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.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Good Solstice to You

Don’t forget the Holiday Party. Sunday, December 27, 1-4 pm. Hosted by Wendy Peterson, 58 Golden Eagle Rd, Greenwood Village, CO. Bring a light snack to share. Bring artwork to show, too.

Board/Executive Committee Meeting January 11, 11-2, Hooked on Colfax, 3213 E Colfax Av, Denver.

Flora of the National Parks   Exhibit Dates: February 18 - October 2, 2016
United States Botanical Gardens Conservatory West Gallery

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, this exhibit showcases plant species and communities of the more than 400 national parks. From giant redwoods and aspen forests to imperiled ornamental shrubs and water lilies, the parks represent the diversity of North American flora. Both illustrations and photographs guide your tour of the beauty and importance of the American flora. This exhibit used digital images to make prints for the exhibit and does not incorporate original artwork.

Vanessa Martin, Susan Rubin, and Connie Sayas are representing RMSBA in this national show. If other members are in the exhibit, send me the images to post here, subject line “Please post NBG show image.”

Susan Rubin Rosa woodsii   
Vanessa Martin Astragalus humillimus 

Connie Sayas Calochortus gunnisonii

Their exquisite pieces make your editor regret not submitting Phoradendron flavescens “American mistletoe” and Arbutus texana “Texas madrone” from the Guadalupe Mountains NP, even though they were tiny miniatures. Those drawings provided fodder for two years’ holiday cards, anyway.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Our real National Bird

May your day be pleasant and your companions genial.

ASBA dues are being accepted now at the on-line renewal opportunity, or you can download a .pdf of the form and mail it in. Don’t forget to check the box (and add the $10) for your RMSBA Chapter affiliation!

Cherokee Castle and Ranch provided a lovely Opening and venue for the Wicked exhibit, which will run through the end of the month. About 110 people attended and the weather was cooperative, so we had a grand time.

Board meeting rescheduled for December 8. If you have matters you want the board to consider, please contact a board member. No meeting on November 29 for the general membership.

Holiday Party coming up on December 27 – clear your calendar!

ASBA’s call for entries for Out of the Woods is online at the ASBA website. Entries are due in 2017, so there’s time to plan, to observe (and maybe even to travel!), and produce magnificence. Here’s a link for some totally outrageous images of unexpected trees.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Snow on the Way

Wicked Saga! continues

Wicked exhibit viewing, October 24, was very well attended (more than 100 visitors!) and we made some sales!

The Closing (October 31) was loads of fun. Some famous artists attended: Vincent van Gogh, Frida Kahlo, and Rosslinn (Bob-Ross-in-Transition) came, along with a few more familiar local artists.

Now we open at Cherokee Ranch & Castle on November 15, Artists Reception 2-5. Alas, Briony Morrow-Cribbs will be unable to join us.. Please pre-register by close of business on Wednesday, November 11 (which is Veterans Day – your Editor gets taken to Tea).

No general meeting in November. Remember the Holiday party in December – details forthcoming.

October meeting on at the Eloise May library - 1471 S. Parker Road, Denver 80231. Well attended and informative. Input requested from members for Board Meeting on November 17. Send your comments and proposals to a Board Member for inclusion and consideration.

Membership renewal reminder: ASBA will begin accepting 2016 membership dues in mid-November. We strongly encourage you to renew your membership no later than January 31st to ensure uninterrupted member benefits including your spring issue of the journal. A reminder letter will be arriving along with the Annual Appeal. You may renew online or by check.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Wow, have we been busy!

October meeting on Sunday, October 25, 1 – 3 pm, at the Eloise May library - 1471 S. Parker Road, Denver 80231. Lots on info on the agenda, including a recap of the ABSA meetings from those who attended. Please find it in your day to come to this one.

Renewal reminders will soon be coming your way. Start saving your quarters now. This is your early warning kicking in…

Wicked exhibit viewing, October 24, 11 am – 3 pm, ACAD Gallery, 1400 Dallas Street, Aurora, CO. Come support your fellow artists and stir up some action. Several of us occupied the gallery on Oct 17, and much music came in the doorway.

