Artist Residency in Denver Botanic Gardens

Artist Residency in Denver Botanic Gardens

I am used to travel for work probably more than 10 years, but this mainly happens in between same locations. Denver, Colorado was a new destination to me, and I have just met with the Botanic Garden in Denver.

I have work in the Botanics for September-October, 2017. My main work was to complete an illustration during my residency for the collection of Denver Botanic Gardens. My interest was for the native flora of Colorado. Lucky enough during that season, Ratibida columnifera was full in bloom. A beautiful composite flower. First moment I see the plant, it seems easy to me, very straight forward drawing&painting. But this thought always comes to my mind, untill I actually see the plant in more detail. Ratibida columnifera has many minute flowers, placed together in a perfect order, which called Fibonacchi sequence. Such tiny details can only be done with tiny brushes. I have used between 000-0 number of brushes for the centre of the inflorescence where all the minute flowers are placed. After some practicing to understand the plant, I have managed to capture flower head life-size. But only way you can actually see these minute flowers are under a microscope. So I have dissected it, to see more inside of the flower. What I have seen under microscope was pretty impressive. 

Ratibida columnifera

After I have completed Ratibida columnifera, I didn’t have so much time to rest, as a new orchid species was waiting on my desk. Prof. Mark Wilson from Colorado Springs, brought me a new species of orchid is native to Colombia and Ecuador. Her genus is Pleurothallis, but I am also waiting her species name! After working on such fine details of Ratibida columnifera, I was fit to make such fine brush strokes. And there is no another way to work on such a delicate orchid species than the fine brushes strokes. My eyes were suffered but the painting is completed.

Pleurothallis sp.

So, during my residency in Denver Botanic Gardens, I have managed to complete 2 illustrations, and teach in a weekend workshop. I was satisfied with the amount of work of this residency. Just as it was, the aim was accomplished. But my luck still shined, and I even made to Annual Meeting of ASBA (American Society of Botanical Artists) in San Francisco. It was great pleasure to meet many artists and see some old friends. All the lectures was worth to listen, and the meeting was really active with many workshops and exhibitions. I am glad that I had a chance to join.

Well, in this amount of time for a residency, I did what I could have in terms of work, but these trips not only about work. Obviously I had to been in Rocky Mountains, and I did. Although I have suffered a lot with the dry weather and high altitude of Denver, I did breath on those mountains. Till the next time Denver, Colorado…

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