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March Soul Biz – 20... “Ireland, thou friend of my country in my country’s most...
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The Impulse to Capture Ti... Dear Friends: The following is a commentary on the September 12, 2004 New York...

A Brief History of Botanical Art

July 2017 Dear Friends: In the beginning…. People are always amazed to learn that botanical art has been around since the Paleolithic period (35,000 BC) with crude examples of plant life drawn on cave walls.  Mostly used as decorative elements, plants appeared during the Minoan period (3000-1500 BC) on jars and murals. The inaugural recording of plants for medicinal use can been found on the bas relief at the Temple of...

Observation Rules

June 2017 Dear Friends ~ In nature, there are all the colors of the rainbow.  Learning to translate those colors is the joy of every artist.  How then do we observe the color white and how do we use it effectively? In traditional watercolor painting, white is obtained from the white of the watercolor paper rather than from using a white opaque pigment.  White paint, then, is used for tinting other colors, to create lighter...

Rights of Laughter

Studio News ~ May 2017 Dear Friends: Today, as I sit to write to all of you, I spot a poem by Hafiz in a book by Daniel Ladinsky.   Born 1948, Ladinsky is considered one of America’s greatest poets.  He has spent the past 20 years devoted to interpreting the mystical poetry of Persian Sufi Hafiz, Rumi, and others.  Born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, he spent extensive time in a spiritual community at Meherabad, in...

A Little Light on the Subject

Gerard Van Spaendonck, Still Life Dear Friends: Once again, I have been receiving several requests for information on light boxes and light tables. In response, I have prepared the following updated information  to help you find your way to the light box that best suits your purpose. My personal favorite is the Gagne Porta-Trace Line of light boxes. I have three in different sizes and find them all to work very...

The Language of Flowers

Dear Friends: The vernal equinox (near March 21) marks the first day of the season of spring. It is the date when night and day are nearly the same length and the Sun crosses the celestial equator moving northward. Delighting in the approach of Spring, I begin to plan for my garden and an incredible journey of discovery unfolds. Amidst my collection of Florida plant books, I find a book of Botticelli paintings. His  La...

Cupids – On The Move!

Dear Friends: To celebrate romantic February, I write about an interesting love story.  And for those of you “in love”, I thought I’d play cupid to help you get to the heart of the matter… Nicolas Robert (1614-1685) was the son of an innkeeper.  He became the most accomplished botanical illustrator in Europe in the 17th century. In 1634, Robert’s fame brought him to the attention of Charles de Sainte-Maure, future Duke of...