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, June 30, 2013

RMSBA Member Susan Rubin featured in To The Point

The Colored Pencil Society of America featured Susan Rubin in their Artist Profile feature in the June 2013, Vol. 22 No. 2 issue. Cynthia Haase, President of CPSA, had a long and interesting chat with Susan earlier in the year. Check it out! Susan has an interesting, amusing and very informed view about her art. You'll enjoy the read.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Deadlines Reminder

Don't forget, we've got some good exhibitions coming up. Full information is available under Calls for Entries to the right. Deadlines are:

Plants, Birds and Pollinators: Art Serving Science, November 16, 2013-February 14, 2014
See your work on view at Denver Botanic Gardens in this juried exhibition of GNSI members. All entries must bedigital, submitted according to online specifications.Final matted work must measure 16” x 20”.
Submission Begins: July 22, 2013
Submission due date: August 5, 2013

Weird, Wild and Wonderful:
Submission due date: Friday, September 13, 2013

Submission due date: October 31, 2014

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

RMSBA Member Featured in Two Exhibits

Mary McCauley - Art Exhibits Summer 2013
Mary's work beautifully demonstrates the many paths an artist can take in exploring botanical subjects.
Solar Flares along with several other pieces (including her new series of pop up quilts) will be in the " Threads of Change: Contemporary Colorado Textiles" in the main gallery of the Foothills Art Center. The exhibit opens July 12th and closes September 1st. The Foothills Art Center is at 809 15th Street, Golden, CO 80401. Click here for more about Foothills Art Center.

Staghorn Fern is one of several of Mary's pieces that will appear in the "Manic Botanics" exhibit which opens July 19th in the McMahon Gallery of the Dairy Center for the Arts. Mary will be sharing the gallery with Longmont artist, Julie Clements.

There is an artist talk from 4-5 PM and an opening reception 5- 6:30 PM on July 19th.

The Dairy Center for the Arts is at 2590 Walnut Street, Boulder. Click here for more about The Dairy Center.

Click here to go to Mary's website to see more of her work.


Saturday, June 22, 2013

Check in to your blog often...

...you'll find new posts frequently, with a broad range of subjects and art. To wit, Carol Till shared her newest print experiments with us. Carol reports:

I've been in bird mode lately, but some botanicals creep in as habitat. I just learned this new 2 plate technique this spring. One plate is made from the drawing at an intermediate stage, a second plate is made after more details are added. One plate is inked and printed with color, the second plate inked with a dark color and printed over the top.

Here are two versions which used this process. The blue print was first printed with grays and blues; then overprinted with black.

The other version is inked and printed first with multiple colors (ala poupeé in printing lingo), then overprinted with dark sepia. Then I overpainted with watercolors to add more color, especially to the poplar tree. This is so much fun, I made a dozen versions of this flicker. Finally a use for all those watercolors I own!

Here is a botanical; blue oaks from a field sketch made in March in the Sonoran Desert. Printed with colored inks and a little watercolor.

The lesson from all of this is that you can keep working on your pictures. If the colors or drawing aren't quite what you'd like, keep at it with another process. I've added watercolor, colored pencil, pastel, gouache and collaged over my prints trying to get to something that pleases me. Or maybe I'm a compulsive fiddler. And this is fun!

Click on Carol Till's Artwork to see more of Carol's birds and botanicals.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A Very Special Exhibit - July 16 to August 23, 2013

Dear Members of RMSBA,
There are heroes in our midst. Many of you know Sheila and Peter Payne. For those of you who don’t know them, I would briefly like to tell you a little of their story.

Sheila and Peter grew up in London during the terrible time of World War II. After the war they met, were married and started a family. Peter worked in construction. For many years, Sheila and their children, followed him to various construction sites all over the world.

Though Sheila’s father was an artist, and she had always loved art, she spent most of her years (as many of us did) raising a family and taking care of others. It wasn’t until she was sixty-years old, with her family grown, that Sheila had time to focus on her own passion: art.

Living in Malaysia, Sheila started painting watercolors. She painted with a fierce passion and though she had very little training, she worked hard, and with her natural talent, she produced some very extraordinary art. She painted what was around her: the beautiful Malaysian jungles, people, landscapes, seascapes, boats, Malaysian puppets with their beautiful batik costumes. She painted her world. Sheila was driven to capture it all!

