[Compiled] 2011 GNSI Annual Conference

2011 conference logo

 

>2011 GNSI annual conference logo by Dave Ehlert

Read More

Call for Exhibits: Nature’s Medicine Chest–Plants, Animals, Minerals

The Greater New York Chapter of the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators in conjunction with Highstead Arboretum of Redding Connecticut requests submissions from members for an exhibition to be held at the Highstead Arboretum from Saturday, September 10 through Saturday, October 29, 2011.

Submission deadline: Monday June 20, 2011.

Read More

GNSI members interviewed by ArtPlantae

Recently three members of the GNSI have been featured by the online magazine ArtPlantae Today.

Bring the Ocean Into Your Classroom

Read More

Copperplate Etching

Copperplate image1It’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 introduction to the medium and I was hooked as soon as I pulled my first crude print. A few years later two women opened a small print studio in my town. I rent time there, bringing my own paper, copper, and ink, while sharing chemicals, solvents and a printing press in a well-lit ventilated space. Several of us occasional printmakers interact there, learning from, inspiring, and teaching one another.

Creating a print is a labor-intensive process involving many stages, beginning with a sketch. I plan my composition carefully, choosing an image (usually a plant) that I feel intimately connected to and will be content to look at over and over again. My design needs to fit within the confines of a piece of copper and must allow for the fact that the image will be reversed when printed.

Read More

Magic on a Plane: Lenticulars

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.

Read More

You Get What You Pay For

This post was originally published in Symbiartic , a Scientific American blog, and is reproduced here with permission.

Last week, a very prominent artist in the paleontology community somewhat publicly blew a gasket. His tirade started a conversation that has been sorely in need of attention for some time now. At issue is a fundamental conflict of interests: between science and its tradition of cumulative knowledge, and the rights of the artists who contribute so heavily to such knowledge. It’s a conflict that has irked both artists and researchers, but as budgets tighten and opportunities dwindle, artists are increasingly getting the short end of the stick.

Read More

2010 Illustrating Nature Exhibit

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 Amadeo Bachar.

As an alumnus of the program and its current teaching assistant, it has been a joy to see the positive changes to the program that have come about as a result of the move to CSUMB. A larger studio allows more space for students to work, and the proximity to sites such as the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Point Lobos State Reserve, and the Big Sur coast (to name a few) have provided new opportunities for sketching and inspiration. And there is still a coffee shop in the nearby library for that needed afternoon pick-me-up.

Read More

Science Illustrator Research Opportunity

Apply to sail on the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) “Superfast Spreading Rate Crust 4” Expedition 335, aboard the scientific research vessel, JOIDES Resolution. IODP Expedition 335 will be the fourth research expedition of the "Superfast" campaign to drill a deep hole into intact oceanic crust. This expedition will return to Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) Hole 1256D off the coast of Costa Rica to deepen ODP Hole 1256D by a significant distance into cumulate gabbros. Cores and data recovered during the Superfast 4 Expedition will provide new observations that will be used to evaluate and test models of the accretion and evolution of the oceanic crust.

Deadline to apply is 21 February. Expedition dates: 13 April-3 June 2011.

Read More

GNSI Members start program at the Yale Peabody Museum

Yale Peabody MembersFour Connecticut GNSI artists: Dorie Petrochko from Oxford, Susannah Graedel from Madison, Cindy Gilbane from West Haven, and Jan Prentice from Branford, have launched a new art program at the Yale Peabody Museum Education Center’s West Campus location in Orange, CT.

The newly formed group: Connecticut Natural Science Illustrators (CTNSI) offers beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels of drawing and painting of natural science subjects and habitat studies. Spring semester classes begin February 9 and continue until June 4, 2011. Courses offered are Fundamentals of Natural Science Illustration, Botanical Illustration in Watercolor, Pen and Ink: Basic Techniques, Pen and Ink: Natural Science Specimens, Drawing and Painting Birds, Natural Science Illustration in Mixed Media, and Botanical Oil Painting.

Read More

Painting with Gouache

Editor’s note: The 2010 reissue of this article is a modification of the original. Two of the illustrations are replaced with different subject matter for purposes of better color reproduction. All illustrations in the original print edition are in black and white.

The field of Scientific Illustration often demands the production of highly detailed, accurate renderings that must survive the less-than-perfect world of photographic reproduction. The collaborative efforts between artist and researcher/author require the illustrator to adopt a most flexible approach so as to accommodate the likely revisions that are inherent in such arrangements. Additionally, it is the nature of the illustration field to impose deadlines that preclude the use of time-consuming approaches and techniques, favoring instead those media that can be handled with relative speed. Gouache is a medium that addresses these concerns and is an excellent choice for scientific illustrators finding themselves challenged by these considerations. Gouache is perfectly suited for precise, detail-oriented paintings in both full color and black and white. Its predictable tonal quality, vibrant hues, and fast drying time combine to make it a popular choice among designers and commercial illustrators. Opaque qualities allow for the layering of details that permits multiple revisions, and because of the picture's flat surface it is easily reproduced photo-mechanically.

Read More

Call for Exhibit: Morton Arboretum

GNSI Exhibit at the Morton Arboretum (Feb. 15 - June 4, 2011), open to all GNSI members in good standing.

