[Compiled] 2014 GNSI Annual Conference

2014 conference logo

Dates: July 13 - 19, 2014
Venue: CU Boulder, Boulder, CO

Go west, young artist and come to Boulder Colorado in 2014!

Admit it! You’ve been saving your time, energy, talent, and spare cash to visit the wild, rugged, and scenic west next summer. The University of Colorado in Boulder, Colorado will host the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators Annual Conference July 13-19, 2014. Expect to meet friends and colleagues, share your skills and expertise, and learn from some of the best talents in our organization.

The New 2014 Conference Website is up!

WHY COME TO A GNSI CONFERENCE? Here are just a few of the many comments we received about the Bar Harbor meeting from first-time attendees:

I came away from the 2013 GNSI conference feeling incredibly informed and energized, and even though science illustration is presently only a portion of my illustration career, I am a true naturalist at heart and it was absolutely invaluable to me to be able to network with so many close “peers”. -Natalya Zahn, MA

Everyone at the GNSI conference was so warm and welcoming that I left feeling inspired! Regardless of talent level, everyone was willing to help each other improve as an illustrator. What could be better? -Paul Krieger, MI

I was hesitant to attend b/c I'm not really a working illustrator(yet!)..but with the encouragement of my instructors at the NYBG, I did. And I met some great people, learned, and could have stayed another week if it was possible! -Jennifer Lucas, NY

BoulderBoulder, ranked one of the healthiest and brainiest cities in the US, sets itself apart from most cities its size. Nestled at the foot of the imposing crags of the Ancestral Rockies called the Flatirons, Boulder is not only home to 3 prodigious scientific research institutions NCAR, NIST and NOAA – National Center for Atmospheric Research, National Institute of Standards and Technology, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration – but flower-studded hiking trails, “in-your-backyard” vistas of the Rocky Mountains, excellent food & libations, art galleries, museums, and natural areas still haunted by the ghosts of pioneers and Paleoindians. Easy to access by car, shuttle, and bus, the city is only 30 minutes from downtown Denver and 45 minutes from Denver International Airport, one of the largest international airports in the world.

>Aerial view of CU Boulder

The University conference venue offers a state-of-the-art facility. The new Kittredge Commons and dorm complex provides housing and most of the Core Conference facilities. Nearby, the Center for Community dining center features 10 micro-restaurants for a true culinary experience. All other Conference activities are a short walk from the main complex.

Museum BoulderCU’s Natural History Museum, the Conference sponsor, hosts our annual juried art show. Its rich collection of fossils, Native American cultural artifacts, and biological treasures reflect and compliment the work we create in homage to the natural world.

Start making your travel plans. More details to follow soon!

>CU Natural History Museum

Annual Members' Exhibit

Exhibit venue 2014Call for Art - Feb. 1st - March 1st

If you are planning on exhibiting in the Annual Member’s Exhibition next year, please get these dates on your calendar!

>The University of Colorado Museum of Natural History

The 2014 GNSI Conference will be held on the University of Colorado Campus - Boulder. The University of Colorado Museum of Natural History will host the exhibit.

The Museum has scheduled the exhibit to open to the public on April 19 and close September 25, 2014. This will give the work far more exposure to the public than is typical of this event but it also means the entry date is much earlier than usual. So, start planning now!

  • Jan 1 - Call for Entries Notice
  • Feb 1 - Call for Entries -Online Submission
  • March 1 - Deadline for entries
  • March 14 - Art selection and notification
  • April 7 - 11 - Arrival of work at CU Museum
  • April 19 - Exhibit open
  • September 25 - Exhibit close

The Call is out for the Small Work Exhibit, with work no larger than 3.5” x 4”.

The Call is out for Auction Donations

The Call is out for Presenters

2014 Member Exhibit Call
January 9, 2014

Don't miss out!

2014 Annual Member's Exhibit CALL FOR ENTRIES runs February 1- March 1st.

cicadas by Alix LucasPlease refer to the pull-out center section of the recent Journal of Natural Science Illustration Vol 45, No 4 or visit the 2014 Conference website for information.