ASBA in Miami was attended by several of our members, who will recap the details at the meeting on October 25 (see above in this Blog). Join us for that.

Vanessa Martin took several copies of the RARE II catalog and sold out in an hour – lots of interest!

Dorothy DePaulo and Heidi Snyder reported on their Wild in the City book project – for which sales also were brisk.

Briony Morrow-Cribbs’ etching workshop provided food for thought and finished artworks, too!

The Wicked Opening on Saturday, October 10, at the ACAD Gallery was attended by happy, cheerful people, many of whom we’d never seen before! A Resident Artist (well, his studio and office are in that building, too) was overheard to say “This is the best exhibit we’ve ever had in here. This is really going raise our profile.” OK. Ours, too. (Fist bump.)

Friday, October 9, 2015

October is Here, Bringing New Art

Wicked’ is Heeeere!!

The hanging is over and the survivors exult!
East Wall Lineup?
How many Artists...?

Another one bites the Dust

Ya Got That, Irma?

Somebody's Working

Down on the left...

Sophisticated Card Height Template

Up and Labeled!

Sales opportunities

See you at the Opening on Saturday: 1400 Dallas St, Aurora, 4 - 7  pm.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Making the news

Vanessa and Susan had an interview on KUSA, Channel 9. Here's the link for
Interview for Wicked. They're pushin' the show...

Reminder that the September meeting at the PCC is cancelled. See you October 25!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Welcome to Fall

WICKED Exhibit at ACAD Gallery

Remember to use plexiglas or acrylic instead of glass when framing your illustrations for this exhibit. Michael’s informs us that acrylic is indeed expensive, but so much lighter and less fragile than glass, and you need to get it now if you haven’t done so already. Turn in your work at ACAD gallery on October 7.

Bin work will be available for purchase from the night of the reception through the end of the show.  Gallery will be open to the public for the opening reception October 10, October 17, October 24, and for the closing reception October 31.

“Bin work” consists of unframed (usually matted, but that’s optional) pieces of artwork, and may be prints or originals.

Eligibility is limited to any artists participating in the exhibit, who must notify Sharon Eaton or Patti Hearn before October 5 if planning to bring Bin Work. 

Each artist can submit up to ten unframed 2-D works. All artwork must be botanically-themed, but may include other elements such as wildlife and insects. Protect work in clear plastic covers.

On a typed inventory sheet, list title, media, and price of each artwork along with your contact information. Submit it with your bin work on October 7 when you drop off your Wicked illustration(s). Place a small label and price on the front upper corner of the cover for each piece of artwork. Label the back of the work with title, whether original or print, price, artist’s name, phone number and email. Inventory sheet and label details must match.

A commission of 30% for sold work goes to the Aurora Cultural Arts District (ACAD). RMSBA will handle the sales and issue payments on sold work within 30 days after the end of the show. Applicable fees will be deducted. 

You will be asked to volunteer at least once to staff the Gallery housing the Bin Work, on October 17 or October 24, 11am – 3pm. We will set up 2 hour shifts; minimum of two people per shift. If you have a professional quality black canvas floor bin, please bring.  We have several but can always use more.

Pick up for unsold Bin Work has yet to be determined; we anticipate Monday, November 2. More details will be provided later.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Labor Day yard chores at your house?

September 8

Wicked participants’ works are going on the road! As a result of the changed relocation requirements, we must ask that you use lightweight materials to glaze your frames rather than glass.

Cherokee Ranch and Castle will host the exhibit after the ACAD run ends on Halloween. Another venue wants our Wicked exhibit to travel to Durango! We did not anticipate such interest, but of course are thrilled for the opportunity. To keep our artwork safe and to assist in transportation we need you to use plexiglas or acrylic instead of glass when you frame your pieces. When you drop off your work, please have it wrapped securely with your name on the wrapping, which we will keep and use to re-package for transporting to the next venue.

If you have any questions or concerns please contact Sharon Eaton, Patti Hearn or Vanessa Martin.  

Upcoming meetings: The meeting for September is cancelled, as we expect to be busy setting up Wicked early in October. The meeting for October 25 is scheduled for the Eloise May library - 1471 S. Parker Road, Denver 80231.