Subject matter: all scientific illustration, no medical illustration

Please include a brief description of the work and the reason it was created.

Read More

Scanning, scanning, scanning

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.

Scanning Large Artwork

Rick L. Simonson: Does anyone have a good method for getting large (maybe 24” x 36”) traditional artwork into the computer? Scanning seems like a good idea, unfortunately, large format scanners are quite expensive. I suppose I could scan it multiple times and stitch it together in Photoshop. Or send it to a large format scanning service?

Read More

Call For Exhibits: 2011 Margaret Flockton Award

The Award Committee of the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney has announced details for the upcoming 2011 Margaret Flockton Award and Exhibition.

Illustrators are invited to submit one or two original scientific botanical illustrations in black and white by close of business Friday 4th Feb 2011. Prize money:1st prize—$5000 AUD, 2nd prize—$2000 AUD, plus three Highly Commended awards will be presented upon the opening of the exhibition on Thursday 31 March 2011.

Read More

Sharpening Colored Pencils

This installment of Ripped from the List reviews a recent listserv thread that dealt with techniques for sharpening colored pencils.

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 wiggle. I should probably note that I use the little red General sharpeners. Does anyone have any experience with the Dahle pencil sharpener? If it works as stated it might be worth the $50.

Read More

Cleaning Clayboard

This installment of Ripped from the List reviews one recent listserv thread that dealt with techniques for cleaning clayboard.

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.

Read More

Britt Griswold featured in the Big Bang Theory

One of the fruits of my collaborations in the NASA WMAP project is an Education Outreach product - the WMAP beach ball. It is a great educational tool for explaining the shape and origins of the universe. 

This fall our in-house astrophysics EPO group did an interview with me, about the creation of the ball, for their "Blueshift" Blog.

Read More

Artist For Conservation's virtual exhibit

In 2010, in lieu of a live gallery exhibit, the Artists for Conservation (AFC) is producing its first virtual exhibit. In future years, this will complement live gallery exhibits and make them more widely accessible to an international audience. The Artists for Conservation mission is to support wildlife and habitat conservation, biodiversity, sustainability, and environmental education through art that celebrates our natural heritage.

Several GNSI members are part of AFC's 500 member organization, including Patricia Savage, Barry MacKay, John Megahan, and Linda Feltner.

Read More

2010 GNSI Educational Series Workshop: review

CLASSROOM OF STUDENTS AT WORK. PHOTO BY D. K.B. CHEUNGThe Smithsonian Natural History Museum was once again the setting for the 2010 GNSI Educational Series workshop, which took place March 18-21, 2010. Here, at an institution “dedicated to inspiring curiosity, discovery, and learning,” a wide diversity of participants from traditional media illustrators to scientists to comic book illustrators, gathered to engage themselves in new techniques that will help them succeed in an increasingly digital world. Many previous students returned this year to further refine their skills and take advantage of the diverse learning community.

Lessons were organized and led by Marie Metz, GNSI educational director and former Smithsonian Illustrator, Jennifer Fairman, a professor at Johns Hopkins University, and David Clarke, president of the Washington D.C. chapter of GNSI. The workshop began with a talk about the synergistic relationship between science/technology and illustration, by guest lecturer Dr. James Giordano, University of Oxford. Beginning with a discussion of prehistoric cave drawings and our innate human ability to communicate visually, Dr. Giordano explained the role illustration plays in the communication of scientific knowledge. He also gave examples of how illustration furthers science and vice versa. Participants left the lecture inspired and ready to begin learning.

Read More

Shipping Artwork

Artists love to show their work: it’s an artist’s stage and performance. Transporting artwork to a local gallery is comparatively simple, usually involving only the time to carry the pieces to an exhibition. Shipping to a distant location, however, can be more difficult. And more disappointing if the artwork is returned damaged. Or not returned at all. A modicum of planning should make this process more successful, and relatively anxiety-free. However, one should remember Murphy’s Fourth Law: Mother Nature always sides with the hidden flaw in the system. Since the “system” includes a huge transportation network, one should be prepared for the occasional, often incongruous, surprise.

Timing

Whenever possible, give the preparation, packaging, and shipping of artwork the time it deserves. And well before the deadline so you won’t be hurrying. Uh-huh. And the rest of us humans should seriously consider shipping to an exhibit at least a month before the opening. Imagine a gallery operator receiving a hundred pieces of artwork the same week as an exhibit opening, and I’m certain you can also imagine that some of the artwork won’t receive the care and attention it deserves.

Read More

Vesalius Trust Award applications open

The Vesalius Trust for Visual Communication in the Health Sciences is  accepting applications for the 2011 Dr. Frank H. Netter Award for Special  Contributions to Medical Education. This award is given annually in  recognition of the development of visually-oriented educational materials  that have made a significant contribution to the advancement of education and  research in the health sciences. There is no application fee. The award  includes a plaque and monetary award of US$1,000. Past winners have made  innovative contributions in healthcare education including anatomical models,  books, simulators, videos, and interactive learning materials. More  information is available on the Vesalius Trust website.  

http://www.vesaliustrust.org/scholarships.html#Netter