Photo Album of NCALSBA – 2018 Events

“Ring Mountain Tour and Hike”, June 9, 2018

Tiburon, CA

On a cool and breezy day, 20 participants (about half NCalSBA and half CNPS members) joined Kristin and Bernard for a very pleasant ramble up the north slope of the Ring Mt preserve, home to several rare plants.



One of these, the Tiburon mariposa lily (Calochortus tiburonensis) is only found here amongst the serpentine rock outcrops crowning the ridgetop.



Another rare plant present in considerable numbers this year is called Marin dwarf flax (Hesperolinon congestum), a delicate annual with pale pink flowers. The soap plants opened their whitish starry flowers on cue at 4:00 PM, to enhance the return walk down to the trail head.



Farewell-to-spring (Clarkia rubicunda) is on the left and (Dudleya farinosa) is on the right found near the top of the ridge.



Photos and text by Kristin Jakob
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“Celebrating Trees II”, May 20 – June 23, 2018

Marin Art & Garden Center, Ross, CA







Photos by Kaye Herbranson and Mary Gilardi
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“Beyond Color Mixing with Susan Fisher”, May 20, 2018

Los Altos Hills, CA

Fifteen artists attended Susan Fisher’s “Beyond Color Mixing” workshop at the Palo Alto Hills Town Hall, Sunday, May 20, 2018.



Susan brought her delightful sense of humor and shared her passionate knowledge surrounding the interaction between pigments, light, water, paper, temperature and our individual visual perception of color.



We reviewed pigment attributes, CIE Lab scale, and the variation in pigments between manufactures. She discussed the importance of developing color scales for each significant color in your piece before beginning the painting. We worked on several exercises – using three different mixes to create similar colors. Several artists brought paintings that they are working on and Susan provided valuable critique.



For further information please check out Susan’s website. Special thank you to Elaine Wismer for securing the venue and to all the generous artists who brought yummy goodies to share.



Photos and text by Liz Stroh-Coughlin
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“Bonsai Drawing with Lee McCaffree”, May 12, 2018

Gordon Dregg’s in Atherton, CA

After a dreary March, the Bonsai date was changed to May (sorry we ‘lost’ some artists in the transfer).



The most difficult thing of the day was choosing which Bonsai to draw! Gordon had 100’s from which to choose!



After Gordon talked to us about how Bonsai is groomed, cared for and his background, we jumped into drawing. No pencil sketch allowed! We started off with pen and finished with pen…out of the box for all of us, but a great learning experience! Lee’s technique brought to light ‘negative space’, trust in your vision/hand to accomplish your work and increased observation skills.



Everyone completed one drawing and many jumped on to their second! We all agreed we would DO IT AGAIN!!!



Photos by Lee McCaffree and Dorothy Hunter & text by Dorothy Hunter
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“Rose Delight at the Russian River Rose Company – A Sketching Day”,
May 5, 2018

Healdsburg, CA

On May 5, 2018, a warm, sunny spring day, eight people joined Bernard Halliwell for a day of sketching in the beautiful gardens of the Russian River Rose Garden just outside of Healdsburg. The roses, many of them aromatic heirloom varieties, were at peak bloom. We each sat somewhere in a sea of blossoms as visitors strolled the gardens. The purpose of a sketching day is not to create a finished painting but to practice various skills in an effort to achieve fluency. One may work on color mixing, for example, or values, or simply on drawing the lines of an image. Roses are not the easiest flowers to paint, but as one spends time with them the secrets of painting them begin to reveal themselves. People visiting the garden were interested in our work. Two artists sold what they produced, and one received an inquiry for a commission. All in all, we passed a lovely day, and came away stimulated and we turned our thoughts again to Pierre-Joseph Redoubté, Alfred Parsons, and Paul de Longpré, and other painters of roses.



Photos and text by Bernard Halliwell
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“Spring Blossoms – Fruit Trees and Flowers with Catherine Watters”,
April 27-29, 2018

American River Inn, Georgetown, CA

I was very delighted to read our NCALSBA letter announcing our upcoming weekend trip to Georgetown, CA, and the American River Inn. The magic words for me were “Catherine Watters,” “Two Day Workshop,” and “Weekend Inn.” I immediately signed up for this wonderful opportunity. I made the journey north, riding with our most gracious driver Sally De Maria and Diana Tretor. They are two wonderful botanical artist friends. We left the East Bay with Sally’s car laden with many artist supplies. They were both excellent companions on the three and one half hour trip.

It was great to arrive in the quaint town of Georgetown, located in Gold Country. The beautiful American River Inn held many surprises for us. We were able to take over the entire B&B for the workshop which provided a homey, intimate and relaxing atmosphere. The inn was filled with numerous antiques on every floor in every room. Once we walked in the front door we were immediately greeted by new and old friends. The first room to our left had three students who arrived earlier, setting up for the workshop. The next thing I spotted were our specimens, the Dogwoods and other blossoms set up on an antique console. Thank you to Catherine and Kaye for finding such amazing dogwood specimens to inspire our work. The late afternoon sun highlighted the Inn’s paintings that hung on the walls. This room seemed to have a special “glow” to it.



