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.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Is it fall yet?

Facing the Sun, colored pencil on marbledust board, Libby Kyer
Of course it is. Mostly! In the mountains the aspens and scrub oak have turned gloriously. On the high plains, sunflowers are going to seed, gardens are wrapping up their summer production and gardeners are processing produce, and our trees have begun to follow their mountain counterparts, and are tinged with color. Soon, we'll "fall back" to change our clocks to autumn solar time. Autumn is a period of change, and we can adapt to that nicely with our art. Let's start by honoring summer, the hottest on record, with our 2nd Annual online exhibit. Here's how it works:
2nd Annual "Remembering Summer" Blogspot Exhibition
Wants Your Summer Artworks.
It's so easy to participate. Any current RMSBA member is eligible. Just:
1. Select up to 3 paintings, sketches, journal pages or drawings from your summer experiences.
2. Scan, 150 to 360 dpi, .save as .jpgs in color.
3. Email them to rmsbartists@gmail.com, with "Remembering Summer" in the subject line3. For each image list:
Latin name and/or Title
Medium/a used, substrate used
Size in inches wxh
Any comments about creating an individual image you'd like to share.
5. Please time your submittals so that I have them by 31 October 2012. The exhibit will be up online for 6 weeks.  
Susan Rubin's artwork Rustle, Ornamental Grass, colored pencil, has been accepted into the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation's 14th International Exhibition of Botanical Art & Illustration. Well deserved, Susan.

Rustle, Ornamental Grass, colored pencil, by Susan Rubin, is part of the
 14th International Hunt Exhibition of Botanical Art and Illustration

The first exhibition of contemporary artists occurred in April of 1964, and became known as the foundation exhibit for the recurring invitational art exhibition we fondly refer to as "The Hunt". The last 3 exhibits in particular have expanded the oeuvre a bit, to allow more contemporary presentations, including some free sketches, stylized work and using colored backgrounds.

Colored backgrounds are not new to botanical scientific illustration. Pomona Brittanica, by Englishman George Brookshaw. Brookshaw was a copperplate engraver with a good reputation for the quality of his prints. Pomona - gatherings of detailed pictures of fruits with leaves and flowers - became very popular beginning in the 17th century. He created his Pomona primarily for noble or royal consumption, stating that those who studied his work would soon have a "garden well planted," of which there were very few, in his opinion.

Published in 1812, this volume is the most complete English pomona ever printed, with 256 fruit varieties arranged in fifteen species groups. Species and varieties are illustrated with hand-colored tints (aquatints).  Backgrounds in this famous volume are tinted from gray to full black, to allow the edges of white and pastel fruits and flowers to be fully distinguishable.

Plate: 27 Peach/Nectarine- Johnson's Late Purple et al

This is a pretty advanced composition, using tinted backgrounds that change as the specimen becomes more brilliantly and fully colored with ripening.

Exhibitions Feature RMSBA Artists
The Hunt Institute is now featuring Portraits of a Garden, a display of works from the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens Florilegium. This exhibition showcases 48 American botanical artists who are revitalizing the centuries-old tradition of the florilegium by creating a lasting archive of watercolors and drawings of the plants growing at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden (BBG). This selection of original artwork, on loan from the BBG’s permanent collection, will be displayed with a sampling of historical printed volumes representative of the florilegium tradition from the Hunt Institute’s Library collection.
There are 48 members of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden Florilegium Society included in this exhibition. RMSBA artists are Libby Kyer and Constance Sayas. Go to huntinst@andrew.cmu.edu for more information.

Your Sales Opportunity at Tagawa's Garden Center Opens Saturday November 10
Join us at Tagawa’s Garden Center for our Holiday Show and Sale. Bring your traditional botanicals of course, but artwork that incorporates botanical elements and fits in the theme of winter or the holidays is encouraged. Originals, prints, cards, gift tags, cutting boards, coffee cups, gift wrap or any other objects with your artwork will sell well at this event. Work may be framed or unframed. Call for entries is at rmsbausefuldocuments.blogspot.com, where you can copy the call, paste it into your word document program, and complete the required form.

This is a DIY SALE and requires your participation to set up, take down the artwork and handle the cashiering. Each artist is required to work a ½ day shift. Because this is a DIY Sale the expenses are being handled by RMSBA.  

Tagawa Gardens opened its door to the community 28 years ago, and is one of Colorado's Largest Garden Centers. We haven't had a holiday show previously, so this is a great opportunity. Check out www.tagawagardens.com for more info.

ASBA Unveils New Website
Our new website is gorgeous, active and easily updated. It's a hub for information, art and communication. Check it out at www.asba-art.org. Many thanks to Jody Williams and the implementation team that produced this. And, many thanks to Frank Reynolds, Hunt Institute, who provided web design and updating for ASBA for many years.

An Eye Opener
Teresa Burkert has this observation about the power of a blog:

I have always known that Google was a powerful search engine but I did not fully realize how much it can do until I was at work yesterday. I just thought this was interesting, not good, not bad..just interesting.

It was during a quiet time at the reference desk that I decided to Google the plant that I have chosen for RARE II, just to see what is new out there. The plant is Astralagus missouriensis var. humistratus. I did a search for those words plus "rare". About the 5th page of results was an interesting "Useful Documents" listing which was actually the "useful documents" section from the RMSBA blog. The entire set was lifted and displayed.  Down towards the bottom of the set is the list of plants for RARE II,

I guess I never fully realized that blogs are also searched to that extent!
The moral to this story? Send your observations and thoughts about blogging, and see how far they travel. Just go to rmsbartists@gmail.com. Enter your words, and we'll get them on your blog, right here. Don't forget to attach or include images when you have them.
Final Thoughts
There are EIGHT new links in Ephemera for you to relish. Remember, events are generally listed with contact info and addresses in the Events section. And the link to Useful Documents always has full information regarding calls for entries, Meeting Minutes, and other helpful notes. And, remember, this is your blog. Let's get busy! Looking forward to having your images for the 2nd Annual Remembering Summer online exhibition.