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Botanical Portraits

An exquisite art show is presently in the Mindy Ross Gallery and will remain on view through May 30. "Botanical Portraits" by James Douglas Milne is an exhibit of drawings in watercolor pencil, color pencil, and graphite that are so exact, a viewer may feel the plants could be taken out of their frames. Unlike often-seen botanical drawings which look like they only belong in a book, these works while perfect in their rendering, demonstrate a quality of reality, that the artist created the artworks from life. Milne states, “The majority of my present work is illustrations of single flowers or fruit, which is why I came to think of them as portraits. I imagine the whole process of selecting a model, establishing proper lighting, etc. is not unlike completing a human portrait.”

Milne has a BS in interior design from La Roche College, Pittsburgh, Pa. That, coupled with the Certificate of Horticulture which he acquired by studying at the New York Botanical Garden and his technical and artistic abilities, has given him the knowledge to draw simply beautiful works. He continues, “My artistic drive is generated by the challenge and desire to render each subject as faithfully as I can. Out of that connection I hope a visually appealing and scientifically accurate image will emerge. I hope that my work is not only pleasing to the eye, but also that my view of nature will encourage people to see its diversity and beauty in a new light.”

Twenty-seven "Botanical Portraits" in various sizes are included in the exhibit. They depict not only the mature blossomed flower or ripe fruit, but a few roots are on display. It is true art but should grab the eye of botanists.

The Reception for the show is scheduled for Saturday, April 7 from 3 to 5:30 p.m. during which music will provided by Geoff Hamburg, pianist. Come meet the artist.

In addition, a master class, “Drawing a Harbinger of Spring, Pansies,” will be given by Milne on Friday, April 6 from Noon to 2:45 p.m. in the gallery and the OBTC Great Room 101 which are both in Kaplan Hall. The exhibit, reception, and master class are free and open to the public.

Gallery hours are Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Fridays till 6 p.m. Free, secure parking is available in Kaplan Hall parking garage entered at 73 First St. Questions may be directed to Cultural Affairs at (845) 341-4891/9386 or Information is available through the website at

Event date, time and location.

Dorothy Szefc
Cultural Affairs