[Compiled] 2011 GNSI Annual Conference

2011 conference logo


>2011 GNSI annual conference logo by Dave Ehlert




2011 GNSI Annual Conference Announcement

2011 GNSI Conference Announcement in Olympia, WashingtonDate: July 10, 2011 - 12:00pm to July 17, 2011 - 12:00am

Location: Olympia, Washington – The Evergreen State College

Join us for an exciting week of art, workshops, lectures, and field trips.  We will be located on the very edge of the Olympic Peninsula- just outside Olympia, the capital of Washington State. The college has apartment-style lodgings a very short walk from the central campus and cafeterias (featuring organic and local foods). Dorm space is limited, so plan to sign up early.

>2011 GNSI Conference Announcement in Olympia, Washington

For those in need of greater comforts, hotel lodgings can be found within a five-minute drive of the campus.

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 accessible 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, too. The Evergreen Gallery opened in the spring of 2009. You can read more about it, and see a slideshow of the opening day. It features a dedicated area for video projection—a perfect opportunity to show off animated science illustration pieces. 

Can’t make it to the conference? You can submit artwork even if you can’t be in Olympia. Online slideshows of accepted work will be featured on the conference website as well on GNSI.org, so you’ll be able to share the links and bask in the glory all the same.

2011 conference logo

Are you curious about our 2011 GNSI conference logo?

“Tako the Octo” was created by David Ehlert (tako is Japanese for octopus). A Northwest native, the Giant North Pacific Octopus, Enteroctopus dofeini, is an interesting creature that most people do not normally think about when conjuring up ideas of the Pacific Northwest. It is one of the largest octopus species in the world. These creatures certainly may be giants, with one record length measuring 7.5 meters (23 ft) and weighing 182 kg (400 lbs), but divers say they are gentle and curious. Although we can’t promise you will see one that is that big (most are about 1-5 m, 23-41 kg), we will have at least one field trip opportunity that will allow for participants to see one or two up close. For the 2011 GNSI Conference, we want to give participants the opportunity to discover new and unique things in the Pacific Northwest you may not have known previously. We hope your curiosity is piqued and that you will join us at the next annual conference, July 10-16, in Washington State’s capital city, Olympia, to discover more about this and other interesting life forms and features found in our diverse ecosystems.

The 2011 conference website is now available to the public. It contains basic conference information, regional and local information, and areas of interest. Specific conference details such as presentations, workshops, and field trips, registration, etc. will be added to the website as they come together in the months ahead, but we are planning to have a good variety of topics and outings with talented presenters/ instructors to please many interests. There are more places and topics of interest than we can possibly squeeze into one conference week, so you may want to plan ahead and extend your stay to explore, discover, and to experience even more adventures (check the conference website for links to some of the many things to do).


Conference Location:

The Evergreen State College (TESC), is a unique place with interesting architecture and mostly native flora in the landscape, which adds to the charm. The developed campus area is compact and easy to walk. It is situated in the heart of a 1,000-acre forest owned by the school on the southern edge of the Puget Sound, the Eld Inlet, which includes 3,300 ft of undeveloped tidal beach habitat. Check out a virtual tour of the campus. Due to the forest, it has a remote feeling but is only about 6 miles from downtown Olympia. Being surrounded by forest and bordering tidal beach also means that there will be ample sources of inspiration for our creative muses just outside any given door or window on campus, or along a campus trail. As an added bonus, the western Washington region has relatively few outdoor pests or poisonous plants to worry about when out exploring the trails, and it has a mild climate. The mild climate makes for a nice way to beat the heat compared to other parts of the country in the summer, but be sure to be prepared for possible cool, wet weather too.

GNSI 2011 Exhibition Call for Entries

2011 GNSI conference exhibit spaceThe 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 accessible 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, too.

>2011 GNSI conference exhibit space

The GNSI Annual Exhibit is open to all members, and we encourage you to enter one or two of your science or nature-related illustrations. This juried exhibit will feature original artwork or gallery-quality prints of work created either with traditional or digital techniques or a mix thereof. The jury will consist of 3 to 5 highly skilled artists or scientists who, though not members of GNSI, are creators or users of the type of art that we make.

  • Entry forms must be postmarked by March 28 or received by April 1, 2011
  • Notice of acceptance will be sent by Monday, May 2, 2011.
  • Artwork must be delivered to the Evergreen Gallery between June 1 and June 17, 2011. (Shipping details come with acceptance letters).
  • Exhibit Dates: July 10—Oct. 9, 2011. (Limited gallery hours during summer term)
  • Exhibit reception will take place during the GNSI Conference held at the Evergreen State University, from July 10–16, 2011.

