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Product Review: Inktense Pencils

Product Review: Inktense® Pencils by Derwent®
By Minnelli Lucy France

M. L. France Inktense Fig. 1Are you looking for art materials that may not trigger allergies as severely as paints with fumes, or solvents from oils and acrylics? This summer, I was desperate for just that. To this end, I re-evaluated my various art media and in doing so I ventured upon new discoveries and artistic possibilities. Inktense by Derwent was one of my favorite new discoveries and is now rapidly becoming one of my main media.

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Non-Photo Blue Pencils

I’ve only been using them to sketch for about four or five years since I discovered the artwork of John Muir Laws1,2—and became more inspired after attending the 2016 GNSI Conference in Santa Cruz where John was a presenter. I really like the freedom to work rough and loose without later worrying about the blue lines competing with the final sketch. This allows me to keep my final sketch and rough sketches together, i.e., in my sketchbook instead of using a separate sheet of paper (and light box/pad) to create the final piece. You can then digitally remove the blue sketch with Photoshop as I learned from Ikumi Kayama’s excellent demo on her YouTube channel. [The video is called Photoshop Tutorial for Scientific Illustrators: Separating Out Non-Photo Blue from Graphite.]


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The Great Auction

Great Auction _ White SharkTuesday, July 2nd, 7:00 PM – 10:00 PM, H. Marks Hall, Women's College. 

The annual GNSI auction is always a conference highlight, full of anticipation, suspense, and excitement!  The 2019 auction will be no different, although there will be some important things to take into consideration this year. Due to the greater distances traveled by many attendees, we will not be able to transport medium to large auction items. Instead, we will focus on small items that fit easily into luggage, AND a whole new suite of non-tangible items this year!  Start thinking about experiences that you might like to offer, such as:

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Registration Opens for the 2019 Brisbane Conference

Registration for the GNSI 2019 Annual Conference in Brisbane, Australia is now open! Click here to register for the Conference.
Please visit the conference website (http://2019gnsi-conf.org/) for all of the details about the conference. Here are the registration dates:
Early Registration opens: April 10, 2019 (US) / April 11, 2019 (AUS)
Early Registration closes: May 17, 2019 (US) / May 18, 2019 (AUS)
All Full Conference Registration closes: June 7, 2019 (US) / June 8, 2019 (AUS)
Day and Guest Registration will remain open through the conference, space permitting.

Call for Entries: Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Program

The Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Program is hosting the 2019 Ocean Awareness Contest, for young artists, thinkers, and activists (ages 11-18). The program is seeking entries with the theme of Presence of the Future.

Applicants are asked to create a piece about a coastal/marine species, place, or system that will be threatened, altered, or lost due to climate change. Submissions accepted include visual art, poetry, prose, film, and music. Deadline for submission - June 17th, 2019.

Accepted artists’ works will have an opportunity to exhibit in pop-up art shows and film screenings sponsored by the Bow Seat Program. Awards will also be presented to winners in their age divisions. A detailed call for entry and submission can be found here

2019 Paleoartists Survey

The blog Love in the Time of Chasmosaurus is conducting a survey of paleoartists to understand how paleoartists practice their craft: how they research their work, what they charge their clients, how they work towards scientific rigor and avoid repeating errors in existing work. The anonymous survey can be found here.

 

Submissions Open: The Art of Planetary Science

TAPS 2019 Call for EntryThe Art of Planetary Science is an annual art exhibition run by the University of Arizona’s Lunar and Planetary Laboratory that celebrates the beauty and elegance of space science and related science fields.

Submissions for fine art and data art are accepted through August 2nd, 2019. The exhibit will be held from November 15th through 17th at the University of Arizona in Tucson. Find out more information and submission instructions here.

 

2019 Members Exhibit Call For Entries

The GNSI and AMBI Members' Digital Exhibit - Call for Entries is Open!

GNSI AMBI Call for Entry 2019Rendering Science - Clarity and Concepts

GNSI is excited to join with the AIMBI (Australian Institute of Medical and Biological Illustration) for our 2019 Conference Exhibit, digitally displayed at the Queensland Museum in Brisbane, opening reception July 1, 2019, at 7 pm.

