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.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Last Call...

...For tomorrow's colored pencil workshops at Koelbel Library. If you haven't signed up, now's the time. Click on "Scheduled Events" for the info you need.

Pansy Panel, Colored pencil on paper, Libby Kyer

Congratulations to Susan Rubin and the opening of her exhibit "Five, a sensory garden" last night at Spark Gallery. Colored pencil on Mylar illustrates the senses in a novel and compelling way. Spark Gallery is at 900 Santa Fe Drive. Go to www.sparkgallery.com for all the details.

The RARE II group are revving up for another wonderful project with attendant exhibitions and events. To accommodate the increase in email chatter, they've created a new email address at rare2014@q.com. Send your volunteer capabilities and interests, questions, comments and support to this address. It's an easy way to take that first step and get involved.  

Heads up all you fellow DBG student addicts! If you're taking classes at Denver Botanic Gardens ( and who can resist, really!), here's a special invitation. June 18, 1 to 4 PM, Vanessa Martin is hosting a Botanical Illustration Summer Get-together. She has a large backyard filled with flowers, trees, bushes and other botanicals to sketch, paint or just enjoy. And she's offering lovely nibbles -cheese and crackers, fruit and beverages (wine and others).What could be nicer than fine weather, fine art and fine friends gathered together? Please plan to come and meet your artist friends outside of the classroom. RSVP and all the details are at the DBG registrations site, http://catalog.botanicgardens.org.

I've changed my mind. Not a stunning event for those who know me well, but I believe it's a good move. I'm going to leave the posted links in "Emphemera - A Feast of Links", formerly "Weekly Links," for two weeks. We all live busy lives, and sometimes, a week is not long enough for you to find these sites and enjoy them. So, voila! Two weeks at a time, links will be listed for your enjoyment. Ah, the heady power of the Blogmeister!

Enjoy your 3-day weekend, and take a moment to remember those who work for our freedom every day. May they flourish.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

RARE II Begins Planning

Introducing RARE II

Seven RMSBA members who wanted to continue the Rare, Imperiled Plants of Colorado program met in April to discuss continuing this program. It was agreed to continue illustrating Colorado's rare plants, but to focus on the list of globally imperiled plants in the state. That list numbers 121, and 29 of the plants were illustrated in Rare. The idea is to have the remaining 92 plants illustrated by fall of 2014, when the ASBA annual meeting will be in Denver. Could there be RARE II exhibits, books, educational programs, grants to cover framing costs? We need volunteers to make any of that happen.

There will be information about the RARE II program and time for your input at the summer RMSBA meeting.  Come with your ideas and ready to volunteer.

The Call for Entries will be posted on the blog, as well as the imperiled plants list for sign-up.

Carol Till

Monday, May 23, 2011

Sometimes, more is more!

With apologies to Bauhaus, this week,  more is more! Lots of interesting bits to share with you. Let's start with Weekly Links. There are some wonderful sites. I'm particularly thrilled with the catalog of historical botanical prints. Wow, what a treasure trove. The modern take on Albrecht Durer's Rhinoceros is amazing! Durer had never seen a rhino when he created his iconic image. Now it's scheduled to walk the streets! There's a neat little tutorial available on mixing media in botanical art and a link to a Squidoo list of good botanical art books. Squidoo is a great site with so many resources.

I have been an updating obsessive, and you'll now find our Newsletter Archives available. Just click on the issue you want to read and you'll go directly to to our file host site and the desired document. Also, there are a couple of workshop offerings by member artists to check out. Summer is a great time for plein aire painting in any medium, and if you have any qualms about your drawing skills, there's a course for you too.

Our own Susan Rubin is the featured artist at Botanical Interests Seed Company this month. Take a look at her interview and some great art at: bicreativeinspirations.com/featuredartist/.

Flamenco by Susan Rubin

Our next exhibit is in the fall. The call for entries for The Colorado Garden exhibition is loaded into our Calls for Entries gadget. It contains all the particulars for this neat new opportunity. While on the subject of exhibitions, your board is working hard on finding suitable venues for showing your artworks. If you have ideas for venues, contacts at same, or other words of wisdom regarding exhibitions, please do contact me. We value your input.

And finally, I have to ask, where are your gallery pages? My own entry is feeling a little lonely, a little too solitary. So, take some time to put together a biography, gather two or 3 fine images, and then send them to me. I look forward to our Gallery turning into the hot spot for new and beautiful in botanical art!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Everyone's talking about the weather...

...which is why we won't. It is, after all, springtime in the Rockies, and pretty much all options remain open!

However, with the weather getting better, it's time to start planning summer activities. For an incredible experience in nature science illustration, consider the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators annual conference, which will be held in Olympia, WA at Evergreen State College. Their website http://www.gnsi.science-art.com/2011WA/index.html has all the information on a huge array of art education opportunities, workshops, lectures, science updates, field trips and other activities.

The ASBA's conference information will appear in the June issue of The Botanical Artist, due in members' home in mid-June. To be held in Boston this year, it too is chock-full of workshops, lectures, field trips and other exciting activities. The opening reception will be held at Harvard Museum in the Glass Flowers collection, the amazing glass models of the father-son team of the Blashka family. These models were prepared to allow Harvard science students to study biology during the long, dark, Boston winters. You won't believe your eyes. This is just one example of the thousands of models created. The process to make these models died with the Blashka's. Go to http://bostonasba2011.blogspot.com/ for full information!

This week's links have some great art collections, two sites on the value of values in your art, and a link to a great orchid artist.
I look forward to getting your Gallery Pages. This is a free service that will put you on the web!

Friday, May 6, 2011

So glad Spring has arrived! This beautiful painting by Dorothy DePaulo is called "Bees in the Blossoms" and certainly reflects my attitude toward the season, as I am so ready for blue skies, warm weather, beautiful blossoms and of course, bees busily at work. And it leads me to remind you that there is a very special Chapter meeting on the 29th of May (See Events Scheduled for details) where you'll be treated to a number of great demos and exercises using colored pencil, the medium for this image. The meeting consists of two parts.

First, I'll be demonstrating the very pigment rich colored pencils, Caran d'Ache, for you on a variety of papers, and you'll have the opportunity to work along with me. There are some great handouts also, and samples for each person who attends, courtesy of Caran d'Ache. Also, there's a door prize they have generously provided.

Next, Dorothy and Heidi Snyder will demonstrate colored pencil on Mylar. Such a great technique! You'll have the opportunity to work along with them too, learning by doing. And of course, there's food! So, if you're interested, please sign up now. Contact Susi Olson for a reservation. The class is limited to 20 people and it is first come, first served.

Take a look at this week's links for inspiration and fun. Remember, we're botanical artists, and that means we should cultivate our skills as often as we garden this time of the year. Wandering online is a little addictive, but these links should give you some good advice, good ideas or good fun, and you don't have to spend an hour looking for them.

I've added a link, in Organization Links, to the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum. The Museum is celebrating 50 years of conservation, education, and art. Their Art Institute offers a Certificate in Nature Illustration. Wander around the site a bit and discover the images that typify desert life. The palette of colors is so unique.

Here are a few ways you can help your RMSBA to grow:
     Suggest a venue for exhibition.
     Volunteer to serve on a committee.
     Invite an artist friend to a meeting.
     Offer to teach a mini-workshop at a meeting.
     Send your bio and images for your own gallery page.
     Contribute images that I can use on the blog.
     Send your thoughts and musings and fun facts and important facts to me for posting.

Probably enough rambling for today! Hope to see you at the meeting on the 29th. Remember to register early to insure your spot in the workshops.

Now, get out there and paint!

Libby, AKA the BlogMeister!