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Member Spotlight: Rick Simonson

I was born in Minneapolis and grew up on a farm near Benson, Minnesota. Growing up on a farm certainly nurtured my interest in the natural world; I’ve always loved drawing and being outside.

Rick Simonson in StudioMy parents were always very supportive of everything I wanted to do, always encouraging my interests in art and science. Mom would often buy drawing paper and pencils for me; Dad built a great drawing table board that I still use. When I was a little kid, I would often make drawings of different types of animals and staple the sheets together to make simple books. I would create a book about spiders and one about snakes and so on. I never guessed that I would be doing the same type of work as a career.

(Left: In my studio working on a new drawing)

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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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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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