Academy of Botanical Artsm

Nature Art in the French Court Tradition

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Classical Renaissance instruction offering Certificate and
Non-Certificate Programs in Botanical Art & Illustration

Courses in Drawing, Watercolor, Pen & Ink, Plant Morpholog,y
Scientific Illustration, and the Business of Art


The Study of Nature is a Field
BIGGER THAN FLOWERS

Science | Botany | Ornithology | Entomology | Research | Filmography | Horticulture | Entrepreneurship |
Landscape Design | Graphic Design | Art History | Education | Photography | Curator | Author

Register Here

Olivia

"Join us today and let your inspiration
be tomorrow's masterpiece!"


Olivia Marie Braida-Chiusano

Master Botanical Artist, Author, Educator

Founder and Director of the Academy of Botanical Art℠ and OM Art Designs


Students around the world take advantage of Ms. Braida’s 
techniques and teachings through her local, distance learning, home art study
based on her clearly written and illustrated text books!
"Ten Steps - A Course in Botanical Art & Illustration."
Each course is designed in a class-by-class format that is easy to follow.

The Academy of Botanical Art ℠ was established to offer both a creative experience and a road map for adventure. It addresses our worldly needs and calls us to remember what is soul-satisfying. This beautiful art form can be accessible to all who are willing to open themselves to learning. An open admission policy, designed with complete flexibility, is an opportunity for both local and distance learners to take advantage of drawing, painting and other courses that will develop their artistic skills.

The Academy of Botanical Art ℠ offers training through a directed course of study based on Ms. Braida’s “Ten Steps” series of books. Students acquire accurate rendering skills unique to the scientific nature of the botanical subject. A variety of elective courses held in various places in the United States and abroad is available through the Academy and other resources that will broaden the student’s range of education and development. Above all, prospective students need to know that prior art experience is NOT required.

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Weekly Classes, Workshops, Tutor and Non-Tutor
Distance Learning Programs

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The Academy of Botanical Art ℠ offers various methods and locales
for students to accomplish their art studies

  • Workshops at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, Sarasota, Fl.

    • One-Day, Three-Day, and Five-Day Botanical Art Workshops are held at the beautiful Marie Selby Botanical Gardens.
    • Marie Selby Botanical Gardens is a respected center for research and education, as well as a famous showplace that delights more than 130,000 visitors each year. Visitors see beautiful horticultural displays and learn from their many educational programs. They also take away with them a better understanding and greater appreciation of the natural world and the challenge it faces.
    • Nestled in 14 acres and amongst 12 buildings in a brick-laid residential section of Sarasota, Marie Selby Botanical Gardens is an open-air and under-glass museum of thousands of colorful and exotics plants. Many of these plants have been collected from the wild on more than 200 scientific expeditions to tropical rainforests by Selby Gardens' research staff.
    • Students enthralled by the discovery of detail will find Botanical Art an amazing art genre. Artists who like flower painting will find this course a huge boon to executing better drawn plant images. Students will concentrate on one subject to develop drawing and or watercolor skills in the classical tradition. Learn the pencil and watercolor techniques in the style of the French Court. Understand the importance of Gesture, Contour, and Key Element Warm-Up Exercises and explore the Five Elements of Geometric Form. Learn to measure depth and portray actual plant size. Students will be able to repeat lessons from this class at home with the help of Ms. Braida’s Ten Steps book series. No experience is necessary. Interested students may pursue a Certificate in Botanical Art if desired.
    • To Register for classes, visit: http://www.selby.org/learning/classes
  • Instruction at Studio 20, Sarasota, Florida


    • Botanical Art Instruction at Studio 20 ~ Class times: Weekdays, 10:30am to 3:30pm. Saturdays, 10:30am to 2:30pm. Please check schedules on this site or in our Monthly Newsletter or call 941-953-9999. This is an open enrollment program. Students can work projects of their own choosing, or they can follow the Academy of Botanical Art program based on O.M. Braida's Ten Steps book series. If you want to attend more than one class, register and adjust quantity. If you attend four classes, please select the other 4-Class icon.


  • Distance Learning Programs with Tutor Assistance

    • Custom design your education with a home study program that works for you.
    • The Distance Learning program can be combined with independent study, tutor study, and classroom study.
    • Work at your own pace and follow the book series for self improvement or for Botanical Art and Illustration Certification.
    • Our distance learning program has students from all over the world, i.e. international, some working towards certification, others for their own botanical artistic development. Their instruction is completely tailored for a one-on-one experience to help these students focus on their particular areas of growth in this genre. The Academy brings the internationally sought after botanical art instruction and curriculum right into students' own homes and their personal schedules.
    • "Olivia is an extremely skilled botanical artist and instructor with great attention to detail in both her work and her teaching. She has gone to great lengths to create a world-class educational system through her Academy of Botanical Art. I highly recommend her as both an artist and teacher of botanical art." Ron Sanders, Artist, Sanders-Studios.com, Englewood, FL February 26, 2011
  • All classes and workshops, including Out of State events are announced on this website under "Class Schedules" and in our free monthly newsletter

    • Learn more under "classes" and to register, call: 941-953-9999


  • Be sure to sign up for our FREE monthly newsletter and our Once-A-Day Art Tips

  • Certificate Course in Botanical Art & Illustration

    The following information outlines a study sequence for a Certificate Course in Botanical Art & Illustration especially designed by O.M. Braida and now available through the Academy of Botanical Art ℠ (local and distance learning), and The Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. The availability of this course is continually growing as new locations are being added and instruction is available from qualified Academy Instructors. The sequence shown below can be altered to accommodate the student’s schedule.

    The certificate program is represented by 280 credits. There are twelve required courses that comprise 220 credits, and various electives to make up the additional 60 credits.

    Each core course is represented by one volume from the textbook series entitled "Ten Steps - A Course in Botanical Art & Illustration" by O.M. Braida, in addition to a supplementary set of 16 course paks that act as study companions. These books and course paks are the basis for the entire course. Books and paks can be ordered individually. Purchasing a set of "Ten Step" books Volumes 1-12, plus Thirteen Course Paks #'s 1-16, are your most economical way to proceed!

