Botanical Illustration - Science and Art

From Anne Pratt's "Flowering Plants of Great Britain" Plate 2 "Traveller's Joy, or Clématis, etc....".

"This beautiful shrub, with its dark-green foliage, and its numerous blossoms of greenish-white hue, is very common in the hedges in those counties where chalk or limestone abounds. Gerarde well named it the Traveller's Joy, for it may be seen far away, decking the hedges, in May and June, with its blossoms, and holding itself to the stronger plants near it by the twisting leaf-stalks which serve as tendrils..."

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Disappearing Panda Fundraiser for WWF

Like most of the world, I've been in love with pandas since I was small enough to be aware of them. My first magazine subscription was National Geographic, which I paid for with my own money and gained most of my knowledge of the outside world. I've only had one quick glance of a panda at the National Zoo in DC. The small window and huge crowds where disappointing and nothing like I long imagined my experience would be like. Since then, pandas live on only in nature documentaries and books for me, and I am content with the fact that I will probably never see one in my lifetime.

I made the painting "Disappearing Panda" many years ago after coming across an old book "The Last Panda" by George B. Schaller.

I had barely remembered owning the book and found a newspaper clip inside about Hsing-Hsing, a panda at the National Zoo. I found this clip just a couple months after visiting the National Zoo.

HsingHsing.jpg

Chicago Sun-Times, April 17, 1997

Hsing-Hsing had been a wild panda before being gifted by China to the National Zoo. He died in 1999 at the age of 28, which at the time was the longest for a panda living in captivity.

World Wildlife Fund Panda Facts

The National Zoo Panda Facts

I've created a print on panel of "Disappearing Panda". Half of all print sales of will be donated to the World Wildlife Fund

Disappearing Panda - 5x5 print on panel

Disappearing Panda - 5x5 print on panel

The World Wildlife Fund has been protecting nature for over 50 years. To learn more about them go here

Turn off the Lights for Earth Hour

Simple Beauty's First Bloom

I've issued a new larger print edition. At 20"x20" these are the largest prints I have available. These prints have the look of original paintings. They are printed on a textured watercolor paper with hand-torn deckled edges.The edition size is limited to 50 hand-signed and numbered prints. Available on Etsy.

There are six images in the Lenten Rose series. In this series, I studied every inch of the shape of over a dozen Lenten Rose plants. This flower although called a rose is not a rose at all. It is known to bloom around the time of Lent. Many people view this simple beauty as a symbol of new beginnings.

The Lenten Rose or Helleborus Orientalis may be the first flower of the season in the very early spring. The sepals are extremely long lasting and may persist throughout the summer. These perennials have an evergreen foliage that stands up well to the early spring temperatures.

Lenten Rose No. 2

Lenten Rose No. 2

Lenten Rose No. 4

Lenten Rose No. 4

Lenten Rose No. 5

Lenten Rose No. 5

Lenten Rose No. 1

Lenten Rose No. 1

Lenten Rose No. 3

Lenten Rose No. 3

Lenten Rose No. 6

Lenten Rose No. 6

Book Gift Guide for Nature Lovers

National parks, meditations on wood, bunnies and birds are just a couple of the subjects covered in these books. I can imagine any nature enthusiast cuddling up this winter with a good book and thoughts of getting outside soon.

National Geographic Guide to Scenic Highways and Byways by National Geographic Society

For those who enjoy time in the car and taking the long way, there are 275 drives to tackle in this book. We've enjoyed making notes in the margins and sticking in menus, receipts and leaves we find along the way. Each time we open this book it is filled with memories of beautiful sites and fun journeys. A GPS is recommend!

Wildwood: A Journey Through Trees by Roger Deakin

Ideally you want to be sitting under your favorite tree when you read this book but a nice window will also do.  This book is for the person who loves trees and nature writing. It will inspire and deepen your appreciation for the outdoors.

Watership Down by Richard Adams

In this classic, the reader peaks into the lives of rabbits, where we can read their words and experience their hardships.  This book is full of excitement and imagination. After reading this book, you just might look at the rabbits in the yard a bit differently. You may even say hi.

Flights of Imagination: Extraordinary Writing About Birds edited by Richard Cannings

Most bird lovers have a great story about a pursuit of a rare bird or their first memory of finding appreciation for our winged friends. This collection of short stories will relate with anyone who has a passion for birds.

Life List

I am reading Life List: A Woman's Quest for the World's Most Amazing Birds by Olivia Gentile and that's what got me started on the subject of lists. I've been interested in birds for awhile but this book has brought me into the whole world of birding and list keeping and now I am making a life list of birds I have seen.

I am including with each bird, the situation, day, thoughts, etc. Whatever it takes to remember that moment. It's not easy to catch a photograph of a bird and often while trying you while miss seeing the action all together. I've decided to stop trying to catch photos of anything in action and take in the moment the best I can by paying attention and as soon as I can writing it down. Most of our memories are made through telling a story.

So what is the purpose of the list? It's not so much about the end result, but rather to remind myself to keep looking. It's about all the things I will notice that I may have missed; things that might not even be on the list.

If you want to start a list, I recommend starting with a good notebook. My first bird list is in The Paper Apartment's Feathers Notebook. Then find a list for your area to follow. In Chicago visit the Chicago Ornithological Society and download their Chicago Area Birds Checklist on the homepage.  

Happy Birding!
 

Handmade One-of-a-Kind Wedding Invitations

Rhonda and Nick pretty much (re)built their home from scratch, with help from family and friends. They are truly the do-it-yourself types. They live and will be married by the a river, trees and lots of nature. The inspiration for this card came directly from them.

Using block printing, I handmade each individual invitation to ensure a unique quality in each one. Mixing two colors of ink directly on the block, no two prints are exactly the same.

There is so much to do when preparing for a wedding, so I put together the entire wedding invitation suite including addressing and stamping the RSVP cards. This this the final result in a vellum petal envelope. The outside envelope is the same textured cream as the scallop card and all the other enclosed cards.

Each invitation is marked with "made by kim" just as my handmade cards are.

Most of the paper I used came from the Paper Source. Although there are cheaper places to find paper, the quality and convenience is well worth it. I bought the velvet ribbon online at Paper Mart. The ribbon is a good price but the shipping is overpriced. The vellum petal cards came from Paper and More online. This is also a good source for paper and card stock. You can order samples on most items. All of my block printing supplies came from the Blick Store and/or JoAnn Fabric, just because of convenience. I am sure there are better resources for these materials so I am not linking to these widely known shops.

Dreamy Skies after the Storm

We just had a big storm. I should say another big storm. Very high winds, tornadoes, hail, flooding, all of it. But after the storm moved on, there were rainbows and strange greenish-yellow skies. Not just the sky was green though, everything was green. As the sun set, everything began to turn orange and pink. Although it was close to dark, my flowers were the most vibrant colors I had ever seen them. I took a few shoots as the sky changed.

 It's still raining a little in these above shots. The greenish-yellow light was so unique.

That's our backyard and our favorite place! The light was so soft and warm tonight. Perfect for taking pictures.