BBBQ: The Annual Backyard Bar-Be-Que on August 30 saw members gather and enjoy one another’s company and some good food.

Open Studio 9am – 1 pm, Tuesday, September 8, 2015 at Valkarie Gallery & Studio was well attended. We went to a nice lunch after the workshop.

Art in the Gardens: The August 22 show and sale at Tagawa was slow – very little traffic all over the Gardens --  but we who did attend enjoyed ourselves. Made some sales for our artists, talked ourselves up, handed out a few leaflets to prospective members, talked among ourselves. 

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

At last: a Little Cooler

Art in the Garden August 22nd, 9 am – 5 pm – Tagawa Garden Center

Saturday’s the Day! Come support your fellow artists at the RMSBA artist show and sale. Bring your checkbook… Leave your iToys at home, because we have music and the Rocky Mountain Highland Dancers and vast entertainment. The event closes at 5:00 pm, at which time participating artists must dismount the displays and retrieve all unsold items.  

Backyard Bar-Be-Que on August 30

Party-time approaches quickly! Be sure to RSVP to martin.vanessa655@gmail.com or (720) 870-1488 by tomorrow or Friday. Do remember about the side dishes and the labor. Also, look again in that closet and see what you can donate to the fundraiser.

 Don't forget about how much fun we'll all have...

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Let the Harvest begin

August Open Studio
9 am – 1 pm, Tuesday, August 11, 2015 at Valkarie Gallery & Studio, 445 South Saulsbury Street, Lakewood. Bring your projects, your sketch ideas, artistic problems and solutions, new materials you are trying out, frustrations you need to vent re:same, and so forth. If you’re a Wicked participant, bring your portrait(s) and show us!

Reminder: Art in the Garden August 22nd, 9 am – 5 pm – Tagawa Garden Center

This year’s Tagawa Gardens event has a RMSBA artist show and sale, so get out those transparent display bags (and price stickers) and start stuffing! Note that management has waived the 10% fee on sales, but will collect the taxes. Don’t forget the workshops: Shading and Watercoloring for Kids, and Doodle Art for Tweens & Teens, mentored by Sharon Garrett and Patti Hearn. Other local artists also are conducting workshops, so be sure to check them out as we enjoy the music and the Rocky Mountain Highland Dancers. As always, we can talk up our organization and how we showcase our artists. 

About the art work: we can’t hang framed pieces, but can sell prints, note cards and other botanically-themed articles. If you’re coming to the festivities, do let us know: send an email to Patti Hearn at pattihearn@hotmail.com by August 17; the sooner the better to make this event a success for us. More details will be provided to participants.

Reminder: August Meeting is the Party! 
Remember to note on your calendars that Sunday, August 30, 1-5 pm should find you at the RMSBA Backyard Bar-Be-Que at Vanessa Martin(the President)’s house, 21494 E Greenwood Pl, Aurora. Bring a guest who might be interested in joining our organization – as artist or art lover. That we might have some clue as to how many are coming, we ask you to RSVP by about August 20 to Vanessa at martin.vanessa655@gmail.com.

Bring side dishes to go with the provided entrees. Come early to help set up the tent and tables, and get ready for the party. Contact Vanessa Martin with your intentions and totally sincere offers of help at (720) 870-1488.

Members, please donate artwork, prints, books or art supplies for sale to support the Stanley Hotel two-day vacation that RMSBA has donated to the ASBA annual silent auction. Contact Vanessa Martin at martin.vanessa655@gmail.com to coordinate delivery. 

RARE II Catalog
The exhibit catalog RARE II: Imperiled Plants of Colorado will soon be on sale at the Denver Botanic Gardens Gift Shop at York Street. Other opportunities are in the works.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

So, we had a nice meeting at Hudson Gardens

July 28

We talked about "Something Wicked" and the Tagawa Gardens event and next year and sat beneath the lovely catalpa trees and were protected from the brief showers. 

Wicked entrants drop-dead date has arrived...

