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, November 30, 2014

Holiday Presents for Yourself

In this season of many holidays that celebrate light in the darkness, how about bringing light to your own work as an artist! Botanical art is sometimes looked at as 'just' an illustrator's work, as if anyone could do it for $x/hour. Yet we know the dedication, excitement, perseverance, joy, struggle, talent and so many more factors that go into creating our art, regardless of its uses, either in science or in fine art, it's all art! Perhaps if we had more support as artists, that is, we gave ourselves more time to think of art and the process of art, then we could view what we do as full-on art. Art for science. Art for exploration. Art for education. Art for joy.
Here's an easy way to peer into the heart of art. BrainPickings  This website is free, intensely researched, beautifully put together, and brings new insights into art with each week. Books from so many authors and artists are discussed in depth, and are creative fodder for each of us.  For example, this week's offerings include:
Leonardo's Brain: What a Posthumous Brian Scan Six Centuries Later Reveals About the Source of DaVinci's Creativity, by Leonard Shlain.
How to Find Your Purpose and Do What You Love, by Maria Popova

Hugh MacLeod on Setting Boundaries

And here's another offering to your creative self, Bad at Sports. Based on the sometimes flippant response when an artist is asked why he or she went into art, and responds, "Well, I was bad at sports so...". And yet we know, art takes courage, being creative takes belief in one's self. So, check this out for good stories and support.

Or you can check into a lot of blogs at Contemporary Art Blogs. This aggregator has it's fingers in so many pies, you will be sure to find a flavor that you love.

I guess the gift we give ourselves is belief. Belief that what we do is art. That why we do it matters! The world needs artists, because we combine logic and creativity. We see things a little differently. We open doors for others to find their bliss.

Happy Holidays! Keep creating, and your blog will keep on bringing news, education and joy.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Lots of News

I had to take a month off as BlogMeister, due to some health needs. Feeling much better, and with my apologies regarding timeliness of posting, here's all the news that's fit to print!

First up: ASBA Conference!
This was an amazing event. Attendees were blown away by the organization, support and content offered to them. At the banquet, Susan Fisher called up Committee Chairs, and then, in her inimitable style, thanked each committee members. In your Botanical Artist, which should have just arrived, you'll find a rundown on the happenings and most importantly, the vibe of this conference, which included the most intense sharing, conversation, friendships and fun I ever seen. So, check out the details in TBA!

Conference Coordinator Marilyn Garber loved working with us, and sent this lovely card and note:

Dear RMSBA Members,
Thank you soooo much for everything you did to make the ASBA Denver Conference successful!  Your great team made my job easy.  We could never accomplish such a diverse and interesting conference without the support of people "on the ground"  Your willingness to pitch in and get the job done is much appreciated.  Every detail was taken care of by you all - from the complexity of putting on Small Works to choosing the right hotel the right transportation company, to the lovely brush holder gift, to the beautiful banquet center pieces - and much, much, much, more.  Even the zombie event was lots of fun for our members!  Like the first conference in Denver, this second one was a huge success - all due to your work.
With great appreciation,

The wrap party happened at our regular October Member Meeting. Becky Hall organized and managed amazing finger food, Heidi Snyder provided an heirloom Black Forest Cake made with, truly, an heirloom kirschwasser (cherry liquor) as a a special ingredient, as well as sugar/gluten free individual cakes for those who require them. There was champagne, mimosas, and faux-mimosas with great sparkling apple cider.

Dorothy DePaulo led the discussion assessing strengths and weaknesses, how to help the next Conference organizers for the event in Miami next year, and then passed the podium to floor, asking each member present who had attended the conference to discuss their individual experiences. Again, there were helpful comments, but the theme of all comments was the absolute pleasure working together provided. We were all somewhat tearful that the effort was over, and yet happy to have done it right!

In closing, on behalf of RMSBA, Dorothy presented Susan Fisher, Conference Coordinator, and Ronda Ballard, who were present at committee meetings, work sessions, stuffing events and pretty much anywhere you needed them for the entire year of planning, with gift certificates. Many thank yous,  followed by applause from the entire group and hugs all around closed the meeting. Susan and Ronda send many thanks to the members for their help AND the lovely gift certificates.

