BLOG

Member Spotlight: Trudy Nicholson

TRUDY NICHOLSON AT HER WORK DESK. PHOTO © MIKE NICHOLSONFrom the moment I could see over the top of my mother’s drawing board, I was captivated by the magic of a blank sheet of paper turning into an image. I saw her hand with pen, pencil or brush create charming animals – often for me. That fascination never left me. All through school, in the Philadelphia suburbs, my interest especially centered on Art and Biology. Just before graduation, my biology teacher told me about medical art schools — information that I stored in my mind.

> Trudy Nicholson at he work desk. Photo © Mike Nicholson

Read More

2014 Annual Conference Highlights: Field Trips

DBG Field trip

Field Trip to Denver Botanical Garden and the Museum of Nature and Science

The action-packed week at the Boulder Annual GNSI Conference in July somewhat addled my brain – in a wonderful way, of course! I had forgotten one of the reasons I signed up for this field trip. Imagine my visual delight when our Friday field trip group walked into the Denver Botanical Gardens and I saw the Dale Chihuly artwork exhibit nestled in the plantings.

>2014 GNSI Conference field trip to DBG Greenhouse

Read More

Where Have All the Kolinsky Sable Brushes Gone?

This blog post compiles background information, history, rumors and facts about the shortage of kolinsky sable brushes. There is a lot of information and misinformation about the disappearance of Kolinsky brushes from art suppliers in the US. Here we attempted to gather everything together... read on!

Kickstarter project - Practice Makes Perfect: A Botanical Illustration Sketchbook

Practice Makes Perfect: A Botanical Illustration SketchbookGNSI member Mervi Hjelmroos-Koski is leading the charge on a Kickstarter project for the Denver Botanic Gardens School of Botanical Art and Illustration, the location of one of our 2014 conference field trips.

The project is entering the final stretch, and the fundraising effort has been very successful. Now is a great opportunity to score one of the reward items when you donate!  The Kickstarter project page is here:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/994091899/practice-makes-perfect-a-...

Read More

Call for Exhibits: California Native Plant Society Annual Conference

The California Native Plant Society is preparing for the CNPS 2015 Conservation Conference: Celebrating 50 Years of Progress and Promise. The conference will be held January 13-17, 2015, at the DoubleTree by Hilton, 2050 Gateway Place, San Jose, CA 95110.

This juried botanical art exhibition will encourage a greater understanding and appreciation of the unique California flora, one of the goals of the conference.

Read More

2015 PLAYA Winter/Spring Residency

2015 Playa residencyPLAYA is a retreat for creative individuals who are committed and passionate about their work, and who will benefit from time spent in a remote location. PLAYA is a nonprofit organization supporting innovative thinking through work in the arts, literature, natural sciences and other fields of creative inquiry.

Artists, writers, scientists, and more....apply now. September 1 deadline for Winter/Spring 2015 Residency Session at Playa Fellowship Residency Program 

Read More

[Compiled] 2014 GNSI Annual Conference


2014 conference logo


Read More

The Beehive Collective

The Beehive Collective (http://beehivecollective.org/) is a revolving group of people who have volunteered for decades in combining art, education, and activism.

Nicole DeBarber from the BeeHive CollectiveThe Collective approaches their art as the creation of a teaching tool. At the GNSI annual conference, Nicole DeBarber presented  on the creation of a poster drawn on an 8 by 4-foot piece of watercolor paper, inked on over a 9 year period by multiple artists, with multiple research trips to Central America to gather the stories of the people and learn about the glories and dangers of living there. The poster tells of the cultural myths/history and the environment, as well as the corporate planning of the future of the region.

Read More

Kickstarter project: Plants of Life

Plants of Life by Ann DuBoisAnn's DuBois has launched a Kickstarter project as a method for bringing her next book project to fruition. Ann's goal is to fund top-quality publication of her Plants of Life book, which will feature 38 original paintings of plant life, her personal story about each one, and their historical background.

Ann's project has been selected by Kickstarter as one of their "We Love it" choices!

Read More

GNSI on Facebook

Some of you may know that GNSI has a Closed Group on Facebook (only members can see content). The GNSI Portugal chapter has one as well, as do several of the USA chapters such as GNSI Northern California. And GNSI Carolinas and GNSI Great Plains have Facebook public pages.

Finally, GNSI, Inc. has started a Facebook page too. Founded on May 21st, within seven days we have almost 350 likes!  We will be featuring current news, events, and our member's artwork. If you would like to sign up to be featured on the GNSI Facebook page, fill out this short Jot form and we will put you on the list of possible postings.

Read More

Call for Exhibits: Tesla Project

Tesla ProjectThe Tesla Project is an all-day extravaganza dedicated to celebrating the genius of Nikola Tesla, a visionary scientist and engineer whose electrical inventions transformed the world.

Inaugurated in 2010, The Tesla Project includes an art exhibition, a line-up of bands, Tesla-Roadsters, computer enrichment activities for children, a film, Tesla coil demos, and how-to-presentations.

Read More

Portable High Resolution Imaging System

The information below is a follow up of the article about the Visionary Digital BK Plus Laboratory System for photographing insect specimens, included in the Journal of Natural Science Illustration 2013 No. 1.