In the early 2000’s, when Peter retired, they moved to the Denver area to be near one of their daughters. Sheila enrolled in the School for Botanical Art and Illustration, Denver Botanic Gardens. Though her health was already failing, Sheila pursued her love of painting. Diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, her hands trembled terribly, she had difficulty walking, yet she still produced wonderful artwork. Peter became her “manager.” He drove her to every class. Sheila became confined to a wheel chair, but still painted, and Peter supported her in every way, though he also had health problems. Through some very difficult times, Sheila held on and graduated.

A member of RMSBA for many years, Sheila continued to pursue her artworks and support the arts. Then two years ago, she had a stroke, and is no longer able to paint. This was definitely a set-back, but Sheila still has her passion for art and for life. Even though she can’t produce art anymore, Sheila  is allowing RMSBA to present a retrospective exhibit of her art so that she can inspire others to pursue their dreams, whatever they may be.
July 16 through August 23
Sheila Payne, A Retrospective 
Square Deal Gallery
1460 S. Colorado Boulevard
Denver, CO
Reception: Saturday, July 20, 2013, 4 to 6 PM.
If you can help with a donation to defray  reception costs,
click here to contact Dorothy DePaulo
If you can help with the reception,
click here to contact Vanessa Martin
PH: 303.757.4647

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Workshop Opportunities

Time to plan ahead for summer and fall classes. There are many workshops available with great offerings. Be sure to check out the members' listings under Workshops to the right, including Susan Rubin and Marjorie Leggitt's Back to Basics drawing class, Marjorie's Postcards class offering this year.

Take a look at The School of Botanical Art and Illustration for their new line-up at New Classes at DBG of interesting and helpful classes. Master classes with Ann Swan (September 20-22), and Sally Yu Leung (September 20-22) offer challenges and rewards. And many wonderful electives are available - Model Making with Libby Kyer and Birds in Graphite with Randy Raak are just two of a wonderful panoply of offerings.


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Update on RARE II Lists

Check out the plants and plant portrayers in the updated list under Rare II to the right. If you don't want plants you have already chosen, or want new plants, or want to add to plants already chosen, contact Jan.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Travel Reports from Brazil

Susi Olson continues to send us inspiring images culled from her recent trip to Brazil. The "espatodea tree" of Brazil is so intriguing. Below is the tree, which is huge. Susi reports, "Fortunately, I found one on site with a few low hanging branches. Every morning, a new bunch of wild orange flowers." Doesn't get much more exotic than that!
Spathodea (Espatódea) Tree Blooming (Spathodea campanulata) in Brazil, photo by Susi Olson
Flowers found on a low hanging branch, although most of them cluster at the top of the tree.
Spathodea campanulata, watercolor on paper, Susi Olson 2013
And a final image from Brazil, some spectacular graffiti. There is a strong muraling tradition in Central and South America, which manifests now in graffiti as well as planned murals. You can find comparable political and social statements all around Denver and environs. Perhaps a day spent finding great street art will serve to inspire your summer art.    As Susi mentions, art is where you find it!
Have you put your summer traveling art kit together yet? If not, don't forget to add a camera, so that when you find inspiration, you can snap a shot. Also, it's handy to snap images of things you have started painting or sketching in the field, but need to finish at home, due to rain, or hail, or other commitments! Don't forget, we'll have a Remembering Summer online exhibition in the fall, so start putting together the images you want to draw and scan for that show.
And finally, for more information about good elements to create a great plein air kit, check out the sites included in Ephemera. So many good ideas. 

Find a painting in your artworks that fits in this beautiful exhibit at the Wildlife Experience - Deadline for notification is 6 June 2013

Fern and Companion, colored pencil on film, Annie Reiser
We desperately need you! Look through your things and find a good entry for the "Wild and Wonderful- Autumn in the Rockies Exhibit" at The Wildlife Experience. Anything "Autumn" related will be fine. The wilder the better! And more than one artwork is  better still!

Autumn Carpet, Colored pencil on film, Dorothy DePaulo
You still have time to create a piece, or may enter images of anything available in the region in Autumn, including plants with animals,or pollinators. but we need to know by June 6th that you will be participating in this show. As of today, we only have five people participating.
Please send in your entry notification today via email!
The Call for entry is in Calls for Entries to the right. Just click and go to Wildlife Experience call to get all the details. Notify us by June 6. We're waiting to hear from you1

Dorothy DePaulo