    Click here to find out about how to order the “Ten Steps” series of books on Botanical Art and Illustration.

    Requirements for a Certificate of Botanical Art and Illustration

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    I.Statement of Proposed Thesis:

    1. The "Statement of Proposed Thesis" for Presentation of Independent Work must explain a connected botanical theme for an original body of work.
    2. This proposal must be submitted first to the Academy for approval.
    3. An copy of the “Statement of Proposed Thesis” will be returned to the student marked “approved”.
    4. A copy of the approved “Statement of Proposed Thesis” must be included in student’s portfolio of independent work.
    5. In addition to the original works of art, students are required to submit two portfolios. See below.

    II.Presentation Contents:

    1. Nine original works of art in accordance with their approved theme as outlined in #III below.
    2. One Portfolio of quality copies of Original Work and Documents as outlined in #IV below.
    3. One Portfolio of ORIGINAL student course work as outlined in #V below.

    III.Original Works of Art:

    The presentation of independent work will be presented as follows:

    1. Three Research Boards relating to the chosen theme - complete with research, key element studies, and color guides. These boards are to appear professional in appearance and content. Photographs are to be by the student, except for one or two that are included as research validation of species. Photographs are to back up your illustrations and watercolor color choices.
    2. NINE original botanical artworks completed from the three researched subjects.
    3. The nine artworks are as follows: THREE graphite drawings, FOUR watercolor paintings and TWO Scientific Illustrations in pen and ink. One of the watercolors is to be of an orchid.
    4. All completed artwork will be attached to foam board with a protective tracing paper overlay that is labeled.
    5. The tracing paper overlay is to be labeled with its specimen identification label as learned in Drawing III. Be absolutely sure that your identification label is positioned on the tracing paper overlay so that it does not cover any of the artwork.

    IV.A Professional Portfolio of Independent Work that includes:

    portfolio
    1. Name and Title Page.
    2. Table of Contents.
    3. Statement of Proposed Thesis.
    4. Résumé as prepared in the Marketing Class .
    5. Color Copies of each completed independent artwork inserted vertically into portfolio and on the right side only and in any order you choose.
    6. Slides or digital images submitted on disk of all nine completed independent artworks.

    V.Course Portfolio

    courseport
    1. Name and Title Page.
    2. Table of Contents.
    3. Twenty (20) pieces of best work presented in sequence, either originals or color copies, as explained in items #4-8 below.:
    4. Two (2) pieces each from Drawing I through IV; Watercolor I through IV, and Pen and Ink, for a total of 18 works.
    5. One (1) additional piece selected from Drawing I through IV; Watercolor I through IV, Pen and Ink, or other Botanical elective work.
    6. One (1) final project from morphology. This drawing is to be placed last.
    7. Images must be inserted vertically and on right side only.
    8. Identifying tags on left are optional.
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    Academy of Botanical Artsm


    Founder: Olivia Marie Braida-Chiusano
    2068 Sunnyside Lane, Sarasota, FL 34239-4636
    (941) 953-9999
    olivia@omartdesigns.com
    www.omartdesigns.com
    www.academyofbotanicalart.com


    Schedule of Classes, Workshops, and Certification


    Enroll as an Academy student and combine Distance Learning with Class Time at any of our locations!!!


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    ACADEMY CLASSES & WORKSHOPS
    offered at several locations



    2016 and 2017

    Studio 20

    2068 Sunnyside Lane, Sarasota, FL 34239

    4 Classes (20 hrs) with Review and/or Grade = $595, includes Course Registration
    4 Classes (20 hrs) without Review and/or Grade = $470 , includes Course Registration
    Additional 5 hr Single Class without Review or Grade: $125 each


    Thursday, October 6…….......... 10:30am to 3:30pm.
    Saturday, October 8…….........10:30am to 3:30pm.
    Thursday, October 13…….........10:30am to 3:30pm.
    Thursday, October 20…….......... 10:30am to 3:30pm.
    Saturday, October 22…….........10:30am to 3:30pm.
    Thursday, November 3…….........10:30am to 3:30pm.
    Saturday, November 5…….........10:30am to 3:30pm.
    Thursday, November 17.….......... 10:30am to 3:30pm.
    Saturday, November 19.……….....10:30am to 3:30pm.
    Holiday Break
    Thursday, December 1…….......10:30am to 3:30pm.
    Saturday, December 3……….....10:30am to 3:30pm.
    Thursday, December 8…….......10:30am to 3:30pm.
    Thursday, December 15…….......10:30am to 3:30pm.
    Saturday, December 17……….....10:30am to 3:30pm.
    Holiday Break
    2017
    Thursday, January 5…….......... 10:30am to 3:30pm.
    Saturday, January 7…….........10:30am to 3:30pm.
    Thursday, January 12…….........10:30am to 3:30pm.
    Thursday, January 19…….........10:30am to 3:30pm.
    Saturday, January 21…….........10:30am to 3:30pm.
    Thursday, January 26…….........10:30am to 3:30pm.
    Saturday, January 28…….........10:30am to 3:30pm.
    Thursday, February 2.….......... 10:30am to 3:30pm.
    Saturday, February 4.……….....10:30am to 3:30pm.
    Thursday, February 9…….......10:30am to 3:30pm.
    Saturday, February 18…….......10:30am to 3:30pm.
    Thursday, February 23……….....10:30am to 3:30pm.
    Thursday, March 2.....….......... 10:30am to 3:30pm.
    Saturday, March 4...………......10:30am to 3:30pm.
    Thursday, March 9...……........10:30am to 3:30pm.
    Thursday, March 16....…….......10:30am to 3:30pm.
    Saturday, March 18.....………......10:30am to 3:30pm.
    Thursday, March 23....…….......10:30am to 3:30pm.
    Thursday, March 30....…….......10:30am to 3:30pm.
    Saturday, April 1.....………......10:30am to 3:30pm.
    Thursday, April 6.......….......... 10:30am to 3:30pm.
    Saturday, April 8.....………......10:30am to 3:30pm.
    Thursday, April 13......…….......10:30am to 3:30pm.
    Thursday, April 20.....………......10:30am to 3:30pm.
    Saturday, April 22......…….......10:30am to 3:30pm.
    Thursday, April 27.....………......10:30am to 3:30pm.
    No Classes in May
    Thursday, June 8.......……........10:30am to 3:30pm.
    Thursday, June 15.....………......10:30am to 3:30pm.
    Saturday, June 17.....………......10:30am to 3:30pm.
    Thursday, June 22......…….......10:30am to 3:30pm.
    Thursday, June 29......…….......10:30am to 3:30pm.
    Saturday, July 1.........……........10:30am to 3:30pm.
    Thursday, July 6.........…….......10:30am to 3:30pm.
    Thursday, July 13.........…….....10:30am to 3:30pm.
    Saturday, July 15.........……......10:30am to 3:30pm.
    Tuesday, July 20.........……......10:30am to 3:30pm.
    Thursday, July 27.........…….....10:30am to 3:30pm.

