BAEE Awards Another Grant

Award Presentation at ASBA 2017 Conference (Left to right: BAEE Board Members, Mary Elcano, Chris Rollins, Pamela Mason, and Karen Ringstrand, and ASBA Executive Director Diane Batson-Smith, ASBA Exhibition Chairman Carol Woodin, and ASBA President Jody Williams)

Today at the ASBA’s 23rd Annual Meeting and Conference in San Francisco, California, on behalf of BAEE, Karen Ringstrand presented a grant of $15,000 to support publication of the expanded catalog for the ASBA exhibition Botanical Art Worldwide: America’s Flora.

Carol Woodin, ASBA’s Exhibitions Director made the following opening remarks: “Botanical Art Worldwide is a groundbreaking collaboration between botanical artists, organizations, and institutions worldwide, creating and exhibiting botanical artworks of native plants found in each participating country. This project will be launched in May of 2018, and a Worldwide Day of Botanical Art has been proclaimed, to take place on May 18, 2018. As that day travels around the world events will be shared on social media online so artists everywhere can watch the launch of at least 22 national exhibitions highlighting our planet’s precious biodiversity. This is a project that has never been attempted and people far and wide are contributing their time and expertise to the project’s success.

“ASBA will produce an expanded catalog, Botanical Art Worldwide: America’s Flora, to deliver the messages of the exhibition and project to new audiences, and to produce a permanent record of the artworks and plants included. We would like to announce the award of a major grant in support of this catalog. Botanical Artists for Education & the Environment is an organization dedicated to excellence in botanical art and native plant conservation and use. They’ve published a successful book American Botanical Paintings: Native Plants of the mid-Atlantic, and because of this success, have been able to provide grants to several conservation-related organizations and projects.”

Carol then introduced Karen, who spoke briefly: “Over a decade ago, the renowned botanical art teacher, one of the founders of ASBA, and currently an Honorary Director of ASBA, Anne-Marie Evans began teaching annual classes in Falls Church, Virginia. She soon realized the students needed a serious project to motivate them.

“As a result of Anne-Marie’s suggestion, we began our focus on native plants and organized a nonprofit corporation for the purpose of soliciting donations to support our project. Under the leadership of our first president, Bonnie Driggers, BAEE held a major exhibition at the United States Botanic Garden in Washington D.C., and published a book, which many ASBA members have purchased -THANK YOU!

“The proceeds realized through book sales are now being used to award grants to nonprofit organizations dedicated to botanical art excellence and the use and conservation of native plants. In 2016, BAEE awarded over $46,000 and now is delighted to award ASBA a $15,000 grant for publication of the expanded catalog for their exhibition, Botanical Art Worldwide: America’s Flora. According to Eileen Malone-Brown, BAEE’s current President and Chair of the Grants Committee, “This exhibition and supporting catalog is completely compatible with all of BAEE’s charter goals and, most excitingly, provides an opportunity to share our wonderful native plants with an international audience.”

BAEE Board Member Karen Ringstrand and ASBA Executive Director Diane Batson-Smith.
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Learning from Leonardo

Anyone who has had a class with Anne-Marie Evans knows that she often quotes famous artists to illustrate her points during her art classes. I was reminded of her when reading an article about Leonardo da Vinci in the Wall Street Journal (Walter Isaacson, September 29, 2017). Considering the need for close observation, Isaacson notes

In his notebooks, Leonardo set out his simple method for truly observing a scene: Look separately at each detail. He compared it to looking at the page of a book. It was meaningless when taken in as a whole and had to be examined word by word. “If you wish to have a sound knowledge of the forms of objects,” he advised, “begin with the details of them, and do not go on to the second step until you have the first well fixed in memory.”

In attempting to draw an apple with its branch and leaves, I am first bewildered by the confusion of growth – leaves of all sizes growing every which way – and wonder how can I possibly draw this? After hours of observation, I focus on the branch and how the apple is attached and how each leaf bends away from the stem. With judicious pruning, I finally produce a drawing that conveys the “appleness” of my subject. I will never be a da Vinci, but I can learn from his advice and from Anne-Marie’s.

For our upcoming class in November, I think Anne-Marie wants us to observe so closely that we feel at one with our subjects and that we possibly could even draw the subject without having it in front of us.

Flower Study by Leonardo da Vinci. Metalpoint, pen and ink on slightly brownish paper. (This work is in the US public domain [PD-1923].
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Online Juried Shows

A recent post by Katherine Tyrell covers the exhibition “Cannabis – a Visual Perspective” by the Rocky Mountain Society of Botanical Artists. You can see the entire exhibition at this web site :

Charlotte’s Web Cannabis, Solar Plate Etching, by Susan T. Fisher (by permission)

OnlineJuriedShows advertises current and upcoming juried art exhibitions. Although some are only for members of the sponsoring group, others are open to all.

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Painting Leaves

Painting of an ivy leaf on vellum
Ivy Leaf on Vellum © by Diane Sutherland,
used with permission.
The finished leaf on goatskin Kelmscott.

Leaves seem to give almost everyone trouble. Today I came across the blog by Dianne Sutherland and found her posting for May 22, 2017, "Painting leaves: Colour Mixing". It is quite informative on leaf color. She even has an online course on painting leaves. Here is her blog address:

Related Links

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An In-Depth Article About the Garden Museum Exhibition

Katherine Tyrell maintains a blog for and about botanical artists. She has posted several times about the Tradescant’s Orchard Exhibition (12 April 2017 and 13 June 2017). In the latest post she shows photos of several of the artists with their paintings. Check it out here:

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Apples and Art

Native plants and heirloom fruits are popular painting subjects nowadays, witness the on-going Tradescant Exhibition in London that features a variety of fruits including apples, pears, peaches, grapes.

Also, the Royal Horticultural Society is holding an exhibition celebrating “our rich apple heritage” at the RHS Lindley Library in London from September 7 through November 10. For more details see

BAEE is holding an art class November 6-10, 2017, in Falls Church, VA, taught by Anne-Marie Evans. Our subject is heirloom/heritage apples. The Albemarle Cider works in North Garden, VA, is supplying apples.The class is full; however, we do maintain a waiting list.

Esopus Spitzenburg apple. Watercolor by Bonnie Driggers.
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