information forthcoming about an Opening and any related activities.

Reminder: Executive Board meeting coming up January 13. Contact any board member if you have items you want added to the agenda.

Pre-minder: On January 15 from noon to 1 pm, the Strathmore paper company will be displaying and discussing their products at Gates Hall at Denver Botanic Gardens. Often this presentation is accompanied by a selective distribution of free samples, which you might try out and consider using in your work.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Closing in on Winter


Fire, Tornado, Flood, Earthquake. We’ve successfully (or not) navigated the perilous November holiday celebrations and remembrances: All Saints Day, Dia de los muertos, Daylight Savings Time changeover, Election Day, US Marine Corps Birthday, Veterans Day (Remembrance Day elsewhere), 20%-off coupons at Guiry’s and Meiningers, Revolution Day (Mexico),Thanksgiving Day, a Full-Moon Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, CyberMonday, Giving Tuesday, PorchPirate Wednesday, and I-need-a-rest-now day. The Entire Earth is soliciting contributions, and the Marching continues.

Renew your ASBA membership by February 10, 2019 to enjoy a full year of member benefits between January 1 and December 31, 2019, including all four issues of The Botanical Artist! When renewing, please first go to the ASBA web page, then click on Member Login in the upper right corner; use the email address associated with your ASBA Membership account to log in. Do not forget to indicate your membership also in RMSBA, the first ASBA Chapter.

Women's Winter Survival Kit. The assembly party for these will be December 6th from 9:30am to 3:00pm. Come and spend as long as you have time to spare. We will need help putting on labels for the shampoo, lotion and lip balm. We will also be sewing buttons and beads on the toiletry bags and hats.

Soup will be served.
Please RSVP to:  Judy Vanderbosch - redbudart@gmail.com  303-375-7718
Location: 6585 E Colorado Dr. Denver, Colorado 80224

Holiday Party. Make your plans.

RMSBA Logo. We offered a poll to see which of these replacements you liked.
Did you vote?

Framing and Matting. Our accepted frame sizes are 12x12, 12x16, 16x20, and 18x24. Currently, we prescribe the Blick Essentials Wood Gallery Frame in Natural (Dick Blick 18862-1904, -1906, -1908, and -1909). Mats white or off-white.

“Lost in the Woods” is at the CU Museum of Natural History in Boulder until January 5, 2019. “Cannabis: A Visual Perspective” is soon up at the Center of Southwest Studies at Fort Lewis College in Durango. If you’re takin’ a road trip, drop in on them.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Happy Halloween! Spook it up, Everybody



Tomorrow is November 1, and you will be able to renew your membership on the ASBA website! Don’t forget to renew for RMSBA at the same time. It’s also All Saints’ Day. Remember St. Brigid of Kildare who, rumor has it, started an art school for the medicinal herbalism students in “Dark Age” Ireland. Know your plants!

“Invisible Links,” this year’s DBG-SBAI juried show, is on the move to the Great Hall of the Visitors’ Pavilion, Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden, Belmont, NC, from January 25 to March 3, 2019. Congratulations, everyone, on greater exposure through exhibits.

“Lost in the Woods” is at the CU Museum of Natural History in Boulder until January 5, 2019. “Cannabis: A Visual Perspective” is at the Center of Southwest Studies at Fort Lewis College in Durango. If you’re takin’ a road trip, drop in on them.

Holiday Party this year is Sunday, December 9, 2018, 1 – 4 pm, at Shiere Melin’s lovely home in northwest Arvada. Eileen Richardson, the Prez, is providing the food – something about the Year of the Earth-Dog??? That should be interesting.

RMSBA Logo poll. Your executive board has decided to update the organization's logo. It was developed some time ago and the original digital files no longer exist. We need to work with printers and so files must function for many formats. In addition, we are striving for a fresh clean look with one of 3 logos, which were sent to your email accounts. Don’t forget to cast your vote by emailing rmsbartists@gmail.com and noting 1, 2 or 3 by November 1st. That’s tomorrow.

Women's Survival Kits. Judy Vanderbosch is spearheading a wonderful effort to put together Women's Survival Kits to be donated to Catholic Charities this winter. These will include scarves and hats sewn from the scraps of the Art Sacks. Check your email for information about certain items still needed. Please consider donating something you might have extra of, or making the effort to purchase a missing item. We will be assembling the kits on December 6th. 
ArtCozy
Cozy Tuque and Scarf














Slightly older news

Sheila Payne, our friend and colleague, has passed away. Many of you remember her enthusiasm and great talent. After raising her family, at age 60 Sheila resumed her painting endeavor while traveling extensively around the world. At 70, she earned her certification from the Denver Botanic Gardens botanical illustration program. Illness put an abrupt end to her artistic career in 2010. RMSBA sponsored a Retrospective Exhibit of 40 of her paintings in 2013, the year she also received the Sydney Parkinson award.

Executive Board and Member Meeting on 9/30 was rather poorly attended -- a shame as ‘twas interesting. The Board presented Vanessa Martin with a book in appreciation for her service as President and Treasurer. The volume is cased in a canvas wrap made and painted by Judy Vanderbosch.

Meetings for 2019

Executive Board meeting January 13
Member meetings March 31, June 23, September 29, and December 8 (Holiday Party)


Extremely preliminary call for entries: Winged Things! Birds, nests, eggs, trees and shrubs as habitat, and all such stuff. “Feathers and Flora”? The CU Museum of Natural History collections will be available to us, but other sources are just fine. If you have previous work in this thread, consider submitting it.

Film at Denver Museum of Nature and Science: The Feather Thief
Wednesday, November 14, Phipps Theater, 7 p.m.
$12 DMNS, Bird Conservancy of the Rockies, or Audubon Society member; $15 nonmember 

American flautist Edwin Rist is unusually obsessed with the Victorian art of fly-tying. Bizarrely, Rist broke into the Tring Museum north of London in 2009, home to rare bird specimens with feathers worth staggering amounts of money among fly-tiers. Once inside, the champion salmon fly artist grabbed hundreds of bird skins and escaped. This unusual event catapulted author Kirk Wallace Johnson into an obsession of his own that took him around the world. Hear Johnson share his relentless pursuit to find the missing birds, which he documents in his book The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century. A book sale and signing will follow the program.

Program presented in partnership with
Bird Conservancy of the Rockies with promotional support from Audubon Society of Greater Denver and Audubon Rockies.   

Our next RMSBA project revolves around birds and their interactions with plants (“Feathers and Flora”) so this film may be of real interest.
From Discover Magazine

SWSBA Reprints from Gillian Rice:
I wonder if any of you have read Art & Fear: Reflections on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking by Bayles and Orland? Scott Stapleton talked about it in an article in the ASBA Journal. Excellent. It helped me to have a different perspective, but of course, I have to keep reminding myself. Click here to link up…
Here’s a link to a beautiful video of the Sydney Florilegium recently on view at the Shirley Sherwood Gallery in Kew.
Inspiring, but I think I held my breath for the very last step - I have never had the need to do that step, thankfully...
Thanks, Gillian.

ASBA Annual Conference in St. Louis, October 11-13, was terrific. I had a great class and found a new pencil (Palomino Blackwing) for smooth darks, drew some new plants, had a vastly interesting tour of St. Louis, met some fascinating artists, renewed a few acquaintances, really enjoyed the Small Works show. Here are some images.