    School Closed for August and September. Reopens October 12, 2017

    Fall 2017 Dates To Be Announced

    All Dates Subject to Change

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    2016 and 2017

    Marie Selby Botanical Gardens


    BOTANICAL ART WORKSHOPS

    811 South Palm Avenue, Sarasota, Florida 34236


    No experience is necessary. Beginners to Advanced. Those students interested may pursue a Certificate in Botanical Art if desired. Courses may be applied as Academy credit. Students, and all Certificate Students, who wish to receive a review of their work and/or a grade for this course, pay an additional $125 course registration and review fee to instructor.

    THREE-DAY WORKSHOP - NOON TO 5PM

    Wednesday to Friday, October 26, 27, 28, 2016. Noon to 5pm

    $395 Non-Member; $350 Member; Plus $35 Fee payable to Instructor at time of class.

    Secrets Behind the Secret Garden Art

    Part I - Drawing

    Instructor: Olivia Braida

    Course Description:


    Watch - Explore - Create

    In this three-day art workshops students will be presented with a short slide presentation about a brief history of Botanical Art and the manner in which Antique botanicals were created and composed. Students will enjoy a trip through the Gardens and learn the tools of measuring, recording, and working from field notes. Field sketches will be developed into fine drawings in this first of two 3-day workshops.

    THREE-DAY WORKSHOP - NOON TO 5PM

    Wednesday to Friday, November 9, 10, 11, 2016 - Noon to 5pm

    $395 Non-Member; $350 Member; Plus $35 Fee payable to Instructor at time of class.

    Secrets Behind the Secret Garden Art

    Part II - Watercolor

    Instructor: Olivia Braida

    Course Description:


    Part II (Part I not a prerequisite) of of this series will explore and review the color works of the Masters of botanical art. Students will have an opportunity to learn several of the techniques used by the French Court masters and other masters of this art form. Those students who complete a drawing in Part I are welcome to turn their drawing into a finished watercolor painting, or begin a new one, or work by copying a master work.

    ONE-DAY ART WORKSHOP

    Saturday, December 10, 2016 - 10am to 5pm

    $95 member; $120 Non-Member; Plus $25 Fee payable to Instructor at time of class.

    Secrets Behind the Secret Garden Art

    Part III - Antique Botanicals in Pen & Ink

    Instructor: Olivia Braida

    Course Description:


    Part III (Part I and II are not a prerequisite) Antique botanical art & illustrations are designed to give useful information and explain the subject in a pleasing readable format. Students will learn and/or perfect the art of inking to complete a butterfly illustration on drafting film and a flower illustration on paper. Students will also learn the four basic principles to achieving good layout or composition: (1) Gesture, (2) Balance, (3) Focal Point, and (4) Entrance and Exit (Eye Flow). Students of this class may want to mark their calendars for March 27, 28, 29, 2017, when Chagall-esque Part II will use ink to create stained glass watercolor images in the style of Chagall.

    THREE-DAY WORKSHOP - NOON TO 5PM

    Wednesday to Friday, February 15, 16, 17, 2017. Noon to 5pm

    $395 Non-Member; $350 Member; Plus $35 Fee payable to Instructor at time of class.

    Chagall-esque Flower Fantasy in Watercolor

    Instructor: Olivia Braida

    Course Description:


    Flights of Flower Fantasy will be the mantra in this three day workshop designed to bring beautiful botanical drawings to life with color and movement. Flowers combined with Chagall themes will be introduced as students work loosely with watercolor to create their own Chagall dream-like style. Previous students of the Academy may want to bring their completed drawings of flowers from Drawing II, III, or IV and recreate them in this style.

    THREE-DAY WORKSHOP - NOON TO 5PM

    Monday to Wednesday, March 27, 28, 29 , 2017 — Noon to 5pm –

    $395 Non-Member; $350 Member; Plus $35 Fee payable to Instructor at time of class.

    Chagall-esque Riviera Stained Glass Parody - Flowers & Images in Watercolor & Ink

    Course Description:


    Borrow from the images of the Riviera and from brilliance of Chagall stained-glass images to create your own “stained glass” image in color and ink on paper. Using either watercolor or colored pencil and pen & ink, students will create artworks meaningful to them but representative of Chagall’s style. Bring your ideas, favorite poems, and photographs of your favorite images. Students are welcome to draw first or work directly in color.

    THREE-DAY WORKSHOP - NOON TO 5PM

    Monday to Wednesday, April 24, 25, 26, 2017 — Noon to 5pm –

    $395 Non-Member; $350 Member; Plus $35 Fee payable to Instructor at time of class.

    Chagall-esque Riviera Color of Dreams - Language of Flower Compositions in Watercolor

    Course Description:


    In this workshop students will work with the Language of Flowers to adapt a surrealistic flower portrait in the dream-like style of Chagall. Borrowing from the 19th Century passion for flower meanings, students will create compositions of flowers that express an emotion or message. The Chagall like style of these works will allow students to paint loosely in watercolor.

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    Academy Instructors

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    Oliva Marie Braida-Chiusano

    Founder, Academy of Botanical Art
    Master Botanical Artist, Author, and Educator

    Oliva Marie Braida-Chiusano

    Olivia Braida is founder of the Academy of Botanical Art, a division of OM Art Designs. As a Certified Botanical Artist, Ms. Braida has authored a book series entitled, “Ten Steps – A Course in Botanical Art, Volumes 1-12,” which she has used to design the various classes that form the Academy’s Botanical Art Certificate Program. The botanical art lessons are designed to be sequential with each lesson building on the one before.

