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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
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Drawing of a botanical specimen

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Have a question about botanical conservation or illustration? Ask the Expert!

Dr. Gary Krupnick and Alice Tangerini will be available to answer selected questions.

Scientific illustrators from the Washington, D.C. metro area were in the Losing Paradise exhibit gallery during its run to demonstrate their illustration techniques to the public each week. Learn more about some of the illustrators below:

Past Scheduled Illustrators

Alice Tangerini
Alice Tangerini

Illustration by Alice TangeriniAlice R. Tangerini began her illustration career as a freelance contract illustrator in the Department of Botany in the National Museum of Natural History, while she was still a student. She became Botany’s first Staff Illustrator in 1972. She has illustrated at least 1500 species of plants. Her preferred medium is pen and brush with ink and more recently she has been using the computer for digital drawing. Her illustrations have appeared in almost 50 scientific periodicals, a dozen or more floras, and several books. Assignments have taken her to California, Hawaii, and the South American country of Guyana where she was able to draw from living material.

Amanda Zimmerman
Amanda Zimmerman

Illustration of flower by Amanda ZimmermanAmanda Zimmerman became interested in scientific illustration as a youngster browsing through the color plates of her family’s encyclopedia set.  Not until much later did she realize she could do such wonderful work for a living.  She is currently finishing up her certification for Botanical Illustration through Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. Her published work includes a collection of black and white ink drawings of mollusks and the tools for collecting them for The Mollusks: A Guide to Their Study, Collection, and Preservation.

Kelly Mills Sverduk
Kelly Mills Sverduk sitting and drawing

Artwork by Kelly Mills SverduckKelly Mills Sverduk is developing a career in natural science illustration, combining long-held interests in art and nature. Her degree in Studio Art from Messiah College gives her a broad base in art techniques, and she has continued taking classes and workshops to focus on botanical and scientific illustration. She is currently doing freelance work full-time, and lives in Potomac, Maryland.

Doreen Bolnick
Kelly Mills Sverduk sitting and drawing

Artwork by Doreen BolnickDoreen Bolnick's earlier career alternated between being a reference librarian in the States, and being an illustrator when living overseas. Her earliest assignments including doing pen and ink drawings for archeologists and anthropologists in Kenya, Ethiopia and Indonesia. She has authored, co-authored, and illustrated several nature guides. She is currently an art teacher at the Brookside Gardens School of Botanical Art & Illustration in Bethesda, Maryland.

Harriet Weiner
Harriet Warner

Artwork by Harriet WarnerHarriet Weiner received a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in 1974 from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Master of Education (M.Ed.) in 1980 from Temple University. She taught art in a Philadelphia area public school system for over ten years and later supervised graduate and undergraduate students studying art education for the Tyler School of Art (Temple University). Her areas of artistic interest and strength are pen and ink illustration, drawing and painting. She has illustrated and designed letterhead and stationery designs, training manuals, magazine illustrations and posters.

Marilyn Aber
Harriet Warner

Marilyn Aber grew up in a small New York State village where she was a curious child, always observing nature. Since then, she has partaken in numerous art and art history classes, and traveled with sketchbooks and cameras in hand to document her interests. Her artistic accomplishments include a career in the graphic arts, designing and illustrating for publications, playing in color pencils, watercolors, oil paints, pastels, macramé, papier maché, clay and now digital media.

Berit Robertson
Harriet Warner

Artwork by Berit RobertsonBerit Robertson earned the Associate in Arts and Humanities degree at George Washington University and the Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Interior Design at Mount Vernon College. She was introduced to traditional botanical watercolor at the Corcoran School of Art in Washington. This led her to Brookside Gardens School of Botanical Art & Illustration where she is earning a Certificate in Botanical Art & Illustration She is a member of the Brookside Gardens Illustrators and her work is included in a garden book to be published in fall of 2010. Her work has been accepted for juried shows at the Art League, Brookside Gardens, River Farm, Green Springs, and a group show at Barnes and Nobel in Alexandria, Virginia.

Judy Brown
Judy Brown

Artwork by Judy BrownJudy Brown majored in Botany as an undergraduate and has a passion for botanical art.  Judy teaches watercolor classes for adults and children at Brookside Gardens, Art Partners Inc., and her home studio in Silver Spring, Maryland.   She served as the first Botany instructor for the Brookside Gardens School of Botanical Art and Illustration.   She enjoys helping students study plants from an artistic perspective.  Her paintings have been exhibited at Art Partners Gallery, Brookside Gardens, the Athenaeum in Alexandria, River Farm, and Green Springs Gardens.  She will have a solo show at Brookside Gardens in 2011.

David Lewis
David Lewis

Artwork by David LewisDavid Lewis is a nature photographer and a digital graphic artist.  Using digital technology, David combines and manipulates digital images to create new works of art.  David is helping traditional botanical illustrators featured in the Losing Paradise exhibition learn new digital illustrating skills.

Charlotte Fremaux
Charlotte Fremaux

artwork by Charlotte FremauxWith an educational background in both art history and studio art, Charlotte Fremaux been a practicing artist for over thirty-five years, working in every capacity and medium: in graphic design, children’s book illustration, portraiture, and fine art. While a resident of Hawai'i, she studied traditional Hawaiian culture, its relationship to the environment, and the traditional uses of plants as medicine, food, building materials, etc. Since moving to Washington, her artistic interest has evolved as my concern for environmental degradation has grown, and she entered the Corcoran program in Botanical Art & Illustration and the Natural History Field Studies program at the USDA Graduate School to gain new eyes and hone old skills.

Jane Dowling
Jane Dowling

artwork by Jane DowlingJane Dowling holds a master's degree in computer science. Jane worked as a database administrator until 2008. She then decided to enroll in the School of Botanical Art & Illustration at Brookside Gardens in 2009. Jane enjoys drawing and painting.

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