Photo Album of NCALSBA – 2017 Events

“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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