    Ms. Braida’s course curriculum emphasizes developing strong drawing skills and an understanding of both watercolor and pen and ink which are considered the traditional media of the botanical artist. The entire program is designed to prepare the student for becoming a professional artist – whether it be for vocation or avocation.

    Founder and Board President Emeritus of the Florida Society of Botanical Artists, Inc. (FSBA), Ms. Braida is delighted to expand the awareness of botanical art to both adults and young teens who may find the numerous opportunities connected with botanical art of great interest as they develop their drawing skills.

    Ms. Braida's work has received many exhibition awards and publishing honors. She is a full member of the Copley Society of Artists in Boston, Massachusetts. Her work is featured in “TODAY’S BOTANICAL ARTISTS” by Cora B. Marcus and Libby Kyer, Schiffer Publishing 2008 and in “Kirpal Singh, His Grace Lives On” published by Ruhani Satsang 2001. She created a florilegia reflecting the biodiversity study in the Caribbean -- thirteen grand scale commissioned pieces now hang in the Cornell University’s Conference Center for Biodiversity and Medicinal Plants, in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Ms. Braida has been recognized by The Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation, Research Division of Carnegie Mellon University, in Pittsburgh, by the purchase for their private collection of her original watercolor, “Magnolia grandiflora ‘Little Gem’ #2"; and the South Florida Museum in Bradenton, Florida by their acquisition of “Nelumbo 'Baby Doll’' (Dwarf White Lotus). She has developed a network of clients within the United States, the Caribbean, Europe, and Thailand. Ms. Braida is the founder and director of the Academy of Botanical Art. Her school, books, and teaching methods available through her Distance Learning Program attract students in the US, Canada, Europe, South America, Australia and Mexico.

    A graduate of the State University of New York, Ms. Braida holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business, Art and Writing; a Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate from the New York Botanical Garden; and a Certificate in children's book writing from the Institute of Children's Literature. She received her professional art training at SUNY Purchase, Pratt, the New York Art Students League, the New York Botanical Garden and studied under Master Painters Caesar Borgia and Anne Marie Evans in New York and in the United Kingdom.

    Ms. Braida also conducts travel workshops and offers distance learning both in the U.S. and abroad. She lives in Sarasota with her husband and other family members close by.


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    James L. Castner, PhD


    Certified Academy Instructor of Entomology

    James L. Castner, PhD

    The Academy is proud to appoint Dr. James L. Castner, PhD. as a Certified Academy Instructor of Entomology. He brings his wealth of knowledge and experience as an entomologist and tropical biologist, as an educator, author, and photographer. His artistic abilities and his professional background will bring a wealth of enjoyable experience.

    Although Dr. Castner intends to continue writing, his first love is teaching and interacting with students and educators. Dr. Castner has created an online program to teach entomology, tropical biology, and a variety of other courses related to the life sciences, and forensics. This program under the auspices of the Academy of Botanical Art will offer students a chance to take a course or two, or more, with Dr. Castner and an opportunity to receive a Certificate in Entomological Illustration or a Dual Certificate in Botanical Art and Entomological Illustration. He firmly believes in field-oriented, hands-on courses where students can learn and enjoy themselves at the same time and to this end will be planning field trips to the Amazon.

    Dr. James L. Castner who writes, photographs, edits, from the University of Florida where his academic background includes entomology, botany, and Spanish. This academic foundation, combined with the experience of over 20 years of travel and research in Latin America and the Amazon Basin, have provided the expertise to teach and write on a variety of topics for diverse audiences including children, college students, and educators.

    Feline Press is a publishing company founded by Dr. James L. Castner in 1990. It specializes in a limited number of titles treating various aspects of entomology, botany, and the natural history and cultures of the Amazon. By writing and photographing his own books, Dr. Castner has created texts that are affordable to students and coffee-table books on unique subject matter. You can locate Dr. Castner's books by visiting the Academy Marketplace – click here: http://astore.amazon.com/theomartdesig-20


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    Ron Sanders, PAA


    Fine Artist
    Certified Academy Instructor

    Ron Sanders, PAA

    Ron Sanders is an extremely talented artist and the Academy of Botanical Art is proud to have him as part of their education team.

    Ron is a Signature Member of the Paint America Association and Associate Member of the Oil Painters of America. With his inclusion in numerous national juried exhibitions and ever increasing Best of Show Awards, this dedicated artist houses his beautiful work in both private and public collections throughout the United States, including the Indiana State Museum Collection. Recent awards include First Place in the 2009 Richeson 75: Portrait/Figure competition and the Most Innovative Painting Award at the National Oil & Acrylic Painters Society “Best of America 2008” exhibition.

    A BFA graduate, Ron received a strong foundation in traditional art at the Columbus College of Art & Design including an introduction to Renaissance painting techniques by Nathaniel Larrabee. In spite of Ron's love for and commitment to Academic Realism, his preference for outdoor settings eventually lead to his study of impressionism and alla prima painting with instructors like Huihan Liu and then president of Plein Air Painters of America, George Strickland. This helped Ron develop a thorough understanding of outdoor color and plein air paint application which explains his advanced skill in expressing temperature and edge shifts that occur in natural light. Ron now integrates the design, draftsmanship, and layered painting techniques of his classical training with the color, texture and edges inspired by impressionism. He continues to explore the balance between the formal aspects of academic work and the expressive and romantic qualities of impressionism. He is author of the book "Color Mixing/Color Matching: How to mix clean bright colors and beautiful neutrals."

    Experienced in oil, watercolor, and acrylic, Ron has also worked as a commercial illustrator represented by agents in New York and Chicago. His commercial clients include Spike TV, Doubleday Book Club, Chase Financial, The Boy Scouts, BF Goodrich and many others. Although some of Ron’s work appears as limited edition prints, including extensively researched historical images, his focus is now on the sale of original paintings through galleries and on commissions. Learn more about Ron Sanders by visiting his website: www.sanders-studio.com

    Ron is a native of Fort Wayne, Indiana. He graduated Magna Cum Laude in 1989 from the Columbus College of Art & Design in Columbus, Ohio, with a BFA in illustration and minors in advertising, photography, and fine art. He currently lives in Florida with his family.


