Academy of Botanical Artsm

Nature Art in the French Court Tradition


Classical Renaissance instruction offering
Programs in Botanical Art and Illustration

Courses in Drawing, Watercolor, Pen & Ink, Colored Pencil,
Scientific Illustration, and the Business of Art

The Study of Nature is a Field

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

Register Here

"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


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.
    • To Register for classes, visit:

  • 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.
    • Our distance learning program has students from all over the world, i.e. international, some working for school credits and 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,, 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

Course in Botanical Art & Illustration

The following information outlines a study sequence for the Academy's Course in Botanical Art & Illustration especially designed by O.M. Braida℠ for local and distance learning. The sequence shown below can be altered to accommodate the student’s schedule.

The program is represented by eleven (11) required courses, and various electives. Students who complete the full program successfully receive a Diploma from The Marie Selby Botanical Gardens and The Academy of Botanical Art.

Each core course is represented by one volume and its accompanying course pak from the textbook series entitled "Ten Steps - A Course in Botanical Art & Illustration" by O.M. Braida. In addition, there are supplementary textbooks and course paks that act as elective study. These books and course paks are the basis for the entire course. Textbooks and Course Paks can be ordered individually. Textbooks and Course Paks can be ordered individually. Purchasing a set of "Ten Step" books Volumes 1-12, plus 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.
Course Pak 14
About Bromeliads for Botanical Artists
Course Pak 15
About Palms for Botanical Artists
Endangered Plant Species
Extinct, Extirpated, Endangered, Vulnerable Plants and Plantoids With Examples of Special Concern

Academy of Botanical Artsm

Founder: Olivia Marie Braida-Chiusano
2068 Sunnyside Lane, Sarasota, FL 34239-4636
(941) 953-9999

Schedule of Classes and Workshops

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


offered at several locations


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

2018 Class Dates

Dates Subject to Change

Class Times: 10:30am to 3:30pm Unless Otherwise Posted

Thursday, October  11………
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2019 Class Dates

Dates Subject to Change

Class Times: 10:30am to 3:30pm Unless Otherwise Posted

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School Closed for August and September. Reopens October 10, 2019

All Dates Subject to Change



Marie Selby Botanical Gardens


811 South Palm Avenue, Sarasota, Florida 34236

No experience is necessary. Beginners to Advanced. Those students interested may pursue courses in sequence or out of sequence. Adults, College, and School Students who wish to receive a review of their Selby artwork, pay an additional $125 course registration and review fee to instructor.

ORCHID ROOTS & MORE November 9, 2018 10am to 5pm with Instructor Olivia Braida and Dr. Antonio Toscano, Orchidologist at the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens.

Selby Gardens.Visit to register.

$125 Non-Member; $95 Member; Plus $35 Fee payable to Instructor at time of class.

Visit to register for Olivia Braida Workshop


Visit for Other 2018 Olivia Braida Workshop listings


Academy Instructors


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 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.


James L. Castner, PhD

Certified Academy Instructor of Entomology

James L. Castner, PhD

The Academy is proud to Include the textbooks and writings of Dr. James L. Castner, PhD. Entomologist. 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 bring a wealth of enjoyable experience to everyone who reads, studies, and works with his materials..

Dr. James L. Castner writes, photographs, and teaches. His academic background includes entomology, botany, and Spanish. This academic foundation, combined with the experience of over 30 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. The Academy is proud to have Dr. Castner’s consultation, support, and ability to refer his wonderful books to students. You can locate and order Dr. Castner's books by visiting Dr. Castner’s website:


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:

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.


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.


John Beckner, BS Botany


"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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.
_____. 2002. Florida Native Orchids. Natural History Guidebook, for Master Naturalists. Selby. September 2002.
_____. 2003. Selby Vignette: Quest for the Ghost Orchid.
_____. 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.


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:

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:


Recommendation for College Art Portfolio Presentations

If the student intends to apply to art schools, then we strongly recommend the student FIRST CHECKS WITH REVIEWING COLLEGES for their portfolio requirements. If the student is applying to schools other than art schools, please keep in mind that an "art" portfolio presentation will create quite an impact on the reviewer's decision to accept the student into their school.

I.Statement of Proposed Thesis:

  1. The Academy of Botanical Art is happy to assist students who wish to present a body of work as part of their college entrance process. The Academy will help students combine a portfolio that represents the students various skills.
  2. If the student wishes to concentrate solely on botanical art for their presentation, then the Academy recommends the student present to the Academy a "Statement of Proposed Thesis" which will help to explain their idea for completing a connected botanical theme in an original body of work.
  3. Once the proposal is approved, the student should place a copy of their “Statement of Proposed Thesis” in their portfolio of independent work.
  4. In addition to presenting original works of art for college reviews, students should also submit a portfolio of student work that demonstrates their growth as an artist. See below.

II.Recommended 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:

We recommend student's presentation of independent work 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:

  1. Name and Title Page.
  2. Table of Contents.
  3. Statement of Proposed Thesis.
  4. Résumé.
  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

  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.