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GNSI President's Message - Reprographic Rights

Two organizations - (1) the American Society of Illustrators Partnership, Inc. (ASIP),
teamed with Artist Rights Society (ARS), and, more-recently formed, (2) The American
Society for Collective Rights Licensing, Inc. (ASCRL) - are promoting distributions of
European reprographic royalties. The GNSI Board has been asked to give their formal
endorsement to or assessment of these organizations.
 
The GNSI Board of Directors, on behalf of GNSI, Inc., cannot endorse any organization
involved with royalty distribution nor advise members on their personal financial
decisions related to those organizations.
 
The GNSI Board of Directors acts according to our mission: “GNSI connects professionals
who promote, educate, and celebrate the visual communication of science”. 
 
If a member wishes to understand the future directions of these reprographic rights and
royalties organizations, they can contact ASIP and ASCRL directly.
 
Most sincerely,
Sara L. Taliaferro, GNSI President

Extended DEADLINE: Abstracts for GNSI 2019 in Brisbane, Australia

Due March 7, 2019

If you would like to be considered for a presentation, panel, workshop or spot in the Techniques Showcase, please fill out the form here and upload your abstract. If you are not yet completely sure that you will be able to attend, please submit an abstract now and let us know in the submission that your plans are not yet final.

Abstracts are due by March 7, 2019.  We will send out notifications accepting/declining submissions by March 15, 2018.  The initial abstract submission form is much less detailed this year; if your submission is accepted, you will be asked to provide further information and materials for conference promotion and program.

Please contact Samantha Peters ([email protected]) with questions or to further discuss your abstract.

BioImages 2019 - Call for Entries

BioImages is an annual visual media competition that showcases the finest still, graphics and motion media work in the life sciences and medicine.

Entries will be judged on impact, composition, clarity, content, technique, lighting, image quality, presentation, creativity, originality and effective use of the medium to fulfill its stated purpose. Deadline for entries is March 31st, 2019. You can find detailed information on application and awards here

Our BRAND NEW Website

Early this winter, you will be surprised with all the new and improved features at your same trusted URL of many years: www.gnsi.org. We are so proud about the upcoming GNSI website that we wanted to tell you all about it!

It’s interesting to recall that our online presence began in 1998 with a one-page static website created and maintained by GNSI member and webmaster Heike Blum. Step back in time and take a look. We have archived this legacy website to preserve the institutional memory and history: wayback.archive-it.org/10600/20180822190052/https://legacy.gnsi.org/.

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2019 GNSI CONFERENCE is in Brisbane, Australia, June 29 - July 6, 2019

GROW YOUR SKILLS. EXPAND YOUR NETWORK. INSPIRE CURIOSITY.

Each summer, the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators hosts a fun-filled week for artists, scientists, and educators from across the nation. The GNSI Annual Conference offers endless opportunities for brainstorming, professional development, and sharing local attractions alongside some of the brightest individuals in our field.  

With 160–200 attendees, every event provides enough diversity to catalyze great conversations and address different skill levels and interests while ensuring a comfortable environment for interacting and networking.

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GNSI President's Message

Sara Taliafero Presidents MessageDearest GNSI Members,

As we navigate through a season that in North America includes the winter solstice and day with the shortest span of daylight in our calendar year, I am in a reflective mood. Since accepting the honor of serving as President of the Guild this summer, I have enjoyed the challenges and rewards inherent in collaborating with the diverse and rich leadership and expertise that all of you bring to this organization. My every meeting and correspondence has deepened my respect for each of you and broadened my hope for what we are and what we can become.

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GNSI Service Awards

The Guild of Natural Science Illustrators has three awards with which it can recognize the dedication and long-time efforts of its members. These are:

The Distinguished Service Award (DS): Established in 1994, this award is given to long-term dedicated workers, those who have put in countless hours and have usually served both on the Board and have coordinated conferences or portions of conferences. The award is given after several years of ongoing service on the part of the member.