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    Leslie W. Ramsey


    Certified Botanical Artist
    Certified Academy Instructor
    Director of Academy @ Kentucky

    Leslie Ramsey

    Leslie Ramsey was born and raised in the beautiful mountains of Eastern Kentucky. She has always enjoyed drawing and painting. Ms. Ramsey has been a snowbird since the tender age of two when her family began wintering in Bradenton, Florida . She continues to call both Florida and Kentucky home. It was during the winter several years ago that Ms. Ramsey met Olivia Braida at the Ringling College of Art and Design Open House and was so impressed with Ms. Braida’s watercolor rendering of a pineapple that she decided to take an introductory course in Botanical Art and Illustration and the rest, as they say, is history.

    Ms. Ramsey is an award winning botanical artist, a member of the Florida Society of Botanical Artists and the Florida Native Plant Society. Her work has been published in Ms. Braida’s “Ten Steps – A Course in Botanical Art.” Ms. Ramsey followed the Academy’s instructor apprenticeship program to completion and is now an approved Academy instructor. In addition, she was chosen to be part of the OM Art Design team that created images for the IWGS. Her drawing of Nymphaea ‘St. Louis Gold’ was chosen for the cover of the 2006 International Water Garden Society program for the annual convention in Orlando, Florida. She and Ms. Braida collaborated on the IWGS promotional materials featuring Freddy the Frog which can be seen on the symposium Freddy information fold-out for the IWGS arts competition and the symposium water bottles. After drawing Freddy for many years he has finally hopped into the limelight.

    Leslie Ramsey is currently living in Lexington, Kentucky where she recently began teaching the Academy lessons at the new Academy in Kentucky school. In addition to her teaching, and her private art commissions, she has her own interior design firm, Designing Women, LLC.


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    Rosalind Sorbello Rowe


    Researcher, Writer, Educator
    Certified Academy Instructor
    Distance Learning Program: Plant Morphology for Artists

    Rosalind Sorbello Rowe

    Rosalind S. Rowe is a researcher, writer, educator, and nature artist. Her extensive career in nature studies has provided opportunities that involve her in the study of Central Florida Invasive Plants for the Florida Chapter of the Nature Conservancy and as editor for the Florida Native Plant Society newsletter (Sabal minor).

    Rosalind has been busy contributing her research and case studies to provide hands-on activities for 12th grade science textbooks, as well as conducting research to summarize and create composite species descriptions for over 2500 plants, descriptions which will be used as baselines for the herbarium and field research applied to writing Flora of Virginia. Never too far removed from the botanical art world, Rosalind has contributed line drawings and paintings of plants for brochures and displays for The Wintergreen Nature Foundation and the Next Steps Collective.

    Rosalind brings to the Academy her knowledge of botany and of education. Her background as a Senior Technical Writer and Education Curriculum Developer for Computer Associates not only gave her experience in designing and developing training deliverables, including student workbooks and instructor guides, but also in performing editorial and quality assurance reviews and in mentoring her peers and others working on course development products. The Academy is delighted to have Rosalind’s contribution to their course study of Plant Morphology for Artists by O. M. Braida. We are grateful to her contribution to the course work book and her many suggestions for improving the plant morphology course for online students.

    Rosalind Rowe holds a B.S. in Information Systems Management from the College of Business, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida (3.9 GPA) and studied in the Ecosystems Analysis core program in Maths & Sciences major at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, Green Bay, Wisconsin. Her analytical and strong communication skills (she speaks fluent English, French and some Spanish) will go a long way to help students enjoy their studies of Plant Morphology for Artists at the Academy of Botanical Art. She currently lives in Florida with her family. Academy Students can contact her at rosalind@academyofbotanicalart.com.


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    Elisabeth Trostli-Rusling


    Artist, Illustrator, Designer & Educator
    Certified Academy Instructor
    Essentials for Design & Decorative Arts Program

    Elisabeth Trostli-Rusling

    Elizabeth Trostli received her artistic education at the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design, majoring in Illustration. Since 1981, Liz has been a successful free-lance artist and designer, serving the advertising, stationery and giftware industries.

    Liz Trostli's creation of advertising materials includes logos, brochures, point-of-purchase displays, catalogs, packaging, and direct mail. She is adept at various hand and computer-enhanced illustrative techniques. Her projects included architectural rendering and fashion illustration, textile, stationery and jewelry renderings. She is experienced in all aspects of print and Web-based graphic design and production, from concept through finished project. Her specialty is surface and product design for the giftware industry. She combines her passion for tropical flora, antiques, travel and historical decorative arts in the creation of the images that include poster-sized collages, exquisite hand-painted embellishments, and an array of products including wall decor, tabletop, needlecraft, stationery, textiles and giftware.

    In addition to her artistic talents, Liz speaks fluent English, Portuguese and German, and has a working knowledge of Spanish and Italian. The Academy is grateful to Liz for her contribution to the Essentials for Design & Decorative Arts program for syllabi content and development. Students will find her delightful nature helpful as they explore the courses offered in this program. Learn more about Liz from her website: www.etrostli.com.


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    John Beckner, BS Botany

    1932-2011


    "When we do the best that we can, we never know what miracle is wrote in our life or in the life of another." Helen Keller

    Academy Instructor of Botany - 2002-2011
    Author of Several Botany Programs at the Academy and
    Collaborator with Ms. Braida on Volume #10: Plant Morphology for Artists
    Ten Steps A Course in Botanical Art & Illustration by O.M. Braida

    John Beckner, BS Botany

    "Only the individual artist can be truly creative and express whatever the artistic goal may be. To reach the level of talented art production, a vast foundation can be learned from those who have already gained experience. Olivia Braida is one such person, an artist and a teacher, who has covered just about anything the student, will want to know to begin their botanical art career in her "Ten Steps" series. Even more important, she teaches what they did not realize they needed to know. It is a privilege to be associated with such an ongoing effort. In the years ahead we can watch for the growing body of talented students and an impressive body of artistic results." JB

    EDUCATION
    B.S. degree in Agriculture, major in Botany, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL with coursework at University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL, and St. Petersburg Junior College, St. Petersburg, FL.