Susan (left) and Ronda say, "Thank you, RMSBA, for your kind thank you gift. The ASBA conference was a great experience for us because of this terrific group of hard working botanical enthusiasts!"
Changes Afoot!
Every healthy organization benefits from changes in leadership, and we are definitely a healthy organization! In that vein, here are some things to look forward to in 2015:
RMSBA President: Vanessa Martin has accepted the position of RMSBA president. You know Vanessa from her tireless work for Exhibitions. In her new position, she'll continue to lead us into new growth and adventures.
Treasurer: Vicki MacWilliam has served in this position forever! Many thanks for her amazing dedication. She has now passed the baton to Ronda Ballard. Ronda was our first Treasurer, and we're so pleased she's helping again!

November Member Meeting:
Don't miss this opportunity to hang out with fellow artists at the Rocky Mountain Land Library. This amazing resource serves botanists, artists, authors, naturalists and historians with a collection of books that exist because of this land we live on.
The meeting this month will be on Sunday, November 30th at 1:00 p.m. at the Rocky Mountain Library's  Waterton Canyon Library (located at Denver Water's Kassler Center). 
This library is so unique and such an important resource for us as botanic artists. It is truly one of the most unusual libraries in America! and it is right here in Colorado! You don't want to miss this.
Please visit the Rocky Mountain Land Library at https://landlibrary.wordpress.com/ to find out more about about this unusual library.
We will be visiting their Waterton Canyon Library and they will be telling us more about their South Park Library/Inn as well. 
As always, feel free to bring a piece of art to share with us.

Directions from C-470 & Wadsworth Blvd:
Go south on Wadsworth, 4.4 miles. Turn Left onto Waterton Road. You'll quickly pass the Audubon Center to your left. Continue on Waterton and you'll see a cluster of White brick buildings to your right. At the far end of those buildings, turn right into the Kassler Center parking lot. The library is located in the brown building, which is the first building to your right as you pass through the gate. 

Here's anAudubon link that has a couple of maps (folks just need to remember that we are just south of Audubon, and on the opposite side of Waterton Road):

New BlogMeister: Libby Kyer (that's me!) created our blog 3.5 years ago. I offered to do this when the Board was trying to decide how/if to continue the website. At that time, the best option for an easily updated web presence was a blog. Benefits included it's complete timeliness, as it could be updated each and every day if needed, as well as flexibility in layout and design. Since then, it has become a valuable tool for RMSBA functions and mission goals. However, it's time for Libby to pass our blog to a new BlogMeister. Our immediate past president Dorothy DePaulo has volunteered to step in and learn the ropes.  Here's Dorothy!

Dorothy is an accomplished artist and becoming an author with her book with Heidi Snyder about Wild in the City - the flora and fauna that thrive in city parks and preserves. To add to her busy schedule, she's volunteered to be your BlogMeister starting in January of 2015. Here's a sample of her artwork, entitled "Spotted Towhee," created in colored pencil on film:

Dorothy is excited about learning to create an interesting and informative blog for you. You can help her by emailing her images and words about your life as an artist and RMSBA member. Let her know if March's Drawing a Day theme is something you enjoyed and benefitted from. Have a conversation about online exhibitions using the blog - pro or con! Update your member gallery, to provide fresh new artwork for members and patrons to enjoy. And look for great new things right here! Starting with about 12,000 views in our first full year, we now total over 74,000 views from interested folks around the world! Yep, WORLD!! Take advantage of this wonderful service to you, your art, and our organization.

I'll continue until the end of the year, and then help Dorothy learn the ropes in the next couple of months. This has been a great learning experience for me, and rather unexpectedly, so much fun! I'll miss providing this service to you, but have loved the support offered, and know the new Blogmeister will love it as much as I have.

Friday, November 21, 2014

In JUST 41 Days All This Can Be YOURS!!!

You may delay, but time will not.”
Benjamin Franklin
We NEED and WANT YOU NOWas  a new Blogmeister! Libby has produced and managed our blog for the last 3 years, and it's time for a break! However, she's happy to shepherd a new Blogmeister into easy and fun understanding and use of the blog design tools provided by Blogger, and to provide some ideas for future interesting and informative spots on the blog to get our new leader started. Get in step with time. Contact Libby HERE to make your move NOW!