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Call for Abstracts for GNSI 2019 in Brisbane, Australia

The deadline for abstracts is coming up!  

Please note that the abstract submission process will be a little different this year than it has been in recent years.  If you would like to be considered for a presentation, panel, workshop or spot in the Techniques Showcase, please fill out the form here and upload your abstract.  Abstracts are due by February 28, 2019.  

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Book Release: Skeletal Anatomy of the North American Pangolin

Pangolin Julia Morgan ScottThe Smithsonian Scholarly Press most recent publication features the work of GNSI member Julia Morgan Scott, alongside that of Larry Isham (1922-2011), GNSI founding member. The “Skeletal Anatomy of the North American Pangolin Patriomanis Americana (Mammalia, Pholidota) from the Latest Eocene of Wyoming (USA)”, written by Timothy J. Gaudin, Robert J. Emry, and Jeremy Morris, is a classic example of a high-quality science illustration-enhanced research report. The publication and art are more than 14 years in the making. When you think of a hardcore science illustration project, this is a great example.

You can examine the entire collection of art, and the science content, online in PDF form.

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How Art/Design Competitions Exploit Artists - and what you can do about it

As an illustrator, I’m frequently confronted with work “opportunities” that do not merit consideration, and I know I’m not alone. The impetus for this article was my frustration at being invited — yet again — to enter a contest where I don’t get paid to submit a design and if my design wins, the prize isn’t worth my effort anyway. These types of contests exploit artists. (I’m using “artists” here to refer to all types of creative professionals, including illustrators, graphic designers, fine artists, and photographers). It’s called “spec work” — work done without guarantee of any compensation, though usually with the hope of gaining some reward. I’ve been thinking that it would be worthwhile for the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators to make a statement on such exploitative contests, and for its website to offer advice to the organizers of such competitions — many of whom don’t realize that they’re exploiting anyone. That way, artists like me can refer contest organizers to the website instead of typing up a long explanation or worse yet, saying nothing at all. We can make a difference in how artists are treated, one competition at a time.

What types of competitions am I referring to?
The contest I mentioned above was a t-shirt design contest held by a not-for-profit scientific organization. The guidelines were thorough; the design needed to be very specific to a location and event, and the organizers even went so far as to say “[We] shall have the right to edit, duplicate, or alter the entry design for any purpose which it deems necessary or desirable, without the need for any further compensation, and/or permission.”  So what compensation could one expect for one’s creative efforts? In this case, a free t-shirt. Seriously.

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Book Review: Nature Mandalas

Leopard Frog Leaping, Tim Phelps

There is no doubt that Tim Phelps is a very talented natural science artist: a quick glance at his faculty website at Johns Hopkins University reveals meticulously accurate illustrations of the dog musculoskeletal system, alternative routes for venous outflow from the human brain, techniques for carotid artery anastomosis, and others. 

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Book Review: Name Those Grasses; Identifying Grasses, Sedges and Rushes

Grasses are notoriously difficult to identify, ask any botanist. Having evolved along the same basic physical plan and superficially resembling one another, grasses must be identified by studying tiny structures that cannot be observed without magnification. By default, this has traditionally been left to experts, who still have difficulty separating species. Because of the exactitude involved, written descriptions in botanical atlases and floras are written by and for experts. Most laypeople turn away in bewilderment, wishing that some interpretive guide existed that could help to decipher the code.

And now one does! Ian Clarke’s book, Name Those Grasses; Identifying Grasses, Sedges, and Rushes helps those without specialized knowledge use identification manuals and botanical keys and clarifies the identification of grasses and grass-like plants. Stuffed with practical information, the book is designed, written, and profusely illustrated with ink/scraperboard drawings and color photographs by Clarke. He knows his topic well, having worked in the botanical field for more than 40 years, first for the University of Melbourne School of Botany and later for the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria’s identification and information services. He has a longtime interest in botanical illustration and has served on the selection panel for many botanical art exhibitions.

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