Showing posts from 2015

Paintings & Stories: 42. A Special Treat to a Lady!

Large Yellow Lady's Slipper Orchid Cypripedium parviflorum var. pubescens ©Heeyoung Kim Finally Finished! Some years ago, a fairly old lady approached me after she saw my paintings at a show. She 'confessed' that a bunch of Yellow Lady's Slipper Orchids thrive in her back yard. I was invited to see them. My jaw dropped, completely! They were so beautiful! I started to study them right away, but it was a bit too late. Soon, the flowers got brown spots. I was determined to study them very closely during the rest of the season. The lady's German shepherd was getting used to me in the meantime.     I had good amount of drawings, and more than enough studies, not to mention hundreds of photos taken from every possible angles. However I could not start painting. I needed more time. I needed to get to know the lady's slipper better. In the next fall and winter, the sketches and photos were lingering in my head until I decide the composition. In the n

Paintings & Stories: 41. Peony for Symphony on Fathers' Day

Peony, watercolor, ©Heeyoung Kim Once in a blue moon, I paint something not native in Midwest. This Peony painting was donated for Lake Forest Symphony, Music in the Garden event, in order to raise money for "Bringing classical music to the youth including underprivileged and minority audiences". Peony symbolizes romance and prosperity. It might be a good gift for wedding and anniversary to someone very special. in our life.  I have a special spot in my heart for peonies. When I was a little kid, my father grew many many peonies in order to use the roots for medicinal purposes. For ordinary people, seeing flower is the biggest joy in growing plants, but my dad had different purposes. Roots! Yes, Roots! Not flowers! So, what he did at each blooming season totally devastated me; he cut buds! He Snapped All The Buds! Not because he was mean, but because he didn't want any energy wasted through blooming. When I almost burst into tears, he saved some for me.

Paintings & Stories: 40. Amma: Mother: Happy Mothers' Day!

Amma, the Hugging Saint, watercolor and graphite pencil, ©Heeyoung Kim 'Amma' means Mother. In almost all languages, 'mom, mama, umma, amma, ...... ' are among the first words babies learn. Phonetically, it is the easiest sound to articulate. When babies just open their mouths and let air flow, that is the sound, 'mama, mom, amma,... and so on. Amma, the Hugging Saint, simply hugs people. Like all mothers do. Everyone feels it differently: some gets great comfort, some feel their anxiety released, some others feel simply loved....... She comes to Chicago early July. I expect another heavenly hug from her, truly Motherly Hug! My pray for all mothers! Print available at my Etsy Shop: click Etsy logo on the right side of this blog.

39. See my exhibition until the end of May!

May is a special month. Time to think of parents. Well, we always think of our parents, but we like to show a little more love and care to them than we usually do. Common Milkweed, Asclepias syriaca, ©Heeyoung Kim for better image and Joel Oppenheimer Edition print: For some reason, when I drew this Milkweed seedpods, I thought of loving relationship between parents and children. The pods had nurtured seedlings and let them fly away, but I made them lingering around, rather than just flying away, maybe because we all want our loved ones to stay in our thoughts always.  Mothers' Day always reminds me of this drawing.  Happy Mothers' Day!

38. Featured in The Chicagolite

photo courtesy of Kori Coleman For full story, please, click  The Chicagolite The Chicagolite, a luxury lifestyle site, featured my exhibition wonderfully. The editor, Kori Coleman, interviewed Mr. Joel Oppenheimer and me before the opening reception, and she stayed with us during the whole event to capture the best moments. I am grateful that her story appeared beautifully with outstanding photos.

37. From Opening Reception at Joel Oppenheimer Gallery

Wow! That was a beautiful and energetic opening reception! Conservationists, plant scientists, art lovers.... all gathered together to celebrate the humble beauty of our plants. We experienced the moment of connecting nature conservation to the art world. I want to convey my deepest appreciation to the supporters. Mr. Oppenheimer's speech was especially grateful considering my works on par with those of John James Audubon, Pierre-Joseph Redoute and other classic masters. What can I expect more? The exhibit runs until May 9, 2015. It is my honor to be exclusively represented as the first living artist by this beautiful and prestigious natural history art gallery. Window toward Michigan Ave., Chicago downtown :  with beautiful Chicago cityscape reflection daytime, photo by Heeyoung Kim  and glowing banner image at night, photo by Mike Tanner   Heeyoung Kim: Native Plants of the Woods and Prairies- 25 original paintings, photo by Heeyoung Kim Opening spe

36. Exhibition at Joel Oppenheimer Gallery

 Heeyoung Kim: Native Plants of the Woods and Prairie Jack-in-the-Pulpit, Arisaema triphyllum, Watercolor, ©Heeyoung Kim 2009 Exhibition Dates: March 28 - May 9, 2015 Joel Oppenheimer Gallery:  410 N. Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60611  (312)-642-5300 Excerpt from press release:  "In the spirit of natural history artists of the past, contemporary botanical artist Heeyoung Kim documents and depicts native plants from endangered ecosystems. Her exquisite, deftly painted compositions portray native woodland and prairie plants. Giving priority to rare, endangered species, she also paints common species when they have high ecological value. Drawing her specimens in situ with precise measurements, Kim works in watercolor, ink or graphite pencil, depending upon the characteristics of each plants. After her first solo exhibition in 2011, she quickly gained a reputation as a wildflower botanical artist, winning several prestigious awards. Her wo

35. Orchids and my painting on WGN TV news at 9 pm

2nd annual orchid show at Chicago Botanic Garden. My illustration of White Lady's Slipper Orchid in pen and ink is used in an exhibition panel. Luckily, I am featured in this TV segment. Very happy to have a chance to show the beauty of native orchids.

34. A lovely story about me at Chicago Botanic Garden Blog

Orchid, Phragmipedium 'Jason Fischer', Watercolor, ©Heeyoung Kim White Lady's Slipper Orchid, Cypripedium candidum, Pen-and-Ink, ©Heeyoung Kim Interestingly intertwined, this story was born by a very talented writer, Karen Zaworski.  The story explains these two orchid painting and drawing.  Read more:

33. My painting process in The Botanical Artist, journal of American Society of Botanical Artist.

While getting ready for my composition workshop at Ryerson Woods, I found this article that I wrote for the American Society of Botanical Artists' journal a few years ago. I tried to explain how I plan my painting through the growing seasons of the specimens. It could look a little odd when I draw these composition lines first, as most people believe botanical artists would draw or paint plants exactly as they appear. However, we also could enjoy freedom as much as we know about our specimens.                                 Composition Study 1: Drawing main lines ©Heeyoung Kim                                                              Composition Study 2: Flower locations carefully designed                                 with various design elements in mind ©Heeyoung Kim                Finished painting Ohio Spiderwort, Tradescantia ohiensis, ©Heeyoung Kim For full article,'s-full-life-cycle