San Francisco Botanical GardenAbout San Francisco Botanical Garden
Artist's Reception
Thursday, January 12

Original artwork and giclee prints are available for sale with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the Library

Art Exhibit

Beautiful Relationships: Flora and Fauna from Around the World

Nature Illustrations by Rachel Diaz–Bastin

January - April 2017

The Helen Crocker Russell Library is pleased to present Beautiful Relationships: Flora and Fauna from Around the World, an exhibition of nature illustrations by Rachel Diaz–Bastin.

Although her educational background is in science, Rachel says that she has “always been drawn to the bright colors and exotic designs of rainforest flora and fauna.” The colored pencil art in this exhibit focuses mainly on plants and animals of tropical and Mediterranean habitats worldwide, like crimson and Adelaide rosellas in a fig tree or African hoopoes surrounded by Madagascar jasmine.

Rachel’s artwork is also inspired by her interest in the relationships of plants and animals that suggest co-evolution, such as the Darwin’s hawk moth with a proboscis evolved to reach down the long nectar spur of the Madagascar comet orchid, and the Hawaiian honeycreeper, whose beak is perfectly shaped to feed on curved lobelia flowers.

With a background in science and lifelong love of drawing, Rachel now works in the entomology department at the California Academy of Sciences where she was inspired to learn from illustrators on staff and recently studied scientific illustration at UC Santa Cruz. She is known for her beautifully accurate illustrations of insects. She also illustrates spiders for publication in scientific journals as well as various plants and animals for researchers, conservation organizations, parks, and wildlife centers.

“With my colored pencil illustrations,” Rachel says, “I hope to not only capture the literal form of a plant or animal, but also to share the beauty I find in them through watercolor-like luminescence and illuminating detail.” Using a white colored pencil to blend together many layers of color she achieves a rich saturated effect reflecting nature’s color palette. Rachel’s drawings beautifully combine science and art.


General Exhibit Information

The Helen Crocker Russell Library of Horticulture is recognized as one of the finest horticultural resources in the nation. Its 27,000-volume collection ranges from new gardening titles to antique herbals. The Library is open, free of charge, from 10am–4pm, every day except Tuesdays and holidays.

Exhibitions of art related to botany, horticulture and the natural world run for four-month periods. The artworks in our exhibitions are available for sale, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the Library. For more information, call (415) 661-1316 ext. 403.

Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries

Member of the Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries
An international organization whose purpose is to initiate and improve communications among persons and institutions concerned with the development, maintenance and use of libraries of botanical and horticultural literature.
SFBGS and San Francisco Recreation and Park Department San Francisco Botanical Garden's beauty and value as a major cultural resource are the result of a successful public/private partnership between San Francisco Botanical Garden Society and the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department.

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