Thursday, March 27, 2014

SBA Assignment #8 Composition - Vegetable Study

Assignment #8 Vegetable Study
The first question you ask is "Why use a Tomato, it's a Fruit"
and yes, you are correct.  The SBA allows us to use a tomato as a fruit or vegetable since it is used as a vegetable in salads.  So, no points lost there!
Solanum lycopersicum
Heirloom Tomato
'Claurina', 'Montenegro', 'Tomawah'
Purchase my three tomatoes at Whole Foods.  Figured out the composition and started drawing as much as I could without having the stems.  The stems and leaves are taken off the fruit before they are shipped to the stores.
Once I got as much drawn as I could I went on a tour of Houwelings Tomatoes. 
One of the largest growers of Heirloom Tomatoes. 
The Mastery Under Glass is located only 20 minutes from my home.
All the tomatoes are grown hydroponically in huge glass greenhouses.  This place is amazing!
You have to suit up in clean suits to enter the facility.
Me and Kyle, our tour director.
Aren't we cute!
Once home with my stems, leaves and tons of photographs, I quickly started my stems. 
Carefully placing them and completing my assignment.
The finished product and yes these Toms are huge!
My tutor commented that "I think you took me quite literally when I mentioned about small subjects in your last assignment.  I am amused!  These are so big - and I've no doubt tasted delicious.
Condensed tutor comments:
Wow!  Big Tomatoes
These tomatoes look touchable - excellent.
Your composition is fine Lori.  The three tomatoes work together really well - but have to admit it would have been lovely to see inside one of them - just because I am interested and, therefore, I expect others would be too.  It would have added even more interest but I can imagine they are very complicated inside and maybe time wasn't on your side. 
Final Mark 9.35
As always, I was nervous about my marks.  One because I only had three subjects and the composition was pretty standard.  Yes, I would have loved to drawn the inside, but time is of the essence and I never seem to have enough.  I am learning with each assignment and am looking forward to our next assignment 'Botanical Illustration'

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Sarah Simblet and The New Sylva

Master Class in Drawing at Cal Lutheran University
in Thousand Oaks,  California
March 12, 2014
I was lucky enough to attend this Master Class with Sarah Simblet.  Sarah is the director of drawing at Oxford's Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art. 
She has published three books:
"Anatomy for the Artist", "The Drawing Book" and "Botany for the Artist.
Her latest endeavor, "The New Sylva", a celebration of trees and forests is an updated version of the book written in the seventeenth century "The Sylva" by John Evelyn.
The New Sylva by Gabriel Hemery & Sarah Simblet
Sarah's first copy of the book for review. 
Really amazing publication for both Arborists and Artists.
The class started out in a classroom at Cal Lutheran University.  Sarah spoke of her making of the book and the 200 Pen and Ink Botanical drawings that make up the book.
She was able to bring along a couple dozen lithographs of her work from the book
and many original sketches of details.
Her work is truly amazing to see in person. 
Sarah explaining the process of two years of drawing trees.
Sarah explaining the process of learning how a tree moves in the wind.
"You have to get to know your tree, circle it, touch it, smell it."
She brought along some of the large offset pages from the printing of the book.
After the classroom portion of the class, we all went outside to pick a tree to sketch. 
Hard to do with all those leaves on the tree.  It's much easier when the tree is bare, but here in California and our warm weather, most of the trees don't loose their trees for long.
More information on Sarah Simblet
The New Sylva can be purchase at Amazon

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden

Botanical Art Guild of Southern California
Took a break from my SBA assignment to go to the
BAGSC quarterly meeting and get together at the
Ranch Santa Ana Botanic Garden in Claremont, California
March 2014
The garden covers 86 acres in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains
and is the largest botanical garden of California Natives
 Our group was fortunate enough to have a 2 hour guided tour of the garden with Eric Garton, one of the directors of the garden.  He was so knowledgeable of all the plants and animals in the garden. 
Beautiful shaded pathways along the way

Dendromecon harfordii   Channel Island tree poppy
Eschscholzia californica  California Poppy
Calliandra eriophylla  Fairy duster
Garra elliptica   silk tassel
Nolina parryi  parry beargrass
Cactus Family of flowers:
Cylindropuntia echinocarpa  silver cholla
Opuntia erinacea var. erinacea  Mojave Prickly-Pear

Echinocerus triglochidiatus Mound Cactus
OK, that was enough fun for the day.  Nice to take a break now and then to spend time with friends and fellow botanical artists.
Now it's back to the drawing board. 
Gotta have my assignment done by Wednesday and posted to my tutor in the UK.
Wish me luck!
Another great day in sunny Southern California!