2011 GNSI Conference Registration is Open

April 6, 2011 - 5:53pm

2011 National Conference Registration now OPEN!

Register by mail, or use the online option.

Sign up early to ensure you get into the workshops and field trips of choice. Campus housing is limited. This will likely be a popular conference and spaces may fill up fast. The public is invited to join us to learn more about our trade and the art and science behind it all, so let your friends know! We look forward to seeing YOU at the conference in Olympia, WA, July 10-16th!

The registration form is in the April Newsletter. The electronic version is free to GNSI members.

You can download the registration form alone form the GNSI conference website.

You can register online now!

The GNSI's brand new online registration tool was developed by Deborah Shaw and her associates at dbShawStudios. Deb is a Guild member and has moved into online development as well. We want to thank her and her group for moving us to this new level of service for our members!

GNSI Conference Auction Call!

May 9, 2011

Going Once…Going twice…SOLD!

Are you getting excited yet for the 2011 GNSI conference? Those of us hosting the event sure are excited! We are looking forward to the learning, to meeting new folks interested in natural science illustration, and to sharing the natural wonders of our region. 

The Annual Auction is one of the many events sure to be good for laughs and a good time, but we need YOU to make it so…We need your donations and we need YOU to show up to score some awesome treasures! Best of all, everyone who participates in benefits! Those who win their bids get to take home fabulous finds, those who donate get to see the excitement and laughs generated by their contributions, GNSI and its mission benefit from the support generated (proceeds are split 50/50 with the general and education funds—directing the benefit back to members!), and everyone benefits from the good time at both the silent and live auction events.

If you haven’t already started thinking about what you’d like to contribute, please do so now! GNSI needs YOU! We want the silliest stuff or the most sublime, and anything in between—new or used items that have plenty of life left, original art or prints, perhaps you have extra copy of your recently (or not so recently) published book(s) to share, extra art supplies, Aunt Myrtle’s fruitcake left over from the holidays (no mold please!)—We’ll take it! Tako the Octo is looking forward to seeing what you can come up with, so let’s not disappoint her. Your donations (and bids) are a fabulous way of supporting the Guild (and possibly freeing up more space in your studio too…so you have room for the treasures you are sure to find at the auction!).

If you can’t attend the auction but want to donate, or just want to send your items ahead of time (after June 1st), contact Natalie C. Please include a brief description, approximate or actual value, and your name and contact info. We thank you!

Remember to register for conference attendance now with our new online registration system!

—Audrey A. Miles Cherney, GNSI 2011 Conference Chair

GNSI 2011 Conference in Olympia Washington May Update

May 20, 2011

The Guild of Natural Science Illustrators is celebrating its 42nd year with a National Conference in Olympia, WA, July 10-16th!  Many intriguing presentations, workshops and field trips, as well as networking opportunities, are available to all who are interested in science and art.

Registration is now open and available to the public. Join in the fun! Membership is not a requirement. There are over 35 presentations, 11 workshops, and 10 field trips and more from which to choose during this week-long event. Come for the whole week or a single day. We look forward to seeing you there! 

To save money, folks are encouraged to sign up before June 1st.

Also, it's not too late to become a conference sponsor or donor. Contact Audrey Miles Cherney for more information.

Audrey A. Miles Cherney
GNSI-NW President, 2011 National Conference Chair

Below are just some of the interesting opportunities that await all who come:


2011 Keynote teaserHumpback Whales: Ocean Salubrious, Dr. Fred Sharpe

Despite great odds, humpback whales are recovering the world over. Their survival intelligence speaks for itself, yet we still know little of these ancient minds. The humpback's brain is laced with spindle neurons, which in humans are linked to judgment, intuition, and social intelligence. Their ocean migrations are the longest of any mammal as they voyage through social networks of hundreds, perhaps thousands of other whales.

In the Pacific Northwest humpbacks band together in pods nearly two-dozen strong. To capture elusive fishes, these mutualists employ the use of tools and will task specialize. Diving below herring shoals, a centurion whale gives deafening trumpet cries that frighten fish up from the deep. Another leader swims in a great circle and blows a spiral bubble trap. The phalanx of whales then bursts through the surface with giant maws agape to devour the silver, wriggling prey.

These complex behaviors are a challenge to study, yet they are a gift for the behavioral ecologist and natural history educator. With images, video, and recordings of their evocative cries, we will celebrate the humpback's enigmatic, and at times imponderable lives.

