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Newsletter

The GNSI Newsletter is now part of the history of our organization. Published from 1968 to 2011, it functioned as the glue for Guild members. You can still examine this rich history of events and information by buying downloadable PDFs (free for members!) or buying print copies from our archive. The GNSI Website has taken over the responsibilities of delivering timely information, and the GNSI Journal has been expanded to a quarterly publication to deliver the scholarly and substative content that use to run in the Newsletter.  Below are some examples of the material found in the Newsletter.

In Memoriam: Lawrence B. Isham

December 27, 1922 - September 18, 2011

by Mary Parrish, scientific illustrator, and Martin A. Buzas, research geologist Department of Paleobiology, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution

Larry Isham, scientific illustrator for the Department of Paleobiology, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution for 30 years, died on 18 September 2011 of congestive heart failure at his home with hospice care in Arlington, Virginia. Larry helped found, drafted the first constitution, and was the first president of the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators.

Larry belonged to the “greatest generation” who saved the world from tyranny in WWII. He joined the Army Air Force in May 1942 and became a...

The “Illustrating Birds” workshop, held April 2–4, 2011, in Kearney, Nebraska, combined all the best elements of a typical Guild education experience: intensive content that provides a great foundation for illustrative work, wonderful mentoring that promotes accurate and exceptional art, and artistic camaraderie that inspires all who participate.

Workshop participant and Susan W. Frank Scholarship recipient Nancy Gehrig summarized it well: “The Bird Illustration Workshop was a wonderful immersion into the world of birds. I really enjoyed the three days and feel I have a good sense of how to improve my work. The lecture on bird anatomy was a perfect start for me, and I found the sketching of the live birds very challenging. I am pleased to say that I am looking and thinking of...

by Bobbi Angell

It’s all about attention to detail and process— things scientific illustrators thrive on. How could I not be entranced with copperplate etching? But beyond the detail, there is so much more. For all the attentive control that one can impose on the copper, there are variables created by acid, paper, ink, and press that allow surprises both discouraging and rewarding, and each print pulled off the press is a remarkable experience. There is a tactile pleasure to working on copper, and there is the added appeal that comes from being able to rework a plate with more marks and more techniques, and results planned and unplanned enhance the art and satisfy the artist. A fortuitous encounter with a master printmaker provided me with an...

by Sally Bensusen

Not Just for Crackerjacks Anymore

Those little stamp-sized cards in a box of Crackerjacks introduced this technology to many of us. The card bore a surface of fine parallel plastic ridges on the front; a cartoon would move when the card was tilted at varying angles.

The technology of lenticular printing like this has become more sophisticated over the years. There are a variety of visual effects that one can achieve, from 3D to morphing to animation. These effects are set up using image-editing software, such as Adobe Photoshop, that allows for layered files. The resulting product can be a great attention-grabbing device for delivering a science message or for inspiring the imagination of a young scientist.

Our office at NASA Goddard Space...

California State University Monterey Bay Science Illustration Program Exhibit

May 8 – June 5, 2010

With a new home at California State University Monterey Bay (CSUMB), the Science Illustration Program is proud to announce its 21st annual Illustrating Nature exhibit. Formerly held at the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History, the exhibit will be making its debut at the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History on May 8, 2010. Fifteen students from three different countries will showcase their illustrations after nine months of intense work and sometimes little sleep. Their efforts capture the world of nature and science with accuracy and beauty, brought to fruition under the guidance of program instructors Ann Caudle, Jenny Keller, and...

An edited virtual roundtable discussion held online. Transcribed for the January 2010 GNSI Newsletter column "Ripped From The List "- edited by Stephan DiCerbo, and now edited for online presentation.

This installment of Ripped from the List reviews three recent listserv threads that dealt with techniques for converting traditional art to digital media, preliminary considerations,and subsequent manipulations of the scanned images. – Stephen Di Cerbo

SCANNING LARGE ARTWORK

Rick L. Simonson: Does anyone have a good method for get-ting large (maybe 24” x 36”) traditional artwork into the computer. Scanning seems like a good idea, unfortunately large format scanners are quite expensive. I...

GNSI 2011 Conference is set for Olympia, Washington

GNSI Conference held at the Evergreen State University, from July 10–16, 2011.

2011 GNSI Exhibition

Share your talents with a west-coast audience! Entry forms must be postmarked by March 28 or received by April 1, 2011.

The 2011 GNSI Annual Exhibit will be held on the campus of The Evergreen State College, at the Evergreen Gallery. This lovely facility is located right next to the main library on campus, which will make it very convenient for our conference as well as the population of students and teachers. In fact, the staff is so excited to host the show that they’ve invited us to keep the exhibit up through mid-October to ensure that the fall term students get a chance to see it...

An editied virtual roundtable discussion held online. Transcribed for the March 2010 GNSI Newsletter column "Ripped From The List "- edited by Stephan DiCerbo, and now edited for online presentation. This version has been further edited down for web presentation.

Question from Bruce: Glendon, have you ever had someone burst into the store you manage announcing loudly, “I found it!” A way to sharpen color pencils without the leads breaking!” If so, would you kindly pass along the specifics of this person’s discovery. Many of us, I suspect, are not amused by this constant annoyance. It appears that a bump forms somewhere along the sharpening line that causes the pencil to...

An editied virtual roundtable discussion held online. Transcribed for the March 2010 GNSI Newsletter column "Ripped From The List "- edited by Stephan DiCerbo, and now edited for online presentation. This version has been further edited down for web presentation.

Question from Jeff: Does anyone have experience cleaning smudges off of clayboard? Specifically, I put a thumb print of newspaper ink into one of my projects.

Consie: Using a kneaded eraser to work at getting crud off the clayboard is a good first step. How successful you are at getting dirty stuff off, without messing up the image, probably depends on what kind of ink you have used...

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