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.
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!