Surely It Was Too Early For Spring to Have Sprung!

The snowflakes outside remind us that yes, we were fooled once again this year by the recent gorgeous weather. We weren’t the only ones, though.  Birds, mammals, bugs and even reptiles have also been out soaking up the sunshine and warm temperatures in the last few days.

Spring will have sprung before we know it, though, and Nature Artists’ Guild members have plenty to keep them busy until it arrives-

  • Prospectuses for the Spring Exhibition of Natural History Art at The Morton Arboretum are due on Wednesday, March 1, 2017
  • Peggy Macnamara will be the featured speaker at the next Nature Artists’ Guild program from 7 until 9 pm on Thursday, March 2, 2017

    Goldfinch © 2013 Peggy Macnamara 2013

    Goldfinch © 2013 Peggy Macnamara

  • The Jurica-Suchy Nature Museum paint-out will be happening from 1 until 4 on Friday, March 10, 2017
  • The wonderful Winter Encounter has one more week to go


    Magnolia, Ink and Colored Inks, © 2017 Nancy Thyfault

  • Openings are available for upcoming art classes offered by The Morton Arboretum
  • The Spring Exhibition of Natural History Art will be held on the weekend of April 8th and April 9th, 2017 at The Morton Arboretum, with a special artists’ reception for Arboretum members and guests of the artists on Friday, April 7, 2017.  Check back soon for more about this event and the exhibition’s Featured Artist, Nancy Wu.

    2017 Spring Exhibition Featured Artist Nancy Wu at Nature Artists' Guild paint-out at Jurica-Suchy Nature Museum, 2015

    2017 Spring Exhibition Featured Artist Nancy Wu at Nature Artists’ Guild paint-out at Jurica-Suchy Nature Museum, 2015

Please click on any of the highlighted links to read more. Some events are open to the public, while others are reserved for members of the Nature Artists’ Guild.

Jurica-Suchy Expedition on March 10, 2017

Each Spring, a group of intrepid explorers make their yearly trek through forests, jungles and tundra in search of bears, lions, and leopards, armed only with sketchbooks, pencils, erasers, brushes and paint.nature-artists-guild-at-jurica-suchy-2016-1

On Friday, March 10, 2017, members of the Nature Artists’ Guild are invited to attend the annual paint-out at the Jurica-Suchy Nature Museum at Benedictine University in Lisle, IL, between the hours of 1 and 4 pm.  Since classes will be in session during this paint-out, interested members are encouraged to RSVP to Jane Kellenberger, who can assist with parking directions and distribute parking passes.  Jane’s contact information can be found in the Nature Artists’ Guild Yearbook.  Please click on this link for driving directions and a campus map.nature-artists-guild-at-jurica-suchy-2016-3

With over 3500 specimens currently on display, the award-winning Jurica-Suchy Nature Museum offers artists a rare opportunity to get a close-up look at some of the world’s most fascinating creatures.  Please click on the above link to read more about the history of the museum, and view photos, or click here for a searchable Online Specimen Catalog.


Grab your gear, and we’ll see you there!  Thank you to Jane Kellenberger and Evelyn Grala for these photos from last year’s expedition.

The Always Delightful Peggy Macnamara on Thursday, March 2, 2017

The good news is that the talented and beloved artist, writer, instructor, and speaker Peggy Macnamara has just finished illustrating a new book.

Mary Hennen and Peggy Macnamara’s The Peregrine Returns

The great news is that Peggy will be teaching a one-day workshop as part of The Morton Arboretum’s Visiting Artist Series on Saturday, March 4, 2017, titled Use the Layering Method in Watercolor with Peggy Macnamara (please click on the highlighted link to check for available spots or to be placed on the wait-list).

The fantastic news is that Peggy will be sharing some of her experiences, as well as a close-up look at her artwork, with members of  the Nature Artists Guild, guests, and visitors on the evening of Thursday, March 2, 2017 from 7 until 9 pm at the Thornhill Education Center of The Morton Arboretum.

Peggy Macnamara is the Artist-in-Residence at the world renowned Field Museum in Chicago, IL, a professor at the School of the Art Institute, the author and illustrator of numerous scientific and children’s books, and an all-around delightful person!

