Photo Album of NCALSBA – 2017 Events

“Public Outreach event “Capturing Botanical Beauty” in partnership with Conservatory of Flowers”, July 1, 2017

SF Conservatory of Flowers, San Francisco, CA

LoPinto Nepenthes drawing


Lizzie Roeble (Education Outreach) and Erica Frank (Conservatory) arranged tables in front of the conservatory for us to demonstrate and invite the public into dialogue about our art form.



Ali Walker created a simple handout on how to draw a pitcher plant and we did leaf rubbings with the children. We had many children and adults interested in learning more and watching Andrea and Marguerite painting onsite. People mentioned that the event was publicized by the Berkeley Ecology Center and the Examiner.


Photos and text by Ruth Cox
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“Conservatory of Flowers Insider Tour and Afternoon of Sketching”, June 13, 2017

SF Conservatory of Flowers, San Francisco, CA

Thanks to all who signed up for the insider tour of the Conservatory of Flowers.
After 5 months of planning, the horticultural Halley’s Comet bloom of Titan Arum (Corpse Flower) cut into our attendance numbers and ability to stay to sketch.



However, we did have 9 intrepid members and 2 guests attend (including our docent/members Ali Walker and Marguerite Murphy who gave us wonderful personalized tours). Ironically, Titan hadn’t bloomed that Tuesday yet, so the crowds weren’t as high as the Conservatory predicted. The butterflies were lovely and so much was blooming throughout the galleries.

We will hope to reschedule a similar event later in the year (post conference)!


Photos and text by Ruth Cox
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“Orinda Library Alcatraz Florilegium Exhibit”, June 3-30, 2017

Orinda Library, Orinda, CA

Each of our 77 NCalSBA artists participating in the Alcatraz Florilegium project has one of their pieces on display in the Orinda Library exhibit. The Artists’ Reception on June 3rd included a presentation by Project Managers Catherine Watters, Sally Petru and Lyn Dahl covering the History and Restoration of the Gardens of Alcatraz and the creation of the Florilegium.



Delma Shananhan, former tour guide on “The Rock” and supporter of the Alcatraz Florilegium Project


Jo-Anne Osberg and Catherine Watters on the left and Sally Petru and Leah Kaizer on the right viewing artwork and collection of Alcatraz photos and publications



Betsy Chovanes and her Everlasting Pea


Linda Kam and guests on the left and Walter Denn and Bonnie Bonner on the right



Photos and text by Lyn Dahl
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“Bonsai Garden Tour and Sketching Day”, May 26, 2017

Lake Merritt, Oakland, CA

On Friday, May 26, 2017, members of NCalSBA enjoyed a tour of the Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt in Oakland, CA. Bob Gould led us on a docent tour, sharing the life stories of the trees under the care of the many volunteers who support the garden. Beautifully supported in shallow pots, with judicious feedings of nutrients and water, and guided with meticulous shaping techniques, each tree is maintained as a miniature version of it’s naturally occurring species. We enjoyed moderate temperatures, and a relaxed pace, to fully appreciate an in-depth introduction to this graceful art form. Our thanks to the staff and volunteers, and of course especially to Bob for sharing his enthusiasm and extensive knowledge.


Photos and text by Walter Denn
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“Creating Interesting Textures with Ink and Charcoal Dust with instructor Ellie Yun Hui Tu”, May 11, 2017

Hosted by Margi Connelly, Monte Sereno, CA

On May 11, 2017 we were eight lucky members gathering at Margi’s residence to learn about Ellie’s unique experimental approach to create textures. Very kindly, Ellie took time from work and drove from Ventura just to spend the day with us. What a treat! She provided handmade bamboo pens of different sizes, make up sponges, luffa, ink and powder charcoal to practice three different textures on Bristol paper: banana, apple, and kale. Ellie’s sweet personality diffused a wonderful atmosphere among attendees. Our day was fun and filled with a great sense of camaraderie. Ellie’s natural teaching talent, her organizational skills and kindness largely contributed to the success of the event. Our hostess, Margi, transformed her lovely home into a wonderful working studio and provided fresh coffee, tea and other goodies to share. Just a lovely day!









Photos and text by Beatrice Bergemont
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“Doing a Plant Study in Graphite and Watercolor with instructor Maria Cecilia Freeman”, March 28, 2017

Hosted by Danny Swanson, Saratoga, CA

On Tuesday, March 28, 2017 Danny Swanson generously opened her guest house / studio for Cissy’s workshop on Plant Studies in Graphite and Watercolor. Thirteen enthusiastic participants attended. Most of us had not experimented with ‘water-soluble graphite’ which “forms a suspension in water, so it can be moved while moist.”

Cissy initially reviewed the steps of ‘Getting to Know Your Plant” and later demonstrated the technique of using graphite and watercolor to create a plant study. Cissy brought several examples of her plant studies which are works of art in themselves. Everyone had the opportunity to create a study based on the borage specimens which Cissy provided. It was obvious from the energy level in the room that everyone thoroughly enjoyed the event.

Each participant received an informative and useful multi-part handout for future reference. Also Cissy brought some books that she recommended as good sources for learning about plants.

At lunch time we enjoyed the beautiful day in Danny’s extensive garden which was in full bloom. Many thanks to Cissy for sharing her experience and skill and to Danny for providing access to her home and garden.





Photos by Danny Swanson and text by Celia Bakke
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“Jepson Herbaria Lecture and Tour”, January 23, 2017

University of California, Berkeley, CA

Members of the Northern California Society of Botanical Artists were hosted on January 23, 2017 by The University and Jepson Herbaria, University of California, Berkeley. The day long visit included a tour of the Herbaria by Andrew Doran, Assistant Director for Collections and Curator of Cultivated Plants. Ingrid Jordan-Thyden, Rothfels Lab Manager and Research Botanist, gave an inspiring lecture on Natural History, Botanical Illustration, and Teaching with Drawing. Participants saw examples from the in-house botanical library collections, with impressive original plates of illustrations, curated by archivist Amy Kasameyer. And finally Andrew gave a talk on the history of the UC Berkeley Botanical Garden, and an account of his work on the digitized collections.

We wish to sincerely thank Ingrid and Andrew for their generosity, expertise and enthusiasm.

For more information on the collection, please see Global Plants on JSTOR, and University and Jepson Herbaria Archives, University of California, Berkeley


Photos and text by Walter Denn
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“SF Public Library Skylight Gallery Alcatraz Florilegium Exhibit”, January 14 – March 19, 2017

San Francisco, CA










Photos by Sally Petru and Lyn Dahl
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