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Field Sketching Kit Show and Tell -2012 Conference Feature

Dorothia Rohner attended the 2012 conference technique showcase where she captured some photos of a new offering this year - the Field Sketching Kit Show and Tell.

Jenny Keller and her sketchbook

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2012 Conference Highlights: Virtual Copic Markers

Diploblubb by Terry WhitlatchIf you have a Mac, a tablet for drawing, and want to have some fun, take a look at Sketchbook Copic Edition. The normal Sketchbook Pro is $29, but the Copic edition is free (but limited to Copic media) in the Mac App Store. If you were in Savannah, Terryl Whitlatch shared her techniques using these makers. If you are intrigued by this tool and adapting it to your needs, give it a try.

>Diploblubb by Terryl Whitlatch

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2012 Conference Highlights: Voices from our Members

2012 conference in review

>2012 Conference In Review

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2012 Annual Conference Highlights: Jodie Holt

Jody HoltThe 2012 Guild of Natural Science Illustrators Conference kicked off with a keynote lecture delivered by Dr. Jodie Holt. She is a professor in plant physiology specializing in invasive plants at University of California, Riverside. Jodie presented an interesting look at how people see or don't see, the importance that the plants have in the world. Outreach to the public through her research and her graduate students only gets you so far.

>Dr. Jodie Holt at 2012 GNSI Conference in Savannah, GA

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Science Illustration and New Media

As a guild, a group of like-minded professionals, we need to promote ourselves both for the benefit of our profession and our own careers. Using social networking tools is a powerful marketing strategy that if used collectively can bring more money and prestige to our field. I am very proud to be a science illustrator and unfortunately, most of the world has no idea who we are. People need to know who we are, why we are doing it and why this work is important. I’ll summarize a few of the most popular new media tools, including how to use them and why.

Image capture of Facebook page

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2012 GNSI Educational Series Workshop: announcement

2012 GNSI Workshop locationWe are excited to invite you to join us for the GNSI 2012 Education Series Workshop, June 22 through 26, at the Salish Kootenai College in Pablo, Montana, within the Flathead Indian Reservation.

Pablo lies near the center of this home of the Salish, Pend d’Oreille, and Kootenai Tribes (CSKT, http://www.cskt.org/) and is located 60 miles north of Missoula. It encompasses the Flathead Lake and River and the majestic Mission Mountains. This beautiful, mountainous western region provides workshop participants with access to rich and varied sets of human and natural resources near our workshop location; participants will be surrounded by the beautiful and diverse habitats of the region--its wetlands, mountains, and prairie, which will provide an awe-inspiring backdrop for exploration and art.

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1957 job description for the paleo-Illustration position of GNSI Founder Lawrence B. Isham, Smithsonian Institution

This is the 1957 job description for the paleo-Illustration position of GNSI Founder Lawrence B. Isham, Department of Geology, U.S.National Museum, Smithsonian Institution. It provides an interesting insight into the requirements for a museum staff illustrator position in the mid-twentieth century.

Official Position Description for Lawrence B. Isham dated 2/27/57

Smithsonian Institution, United States National Museum, Department of Geology; author unknown.
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 543
Courtesy Smithsonian Institution


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Call for Volunteers Graphic Designers

The GNSI is LOADED with talented people: illustrators, of course, but graphic designers as well. Do you enjoy graphic design? Are you skilled at all basic aspects of graphic design and can produce print and web-ready art? Can you spare some time now and then to help out your intrepid (and overworked) Communications Team with the occasional graphic design project? Then we want to hear from you!

We are talking simple brochures, flyers, and postcards. We are NOT talking about regular recurring projects and you would NOT have to commit to any set amount of time or a set number of projects. We would just like to have your name on file to contact when projects come up and we are otherwise swamped (like now!). If you are available and can help out, great! If not, that’s fine, we’ll move to the next name on the list.

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Call for Exhibit: The Art of Science

The Salem Art Association invites members of the Oregon Group of the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators to submit up to four images of artwork for jury consideration for an all-media group exhibition in the Camas Gallery at the Bush Barn Art Center in Salem, Oregon. The exhibit will be on display June 1-July 28, 2012.

Who can submit: Natural Science Illustrators who are current members of the GNSI-Oregon Group can submit four entries without charge.

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2012 COM.EN.ART Residency

2012 COM.EN.ART residencyThe Huyck Preserve is accepting applications for the 2012 COM.EN.ART program (PDF Application Link).

COM.EN.ART (COMmunity.ENviroment.ART) is an Artist-in-Residence program for natural history illustrators offered by the Huyck Preserve, a biological field station and 2000-acre nature preserve in the picturesque Hudson Valley hamlet of Rensselaerville, NY.

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Book Review: Joseph Hooker Botanical Trailblazer

Joseph Hooker Botanical Trailblazer

This richly illustrated little book follows Joseph Hookers career as he struggles to raise botany from a Victorian gentleman’s hobby to a recognized science. Through his world travels and a network of collectors he identified more than 12,000 new plant species, published several illustrated books and journals on plants and eventually followed in his fathers’ footsteps as Director of Kew Garden. His good friend and colleague Charles Darwin was so impressed with his work that as a legacy he funded the Index Kewensis, a comprehensive list of the world’s plant species which is still kept current today. The beautiful plant illustrations and landscapes reproduced here from his journals are accompanied by reproductions of lithographs and paintings done by Walter Hood Finch. This overview of Hookers life along with the reproduced illustrations, documents and photographs make this little Kew publication one any fan of the history of botany would enjoy.