A Connecticut start-up, Macroscopic Solutions, has created a portable insect photography system, using high-quality off-the-shelf components. They also donate one system to schools and non-profit groups for each 10 they sell.

Read More

Call for Exhibits: Art of Conservation

Chugach Arts Council in Seward Alaska is gearing up for its 2nd year of Art of Conservation projects.

Artists of all ages, abilities and mediums are invited to submit art to be included in beautiful books of art to be published this year in connection with National Pollinator WeekEndangered Species Day and World Oceans Day. In addition a book featuring Public Lands & National Wildlife Refuge Projects will be created. Deadline for submissions has been extended to May 26, 2014.

Read More

2014 PLAYA Residency

PLAYA, a facility and nonprofit organization near Summer Lake, in Southeast Oregon, offers Residencies to artists, writers, natural scientists, naturalists, and others engaged in creative or interdisciplinary work.

PLAYA has two application deadlines on the following dates: March 1, 2014 (for Fall 2014 sessions running mid-August - December) and September 1, 2014 (for Spring 2015 sessions running January - June). For questions regarding these upcoming residencies or general information please email [email protected].

Read More

Call for Exhibits: Beautiful Maryland

The GNSI-DC Chapter invites submissions for the upcoming exhibit, Beautiful Maryland: Natural Science Illustrations of the Chesapeake Bay Region, from all members that have attended at least one GNSI-DC meeting in the last year.

TIMELINE:

Read More

Call for Volunteers: Develop a Science Illustration K-12 Curriculum

An open invitation to all GNSI members to help develop a science illustration K-12 curriculum

Initial premises:

1] Science illustration as a career is still a career unfamiliar to the general public (and often to the scientists we serve); integrating a science illustration curriculum into general education (especially STEM) programs will help to educate people as to who we are and what we do.

Read More

RIP: Camera Lucida

In grad school, I was assigned the task of drawing a series of teeth using a camera lucida attached to a microscope. This was the best tool EVER! I knew the measurements were correct, knew proportions were accurate… because I’d traced it. Fast and simple. Alas, the camera lucida faded into obscurity as more microscopes were equipped with cameras.

camera lucidaSo when a Kickstarter campaign launched to create a new kind of camera lucida, I eagerly awaited the result. When they released to the public, I bought two (I teach a course in Biological Illustration and thought the tool would be useful to show (or check) contours, proportions, or values. After all, the camera lucida turns 3-D images into 2-D traceable elements).

Read More

Book Review: Beetles and Other Insects

Introduction

On the introduction to Beetles and Other Insects, Gerhard Scherer writes “There is (…) something mysterious about these objects, these small organisms with many hidden secrets. This aura of mystery and the fascination exerted by insects’ physical appearance are no doubt what has repeatedly induced artists to depict them.” Indeed it was only at thirty-two years of age that artist Bernard Durin (1940-1988) stumbled upon insects for the first time, during a walk in his native region of Provence. But the experience was so transformative that it set him on a journey to illustrate these animals with a passion and precision that are unparalleled in the representation of insects.

FROM THE BOOK COVER: BEETLES AND OTHER INSECTS BY BERNARD DURINBeetles and Other Insects includes all known and currently available images produced by Bernard Durin. It is the fourth expanded edition of the book published in 1980 with the same title. About half of the sixty watercolor plates in it portray a variety of beetles, from the widespread seven-spotted ladybug and the expected Hercules and rhinoceros beetles to the rare alpine borer and exotic flower scarabs. The remaining plates put the spotlight on a few species from the wasp, bees and ants group, cicadas, tree and jewel bugs, grasshoppers, a crane fly, butterfly and praying mantis. There are also one spider and two scorpion illustrations, which, by being outside of the insect group, should have called for a different book title. Each plate is complemented by a historical and anatomical text, the majority of them crafted by the head of the beetle section of the Zoologische Staatssammlung in Munich at the time of the first edition.

Read More

2014 COM.EN.ART Residency

The Huyck Preserve is accepting applications for our COM.EN.ART program for 2014.

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. This two-week residency is designed to provide concentrated field experience and study for illustrators, as well as encourage interaction and discussion about nature among artists, with scientists and with the community. The artists contribute a finished piece of artwork and submit a sketch to the Preserve's ongoing artists' sketchbook in exchange for studio and rustic living quarters. The residencies can take place between May and September.

Read More

Memories of John Gurche at the National Museum of Natural History

The paleo halls at the National Museum of Natural History are undergoing a major renovation. The exhibit Life in the Ancient Seas, which opened in 1990 (see Deck 1992), closed on October 28, 2013; the remaining paleo complex, which opened in stages in the 1980s (for example, see Park 1981), closes April 28, 2014. The new paleo halls will reopen in 2019.

John Gurche’s original acrylic paintings currently enhance the paleo halls in three areas – but only for a few more months. His innovative Tower of Time stands majestically in the main entrance of the exhibit; his painting of a Devonian landscape provides the background for a diorama in the Conquest of Land hall; and his delicate and well-designed Evolution of the Horse spans half of the interior circumference of an intimate enclave in the Mammals in the Limelight hall.

Read More