Thursday, January 5, 2017

ASBA Conference: 2

By Paula Blair

I thought about making the title of this post "Pittsburgh - Who Knew?!"  I'd never been to Pittsburgh before - and now I'm so glad I went to the ASBA Annual Conference.  What a great city!  Attendees got to enjoy the benefits of being near the Phipps Conservatory and the campus of Carnegie-Mellon University.  

                                                                                            The Phipps:


First up was the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation.  The Institute is part of the Library of Carnegie-Mellon. The Library holds a dazzling collection of books, manuscripts, and folios of botanical illustration through hundreds of years.  Along with the collection, they offer research services, and the International Exhibition.  This year's show featured work of 43 artists from 15 countries.  
                                                                              Some images from the Hunt:




The workshops I attended this year were the best from the three conferences I've attended so far.  Margaret Saylor got me excited about painting mushrooms (and taught us to mix some new combinations of brown!) Martha Kemp's class, "Drawing with a Lead Holder" got me reacquainted with an old friend.  My trusty lead holder had been sitting unused in a drawer for many years, but Martha's class prompted me to get it out and start using it again.  Finally, an all-day watercolor class with Margaret Best taught me new techniques, ideas, and ways of using the medium. All three teachers provided the right mix of lecture and "hands-on" practice.  They also all provided great handouts and worksheets to take with us.  

                                                                          WIP shown by Margaret Best:



The conference also provided free time to explore the city and the beautiful Phipps Conservatory.  I might also add that I got to eat at Primanti Brothers, a Pittsburgh tradition, and the largest sandwich I've ever eaten!  

ASBA Conference


By Judith Towers

Every third year the American Society of Botanical Artists holds its annual conference in Pittsburgh, PA. Five CVABA members attended the October conference and what an experience it is to find yourself among 227 botanical artists, many of whom are world renowned! The group was welcoming, sharing, and oh so inspiring!

Some favorite activities were the portfolio sharing where we could walk right up to tables of gorgeous work and talk to the artists about subjects, techniques, and materials.





Next came classes: Mushrooms: Painting Browns with Margaret Saylor was one of the highlights of the second day. Margaret brought many freshly picked mushrooms for our use, and taught us her technique for making the “ultimate brown” which was layered over short strokes of brighter blues, pinks, and yellows so that the colors mingled, creating a realistic but radiant glow. See some of Margaret’s work on the ASBA site:




Each of us enjoyed the opportunity to visit the 15th International Exhibition of Botanical Art and Illustration at the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, within walking distance from our hotel.

Well worth a long visit is the nearby Phipps Conservatory. From the photos you can see that several prickly things, even the Dale Chihuly glass sculpture, caught my eye!


November Program: Leaves


By Judy Thomas

     Judith Towers kindly presented a program at the November, CVABA 2016 meeting, titled "Leaves." She brought in a variety of information about leaves, including: leaf specimens, posters, books, and handouts. We discussed leaf morphology and shared information on the many varieties of leaves. Judith even shared information about making dye from leaves, her special interest as a fiber artist. Judith shared leaf rubbing and drawings as well.  Thank you, Judith!


Saturday, December 31, 2016

30-Day Challenge 2017


by Judy Thomas
The next 30-Day Challenge begins tomorrow, Jan. 1, 2017!  By the end of today, Jan 31, everyone should have received instructions on how to post photos of your work to a Dropbox I have set up.  Create something every day, and post it to dated folder on the 30-Day Challenge Dropbox. You should be able to see all the work submitted.  Remember to put your last name in the file name of the photo, for example:
Thomasbegonia.jpg.

If I have the time, I will post entries to this blog.

What to post?  Anything with a botanical subject in any medium, including fiber arts.  A winner, selected at the end of the challenge, will receive a small prize, which will announced at our February meeting!

Happy Creating!  Happy New Year!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Coming Soon!

Coming Soon: Member Reports on the ASBA Conference in Pittsburgh!
Stay tuned......

A sneak peak...

Saw a special visitor to Pittsburgh:


Cathedral of Learning soaring high:



And LOTS of art!

Monday, August 22, 2016

America Society of Botanical Artists Convention Circle Report
by Judy Thomas

As you might know, the ASBA annual convention will be in Pittsburgh, PA this year, on Oct. 13-15 (welcome reception on the 12th).  Several of us are going and are we excited!  

Ever year there is a Chapters and Circles meeting, and this year, we were asked for a few slides to illustrate our activities for the year, Thought I would share screenshots of our slides, so, here is a very brief annual report summary!








Tuesday, July 5, 2016



Plants and Pollinators
by Judy Thomas


In celebration of National Pollinators' Week, our annual June exhibit theme was "Plants and Pollinators."  Members created works that included appropriate pollinators, and/or described the pollinators for the plant depicted on accompanying signs.  Some even included information on wind and water pollination, and self-pollinated plants. As we all know, insect and animal pollinators, so necessary to our survival, are under threat.  On June 25, 2016, CVABA held a community outreach event at Tuckahoe Library in Henrico, VA, in conjunction with the exhibit to educate the public about the importance of pollinators.  Twelve members of our organization presented activities about plants and pollinators.   Over 100 individuals attended, from children, parents, and grandparents, to entire families.  The library staff asked us to provide a similar event next year!  

Here is the crowd (and me, bottom left corner, teaching "How to Draw a Flower in Perspective"'):


Here are some of the other activities!


Minh-Chau Truong and Angel Zhao presented an activity in Chinese brush painting and calligraphy

Judith Towers presented activities about cotton in "Think Cotton!"

Celeste Johnston teaches botany

Susan Estes helps guest make a paper flower and add a pollinator.


Paula Blair helps guests make flower cards.

Kay Lindberg demonstrates needle felting

Gail Goodrich Harwood helps visitors make a "Pollinator 'Zine."

Ellen Keane (and special helper) teach watercolor


And not pictured, Winnifred Hebb helped guests make a field sketching journal.