Taking Time for Nature Art

Indigo Bunting 2, copyright Carol Cooley

It is true that it’s one of the busiest times of the year for those who appreciate nature. Nature artists are often also birders, hikers, amblers, gardeners, or travelers, and late spring is a wonderful time to enjoy (as well as sketch, paint, or photograph) those adventures. The Nature Artists’ Guild would like to add just a few more worthwhile activities to fit into those busy schedules in the next few weeks.

Next Wednesday, May 25, 2022, Nature Artists’ Guild members will meet for a paint-out at the Jurica-Suchy Museum from 10 am until noon. Attendance at this paint-out will be limited and not available for drop-ins. Members who have not yet signed up to attend can email Linn Eldred to check for openings.

On Thursday June 2, 2022, beginning at 7 pm, visitors to the Thornhill Education Center of The Morton Arboretum will have the opportunity to watch and interact with three members of the Nature Artists’ Guild as they demonstrate and discuss their artwork. This popular annual program is open to all, free-of-charge.

Please click on any of the highlighted links for more details.

Three Nature Artists on June 2, 2022

An annual tradition of the Nature Artists’ Guild is to ask three talented members to share some of their art, inspirations, methods, and materials with fellow members and visitors. This year the popular “Nature Artists Trio” presentation will take place on Thursday, June 2 at 7 pm at the Thornhill Education Center of The Morton Arboretum.

Guests are welcome to attend this program, sponsored by the Nature Artists’ Guild, completely free-of-charge. There will be no charge for admission to the program, admission to the arboretum, or parking. The event will not require a timed-entry ticket to the arboretum. Visitors can let the gate attendant know they are there for the program to be directed to Thornhill.

The 2022 presenters –

Travel sketching supplies, Maggie Mardis
Sketchbook pages, copyright Maggie Mardis

Maggie Mardis will “discuss and show my Travel Sketchbooks and Travel Art Kits. I will have watercolor, colored pencil and ballpoint pen art kits set up and sketchbooks to match in those mediums.”

Soft Magnolia Spring Assemblage, copyright Cheryl Holz

Cheryl Holz will be “doing an introduction to the Gelli plate, a type of printing that does not involve a press. I’ll focus on natural patterns and textures using manmade and natural masks or resists.”

Detail of Whispers of Summer, copyright Kathy Steere
Detail of Chantilly Nights, copyright Kathy Steere

Kathy Steere will “be presenting ‘Wholecloth – drawing with thread and a power tool.’ I will talk through the process and then demonstrate how to use water-soluble crayons (NeoColor II) and watercolor pencils on fabric. Thread on fabric is just another medium, like pencil on paper, or paint on canvas. I am not planning on bringing my sewing machine (the power tool).”

Back to the Bison, Beetles, and Birds at the Jurica-Suchy Nature Museum

Photo credit Jane Kellenberger

It’s been a while since members of the Nature Artists’ Guild have been able to attend a paint-out to sketch and photograph some of the thousands of natural history specimens (from the tiniest insects to the largest mammals) on display at the Jurica-Suchy Nature Museum at Benedictine University in Lisle, IL.

Museum staff have graciously offered to open to fifteen members of the guild on Wednesday, May 25 from 10 am until noon. (The museum will not be open to the public at that time.) Interested members should contact Linn Eldred soon, as many of the spots have already been filled! Linn’s contact information and more details about the paint-out, including required safety precautions, can be found in the recent email sent to all members.

In the Works at the Nature Artists’ Guild

The June 2, 2022 meeting of the Nature Artists’ Guild (open to all, free-of-charge) at 7 pm at the Thornhill Education Center of The Morton Arboretum will feature three guild members sharing their techniques, materials, and talents. This popular annual “Artist Trio” presentation usually takes place in August, but has been moved to June this year so that we can welcome a special guest in August. Much more about the 2022 presenters coming soon!

From former years –

Laverne Bohlin, an award-winning pastel artist (and Nature Artists’ Guild member) who recently moved to New Mexico from the Chicago area will be back in August to teach a workshop at The Morton Arboretum focusing on painting water with pastels. Laverne has generously agreed to share some of her techniques and inspirations at the guild’s August 4, 2022 meeting at 7 pm at the Thornhill Education Center. The August 4 program will be open to all, free-of-charge.

