Thursday in Pittsburgh

A busy and exciting day. This is the first full day of the ASBA annual conference and the opening of the Hunt’s 14th International Exhibition of botanical art and illustration.

This morning started off with a Portfolio session where many members lay out their work for query, comment and I suppose critique. There was a huge variety of styles and it was very interesting. Many had done their work on vellum, but there were other techniques too. I was encouraged to try vellum although it is extremely expensive. Also suggested that I use the sort available in the UK as this is the best.

I am told that the latest ASBA magazine has a very good article on how to paint on vellum. For people out there who paint botanically, I recommend that you join this organisation. Membership has quite few benefits.

I saw some beautiful silver point work, and some very good pen and ink work. I wish I could describe some of it as it is obviously a new technique to try and learn. Unfortunately I didn’t take any pictures.

Towards the end of the Portfolio session I went to a talk on the history of Vellum. Unfortunately, it was more a history of the family who produced Vellum in the US. Parts of it definitely were interesting, but I feel that I know little more now than I did before I went into the talk.

We had a long lunch combined with AGM.

The afternoon was filled with a techniques showcase. Three different artists with three different techniques and materials demonstrated for us. The topics were Graphite, watercolour and coloured pencil. They were very good. Although other workshops were going on at the same time, the auditorium was pretty well full of interested artists.

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Then the opening of the Hunt Exhibition. Several school buses picked us up at the hotel and drove us to the Hunt. We went to the top floor (walked!), where we were greeted with nibbles and punch. A friend of mine who started nursing at the same time as me 50 years ago in Set 231, now lives in Pittsburgh. She came to hep celebrate with her neighbour.it was lovely having them there too.

All the pictures were hung in a large room and some speeches were made to open the exhibition. Unfortunately I can’t repeat what was said as you couldn’t hear. But a good time was had by all, even when the fire alarm evacuated the building.

We were turfed out into the balmy evening air, but it didn’t deter any conversation.

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