Margaret Saul
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This web page contains links to articles that explore issues, sometimes controversial, of importance to
botanic art.  

I appreciate your feed back. Please contact me with your comments.

New topics may be included from time to time so be sure to check back to read any discussion or comments from other botanical artists

Draft Guidelines for a Botanical Art Curriculum. The focus for discussion at the Educators’ forum held at the 2005 American Society of Botanical Artists (ASBA) Annual Conference at Minneapolis was the preparation of guidelines for instructional programming in botanical art.  The idea attracted positive comments from the majority of teachers present who were keen to see the concept progress.  The guidelines would create a benchmark so organizations offering courses that were compatible with the guidelines could use this as part of their promotional material.  Students would receive basic instruction in a set of core subjects that would enable their newly gained skills to be widely recognized and to be better prepared for undertaking intermediate and advanced classes and workshops anywhere where these guidelines are recognized.
The first (draft guidelines forbotanical drawing) in a series of guidelines is now being considered by the ASBA education subcommittee. Guidelines for working with color will follow.  When completed there would be publication of guidelines for a drawing and painting curriculum up to and including the intermediate level.  Although these are being drafted in the specific context of ASBA guidelines, I would appreciate comments or contributions of further information from educators and students of botanical art everywhere.

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"Defining the Creative Process" Article published in the newsletter of the American Soc. Botanical Artists (ASBA) No.31 - Spring 2004.  Defining my creative process to facilitate my teaching methods and to recognize my own approach to painting botanical art works.

Material written for the advanced course at the Brookside Gardens Schoolof Botanic art and Illustration in 2006 and updated for 2014 (PDF files) : The Four stages of the creative process and When and how to finish a painting

"Exhibition Guidelines" Discussion paper re selection of works for botanical art exhibitions.  First circulated in 2003 to those committee members involved with the American Society of Botanical Artists exhibitions.  This paper has since been revised so it addresses all botanical art organizations.  Comments and discussion by all interested botanical artists are sought with a view to assisting their exhibition committees to establish a credible selection process for botanical art exhibitions.

"Are We Artists?" Article published in the newsletter of the American Soc. Botanical Artists (ASBA) No.19 - Spring 2000.  Written in response to a letter in the previous ASBA newsletter this article seeks to promote discussion about (1) whether botanical art can be viewed as art and (2) defining “botanical illustration” as a branch of botanical art that is created in the service of science.

"Standards for Botanical Artists" Article published in the newsletter of the American Soc. Botanical Artists (ASBA) No.32 - Summer 2004.  This article sets out how the establishment of core criteria can aid the establishment of standards for botanical art.  The article proposes this concept could be applied to the process for selection of artwork in ASBA exhibitions and provides an example of how such standards can be successfully implemented to establish a teaching program.

Material written by Margaret Saul (2004 – 2008) for Education Forum in “The Botanical Artist”, journal of the American Society of Botanical Artists.  This was a regular feature column designed to generate comments and discussion by member teachers.  (Back issues of the TBA as listed below are available for purchase.)

  • A Need to Define the Process – No.31, 2004
  • Establishing Standards for Botanical Art – No. 32, 2004
  • Notes from the Educators’ Roundtable - ASBA 2004 Conference – No. 33, 2004
  • Picture Composition – brief notes for teachers – No. 36, 2005
  • Instructional Programming Guidelines (Responses from teachers) – No. 37, 2005
  • A Teachers View (seeking comments re classroom setup) – Vol. 12, No.1, 2006
  • How and When to Finish a Painting: A checklist for students – Vol. 12, No. 3, 2006
  • Starting an Instructional Program in Botanical Art (Part I) – Vol. 12, No. 4, 2006
  • Starting an Instructional Program in Botanical Art (Part II) – Vol. 13, No. 1, 2007
  • Starting an Instructional Program in Botanical Art (Part III) – Vol. 13, No. 2, 2007
  • Drawing Guidelines (concepts and modes, beginners) – Vol. 13, No. 3, 2007
  • Drawing Techniques (basic techniques – pencil control) – Vol. 13, No. 4, 2007
  • Drawing in Perspective – Part 1 (drawing terms and aids) – Vol. 14, No. 1, 2008
  • Drawing in Perspective – Part 2 (Teacher responses) – Vol. 14, No.2, 2008
  • Drawing in Perspective – Part 3 (Atmospheric concepts) – Vol. 14, No.3, 2008
  • Drawing in Perspective – Part 4 (Twists & Curls – leaves and petals) – Vol. 14, No.4, 2008
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