>Humpback whale, image courtesy of Dr. Fred Sharpe

2011 GNSI keynote CraigFriends or Foes: The Art, Science, and Cultural Connections between People and Crows, Dr. David P. Craig

>Crow Behaviors, image courtesy of Dr. David P. Craig

Crows and the rest of their corvid cousins such as ravens, magpies, and jays are famous for their intelligence and for their capacity to flourish in the company of humans and the landscapes they create. Researchers from the University of Washington and Willamette University studying the rapidly expanding populations of crows in both Seattle, WA, and Salem, OR have found that American Crows can actually distinguish between individual human faces within a crowd. Using a diverse collection of artful imagery and a few original illustrations of his own, one of the investigators, Dr. David P. Craig, will describe how the studies were done and what conclusions can be drawn about crow behavior and development. The ability to recognize individual people probably gives crows and their kin an evolutionary edge in the modern world with more human faces and more habitat changes than any other time in history. Everyone has a crow story and crow stories new and old have made for some inspired art. 


2011 GNSI conference workshop Trudy Nicholson

Discovering Scratchboard with Trudy Nicholson

Participants will discover the potentials and excitement of ink or pencil on scratchboard, where contrasts produce dramatic, luminous effects.

>Image credit: Trudy Nicholson

2011 Workshop Scott RawlinsFaking Antiquities with Scott Rawlins

In this workshop, participants will experiment with polymer clay using different color and texture combinations, adding various non-clay substances, and molding and baking it to create artificial jade, ivory, and amber.

>Image credit: Scott Rawlins

2011 Workshop Janeen SchisslerWatercolor: Create That Glow with Transparent Layers with Janeen Schissler

In this workshop, Janeen will take you through the centuries-old watercolor technique where thin, transparent washes of color are laid on each other in consecutive, dry layers. This glazing technique allows the light to pass through and reflect off of the underlying colors and the paper.

>Image credit: Janeen Schissler

2011 Workshop Stephen DiCerboChokusetsu-ho Gyotaku: An introduction to Japanese Fish Printing with Stephen DiCerbo

Used to identify species of fish and record size of catches, gyotaku is often seen as a parallel to Taxidermy. It has evolved into an art form and a unique type of illustration and techniques and methodology continue to be refined today. A form of relief printmaking, it allows for an intimate familiarity with the morphology of the fish.

>Image credit: Stephen DiCerbo

2011 Workshop Frank Ippolito

Digital: Advanced Photoshop Rendering with Frank Ippolito

In this full-day workshop, we will take a look at features on Photoshop CS Extended that allow the artist to take their renderings to the next level.

2011 Workshop Marj Leggitt Patricia SavageDiscovering the Landscape in Pastels with Marjorie Leggitt/Patricia Savage

Discovering a landscape is always a challenge. This workshop leads students through the steps from sketch to a final a pastel painting.

>Image Credit: Marjorie Leggitt & Patricia Savage

2011 Workshop Nancy HallidayParallel Line Illustration with Nancy Halliday

The use of parallel lines for shading and defining form is a classic technique in medical and scientific illustration.

2011 Workshop Irene HoriuchiWatercolor: Iridescence and Hummingbirds with Irene Horiuchi

The Iridescence of a hummingbird is like a small jewel and 23K gold leaf is used as an accent. Several methods will be included in the workshop.

2011 Workshop John CodyWatercolor Workshop: From Wet-in-wet to Dry-on- dry with John Cody

In this two-day workshop, learn the technique from a master watercolor artist, John Cody, of a method of creating a perfectly graded background wash going from one edge of the paper to the other (and over a masked drawing of some object) proceeding from the lightest tint to the deepest possible value of the same color.

Digital: An Introduction to E-on Vue's 3D Landscaping with Nicolle Rager Fuller

The 3d software, Eon Vue, is used by big Hollywood studios for backdrop landscapes in movies like Indiana Jones and Avatar. Discover how it can be a useful tool for the science illustrator in geological cutaways, ecological illustrations, astronomy, and more.

2011 Workshop Linda FeltnerLive Animal Drawing: Raptors with Linda M. Feltner

Remind yourself why you love drawing animals. Enjoy live models that are educational animals that are accustomed to people. This year we will investigate drawing raptors. A variety of hawks, falcons or owls will be brought for our close examination and drawing opportunity.


  • Overnight Mini-Conference in Port Townsend: Orca Whales, Pacific Northwest Marine Life, and Botany
  • Burke Museum
  • Willapa Bay
  • Mt. St. Helens National Volcanic Monument
  • Museum of Glass
  • Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge
  • Downtown Seattle: Octopus Presentation and Sketching at the Seattle Aquarium, and Seattle's Famous Pike Place Market
  • Squaxin Island Museum Taylor Shellfish Farms

...And so much more to be found at the 2011 conference!

GNSI Intern Produces Promo for Conference

June 15, 2011

2011 Conference Flyer

The 2011 GNSI Conference intern has produced a great poster!  Many thanks to intern Natalie Concillo for tackling this important need!  Download and print the flyer so your friends and work colleagues know that you have something important to attend this summer!