    RESEARCH
    University of Florida Herbarium (FLAS), Gainesville, FL
    Managed staff activities, identified 2000-3000 specimens per year for the State Agricultural Extension Service. Conducted research for the U.S. Air Force at Eglin Air Force Base in western Florida.

    Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, Sarasota, FL
    Research interests: plants of Florida and the Caribbean; Orchidaceae of the world, especially terrestrials of warm regions; twig epiphytes; Oncidium; Vanilla; ecology and population biology of epiphytes; and theoretical aspects of evolution. Increasingly focused upon complex ecological systems that include orchids.

    General Geography of Research: All counties in Florida and adjacent portions of other states. Formerly active in Cuba, Bahamas, and Central America.
    Projects: Epiphytes in Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve, Collier Co., FL; terrestrial orchids and their natural hybrids in northern FL; variation, ecology, distribution of water plants, including species of Florida; variation, geography, domestication potential of Vitis shuttleworthii (Calusa grape); Sesbania (Legume), a genus of native and exotic nitrogen fixing and erosion control plants.
    Goals: Prepared field guides and technical papers on Florida ecosystems; developed ways to enhance and make sustainable our environment.

    TEACHING AND PUBLIC SPEAKING
    Academy of Botanical Art, Sarasota, FL. Distance Learning Instructor for plant morphology, Orchid Conservation, Bromeliad Studies, Endangered Species, Native Plant Studies.
    Ringling College of Art, Sarasota, FL. Adjunct, teaching plant morphology course as part of certificate program in botanical illustration.
    Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, Sarasota, FL. Delivered talks to orchid, bromeliad, fern, gesneriad, native plant, and conservation groups. Speaker at the Orchid Conservation-97 conference. Keynote speaker at the North American Native Orchid Alliance conference, Tampa, FL, April 1997, Master Naturalist class on Florida orchids, 2002.
    Pinellas Technical Institute (formally Pinellas Vocational-Technical Institute), St. Petersburg, FL. Taught courses in Genetics, Plant Physiology, and primarily Plant Identification for 15 years.
    Eckerd College, St. Petersburg, FL. Adjunct, taught Plant Biodiversity, 2002.

    ORGANIZATIONS
    Sigma Xi, since 1960’s.
    Voted Life Membership in Florida West Coast Orchid Society. Past member and officer in numerous plant societies.
    Accredited Judge of American Orchid Society since September 1963, active in AOS judging in Florida, until retired to senior status in 2003.
    Founded and chaired The Orchid Conservation Committee, Inc.

    SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY
    Author of numerous popular and scientific papers on native and introduced Florida plants, especially orchids; assisted Carlyle Luer with The Native Orchids of Florida; and assisted Richard Wunderlin with Flora of Florida, Volume I, Pteridophytes and Gymnosperms.
    Beckner, John. 1953. Schizaea germanii in Florida. Amer. Fern J. 43: 124-125.
    Beckner, John and L.E. Arnold. 1955. A fern genus new to the United States. Amer. Fern J. 45: 10-11.
    Beckner, John. 1955. Letter on origin of agriculture. Brass Tacks. Analog 55(3): 156-158.
    _____. 1958. Orchids on bark in nature. Amer. Orch. Soc. Bull. 27(5):327.
    _____. 1958. Letter on rare Florida orchids. Amer. Orch. Soc. Bull. 27(12): 630-839.
    Beckner, John, J.S. Sweet, and R. Livingston. 1960. Hereditary influences of the Cattleya alliance. Amer. Orch. Soc. Bull. 29(1): 14-15.
    Reprinted in various journals.
    Beckner, John. 1963. The genus Trichocentrum. Amer. Orch. Soc. Bull. 32(3): 194-196.
    _____. 1964. Names for space plants. Analog 72(6): 87-89.
    _____. 1964. Native Florida orchids. Fla. Orch. 7(2): 78-70.
    _____. 1964. Fern culture. Pp. 30-33 in E.T. Wherry, ed. The Southern Fern Guide.
    _____. 1964. Eulophidium maculatum. Amer. Orch. Soc. Bull. 33(12): 1066-1068.
    _____. 1965. Phalaenopsis- the typical section. Amer. Orch. Soc. Bull. 34(2): 1069-1072.
    _____. 1967. Hemigraphis reptans (Acanthaceae), a new Florida weed. Sida 3(2): 118-119.
    _____. 1968. Lygodium microphylum, another fern escaped in Florida. Amer. Fern J. 58(2): 93-94.
    _____. 1968. Anoda cristata (Malvaceae) in Florida. Sida 3: 280-281.
    _____. 1968. The correct name of a natural hybrid in Habenaria. Amer. Orch. Soc. Bull. 37(6): 480-482.
    _____. 1970. Notes on Florida and West Indian orhids. Phytologia 20: 217.
    _____. 1970. Orchids and orchid collectors in Central America. Part 1. – Panama. Amer. Orch. Soc. Bull. 39(12): 1066-1073.
    _____. 1971. Orchids and orchid collectors in Central America. Part 2. – Costa Rica. Amer. Orch. Soc. Bull. 40(2): 124-131.
    _____. 1971. Ada. Book review of V. Nabokov’s botanical novel. Orchidata 11(3): 67-69
    _____. 1972. The genus Epidendrum. Fla. Orch. 15(2): 66-69.
    _____. 1979. A method of growing the impossible bog orchids. Amer. Orch. Soc. Bull. 48(6): 556-560.
    _____. 1991. Aa- an introduction. Aa 1(1): 1.
    _____. 1991. Choices. Aa 1(1): 2.
    _____. 1991. Report from the Orchid Conservation Committee. Aa 1(1): 3-4.
    _____. 1991. Recommendations. Aa 1(1): 5-7.
    _____. 1991. Introduction. Aa 1(2): 12.
    _____. 1991. Illustration of Cypripedium kentuckiense & C. rebunense. Aa 1(2): 24.
    _____. 1991. Cypripedium selected bibliography. Aa 1(2): 25.
    _____. 1991. A carnivorous orchid. Aa 1(2): 24-25.
    _____. 1991. What next? Aa 1(3): 27.
    _____. 1991. Sexual expression in orchids. Aa 1(3): 33-34.
    _____. 1991. Atmospheric hydrocarbons and orchids. Aa 1(3): 34.
    _____. 1992. Island biogeography. Aa 1(4); 36-37.
    _____. 1992. West Indian orchids. Aa 1(4): 44.
    _____. 1992. Illustration of Laelia milleri. Aa 2(1): 7.
    _____. 1992. Some interesting economic data on orchids. Aa 2(1): 8.
    _____. 1993. Vanishing orchids in Florida. Aa 2(); 11-12.
    _____. 1993. Orchids in the Florida Aquarium. Aa 2(2) 14.
    _____. 1993. Illustration of Cattleya dowiana & Laelia milleri. Aa 2(2): 15.
    _____. 1993. Aquatic orchids. Aa 2(2): 16.
    _____. 1995. Statement of purpose. Aa 2(4): 27-29.
    _____. 1995. Alwyn Gentry…6 Jan. 1945- 3 Aug. 1993. Aa 2(2): 32-33.
    _____. 1996. Observations of orange-fringed orchids in north Florida. Aa: 3(2): 7.
    _____. 1997. The biology of Florida’s orchids. The Palmetto, Spring 1997: 6.
    _____. 1997. Flowering seasons of roadside orchids in Florida. Orchid News & Views. Insert.
    _____. 1998. Atwood, John T. & John Beckner, 1998, Ceratostylis incognita J.T. Atwood and J. Beckner, a new species from the Philippines. Selbyana 19(2): 265-266.
    _____. 1999. Orchids in north Florida bogs. Orchid News & Views. June 1999: 3-4.
    _____. 1999. Fakahatchee Strand – it’s impossible to keep your feet dry. Orchid News & Views. May 1999: 3-5.
    _____. 2000. Encyclia cochleata. Orchid News & Views. Jan 2000: 7-8.
    _____. 2000. The green side of orchids. Orchid New & Views. Apr. 2000: 3-6.
    _____. 2000. Orchids for landscaping along the central West Coast of Florida. Orchid News & Views. Oct. 2000: 6-8.
    _____. 2000. Orchid grower and grand eccentric Edward James. 2000 The Tropical Dispatch. 27(2): 7.
    _____. 2000. Wunderlin, Hansen, Beckner. Flora of Florida Volume 1 Pteridophytes and Gymnosperms. “Botanical Explorations in Florida” pp 35-99. University Press of Florida.
    _____. 2001. Questioning the origins of Vanda ‘Miss Joaquim’. Orchid News & Views. 2001.
    _____. 2001. Swat! SWAT! A day of wild adventures in the Fakahatchee. Orchid News & Views. May 2001: 7.
    _____. 2001. Gone with the ash. Orchid News & Views. Oct. 2001: 6-7.
    _____. 2001. The most expensive orchids in the world. Orchid News & Views. Dec 2001: 2-3.
    _____. 2002. Lawrence K. Magrath, Robert L. Dressler, Atwood, John T. & John Beckner. Flora of North America. Vol 26, pp 494-499.
    _____. 2002. Selby Vignette: Gone with the ash. http://www.selby.org/research/vignettes/gone.htm
    _____. 2002. Florida Native Orchids. Natural History Guidebook, for Master Naturalists. Selby. September 2002.
    _____. 2003. Selby Vignette: Quest for the Ghost Orchid. http://www.selby.org/research/vignettes/questghost.htm
    _____. 2003. A New Combination in Paphiopedilum (Orchidaceae). Selbyana 23(2): 196
    _____. 2003. Plant Morphology, Textbook for Botanical Artists. Preliminary Classroom Version, The Ringling College of Art. October 2003.
    _____. 2003. Book review of Mori, et al, Guide to the Vascular Plants of Central French Guiana Part 2. Dicotyledons. Selbyana 24(1): 116.
    _____. 2004. Orchid Conservation, Economics, and Research. An Introductory Chapter in: Bransilver, Connie. Wild Love Affair: Essence of Florida’s Native Orchids. Westcliff.
    _____. 2004. Plant Morphology, Textbook for Botanical Artists, Second Preliminary Version, The Ringling College of Art.
    _____. 2004. Book Review of Langenheim, J.H., Plant Resins. Chemistry, Evolution, Ecology, and Ethnobotany. Selbyana 25(1).
    _____. 2004. Book Review of Smil, V. Enriching the Earth. Plant Science Bulletin 50(4): 122-123.
    _____. 2004 Book Review of Philpot, J.H. The Sacred Tree in Religion and Myth. Plant Science Bulletin 50(4).
    _____. 2005. Book Review of Roger D. Smith et al, Seed Conservation: turning science into practice. Plant Science Bulletin 51(1): 18-19.
    ______. (In Press) Aquatic Orchids. Water Garden Journal.


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    Alan Bamberger


    Art Consultant – Author – Appraiser
    Certified Academy Instructor
    Distance Learning Program: Business of Art

    Alan Bamberger

    The Academy is honored to have among its instructors Alan Bamberger who will be consulting with its distance learners during their study of the “Business of Art – The ABC’s of Developing Your Art Career” program. Mr. Bamberger has a very long and distinguished career as an art consultant, advisor, author, and independent appraiser specializing in research, appraisal, and all business and market aspects of original works of art, artist manuscript materials, art-related documents, and art reference books. He has been selling art since 1979 and rare and scholarly art reference books since 1982, and has been consulting and appraising for artists, galleries, businesses, organizations and collectors since 1985. You will want to learn more by visiting his website: www.artbusiness.com.

    Bamberger has appeared live on CNN's Daywatch, KTLA's Making It (Los Angeles), and KRON-TV in San Francisco, and answered art business questions on New York City Cable TV's Project Art Show. He's been quoted in numerous media including the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Great Britain's Guardian Unlimited, Marketplace (National Public Radio), the Los Angeles Times, New York Newsday, the San Francisco Chronicle, Esquire, ESPN Magazine, Real Simple, ARTnews, The Arizona Republic and Wired and has been featured in the Chicago Tribune, the San Francisco Examiner, Kiplinger's Personal Finance, Your Money, and other publications.