Wetland Sunset II, Pastel, Copyright Laverne Bohlin

There were reports of balmy and beautiful weather at the recent daffodil paint-out and the daffodils responded in a spectacular manner! Paint-outs will be offered throughout the summer, and members are encouraged to keep some of their most portable art supplies and a folding chair ready to go. (Paint-outs will normally be announced at least two weeks ahead of the date, but occasionally a last-minute opportunity comes along.)

From recent paint-out locations –

Daffodil Paint-Out Rescheduled to Saturday, April 23, 2022

April Snow, copyright Ann Lamoureux

The daffodils certainly don’t seem to mind the rain (or even snow), but that kind of weather can make things a little uncomfortable for the nature artist!

Because of the forecast for rain on Friday, the Nature Artists’ Guild paint-out has been re-scheduled to this Saturday, April 23, 2022 at 10 am. Interested members should meet in front of the Thornhill Education Center of The Morton Arboretum with their art supplies, camera, and a folding chair or stool. Members can contact Linn Eldred with any questions.

Please click on this link for The Morton Arboretum’s latest Bloom Report.

Timed-entry passes will be required and may go quickly on this spring weekend.

“A host, of golden daffodils”

Spring flowers, copyright Linda Fairbanks

When all at once I saw a crowd,

A host, of golden daffodils;


Ten thousand saw I at a glance,

Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.


And then my heart with pleasure fills,

And dances with the daffodils.

Wordsworth, “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” (3-4, 11-12, 23-24)

Members of the Nature Artists Guild are invited to gather at the Thornhill Education Center of The Morton Arboretum at 10 am on Saturday, April 23, 2022 for a paint-out celebrating ‘golden daffodils’ and other early blooms of spring. Interested members should contact Linn Eldred with any questions and to be put on the list to receive weather-related updates. Timed-entry passes will be required.

Note: This post has been updated with the new date.

From the Nature Artists’ Guild’s 2022 Spring Art Exhibit

Thank you to all the artists, volunteers, arboretum staff, supporters, and visitors for contributing to the success of the Nature Artists’ Guild’s 2022 Spring Art Exhibit at The Morton Arboretum.

For those who missed the exhibit as well as those who would just enjoy another look, here is a sample of the wonderful nature art created by members of the Nature Artists’ Guild. The images are also presented in a different format on the Member Artwork page of this website.

All artwork exhibited on this website is the sole property of the artist and should not be used or reproduced without their written consent.  If you would like to contact one of the artists, please use the contact form on the About page and you will receive an e-mail reply, normally within 48 hours. Your contact information will not be shared or used for any other purpose.

Nature Artists’ Guild’s Spring Art Exhibit Reception Tonight, April 8, 2022

My Half-Shell Sanctuary, acrylic, copyright Nancy Wu. One example of the nearly 200 works of art at the Nature Artists’ Guild’s 2022 Spring Art Exhibit at The Morton Arboretum.

The Nature Artists’ Guild’s 2022 Spring Art Exhibit reception for members and guests will take place tonight from 4:30 until 7 at The Morton Arboretum. Timed-entry passes are not necessary to attend the reception and the gate attendant will direct visitors to the exhibit location. (Timed-entry passes to The Morton Arboretum will be required on Saturday and Sunday.)

The Nature Artists’ Guild’s Annual Celebration of Spring

While we wait patiently for spring to burst into bloom, we can enjoy artwork inspired by the season (as well as the others) at the Nature Artists’ Guild Spring Art Exhibit beginning on the evening of Friday, April 8, 2022 (reception) and continuing throughout the weekend at The Morton Arboretum.

The exhibit will feature nearly 200 works of art by approximately 50 members of the Nature Artists’ Guild and is open to all. Please click on the highlighted links for more information.

Nature Artists’ Guild 2022 Spring Art Exhibit April 8 – 10

Above is a sample of some of the wonderful art that will be included in the 2022 Spring Art Exhibit at The Morton Arboretum from April 8 (reception) through April 10.

Approximately 200 pieces of art by nearly 50 members of the Nature Artists’ Guild as well as artist demonstrations will be featured throughout the exhibit for the enjoyment of all visitors to The Morton Arboretum. There is no additional fee to attend the exhibit after admission to the arboretum.