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Book Review: Images of Nature–The Art of the First Fleet

First Fleet Falcon1787 “Two Naval Ships, the HMS Sirius and HMS Supply, three store ships and six convict transports set sail from Portsmouth bound for Botany Bay,” ‘the First Fleet’ as defined by colonial Australian historians. The brief but poignant introduction by Lisa Di Tommaso, the Assistant Librarian of the Natural History Museum in London, sets the stage for a series of images that portray the earliest encounters between European commerce and Australian aboriginal natives.

The collection exhibiting this summer in London highlights the illustrated works from three categorized sources: the works of George Raper, a midshipman on board HMS Sirius, the works of Thomas Whatling, a landscape artist turned convict for forgery, and works by unidentified artists who went by the name “Port Jackson Painter.” Given that the voyage or colony had no designated official artist, the collection’s unique depictions are a testament to the various artists, their unique character, and how they came to be in Port Jackson, Australia, in the late 1700s.

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International Competition of Scientific Illustration

The Catalan Association for Science Communication (ACCC) is sponsoring an International Competition of Scientific Illustration, organized by the Catalan Association of Scientific Comunició (ACCC) and supported by the Ministry of Knowledge Economy and the Government of Catalonia.

The competition is organized electronically. Submissions are digital files formatted for a 29.7 x 42cm vertical space with sufficient resolution for printing a display copy. Deadlines for digital submission was Dec. 24, 2011.

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Call for Exhibits: 2012 Margaret Flockton Award

This is the final call for entries for the Margaret Flockton Award 2012. Some entries have already been received and there are only a few weeks left until entry deadline.

The Margaret Flockton Award commemorates the contribution Margaret Flockton made to Australian scientific botanical illustration.

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Remedies for Small Copyright Claims

The US copyright office is continuing it's research into Orphaned Works, with the likely outcome of more legislative attempts in the future. Currently, they are looking for input on remedies for Small Copyright Claims.

If you have had successes or failures in pursuing an infringement claim, or considered and rejected an attempt at one, the Copyright Office needs to hear how and why from you by January 17th.

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Book Release: Field Notes on Science and Nature

Field Notes on Science and Nature, CoverA new Harvard publication edited by Michael Canfield, "Field Notes on Science and Nature" explores multiple methodologies for creating science field journals with multiple authors presenting a chapter each. This includes the GNSI's own Jenny Keller of the California State University, Monterey Bay campus.

The book covers disciplines as diverse as ornithology, entomology, ecology, paleontology, anthropology, botany, and animal behavior, and Field Notes on Science and Nature. Readers are allowed to peer over their shoulders and into the notebooks of a dozen eminent field workers, to study firsthand their observational methods, materials, and fleeting impressions. And features wonderful illustrations from the journals of the authors. Jenny's work is prominently featured.

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2012 Caribou Ranch, CO Art Residency

Boulder County Parks and Open Space Department is announcing an Art Residency opportunity for next summer at Caribou Ranch, west of Boulder, CO.

The selected artists can stay up to 7 days in the historic DeLonde Barn at Caribou Ranch and work in and with the inspiring landscape of the Caribou Ranch. For more information, please click here.

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Cornell Launches New Advanced Botanical Art Class

Cornell University's Department of Horticulture has just announced the third online class in their Botanical Illustration Certificate program.

Marcia Eames-Sheavly of the Cornell Horticultural Department reports that there are now three online classes making up the certificate program.

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Call for Presenters: 2012 GNSI Annual Conference

We are looking for artists and scientists to present at the 2012 GNSI Annual Conference, July 8-14, Savannah, Georgia.

If you have a great idea for the conference, email Cat Wilson - [email protected] by January 15th. Please include a title, short description of your idea and which of the follow niches you want to participate in:

  • Technique showcase (two hours) – Demonstrations of your techniques & tools.
  • Presentations  (~one hour) – Speak about a topic that you are passionate about. For example, a recent project, techniques & methods for working, history of illustration/profile of an inspirational figure from art or science history, business skills & marketing, research methods, connections between education, science and art, etc.
  • Workshops (1/2 day, 1 day or even 2) – Both art or science-based workshops are welcome.
  • Mini-Workshops (1 or 2 hours) – A hybrid between a presentation and a workshop. Participants can get hands-on with materials and techniques but in a short period of time.
  • NEW! Portfolio Reviewers (1 or 2 hours) – We are looking to incorporate portfolio reviews in the conference. Each review will be twenty minutes so you would commit to review six portfolios.
  • NEW! Contract Panel – We are looking to help GNSI members understand and have access to contract language and clauses. A first step would be a panel discussion. If you have a successful contract model, or experience negotiating contracts, consider sharing your expertise.

Illustrating Atoms and Molecules

Abstract

Since atoms are smaller than the wavelength of visible light, it is theoretically impossible to “see” an atom, even with the most powerful microscope. Nevertheless, we recognize that atoms consist of “shells” of electrons buzzing around a central nucleus. Therefore, it’s common to depict an atom as a simple sphere, its diameter proportional to the size of its outermost electron shell. Furthermore, scientists have developed experimental methods, such as x-ray crystallography and NMR spectroscopy, to determine the geometric arrangement of atoms within a molecule. These data can be used to construct three-dimensional models of molecules, but the illustrator must be aware that such a model is an abstract representation and is not meant to show what the molecule really “looks like”.

Atom Colors

Because an atom is smaller than the wavelength of visible light, it cannot reflect light and, therefore, has no color. The colorful atoms you see in chemistry textbooks are based on conventions that have been adopted by chemists over several centuries. The alchemists of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance used iconic symbols to depict the different elements (Figure 1). They also associated certain colors with each element based on its physical properties, although these colors never appeared in print because of the rarity of color printing prior to the late 19th Century.

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