North Carolina Botanical Garden
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Botany for the Artist - Virtual

with Gigi McDonald, Freelance Artist; Scott Zona, Ph.D., Botanist, co-editor, PALMS, the journal of the International Palm Society

The registration period has closed for this event.

Date(s): Wednesdays, March 8, 15, 22 and 29

Time: 9:30 AM-12:30 PM ET

Location: Virtual

Fee: $210 ($189 Members)


Traditional botanical illustration was relied on to record and share the identification of plants through accurate representation. Botany for the Artist is a practical course which hopes to encourage the inquisitive artist to understand, interpret and improve their botanical knowledge by reinforcing terminology, observing and notating plant structure and practicing identification with the taxonomic keys.
The four lessons—Habitat, Flower Parts, Leaf Comparison, and Fruit Structure—will culminate with the students drawing a graphite work representing a specimen identified at the NCBG.


Prerequisites: Beginning Drawing, Botany recommended


Remaining Seats: 0

Registration open through 3/7/2023 12:00 PM EST

About the Instructor

Eugenie McDonald (Gigi) is a local freelance artist, currently working on commissions and exhibition entries. She has been painting and creating art since childhood, entering various craft shows with her batiks and studying AP art and AP photography in High School. She graduated from Duke University with a double major in Art History and Design, and went on to become the graphic artist for a subsidiary of the News & Observer Newspaper, as well as the Mall Advocate magazine. She then continued freelancing with her own business GIGI Graphics. After moving back to Chapel Hill in 2012, she looked to rekindle, advance and refine her painting skills and focus on water color and her love of nature. The NCBG Certificate program was a natural choice. After earning the NCBG Botanical Art Certificate in 2017, she went on to enroll in the Society of Botanical Art Distance Learning Program in London, England and graduated with Distinction in 2020. Currently she has a water color painting showing in the 2020 SBA Spring Exhibition. She looks forward to sharing her experiences and skills learned in both programs with her fellow artists.

Scott Zona holds a B.S. in horticulture and an M.S. in botany from the University of Florida. His Ph.D. in botany is from Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden and Claremont Graduate University, California. He has explored for plants in Florida, California, Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, the Pacific islands, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Guinea and Madagascar. His interests are in the diversity and natural history of tropical plants, especially palms, salvias and bryophytes, and has published over 160 articles on these topics.  Scott is co-editor of the International Palm Society’s quarterly journal, PALMS. He now gardens in Hillsborough, North Carolina.

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This program will be offered online via Zoom.
A meeting link and password will be sent a few days before the program.

Botanical Art & Illustration Credit

Botany for the Artist: Credits - 1


This course fulfills a core requirement in our Certificate in Botanical Art & Illustration program.