GNSI Annual Exhibit Sneak Peek

June 14, 2011

Here is a peek at a few of the wonderful images being presented at this year's annual Members exhibit.

2011 Exhibit Steve Buchanan2011 Exhibit Nicolle Fuller2011 Exhibit Alice Tangerini2011 Exhibit Sara Menon

 >Image credit: Steve Buchanan; Nicolle Rager Fuller, Alice Tangerini, Sara Menon

This year, the GNSI annual exhibit had 138 entries submitted to the jury. The 82 artists who applied came from the United States, Canada, Portugal, and Italy. The jury ultimately selected 64 works by 49 artists to be in the exhibition.

We are proud to have these 64 wonderful works representing the GNSI to the Olympia Washington community and the world.

GNSI Conference registration -now it is instantaneous!

Dear GNSI Members and Followers:

The online registration system for the 2011 GNSI conference in Olympia, WA is now up and running! It's been much anticipated. Thank you for your patience, if this is what you have been waiting for to finally register. Sign up now to ensure your preferred workshops or field trips will be available to you as they are already beginning to fill. You'll also be able to sign up any guests at the same time. The June 1st late fee deadline is fast approaching. There is no reason to wait any longer to plan a great trip to the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State!

The GNSI's brand new online registration tool was developed by Deborah Shaw and her associates at dbShawStudios. Deb is a Guild member and has moved into online development as well. We want to thank her and her group for moving us to this new level of service for the Guild!

Visit the GNSI 2011 Conference website to learn all about the amazing experience awaiting you in Olympia Washington in July!

GNSI 2011 Conference News!

The 2011 GNSI conference is now less than one month away, and the GNSI conference staff is humming with last minute planning, organizing, and preparations. They are very excited to soon see GNSI members from all over descending on Olympia, Washington for a full week of learning, sharing, and fun. We would love to see you there as well. If you are still trying to decide if you can make it, time will soon run out (and we do hope you can make it!). You can register online.

When you arrive you will be greeted with Groovy color-changing mood pencils and handmade artisan sketch journals with custom GNSI conference Tako the Octo logo cover, hydration support with logo water bottles, and a tote to carry your conference necessities and niceties are all on their way in from the makers! These are fun mementos of your conference adventures yet to come, and so practical too! If you haven’t already ordered yours, be sure to pick some up at the conference, but the quantities are limited!

T-shirt order deadline is June 15th. If you don’t order one now, you may not get one. Don’t be left out! These are awesome shirts made to last! Available only at the 2011 conference, Olympia, WA. Get 'em while you can! Review the Goodies!

We have a late addition of another section of the very popular "Watercolor: Create That Glow with Transparent Layers" a half-day workshop for Saturday afternoon June 16th. Contact the registrar. if you would like to get in on the action!

There is still time to support your Guild, even if you can not make it to the conference: Auction Items are being accepted by mail. Include a brief description, approximate or actual value, and your name and contact info. and send them to the auction coordinator.

GNSI Conference Registration Warning!

To all who are planning to attend this year's GNSI conference 2011, Olympia, WA:

Some Workshops and Field trips are filling up fast. And the Conference committee will be opening slots up to public participation (without requiring core registration) starting June 1st.

So I urge all GNSI members to register ASAP to make sure you get the events you want. Those attending the Core conference or a core day are given Workshop and Field trip slot preference until June 1st.

Share a Ride to the GNSI Conference!

The GNSI has set up a forum to exchange ridesharing information.

  • Offer a ride from the airport if you have a car. 
  • Ask for a ride if you need one.
  • Plan to meet and share a Shuttle ride
  • Work together to master the extremely inexpensive public bus ride to the conference.


You can review the transportation routes on the GNSI conference web site.  Log into your account and go to the Conference Travel Forum.

Happy Travels!

Thank you to our Sponsors

The GNSI 2011 Conference team has been putting some effort into wrangling sponsorship support. Audrey Miles Cherney, Conference Chair, has developed a sponsorship menu of offerings. She and her team have been working the local and not so local possibilities.  To date, eight sponsors donating goods and services or hard cash support have stepped forward on fairly short notice!

Especially exciting are substantial donations from the Savannah College of Art and Design and Denver Botanic Gardens Art and Illustration Program for the conference, and UW Professional & Continuing Education Certificate in Natural Science Illustration for the Art Exhibit!

Other donors include:


Strata 3D


Giclee Prints of Olympia WA

Olyphant Art Supply

Notes and acknowledgments:

This blog post is a compilation of multiple blog articles and announcements relating to the 2011 GNSI Annual conference.

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