Sharing Seeds of Inspiration on August 5, 2021

In an online program on the evening of Thursday, August 5, 2021, beginning at 7 pm, members of the Nature Artists’ Guild of The Morton Arboretum will be sharing some of their experiences, inspirations, and artwork from the Seeds of Inspiration project.

It promises to be an interesting and entertaining program as some of the participants discuss how their seedlings, their frustrations, their accomplishments, and their artwork all “grew” throughout the summer.

Morning Glory Seedling, copyright Betsy Edwards

Detailed instructions for attending this virtual gathering will be emailed to all Nature Artists’ Guild members before the meeting.

A Busy Summer for the Nature Artists’ Guild

Members enjoyed lovely weather and spectacular views at last week’s Nature Artists’ Guild paint-outs at The Morton Arboretum (Tuesday Morning Coffee Club) and the Gardens at Cantigny. Tommorow’s gathering of the Coffee Club is open to all members and meets at the cafe in the Visitors Center of The Morton Arboretum at approximately 9 am.

Plein Air painting in oil at the Gardens at Cantigny, copyright Terry Niccoli

A link to the prospectus for the guild’s upcoming exhibit, Visions of Nature, at McCord Gallery has been emailed to all members. Completed prospectuses must be returned by this Saturday, July 17, 2021.

Postcard for Nature Artists’ Guild exhibit at the McCord Gallery, 2021

The next program of the Nature Artists’ Guild will take place online on Thursday, August 5, 2021 beginning at 7 pm and will feature fellow members sharing artwork and experiences from the Seeds of Inspiration project. More details and instructions for attending will be emailed to all members closer to the program date.

Coleus, acrylic, copyright Ann Lamoureux (artwork from previous exhibit, not Seeds of Inspiration)

Two Paint-Outs This Week for the Nature Artists’ Guild

The first opportunity this week for guild members to spend a little time with their fellow artists to talk, eat or drink, learn something new, take some photos, or sketch or paint will be at the the weekly Coffee Club on Tuesday morning at 9 am at the Visitor’s Center of The Morton Arboretum. This paint-out takes place rain or shine and there is plenty of seating in and around the Visitor’s Center.

Linn Eldred has been working on her sketchbook. She does each initial drawing in pencil and completes the work in ink and watercolor.

The second paint-out will be at the Gardens of Cantigny on Wednesday, July 7, 2021 at 9 am. It is recommended that interested members contact Linn Eldred to be added to the contact list for weather-related updates, but last-minute and late participants are welcome.

Nature Artists’ Guild at previous Cantigny Gardens paint-out.

Please click on the highlighted links to learn more.

Nature Artists’ Guild at the McCord Gallery, August 2021

The Nature Artists’ Guild is excited to announce that there will be an exhibit of members’ work at the McCord Gallery in Palos Park, IL throughout the month of August, 2021. The exhibit, Visions of Nature, will feature artwork that has been previously exhibited at The Morton Arboretum and will take place from August 5 until September 5. A reception will be held on Sunday, August 22 at 2 pm.

Guild members will receive an email soon with a link to the prospectus and all the details and instructions for participating.

The McCord Gallery & Cultural Center is located in the stately pre-Civil War McCord House and is an integral part of the Palos Park community, educating music and visual-arts students in addition to serving as a gallery. The gallery is open every day except Sunday.

McCord Gallery & Cultural Center, Palos Park, IL. Image credit mccordgallery.org.

Paint-Out at The Gardens at Cantigny on July 7, 2021

At The Gardens at Cantigny. Photo by Linn Eldred

On the morning of Wednesday, July 7, 2021, members of the Nature Artists’ Guild are invited to meet at 9 am at the Visitor’s Center of Cantigny Park for a paint-out in the gardens.

Cantigny Park is the 500-acre former estate of Colonel Robert R. McCormick, longtime editor and publisher of the Chicago Tribune. The park is now the home of two museums, a visitor’s center with a cafe, restaurant, and gift shop, an education center, walking trails and a picnic area, the gardens, and a golf complex.

The Gardens at Cantigny at 29 acres, is one of the largest display gardens in the Midwest and includes more than 160,000 flowers, shrubs and trees as well as statuary and water features.

“The Gardens at Cantigny beckon you. They tug at your senses, drawing you closer. If you listen carefully, each garden will tell you a story, unfolding with every step. You will feel your body relax as you absorb the landscape and the landscape devours your stress. The hustle of life melts away just a few steps into our 29 acres of flourishing, blooming tranquility. Come enjoy the pace of nature here in The Gardens at Cantigny.”

