Tuesday, June 27, 2017

The Art of Invasion
by Judy Thomas

The Plants of the James River Project, developed by CVABA members Paula Blair, Susan Estes, Cheryl Exley and me, is presenting a public education event (complete with an invasive species coloring book we designed, with contributions from Winnifred Hebb) on Saturday, July 15, Bring friends and family! Celeste Johnston, another CVABA member, will be making paper from invasive plants with visitors! Details below:

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Family Fun Day

Saturday, June 3, 2017, 1-4
Tuckahoe Public Library
1901 Starling Drive
Henrico, VA

by Judy Thomas
Family Fun Day is Saturday, June 3 from 1-4.  It is fun for us, too!  This is our second public, educational event at the Tuckahoe Library, with the same theme as our exhibit: Groundwork: Bulbs, Corms, Tubers, Roots and Rhizomes.  We will have many activities, from a lesson in the botany of roots, to drawing activities, and even weaving.

Come help set up at noon, and bring kids and grandkids to participate.  See you there!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

A project in the making...

By Judy Thomas 
Four members of CVABA strike out to work with VCU, The Rice Rivers Center, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, and the James River Parks System:


Monday, March 20, 2017

Lizzie McCowen
From Three Weeks at Ginter by Executive Director, Shane Tippett
Shared by Judith Towers

"Lizzie McCowen has completed her Certificate of Competence in Botanical Illustration through our program.   After her final critique last Thursday, Lizzie also shared that she had applied for and been accepted in the Society of Botanical Artists Distance Learning Course in Botanical Illustration, based in London.  Lizzie is one of 64 students internationally to be accepted for the two-year course.  She said that her submission of work she had completed in the Garden’s program was highly praised. 

Many thanks to Megan Compton, Education Assistant, who keeps track of student progress in certificate programs, and to Hazel Buys, the lead instructor for the Botanical Illustration certificate.”

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Report on the CVABA Meeting March 27, 2017 
By Winnifred Hebb

Judith Towers and Gail Goodrich-Harwood gave us a wonderful program about roots, their parts, and examples of how to draw them today at our monthly meeting. Judith took the time to not only display a large table of all kinds of roots, but talked about the different kinds including bulbs, combs, rhizomes, and fibrous roots.

Also of interest to us was the way she actually displayed them, which you can see in the accompanying photos. After her lecture most of us chose a plant with a root or root part to draw from her table. This program was in anticipation of our upcoming June botanical art exhibit at Tuckahoe Library.

Gail Goodrich-Harwood obtained permission from well-known colored-pencil artist Wendy Hollender to share her instructional material on drawing roots.  Gail then led the group in a roots drawing exercise.  What fun!

We wish to thank Judith and Gail for the time they spent in preparing and presenting this very interesting program.

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!