Send forms and fees now to racereaton@aol.com. If you put it in the mail tomorrow, it might get there by Saturday, August 1. Send to: RMSBA Wicked Show, % Sharon Eaton, 10685 Yates Drive, Westminster, CO 80031.

Creating Botanical Illustrations with Line Etching

Two-Day workshop  - October 12 & 13, 2015
10:00 am - 2:30 pm
Instructor: Briony Morrow-Cribbs
Cost: $125.00 + $15 materials fee
Maximum class size – 8

We have put together a two-day workshop to learn the process of line etching. Our Instructor, the etching artist featured in Amy Stewart’s book Wicked Plants, is coming all the way from Vermont. She will be a guest at the opening reception of “Something Wicked” and then will teach and demonstrate the good stuff. The workshop (described below) will be held the Aurora Cultural Arts District gallery. Sign up early for this great opportunity, as the classroom size is limited to 8. To reserve your seat, contact Vanessa Martin at martin.vanessa655@gmail.com; she will have details about submitting payment for the class at time of reservation. 

Line etching or Hard Ground etching is a printmaking process in the category of intaglio printing, or printing in the “carved” or incised lines. This process allows artists to create finely-detailed images and multiples of an image. In this basic workshop, students will draw botanical images, and then make them into copperplate etchings. Through demos and one-on-one instruction, students will learn how to prepare plates, coat them with hard ground, etch the plates, and print them. Students will leave the workshop with an etched copper plate and at least three fine-art prints. The workshop is open to students at all levels, whether printmakers, botanical artists, or totally new to it all.

About Briony Morrow-Cribbs:
Briony Morrow-Cribbs currently lives and works in the hills of rural Vermont. Morrow-Cribbs graduated from the Emily Carr Institute in 2005 and completed her Master of Fine Art degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2012. From 2012 to 2014 Morrow-Cribbs taught etching at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Currently, Morrow-Cribbs teaches printmaking at the Putney School in Putney, Vermont, and is an adjunct professor of drawing, book arts and printmaking in the New England area.
As a printmaker, Morrow-Cribbs has shown both nationally and internationally with solo exhibitions in the Davidson Gallery in Seattle, Washington the Artisan Gallery in Paoli, Wisconsin and the Tory Folliard Gallery in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. As an illustrator, Morrow-Cribbs launched her career with two New York Times Bestsellers: Wicked Plants: The Weed that Killed Lincoln’s Mother & Other Botanical Atrocities and Wicked Bugs: The Louse that Conquered Napoleon’s Army & Other Diabolical Insects, both written by Amy Stewart (published by Algonquin Books). Since then, Morrow-Cribbs has also illustrated a book of short stories titled Unnatural Creatures (edited by Neil Gaiman and Maria Dahvana Headley, published by HarperCollins) and created cover work for The End of the Sentence by Maria Dahvana Headley and Cat Howard (published by Subterranean Press).

Save the Date (Party!)
Mark your calendars for Sunday, August 30, from 1-5 pm: RMSBA Backyard Bar-Be-Que at Vanessa Martin(the President)’s house, 21494 E Greenwood Pl, Aurora. We invite members to bring a guest who might be interested in joining our organization – as artist or art lover. We also invite students (and a Visiting Instructor, Ikumi Kayama) from the School of Botanical Art & Illustration at Denver Botanical Gardens. Besides the swell food, drinks, and charming companions, the BBBQ offers an excellent opportunity for non-members to get to know us and learn about all of the benefits of membership.

As part of this event, we of course want a little fundraising activity. We ask members to donate artwork, prints, books or art supplies for party-goers to buy. The funds raised as we find those perfect items will help support the Stanley Hotel two-day vacation that RMSBA has donated to the upcoming ASBA annual silent auction. To donate appropriate materials, contact Vanessa Martin at martin.vanessa655@gmail.com to coordinate delivery. 

Seeking Volunteers -- to sign up to bring side dishes. Also looking for willing hands to help set up the fundraising tent and tables, and to get all ready for the party. Please contact Vanessa Martin if you can help out: (720) 870-1488.

