NESBA artist Maria Bablyak's Harpsicord Paintings on a Tour

Painting musical instruments is probably one of the oldest and most traditional applications of botanical art, however, it became rather rare in contemporary times. Beautifully decorated musical instruments, particularly harpsichords and pianos were a pride of a house. Every important family would make an effort to acquire one, since musical entertainment and dancing were the heart of social life. Such intricately decorated musical instruments were showing the status of a family. In our accelerating world, how many musicians have time and means to commission custom made instrument with a unique decoration? Yet, in small numbers, they are still being made.

The tradition of depicting flowers and plants on a soundboard of a harpsichord originated centuries ago and continues till now. Each flower has a meaning and painting is full of symbolism. This a chance to view a soundboard painted by Maria Bablyak, one of our members, and visit a workshop of a magnificent harpsichord maker, who follows traditions meticulously. Did you know that feathers are used in building the instrument to give it a particular sound? Each of those harpsichords is a work of art and it takes about a year to build one. You'll tour a beautiful workshop, learn some secrets of special painting techniques and symbolic meaning of images.

The tour will take place on Sunday, January 24, from 3pm to 4 pm, at 538 High Street, Medford, MA. Please RSVP to Maria Bablyak or phone (617) 851-8329


NESBA Program on Creative Process features Nancy Schon

In conjuction with the NESBA program emphasis this year on 'creative process' members met with sculptor Nancy Schon in her Newton home which also serves as her art gallery.

Mary Coughlan, Emmi Kurosawa, Suellen Perold, Nancy Schon, Kaoru Takaishi, Joan Pierce and Deborah Locke holding a miniature version of Nancy Schon’s Make Way for Ducklings statues which are installed at the Boston Public Garden.
Nancy Schon held an informal round table discussion of her creative process, marketing one’s art, the importance of doing one’s art every day, and also the importance of working on many projects at a time to ease 'frustration pressure'. If we're serious about being artists, the two hours or so that we need to do our art, needs to be done first each day. Working on many projects insures that we are always creating. Nancy is a very disciplined woman of 87 who clearly has thought out her own relationship to her art and very generously shared it with us. We were all inspired and tickled to have this brief encounter with one of Boston's great living artists. The creator of the "Ducklings" sculpture in the Boston Garden, Nancy told the story of how her Ducklings statues became part of the Boston Public Garden’s most beloved attractions.

NESBA artist Kay Kopper to show at the South Shore Conservatory

South Shore Conservatory
Hingham, MA

 Palmer Gallery 


Art by Kay Kopper

January 11—April 27, 2016


Gallery Hours

Monday through Friday 
9 am – 7 pm, 
Saturdays 9 am – 3 pm 
and during scheduled concerts 


for exhibit information 

Call: (781) 749-7565 
South Shore Art Center

Call for Entries: Boston Flower Show 2016

NESBA Members Exhibit 
Wednesday, March 16 – Sunday, March 20, 2016


Call for Entries: A New England Society of Botanical Artists members exhibit at The Boston Flower & Garden Show is open to any NESBA member in good standing (dues paid).

Subject/Theme of exhibit:

 Nurtured by Nature

Members may submit up to 2 works (space permitting)

Due dates:

                  Deadline for submission of  “Intent to Exhibit” Form* and 
                    wall label info and Artist Statement (if submitting one): 
                    Saturday, February 13, 2016
          •         Deadline for delivery of artwork to your delivery person:
                    Wednesday, March 9, 2016 (OR as determined by your delivery person)
          •         Artwork may be priced for sale or labeled “Not For Sale”. 
          •         Exhibit hanging date:  March 15, 2016
          •         Retrieve your artwork from exhibit by arrangement with your
                    delivery person.

 * Intent to Exhibit Form: 
                    See NESBA website for the “Intent to Exhibit” form and submit by
                    Saturday, February 13, 2016  submit on line: 
                   or print and mail to: Pat Buchanan at 9 The Valley Road, Concord, MA                                              01742.  
Please follow NESBA standards for this exhibit: white or off-white mats and simple, wood frame in a light, medium or gold wood color. No saw-tooth hangers. All artwork must be delivered in a bubble wrap “envelope” (see website for instructions on how to make one).  No packing peanuts or artwork will be returned.