– Cantigny.org

Admission to Cantigny Park is always free, and parking is also free on the day of the paint-out. Members of the Nature Artists’ Guild who are interested in attending are encouraged to contact Linn Eldred to be ensured of receiving weather-related updates. Linn’s contact information can be found in the guild’s Yearbook. Last-minute or late attendees are also welcome.

Please click on any of the highlighted links for directions and to read more about Cantigny Park and The Gardens.

Art, Nature, and Friendship Every Tuesday Morning at The Morton Arboretum

Linn Eldred, who organizes the paint-outs for the Nature Artists’ Guild would like to announce a fun new experience for members- the Tuesday Morning Coffee Club!

Exterior of Ginkgo Restaurant and Cafe facing Meadow Lake at The Morton Arboretum. Photo credit mortonarb.org.

Coffee, tea, juice, or water – doesn’t matter. Sketching, meeting and spending time with fellow artists, and enjoying nature are the important elements of these gatherings. Interested members will meet on Tuesday mornings at 9 am at the Visitor Center of The Morton Arboretum. Attendees will decide each Tuesday their plans for the morning (usually depending on the weather.) Even on rainy days, the views from inside the Visitor Center’s Ginkgo Cafe offer plenty of sketching inspiration.

This new adventure began last Tuesday and received good reviews by the participants, who plan to return next week. While no advance notice is required for members of the Nature Artists’ Guild to attend, each will need to reserve a timed-entry ticket from the Arboretum’s website. Tickets are frequently still available on the morning of the event (so far – subject to change.) The Arboretum’s Know Before You Go page has further information.

Tomorrow, June 3, 2021, Rhonda Nass

Rhonda Nass will be presenting an online introduction to scratchboard to members of the Nature Artists’ Guild tomorrow evening, June 3, 2021, beginning at 7 pm. Guild members received an email on May 27 with some valuable information from Rhonda as well as instructions for attending. It’s not too late to obtain a few basic scratchboard supplies to follow along!

The three slides show work in progress and the spectacular finished piece, Zinnia Medley#2, copyright Rhonda Nass.

Rhonda Nass and Scratchboard on Thursday, June 3, 2021

Zinnia Medley #3, scratchboard, copyright Rhonda Nass. Used with permission. Please click on the image to see more of Rhonda’s work.

In just one week, on Thursday, June 3, 2021, beginning at 7 pm, Rhonda Nass will be presenting an online program about using scratchboard to create stunning works of nature art to members of the Nature Artists’ Guild of The Morton Arboretum. Guild members will be receiving an email soon with more information and a link and instructions for participating.

It is a thrill and an honor for the guild to welcome back such a delightful and talented artist and educator. Please click on this link to Rhonda’s website or on the image to see more of her extraordinary work.

Some Spring Artwork from the Nature Artists’ Guild

Whether on a solitary trip to the prairie or while participating in the paint-out at The Morton Arboretum, members of the Nature Artists’ Guild found plenty of spring treasures to sketch last week. Here are some that members have shared (please click on any image for a full version) –

Plein Air in June with Karen Johnson at The Morton Arboretum

Whether or not tomorrow’s Nature Artists’ Guild paint-out goes forward (it’s all up to the weather), there will be many more opportunities for guild members to paint outdoors in the coming months.

For those members who are new to painting outdoors as well as for those who love to but want to learn some new tips for making the best of the experience, the Morton Arboretum is offering an in-person class on painting ‘en plein air‘ with talented and experienced artist and educator (and recent Nature Artists’ Guild Featured Artist) Karen Johnson. Karen has been painting outdoors for years all over the world and one of her latest projects has been sharing the beauty of all the seasons (yes, even winter) in the prairie through her sketchbooks.

Karen Johnson sketching in Sweden

Many artists assume that painting en plein air involves traipsing through the woods lugging large easels and solvents and later trying to get back to the car without smearing or dropping their fresh (and wet) oil paintings. Karen will show that there can be an easier way.

Sketchbook page, copyright Karen A Johnson

From The Morton Arboretum’s listing for Art in Plein Air

Enjoy a creative morning outside with this art class “en plein air” at The Morton Arboretum. Under the guidance of your instructor, capture the landscape, the form of a tree, or the tiny detail of a flower bud. Bring your graphite pencils, colored pencils, pen and ink, watercolors, or other medium of choice, and get tips for building a field kit of art supplies you can easily carry with you on any trip outdoors. Enjoy plenty of time to work independently with the support of your instructor. 

The class is offered on either Saturday, June 12 or Friday, June 18, 2021 from 9:30 am until 12:30 pm. Class size is limited. Enrollment is not limited to members of The Morton Arboretum or the Nature Artists’ Guild, but arboretum members will receive a discounted registration fee.