    Bamberger has written about the art business since 1983. His syndicated column, "Art Talk," debuted in 1985 and appeared in antique and collectibles newspapers and magazines nationwide including Antique Week, Mid-Atlantic Antiques Magazine, Yesteryear, Antique and Collectables, The Collector, Antiques and Auction News, Antique Gazette, Old Stuff, and Collectors Journal. Bamberger currently writes the "Turning Pro" column for Coagula Art Journal, has been a columnist for Art Calendar Magazine, and has written numerous articles about the art business for publications like American Artist, Antiques and Fine Art, Antiques West, Antique Trader, San Francisco Review of Books, and Art of California. He has also written three books, Buy Art Smart and Art For All, published by Wallace-Homestead in 1990 and 1994 respectively, and The Art of Buying Art, published by Gordon's Art Reference in 2002, and then revised and enlarged in 2007.

    He has given expert testimony in court, done numerous radio interviews, spoken with Spencer Michaels of The News Hour With Jim Lehrer regarding a PBS news story about eBay, consulted with financial columnist Andrew Leckey for annual predictions on what's hot in the art market, been interviewed by Random House editors for the art section of their book The Practical Guide to Practically Everything, and is a listed expert in Tony Hyman's Trash or Treasure. He also speaks to museum and collector groups across the country and was the original moderator of the "Topics in Art" forum on the Antique Week website.

    Bamberger is a member of the Association of Online Appraisers, the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America and the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers. He has served on the board of directors of Creativity Explored, an organization dedicated to encouraging artistic expression in the developmentally challenged, on the exhibition committee of Visual Aid, a service organization serving artists with life threatening illnesses, and worked with ArtSpan which produces San Francisco Open Studios. Visit: http://www.artbusiness.com/


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    Marguerite Jill Dye


    Plein Air Painter/Chinese Brush Painter
    Approved Academy Instructor

    Marguerite Jill Dye

    Jill Dye brings to the Academy of Botanical Art her delightful spirit and artistic skills. Her work is influenced by her love of life, nature, France and China. Her deep connection with the natural world translates into respect for all of nature. Surrounded by nature and life, she paints what she feels and experiences: the movement of the wind translates into spontaneous brush strokes and lively lines; flickering sunlight and shadow become a playful dance of color and light; a sense of serenity becomes gentle transparent glazes of harmonious hues. The spirit of the place determines the mood of the painting, whether active and exciting or meditative and peaceful.

    Academy students have enjoyed Ms. Dye’s classes in ink and watercolor, as well as her cheerful instruction in the art of Chinese Brush Painting. She tells her students, “The highest ideal is to create the work with a pure heart so the viewer will absorb only the best qualities of the artist which are believed to transcend the work of art.”

    A Brief Biography of the Artist

    Art Education: The Ringling College of Art and Design’s Fine Art Certificate Program, Zhejiang Academy of Fine Art (Hangzhou, China), Schiller International University (Paris), Virginia Commonwealth University, Virginia Museum of Fine Art, private tutorials: China, US.

    Teaching Experience: Classes and workshops for adults, children and families in Chinese Brush Painting, Chinese Culture, Watercolor, Ink and Watercolor, Plein Air Painting, Watercolor Woodblock, Experimental Work on Rice Paper, Eclectic Art, The Artist’s Way, Creating the Life You Want to Live.

    Organizations and locations: Sarasota Arts Council Visiting Artist in numerous schools throughout Sarasota City and County (2003-current); The Academy of Botanical Art (2005-current); Marie Selby Botanical Gardens (2004-5); Sarasota Studio Classes (2003-5) Chaffee Art Center, Rutland VT (2005, 6); Killington Summerfest (2005,6); Richmond Partners in the Arts, Arts and Humanities Center, Henrico County Arts Program, Richmond Hand Workshop, Arts on the Square, Richmond Children’s Museum (1990-2000).

    Exhibits: 1985 to Present: One woman and group exhibitions in Florida (including Promenade Gallery, Imperial Fine Art Gallery, and the Abbott Galleries of St. Armand’s Circle), Virginia and Vermont, plus public, private and corporate collections in the US, Europe and China; Ms. Dye is the recipient of numerous awards and certificates.

    Associations: Founder and Director of Friendship Through the Arts, a cultural exchange program of the US-China Peoples Friendship Association, leader of nine delegations of artists, writers and teachers to China, hosted numerous Chinese delegations in US Sarasota Sister Cities Committees for China and France, leading delegation of artists to France 2007, National League of American PEN Women (served as Virginia State President), member Arts and Letters in Virginia, Vermont, Florida (1985-2006), Killington Arts Guild.

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    Becoming An Academy Instructor

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    Existing Botanical Artists/Instructors, or those students who successfully complete their botanical art certification, may wish to consider becoming an Academy Instructor. Application submission and acceptance is required. Please be sure to inquire about this exciting program.

    1. Approved Academy Instructor: An Approved Academy Instructor is one who is already an established artist with teaching background who does not have a Certificate in Botanical Art & Illustration from the Academy or other school. The Applicant must be familiar with fine graphite illustrations and watercolor in the style of classical realism and should be quite comfortable teaching at least to Level II of the "Ten Steps" Program. This includes the ability to teach Botanical Drawing I and II, Watercolor I and II, and Pen & Ink I and II.

    2. Senior Academy Instructor: To become a Senior Academy Instructor, the applicant must have previous experience as a Botanical Art Instructor and must be capable of teaching to Level IV of the Ten Step Program or its equivalent. Senior Instructors are themselves already Certified Botanical Artists or are awaiting Certification. Senior Instructors who teach the "OM Method" under the Academy program and with Academy materials for a minimum of one year may make application for the Certified Academy Instructor status.

    3. Certified Academy Instructor: To become a Certified Academy Instructor, instructors must first meet the requirements for Senior Academy Instructors status. Certified Academy Instructors are Certified Botanical Artists who have studied the OM Method either with the Academy Founder or one of her Certified Instructors. Certified Academy Instructors are able to teach to Level IV of the Ten Step Program.