GNSI Members Exhibit Deadline is Fast Approaching

The deadline for this year's GNSI members Exhibit is only 10 days away!  If you have not yet entered your art, now is the time to JPG it, scan it, or snap a digital photo and submit it for consideration.

The entry process is all online this year, so check it out now in case you have any questions.  The show starts early, before the conference, and will be up for several months in a very nice gallery on the Boulder University Campus.

Venue: University of Colorado Museum of Natural History

The call deadline is March 1st.

More information is here

>Image credit: Alix Lucas


The GNSI Annual Auction

By Chiquita Auctianna (or if formal titles are your thing, the auction chair, how stuffy sounding)

auction with Ikumi and MarjHappy New Year, everyone! Chiquita Auctianna here with a friendly reminder that this summer, in Boulder, Colorado, a great event will take place: the GNSI Annual Auction. Woot, woot!

>Auction with Ikumi and Marj

For those of you who are new or need a refresher, the Annual Auction is an evening event held during the Annual Conference. It consists of a large silent auction and a smaller, but a no-less spirited live auction. It is always a blast.

But it doesn't happen in a vacuum; it is entirely fueled by donations by our generous members and sponsors. So, with the annual auction around the corner, Chiquita Auctianna is asking you to have a lookie around your studio with an eye for what to donate. Was Santa overly generous in December? Great! Consider a holiday purge to counteract that holiday binge. Gearing up for spring cleaning in your studio? Excellent; Chiquita is looking for stuff and things: everything from original art to extra art supplies to luxury vehicles (hey, why not?) is fair game. And if you have something obscure or sensational (Leslie Becker has put in a special request for worm poop this year, just sayin'), then by all means, bring it! Our live auction team needs fuel for their silliness if we are to have a raucous time.

So please, start scheming/collecting. Let's make the 2014 Auction memorable above all others! As a reminder, proceeds from the Auction are split between the Education Fund and the operating budget. A win-win, if you ask Chiquita, and I'm pretty sure you just did. Bring donations to the registration desk at the conference, or items can be mailed ahead of time (whether you are attending the meeting or not!) to:

Chiquita Auctianna's Cave of Wonders

Please be sure to include a note saying who you are, what the auction item is, and its approximate value. (Chiquita is better suited to smiling perty and nodding than she is to thinking critically, so best not to leave any executive decisions up to her.) On behalf of the GNSI, thanks in advance for the luxury vehicle!

GNSI Auction Update


David Killpack's Despite a sloppy spring snowstorm in Boulder, CO over Mother's Day, the sun is shining and gardens are showing the telltale signs of spring here in the Rockies. And you know what that means: Spring Cleaning! If the spirit moves you, and you are longing to see your horizontal surfaces again, Chiquita Auctianna would like to remind you that whatever you are not using in your studio would make a most delightful addition to the Annual Auction to be held Tuesday night of conference week (that's July 15th for you calendar-types). Proceeds of the Auction go to further the GNSI's educational mission of enlightening and teaching the world about science Illustration.

So clean out those closets and set those donations aside for the Annual Auction! Remember, the more room you reclaim in your studio, the more you can bid for the night of the auction...

In case you weren't already excited at the prospect of what will be up for grabs, here is a teaser from our book department: a brand, spankin'-new copy of John Gurche's incredible book, Shaping Humanity and James Gurney's show-stopping Color and Light both generously donated by Chiquita's pal, Hubbdub von Grubblestub. (See what a classy auction this is shaping up to be? My, my.) (Note: not all auction items need to be books written by men whose last names are six letters beginning with the letters G-U-R. If you have items that fall outside this exclusive category, please do not be discouraged. Add to our diverse offerings!)

As a reminder, donations may be brought to the conference and dropped at the Registration Desk. Alternatively, support your local postal service (they really need it!) and mail it to:

Chiquita Auctianna


Chiquita A.

A message from the Boulder Auction Chick

>Image: a portion of David Killpack's "defensive behaviors in a deep water cephalopod", one of many images in the annual GNSI member's exhibit at the GNSI 2014 boulder conference.

