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Botanical References in Tapestries

One of the tapestries in the series The Hunt of the Unicorn: The Unicorn is Found, circa 1495-1505 the Cloisters, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City   Dear Friends: Picking up the thread of last month’s newsletter which discussed the historical travels of botanical illustration as an art form, we can take a few stitches to the left as we continue our botanical tapestry.  In fact, speaking of tapestry, which...

Botanical Art and the Woodcut

 ‘The Cross-Bill’ wood engraving in Thomas Bewick’s A History of British Birds (1847 edition) Botanical Art and the Woodcut September 2017 Dear Friends: Of all the forms of expression in printmaking, the woodcut is the most ancient. Woodblock printing is a technique for printing text, images or patterns used widely throughout East Asia and originating in China in antiquity as a method of printing on...

A Record of Civilizations

  August 2017 Dear Friends In previous newsletters, we’ve talked about the history of botanical art and its record of civilizations. Botanical Art has contributed to three main areas Agriculture, Pharmacology, and Commerce.  Besides the enormous contribution the recording of plants made to what we grow and what we eat, the study of plants for therapeutic purposes has been and continues to play a significant role...

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...