Packaging and Labeling: 
Three labels can be found on the NESBA blogspot:  and are to be used as follows:
          1.        Download PDF and print.
          2.        Attach one label to back of artwork in lower corner.
          3.        Attach second label to front of the bubble wrap envelope so that your
                     artwork is returned to you in your envelope. (see website for how to make a                      bubble wrap envelope) (No packing peanuts or artwork will be returned 
                     and will not be exhibited.)
          4.        Enclose third label in a Ziploc bag with $10 cash or check for hanging fee
                     for each piece hung.

Delivery contact people for this exhibit:
Wellesley area:   Celeste Hurley;
Cape Cod:   Ellen Duarte;
Boston & North:   Rita Edmunds:                 
West area:   Nancy Horrall;          
South Shore:   Sarah Roche:
Artwork may be shipped via UPS or USPS to Joyce Westner;, 
by prior arrangement; please include return postage.
Please contact Sue Neff with details of any other drop off and/or pickup arrangements not listed above at:

Artist Statement: 
If you are submitting an artist statement/bio to be included in the exhibit’s promotional material, please send a one-page statement with your “Intent to Exhibit” form to Pat Buchanan. Guidelines for your statement are posted on the NESBA website.  Artist Statements are optional.  A small number of business cards may be included with your artist statement.
No commission will be taken by NESBA this year on artwork sold as a result of the Flower Show.

Liability Statement:
NESBA is unable to assume liability during the show.  Artists exhibit at their own risk.  All artwork will be handled with the utmost care.  Artwork may not be removed prior to scheduled end of the exhibit.

NESBA Holiday Party

NESBA members enjoyed a festive holiday party at Elena's lovely home.  It was a chance to catch up with fellow members, eat wonderful food, and reflect on the successes of the past year.  We heard about the ASBA conference from the many members who made the trip to Miami as well as all the exciting programs planned for NESBA in 2016.

Members show their botanical gifts acquired at the Yankee Swap.

Botanical Drawing with Helen Byers

  Cones & Conifers in Graphite

  Botanical Drawing with Helen Byers

  NEW DATES:  Feb 6-7: 10 AM – 4 PM
   Tin Mountain Conservation Center
   1245 Bald Hill Road, Albany, NH

   Tin Mountain Member $115, Nonmember $130

Treat yourself to a two-day workshop at Tin Mountain—just off the scenic Kangamangus Highway in the White Mountains—honing your drawing skills as you study the forms and features of cones and conifers. Through demonstrations and indivdualized instruction, Helen will guide you in techniques using graphite to achieve a fll range of textures and values. Draw studies of assorted cones, bark, and foliage, or work up a portrait of a single subject in all its glory. (Coulter pine, anyone?) An inspiring array of specimens from near and far will be provided. All levels welcome; some drawing experience helpful. A supplies list will be sent to registrants.

Tin Mountain offers a beautiful timber-framed nature center (where we will work), a library, a kitchen, and nature trails. There are abundant accommodations nearby (please request a list).

(by 1/30): Email OR call 603.447.6991

HELEN BYERS is an artist and educator who is active in several genres, including botanical drawing and painting, natural history illustration, field sketching, and plein-air landscape painting. She teaches botanical drawing and painting regularly at Tower Hill Botanic Garden in Massachusetts and annually at Ghost Ranch Education and Retreat Center in New Mexico. Her affiliations include the American Society of Botanical Artists, the New England Society of Botanical Artists, the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators, and Concord Art of Massachusetts.

Visit to see galleries of Helen’s work and slideshows from her courses.

February 6-7 (10 AM-4 PM).  Would you be able to change those dates for me on the flyer that’s up on the NESBA site?  You might also add: (NEW DATES) or some such wording (maybe in red, or green?), and change “by 12/7” to “by 1/30” after “REGISTER.”