GNSI 2014 Conference Registration Is Open!

Join us in Boulder, where the mountains meet the plains!

2014 conference posterCome and enjoy one of a kind experience and enjoy the camaraderie of fellow illustrators in a beautiful setting. The Conference is filled with presentations, workshops and field trips designed to inspire. Some concentrate on technique, with experts in drawing, painting, scratchboard, block printing, Photoshop, Illustrator, and digital devices sharing their expertise. Others focus on the gritty details of making a living in this challenging, but exciting career. With so many choices, participants can customize their learning experience under the inspirational setting of Boulder’s Flatirons and modern CU campus.

>2014 Conference Poster

Register before May 30th and SAVE $50 on Full Registration!

Workshops and Mini-workshops

  • Live Animal Drawing
  • Building Backgrounds for Animal Subjects
  • Sculpting Insects in Polymer and Wire
  • Beginning Photoshop
  • Make Your Own Sketchbook, Then Use It!
  • Sketch A Storybook
  • Discovering Scratchboard Techniques
  • Colored Pencil Possibilities
  • Painting Small Animals
  • Osteology Sketching
  • From Sketch to Print
  • Intermediate Photoshop
  • Modeling in 3DS Max
  • Adobe Illustrator for Science Illust: Symbols
  • Sculpting Fossils, 2-day workshop
  • Watercolor, 2-day workshop
  • Social Media for Artists
  • Personal productivity with your iPad
  • Contract and Copyright


Field Trips

  • Dinosaur Ridge
  • Eldorado/Fowler Hike
  • CU Extravaganza
  • Wild Animal Sanctuary
  • NOAA Tour
  • Celestial/Dushanbe Teahouse
  • Avery Brew Pub
  • Denver Botanic Gardens/Natural History Museum
  • Rocky Mountain National Park, 2-day trip



  • Birth of the Beehive's Mesoamerica Resiste Illustration
  • Create Your Own Jobs and Get Paid to Travel
  • Using illustration to Teach 'Critical Looking' in a Zoology Lab
  • Making Photos and Art Press Ready
  • Hand-Painted Linoleum Block Prints
  • (Not Always) Funny Pages: Science Through Sequential Art
  • Marvelous Mucus: Learning about the Little-Known World of Land Snails
  • Tactile Graphics: Images for the Blind
  • Gyotaku -What your Third Grade Art teacher didn't tell you
  • Japan and its Fish Markets - a look at the fish art and culture of Japan
  • Saving a Tropical Jewel in the Heart of Vancouver
  • Nature-Based Sculpture
  • iPad Tips and Tricks
  • How to Work Faster Photoshop: Shortcuts and File Setups
  • Ready, Set, Sell! Proactive Marketing Strategies
  • Teaching Illustration as a Biology Course
  • The case of the Missing Beak: Kati the Kea
  • Saving the Kakapo from extinction--Expedition to New Zealand
  • Creating backgrounds combining traditional and digital techniques
  • Art Creation From the Client's Point of View
  • Lighting and Textures: Optimizing Your Renders
  • Botanical Illustration–Then and Now
  • Illustrating Nature: Stylized Realism for Children’s Books
  • An Exploration in Public Health Communication
  • More to come...

The 2014 GNSI CONFERENCE count-down....6 weeks to go!

Nancy Halliday/ a new species, the Olinguito, and its nearest relatives/ watercolorDid you know this year’s GNSI ANNUAL CONFERENCE in Boulder, Colorado is only 6 weeks away?

If you plan to attend, and you’ve been pondering the offerings for several weeks, now is the time to register. Remember, May 30th is your LAST CHANCE to get the Early Registration Discount. Until midnight on Friday, May 30th, save $50 on the Full registration fee or $10/day on Day registrations!

This year’s Conference is full of incredible presentations, workshops and field trips. Learn about the program and see the newly updated Conference Schedule. Although a few of the workshops and field trips are already full, there are still plenty of wonderful opportunities to choose from.