As always, Nature Artists’ Guild programs are open to all and are free-of-charge for admission and parking.  Guests and visitors who are not members of The Morton Arboretum can let the gate attendant know that they are there for the program, and they will be directed to the Thornhill Education Center.

The Winter Encounter is Underway

The Winter Encounter has begun.  Member Evelyn Grala, who brought us the wildly popular Sketchbook Encounter last summer, has inspired us again with the Winter Encounter, a challenge to fellow bodacious (check out that list of synonyms) Nature Artists’ Guild members to create a new work of art per week, yes every week, until Spring!

The weekly results of this challenge can be seen on the Winter Encounter Gallery page of this website, and will also be included in the upcoming Quarterly.

Giraffe, copyright Alice Wych

Giraffe, copyright Alice Wych

Bravo, Winter Encounter participants!

Volunteers Needed

Jill Adzia is the current Chairperson of the “Ways and Means”, or Fundraising Committee for the Nature Artists’ Guild.  Jill has done a fabulous job in this role (as well as numerous others throughout the years), but would like to step down at the end of the year.  If any member of the Nature Artists’ Guild would like to find out more about working with Jill to learn the role, they are asked to contact Jill, whose contact information can be found in their Yearbook.

Laurie Alvear has also been doing a great job as Co-Chair of the Special (Outside) Exhibitions Committee, along with Gary Chipman.  Laurie will be moving out-of-state very soon, so the Nature Artists’ Guild is looking for an immediate replacement for that position. Any Nature Artists’ Guild member who is interested in learning more about the position may contact Gary Chipman, Laurie Alvear, or Mary Ann Jimenez, whose contact information will also be found in the Nature Artists’ Guild Yearbook.

Volunteering is an enjoyable and fulfilling way to become more involved in the Nature Artists Guild, as well as a great way to forge lasting relationships with fellow artists!

An Opportunity to Liven Up Your Winter!

A great way to liven up these last few weeks of winter is with a class at The Morton Arboretum. There are still a few spots left in the following classes or workshops –

Pen and Ink drawing, copyright Nancy Thyfault

Pen and Ink drawing, copyright Nancy Thyfault

Linoleum Block Printing Workshop with Carrie Carlson – Begins next Saturday, February 11, 2017

Botanical Art with Pen and Ink with Nancy Thyfault – Begins Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Under the Microscope – Draw Butterflies and Moths with Karen Johnson – Thursday, February 23, 2017 or Saturday, February 25, 2017

Visiting Artist Series – Using the Layering Method with Watercolor with Peggy Macnamara –  Saturday, March 4, 2017

Begin to Draw Nature with Kathy Steere – Begins Saturday, March 11, 2017

Color Theory, Colored Pencil with Kimberly Mullarkey – Begins Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Create an Altered Book with JoAnne Laudollf – Sunday, March 19, 2017

If the names of many of these instructors sound familiar, it’s because they are some of the best artists and instructors in the Chicagoland area, Most are current or former fellow members of the Nature Artists’ Guild, and all offer kindness, patience and fun along with their expertise. Please click on this link to The Morton Arboretum’s Nature Art and Photography Class Listings for more information, or to enroll.

Classes are open to all, and membership in the Nature Artists’ Guild or The Morton Arboretum is not required to enroll.

Julie Sutter-Blair Comes to Thornhill on Thursday, February 2, 2017

Julie Sutter-Blair is a superbly talented artist whose intaglio prints and colored pencil drawings are inspired by nature.  The Nature Artists’ Guild is honored to host a presentation by Julie on Thursday, February 2, 2017 from 7 until 9 pm at the Thornhill Education Center of The Morton Arboretum, in Lisle, IL.

Julie will also participate in the Visiting Artist Series of The Morton Arboretum’s education program with her workshop Drawing Nests With Julie Sutter-Blair, which will be held the following Friday and Saturday, February 3rd and 4th, 2017.  Please click on the above link to register.

Both the Nature Artists’ Guild program and the workshop are open to all, not just members of the Nature Artists’ Guild or The Morton Arboretum.  There is a fee and a registration requirement for the workshop, but Thursday evening’s program is free-of-charge for both admission and parking. Visitors should let the gate attendant know that they are there for the Nature Artists’ Guild program and they will be directed to the Thornhill Education Center.

Copyright Julie Sutter-Blair

Copyright Julie Sutter-Blair