So that we have a general idea how many people are coming, we ask that you RSVP by August 20 or thenabouts to Vanessa at martin.vanessa655@gmail.com.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Late July: Flower Explosion on Kenosha Pass

July Meeting

We meet at Hudson Gardens on South Santa Fe Drive from 1-3 on Sunday, July 26. Enter through the gift shop; no charge. Several areas will be closed off and unavailable for sketching, including the water features and Monet gardens, as they are setting up for a concert later that day. No meeting room, but the attendees can gather (in a shady spot) and catch up on the latest news, and then off to plein aire sketching!

If you are a Wicked entrant, you can bring your forms and fees and turn them in, and beat the drop-dead date of August 1, 2015.

Art in the Garden August 22nd, 9 am – 5 pm – Tagawa Garden Center

This year’s Tagawa Gardens event has a full day of activities in the theme Art in the Garden.  First, of course, the RMSBA artists' show and sale, then workshops taught by Sharon Garrett and Patti Hearn: Shading and Watercoloring for Kids, and Doodle Art for Tweens & Teens. Also featured are other workshops conducted by local artists. We will enjoy music and performance by the Rocky Mountain Highland Dancers. This year’s event offers a perfect venue to talk to the public about our organization and to showcase our artists. 

This is your opportunity to sell and share your art work: we can’t hang framed pieces, but can make prints, note cards and other botanically-themed articles available to the general public.  If you want to sell your artwork, assist with a workshop, or just be a part of the event, please sign up by sending an email to Patti Hearn at pattihearn@hotmail.com.  Sign up by August 17 at the latest, and the sooner the better so we can get organized and make this a successful and fun event. More details will be provided to participants.

Monday, July 20, 2015

A Re-posting from the DBG-BI Blog

Is Stealing OK?

One time a classmate in my history class stole a homework assignment from another classmate and put his name on the work. We didn’t see him in the class again.

So why is that, in 2015, the same idea about not stealing someone else’s work is an issue? We all know it’s wrong, but stealing is much easier with digital access to files and images. It’s easier to steal from someone far away on the other side of the globe. But that doesn’t make it okay.

According to the Library of Congress Docket No. 2015-01, “The US Copyright office is reviewing how certain visual works, particularly photographs, graphic artworks, and illustrations, are monetized, enforced, and registered under the Copyright Act.”

You can read all about
Basically, some companies are complaining that all the artwork in the world are not being used for maximum profit because copyright is stopping unauthorized use. This might sound like a good idea at first glance, but then when you stop and think about who is going to receive the profits (companies, not artists), this new Copyright Act is not at all good for creative types.

The good news is, the Copyright Office is calling out to artists to receive letters on their thoughts about copyright. Here’s my letter.

Let me know what you think. Are you an artist? Art buyer? I’m curious to know.
If you wish to write your own letter, check out this Artists Alert for instructions

Deadline for sending letters is July 23, 2015

Monday, July 13, 2015

Fireworks Gone? Move on to Flowers

Open Studio on Bastille Day! (Happy Revolution, France!)

9 am – 1 pm, Tuesday, July 14, 2015 at Valkarie Gallery & Studio, 445 South Saulsbury Street, Lakewood. Bring your projects, your sketch ideas, artistic problems and solutions, new materials you are trying out, frustrations you need to vent re:same, and so forth.

 “Wicked” Deadlines Imminent
Sharon Eaton, tender of the “Wicked” entries, again reminds entrants that entry forms and fees are due August 1, 2015. Check your e-mail for pertinent forms. Describe the wickedness your plant manifests, so it can be noted on your artwork’s ID plaque.

You may hand-deliver your completed forms and fees: bring them to our July 28th meeting at Hudson Gardens. For any questions, contact her by e-mail at racereaton@aol.com, or call 571-225-1617.

They’re Heeere…

Wildflowers, including Castilleja and Alpine Lily, abound on the Continental Divide, but if you can’t get to Berthoud Pass or Trail Ridge Road or Pikes Peak, visit a mountain town today. The cemeteries in and near these towns are carpeted with native wildflowers: the many varieties of Penstemon and Astragalus and Helianthus are just all over the place, and two color phases of Sego Lily can be seen in Empire. Take that stroll…