The second front room was a lovely sitting area where pairs of students had tables to share. It included a very inviting fireplace. The Inn offered us a wide variety of very comfortable room choices, some private, some shared, for our sixteen students. I was fortunate to share two connecting rooms with Kaye Herbranson, our President. She was truly a wonderful roommate.

The Inn offered us a Social Hour with appetizers upon arriving, a great way to greet and meet. Friday evening, we were treated to a wonderful catered dinner at the Inn.

Saturday morning began with the smell of delicious coffee and a gourmet breakfast. And then on to our painting session. We were so very fortunate to have Catherine Watters lead us on our weekend adventure of botanical art and science. Catherine shared so much instruction with us relating to our specimens. She led our discussions on setting up for our best composition followed by pencil drawings and watercolor washes. The most interesting part for me was Dry Brushing for details and finishing techniques.

Saturday afternoon our hostesses provided us with another wonderful meal, our lunch, and several beverages. We could not wait to get back to painting for the rest of the day.

Saturday evening was our trip in several cars to Georgetown’s local famous steakhouse, Buckeye Restaurant. We were treated to a great menu with many choices, followed by tempting desserts. This was our chance to relax and have fun. Then it was back to the Inn where we could mingle around the fireplace or retreat to our rooms. Botanical Artists need their sleep!



Sunday we were once more greeted by a gourmet breakfast and wonderful coffee. This was our last day to have Catherine’s guidance. She gave each of us so much personal attention as she rotated among us providing her expert skills. I felt happy to sit in close proximity to others and listen while she instructed each student. This was an opportunity to hear new information or review past lessons. This was followed by a wonderful casual lunch, and the remaining painting session.

All good things must come to an end. Thank you Catherine Watters for making this weekend a most memorable one. And thank you botanical art friends for allowing me to share this special time with you.

A very special thank you to Beatrice Bergemont for the many hours spent organizing and planning this most amazing weekend. We missed you at the workshop but your planning and coordination with the caterers, inn staff and restaurant was evident and made our experience effortless and provided maximum enjoyment. Thank you to Liz Stroh-Coughlin for finding the American River Inn and thank you to the American River Inn staff for catering to our every need. It was months of work to make this weekend happen. I know it is one I will never forget.



Photos and text by Elaine Wismer
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“Ruth Bancroft Garden Tour and Sketching”, April 14, 2018

Walnut Creek, CA

The weather was perfect at the Ruth Bancroft Garden in Walnut Creek on Saturday, April 14, where members of NCalSBA and guests toured the 2.5 acre public dry garden. Docent George Jardim kindly led us for an hour and a half on the meandering trails, pointing out highlights amongst the 2,000 cactus, succulents, trees, and shrubs.

Established by Ruth Bancroft in 1972, the Garden was opened to the public in the early ’90s. Of special interest were the blooming varieties of aloe and yucca, native to regions around the world.

After lunch we took the opportunity to draw and paint. Seating is scattered throughout the garden, offering comfortable vantage points for observation, and to enjoy each other’s company.

We want to offer a special thank you to Anna Halverson for making arrangements for this pleasant opportunity.


Photo by Anthony Petru and text by Walter Denn
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“Jasper Ridge Wildflower Guided Tour with Eliza Jewett”, March 24, 2018

Woodside, CA

A big thanks to Eliza Jewett-Hall for staying flexible about weather changes and taking a smaller group of members on 3/24 on the Jasper Ridge hike. Those able to attend reported enjoying the the beautiful wildflowers, plants, birds, and trees.



A reminder to all members (especially those of us disappointed the week before by rain cancellation): You can sign up on your own anytime for a docent led tour through the Jasper Ridge website.



There is also a free Open House at Jasper Ridge on May 12! Or you can walk anytime at Edgewood Preserve, which has many of the same plants/flowers/geology.

Photos by Eliza Jewett and text by Ruth Cox
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“Pen and Ink Workshop with Kristin Jakob”, February 10, 2018

Monte Sereno, CA


Workshop attendees gathered at Margi Connelly’s home in Monte Sereno to create pen and ink drawings under Kristin’s guidance.



Initially, Kristin shared examples of her work ranging from individual drawings to illustrations appearing in several publications, including a book on native plants published by the UC Press. She then proceeded to demonstrate her pen and ink drawing techniques, such as short dashes, lines and stipples.



Kristin provided a wide array of plant materials including cyclamen leaves, Dutchman’s pipe, Cape Rush and rose hips.



She also had available for purchase finest-tip Micron Pigma pens and mounted vellum finish bristol paper. As each participant focused on her work, Kristin provided one-on-one coaching.



The workshop was relaxed yet intense, and at the end of the day the eight participants had gained additional insight into and experience with pen and ink techniques.



Photos by Celia Bakke and Margi Connelly and text by Celia Bakke
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“UCBGB Plants Illustrated Exhibit “Celebrating Trees” Reception”, January 13, 2018

Julia Morgan Building, UC Botanical Gardens Berkeley, CA







Photos by Susan McEntee, Sally Petru, and Lynne Finley
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