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.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Colored Pencil Exhibit

By Judy Thomas

Come by the Atlee Library and see the Chickahominy Colored Pencil Artists' exhibit (most of whom are CVABA members), on display until June 30. Also, Celeste Johnston, Angel Zhao and I are teaching free, beginning art lessons at the library again this summer. Please spread the word!

Atlee Library:

Class titles and dates:
Learn to Draw

Ink It!

Beginning Watercolor
August 20, 10-1 pm

"Plants and Pollinators" Exhibit

By Judy Thomas

The annual CVABA exhibit opened June 1, 2016 at the Tuckahoe Public Library.  This year's theme is "Plants and Pollinators."  Each piece depicts, or shares information on, the pollinator that is associated with the plant illustrated. As many of you know, many pollinators are in decline. This exhibit hopes to raise awareness about the importance of pollinators, educate the public about the unique ways various creatures (along with wind and water) pollinate plants and display some beautiful art!
Also, on June 25, from 1-4PM, CVABA members will have a "Family Fun Day" at the library (registration required).  Come learn about pollinators, make a nature journal, try your hand at watercolors and more!
Contact the library for more information (see below). 

Come visit!

The exhibit is open through June 2016.
Infirmation about Tuckahoe Library can be found at:

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Direct-Printing Lesson

[Note: Celeste Johnston gave our group a fun, interesting and informative "hands-on" lesson about nature printing during our April meeting, and here are her thoughts]:

                            About Nature-printing, Direct Printing/Monoprinting
                                                   By Celeste Johnston
I would like to start with a quote by Henry Bradbury when he addressed The Royal Institution of Great Britain in 1856:
He exclaimed "How powerful are the results direct from Nature herself", during the lecture
entitled 'Nature Printing: Its Origin and Objects.' He stated that nature printing had  "come to the 
aid of science".  Despite its decline as a scientific tool, nature printing  has stood the test of time and there has been a revival of this ancient art form.  The Nature Printing Society was formed in 1976 by a group of dedicated professionals employing nature printing as an extension of their scientific work.
The Nature Printing Society, at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, is an international organization devoted to the artistic and educational pursuit of nature printing.

Artists and scientists have been inspired by nature printing. Leonardo da Vinci, in his manuscript Codex Atlantis, includes the first know written record of nature printing.  
It is accompanied by a printed impression of a sage leaf. In the later half of the 1600's when the science of botany was born, nature printing was found to be extremely helpful to botanists who had no artistic talent. The first female botanist  in this country compiled a major volume describing the plants of New York and illustrated it with 340 nature printed specimens. Her name was Jane Colden 

Later techniques evolved and over a thousand impressions from one plant could be cast in soft metal. Out of this evolved the imprinting of plants on a copper plate coated with a soft ground. Nature printing will continue to evolve and I am glad to know  about this  important part of our botanical history. 

Monday, April 11, 2016


Maymont Tour 
by Judy Thomas
with photos by Gail Goodrich Harwood

On April 1, CVABA members had a real treat, a wonderful tour of the Maymont Estate house by our own Paula Blair. 

The Maymont Estate, now a public park, was the home of James and Sallie Dooley, who lived there from 1893 to 1925, during America's "Guilded Age."  Maymont was bequeathed to the City of Richmond after the death of Sallie Dooley in 1925, and  is now run by the Maymont Foundation.  For more information:

Paula gave us an excellent tour of the home/museum. We learned a lot about the Dooley family, how the wealthy (and the not-so-wealthy) lived during that era, and the decorative and fine arts collections in the home.  The website states there are over 900 period objects in the mansion, about 60% of them original to the Dooleys: 

For example, the mansion is home to several pieces of Tiffany glass, including a large window.  The Dooleys also purchased a full, duplicate set of Presidential china (made by Haviland), each piece different, that was sold to raise funds for its manufacture for the Rutherford B. Hayes White House:

The design on each piece is based on an original watercolor by Theodore R. Davis.  For more images of some of the plates, go to:

It seems that everywhere we looked we found a treasure, many nature themed!

Thank you to Paula, and kudos for a great, personalized tour!