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.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Meeting Leads Members to New Concepts in Art and Rhythm

A Zentangle is a form of artistic meditation that uses repetitive patterns to create images. Usually done in black and white, patterns have a rhythm. The ideal is to let yourself be carried away by the creative process and allow the design to grow organically. A Botangle is a Zentangle with botanical flair and influences.
Our RMSBA mini Botangle workshop was a great success! Annie Reiser, and Mary Jo Ramsdale gave a wonderful presentation! Everyone seemed to get into the "zone" and by the end of the session, blood pressures were down and all was right with the world.........
Members pay close attention as the concept of Botangle is presented

Materials for Botangle are simple: A good sheet of white paper, a flat surface to work on, a Pigma Micron felt tip pen that flows easily and smoothly, a stump and a graphite pencil and you're set. 

Annie Reiser (left) demos on vertical paper, as Charles Smith watches, pen at the ready
As usual for our artists, the results of the drawings were beautiful and very creative, and it was fun to see what everyone had done. The zen of Botangle invites the artist to let things go, let things flow, let things grow. For botanical artists, it could be a match made in heaven! We have the opportunity to work creatively without the need to follow a specimen. We can immerse ourselves in the process, without the demands of accuracy, scale or color. It's very freeing. The wokshop was well attended with 29 people practicing their Zen in art.
This Botangle design was done by Ann Flemming. Note the organic growth of the piece, as the artist lets line and rhythm move the design into an artwork.
Cover Art of ASBA Features Our President's Artwork
Kudos to Dorothy DePaulo: her artwork was chosen for the cover of the ASBA Journal. Her image is accompanied by an explanation of why and how these lovely succulents speak to her. The cover image is selected from amongst artworks submitted specifically for the cover. The Art of the Cover is a new Journal feature, allowing cover artists to discuss their works, talk a bit about technique and motivation, composition and materials.
Hens and Chicks, colored pencil on film by Dorothy DePualo
If you're interested in submitting work for the Journal cover, take a look at "Calls for Entries". You'll find the first call is for cover art. We'd love to see more of our artists featured. Three covers a year are chosen from general submissions, the fourth is reserved for a novice exhibitor chosen for the ASBA/NY Hort exhibition.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

No time like the present...

...to plan ahead for the summer activities. Our next meeting explores Zentangle, on June 24. This system of creative doodling can serve a lot of purposes in the life of the artist. It's fun - there are no deadlines, no client, no exhibition to prepare for. It exists for you to enjoy. It is a great way to allow your medium to lead you into exploration.

Sometimes, our artwork has such a compelling purpose that we don't have time to explore, make mistakes, learn, or even relish our process. Zentangle will teach you the joy of mistakes, of not knowing the next step until the last possible moment!  It's kind of like driving really fast on a winding mountain road, with a little bit of thrill, a little bit of speed, new sights, and a learning curve that demands your best while you are occupied elsewhere! Annie Reiser has dubbed her version  "Botangle."  She'll show us how to add color too!

Botangle, pen and ink, Annie Reiser

Introducing a New Feature - Board Musings. Once a month, one of our board members will share some thoughts with us. If you have a topic you'd like to see covered, let us know at rmsbartists@gmail.com, and we'll explore the possibilities. This month, Dorothy DePaulo, our President of the Board, shares her thoughts about inspiration, an important part of an artist's life.

What Inspires You? By Dorothy DePaulo
I believe that the whole of our life experiences influences our art. Often we don’t think about what it is that inspires us in our artistic pursuits. But recently, I read two books that directly inspired me to start a project. The first is a book titled:  The Paper Garden: An Artist Begins her life at 72 by Molly Peacock.

This is a biography of Mary Delaney who, in 1771when in her early 70's, as a way of dealing with her grief over the loss of her husband, she began to create cut-paper artworks. Her works were exceptionally detailed and botanically accurate depictions of plants. She used  hand-colored paper to produce these pieces. In all, she created 1,700 of these works, calling them her "Paper Mosaiks” (see sample below).

I was impressed with the beautiful and detailed work that she created (which now reside in the British Museum), but I was even more impressed that she didn’t start her work until she was seventy two years old! Perhaps there is hope for me yet!

The second book that influenced my project is a tiny little hand-written book (perhaps copied down by my grandmother, Elizabeth Cameron) which tells the meaning of certain flowers if given in a bouquet. After thinking for a while about these books, I decided to do a series (of 12 not 1700) flowers on a black background (as Mary Delaney did).  Mine would be in colored pencil (not cut paper). I would do greeting cards (not bouquets) that would include the meaning of the flower.
Here are the first six of my series:


Now it is your turn! Tell us what you’re working on and what influenced you to do your art.

April Member Meeting in Golden Addresses Framing

Members attending the April 29th meeting gathered in Golden for an intensive introduction to all things frame - including framing materials and styles, matting, liners and backing materials. The minutes for that meeting are to the right under Documents of Use.
Nancy Martin (L) welcomed all members to Golden Frames and Gifts and
introduced  her assistant Alycia Maier-Turner

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Catching up...

...with apologies for the break in posting! Life caught up with your Blogmeister, and she's hoping you're not quite as harried! First, let's look at what's happening:

Our RMSBA show is now hanging at pARTiculars Gallery in Old Town Lafayette! Several of our artists will be demonstrating botanical art in the gardens at the Garden tour on Saturday, June 16th. Please come for the tour and the reception afterwards at pARTiculars. We will be having a great time! You need to see these gardens!
Congratulations to our members who participated in this exciting project. Check out the poster for details!

Remember, for any image you find on our blog, you can just click on it, and it will go to the original-sized image. You can get as close as you wish.

New ASBA Website Unveiled:
Next item: check out the new ASBA Website! It is incredible! It's packed with information, it's very easy to use, and the artwork is wonderful! Go to www.asba-art.org and look around! Send your congratulations,  comments, concerns and corrections to the Webmaster, Jody Williams. at  webmaster@asba-art.org.

Members Exhibit Their Works:
Susan Rubin's new show at Spark Gallery opened May 24th, and continues through June 17. Her works on paper explore the lasting connection between people and trees in an exhibit titled Substance, Shelter and Shade. Collectors' Friday and Gay on Santa Fe occur together on June 15th, when the gallery is open from 5 to 9 PM. Last Look is Sunday, June 17, 1-4 PM. You can visit Susan at her website at susanrubinstudio.com for full details about the images and the event.

 Substance, Shelter and Shade
Colored pencil, by Susan Rubin

Kaye Hurtt's works are featured in a return showing at the Framed Image, 5066 East  Hampden Avenue, Denver,CO. For those of you unfamiliar with Kaye’s work, her classic European representation of nature has elevated the study of botanicals as art. Her renderings have the sophistication of classic 18-19th century representation with the added advantage of flawless color palette and skill in painting. The gallery hosts an artist’s reception Friday, June 8thfrom 5-8 PM. For more information, please call 303-692-0727.

Orchid and Lizard on Natural Support
Watercolor on Paper, Kaye Hurtt

The Art Students League Annual Art Market is this Saturday and Sunday. Our members Mary Jo Ramsdale and Carol Till are sharing a booth for the 6th year.  All exhibiting artists are members of the Art Student's League of Denver. Only original art may be shown at this event, now in its 20th year.

More to come after the busy weekend!