Since the Colorado weather pattern has brought banner spring moisture to the front range this year, the flowers and wildlife should be incredible. Consider the Campus walk-about (CU Extravaganza), one of the hiking trips or the overnight Rocky Mountain National Park field trip. Plan a few extra days before or after the Conference to explore the outstanding history, geology, biology and scenery of the Rockies. You will not be disappointed!

Whatever you decide to do, don’t wait too long! The clock is counting down!

I’m looking forward to welcoming all of you seasoned and first-time-to-attend Conference goers.


Marjorie Leggitt
Chair of the 2014 GNSI Conference – Boulder CO
July 13-19, 2014

>Image from the 2014 GNSI members exhibit: Nancy Halliday/ a new species, the Olinguito, and its nearest relatives/ watercolor


Ikumi Kayama, Northern Cardinals- graphite, transparent watercolor, Adobe PhotoshopBoulder, Colorado is the place to be for natural science illustrators July 13-19 this summer! Reserve your spot by May 30th to get the Early Bird rates. Refresh your skills, network with talented artists, meet new friends, take some fantastic workshops and field trips, bid on some outrageous auction items and don't forget to pick up some great gear when you register: shirts, tank tops, caps for work in the field, and mugs to hold your favorite drinks when the day is done.

There are still seats available in several field trips and workshops. Check out the Boulder-specific field trips: CU Extravaganza, Celestial Seasonings and Dushanbe tea tours, and an El Dorado Springs hike. If you're thinking about a workshop to add breadth and knowledge to your repertoire, sign up for the Sketch A Storybook, Photoshop Masks (Intermediate) or Photoshop for Beginners, Osteo Form and Function or Fossil Sculpting. Add your name to events already full to get on a waitlist, or look through the program schedule as other trips and workshops have been added recently:

- Check out the NEW Schedule at a Glance

- We have added a new field trip for Sunday July 13th (9am-2pm)! The Shanahan Ridge Hike will guide you on a five-mile hike through the geology and botany of the Boulder area.

- For all art lovers, the Guild's juried show at CU's Natural History Museum provides a rich venue for seeing beautiful illustrations by our amazing artists. The public can view the show from April 19 through September 25. Plan a museum visit and make your summer memorable.

Learn about all the Conference details at the GNSI Conference site.

Register NOW for an experience you won't forget! Be educated. Be inspired. Be amazed.

>Image: from the Annual Member's Exhibit ©Ikumi Kayama, Northern Cardinals- graphite, transparent watercolor, Adobe Photoshop

The Conference Sketchbook Project

June 24, 2014

Our conference sketchbook project has expanded! What is this, you might ask? The banquet venue at Bar Harbor, a restored schoolhouse, featured blackboard walls and lots of chalk. It didn't take long for our fabulous creatives to fill the boards with wonderful sketches, nearly all related to their conference experience. We'd like to see that happen again and be able to keep the memories in a tangible form.

We will have two sketchbooks available for you to embellish. We honestly haven’t quite decided yet what to do with one of them, we’ll see how it fills up. The other will be given to Dr. John Cody and his wife Dorothy; John & Dot will not be able to attend the conference this year, and we will truly miss them. Dorothia Rohner will bring them a (hopefully!) filled sketchbook with Boulder Memories!

We will also have two envelopes for you to deposit your individual sketches, one ”general” collection and another for loose sketches for Dr. John & Dot. Please make your papers no larger than (8.5"x11") for both collections. We plan to bind them into books as well.

We welcome your ideas on what to do with our Conference Sketch collections: give the book to the current conference chair as a memento of the event? Add it to the following years’ portfolio sharing displays? Ideas are welcome.

So keep your eyes peeled for the two sketchbooks (they will be around at the evening events and at the registration desk); the collection envelopes for loose sketches will be at the registration desk.

You may also mail your sketches for the Codys to Dorothia Rohner.

Notes and acknowledgments:

This blog post is a compilation of multiple blog articles and announcements relating to the 2014 GNSI Annual conference.

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