Hidden Oaks Exhibit Drop-Off Next Week

Jack in the Pulpit, copyright Nancy Thyfault. Jack in the Pulpit will be exhibited at the Hidden Oaks Nature Center along with approximately fifty other works by members of the Nature Artists’ Guild.

Twenty-five members of the Nature Artists’ Guild will be exhibiting approximately fifty wonderful pieces of nature-inspired art at the Hidden Oaks Nature Center from July 6 until July 31, 2022.

Participating artists will need to deliver their artwork to the Hidden Oaks Nature Center between 11 am and 1:30 pm on Wednesday, June 29, 2022 . Detailed driving directions (it really is somewhat hidden!) will be emailed to artists before the drop-off date.

An open house and exhibit reception is scheduled for July 8, 2022 from 4 until 7 pm. All are invited to stop in to enjoy the artwork, the beautiful surroundings, and some light refreshments.

This Week for the Nature Artists’ Guild

Blue Jay, copyright Jane Kellenberger. Blue Jay will be one of approximately fifty pieces of nature art in the Nature Artists’ Guild’s exhibit at the Hidden Oaks Nature Center in July, 2022.

This Wednesday, June 15, 2022 is the last day for Nature Artists’ Guild members to mail completed prospectuses for the upcoming exhibit at the Hidden Oaks Nature Center. A link to the prospectus was emailed to all members in the past few weeks.

Ground Cover Garden, The Morton Arboretum. Image credit (detail) mortonarb.org.

The Wednesday Morning Coffee Club for members of the Nature Artists’ Guild will meet at 9 am in the Visitor Center of The Morton Arboretum. While there is plenty to sketch through the windows, the Ground Cover Garden is just a short walk away and offers a cool, quiet oasis for participants who want to get outdoors to sketch, paint, or photograph.

More information is available by clicking on any of the highlighted links.

Nature Artists’ Guild Exhibit at Hidden Oaks Opens July 6, 2022

Hidden Oaks Nature Center. Photo credit Forest Preserve District of Will County.

The Nature Artists’ Guild is excited to announce the opening of an exhibit at a hidden gem of the suburbs, the Hidden Oaks Nature Center in Bolingbrook, IL, on July 6, 2022.

The Hidden Oaks Nature Center and surrounding 33 acres were recently acquired by the Forest Preserve District of Will County and they are looking forward to re-opening the building to the public in July. (Please click on this link to a video to learn more about the past, present, and future of the center and preserve.)

The Nature Artists’ Guild will be participating in the celebration with an exhibit of nearly fifty pieces of nature art created by its members. The exhibit will be held in one of the center’s light-filled rooms, which feature lovely panoramic views of the preserve’s wooded areas, until the end of July.

An open-house and reception will be held on the evening of July 8 from 4 to 7 pm. The reception will take place in a room adjacent to the exhibit space and on the balcony overlooking the preserve. Refreshments will be provided by the Forest Preserve District of Will County.

Nature Artists’ Guild members will receive an email soon with a link to the prospectus and more details about participating in the exhibit.

The Not-So-Lazy Days of Summer Begin

Summer Memories, pastel, copyright Laverne Bohlin. Click on image for link to Laverne’s website.

The Nature Artists’ Guild has a lot in store, from programs and paint-outs to special exhibits and projects, for the upcoming “lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer (Nat King Cole, 1963.)

Members are invited to stop by Ginkgo Restaurant and Café in the Visitor Center of The Morton Arboretum at 9 am for informal weekly gatherings beginning tomorrow, June 1, 2022. These will continue throughout the season. (Timed-entry passes will be required.) Note – time has been updated to 9 am from previously announced 11 am.

The following evening, Thursday, June 2, 2022, the Nature Artists’ Guild will be sponsoring a program (open to all, free of charge) at the Thornhill Education Center of The Morton Arboretum at 7 pm. This annual program will feature three talented members of the guild sharing some of their artistic inspirations, tools, and techniques. (Timed-entry passes are not required.)

Paint-outs will be scheduled as the summer progresses, and special projects and exhibits are being planned for July and August. Award-winning pastel artist (and guild member) Laverne Bohlin will be giving a presentation at the August 4th program and teaching a workshop for the arboretum the following weekend. Many more details coming soon!

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

The Nature Artists’ Guild’s “Coffee Club” Returns for 2022 on Wednesdays at 9 am

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

The casual weekly gatherings of members of the Nature Artists’ Guild will take place on Wednesdays at 9 am outside of the Ginkgo Restaurant and Café in the Visitor Center of The Morton Arboretum.

Members are welcome to stop by any Wednesday to chat with fellow members, share recent artwork, sketch, stitch, sip or snack, or simply gaze out the wall of windows overlooking the areas surrounding the Visitor Center and Meadow Lake as the day unfolds.

Early-risers or members who would like to head outdoors to enjoy one of the stunning gardens, many within easy walking distance of the Visitor Center, can do so before or after the gathering. Perhaps a few participants can get together to choose an area to sketch, paint, or photograph each week.

Members can email Linn Eldred with any questions. Timed-entry passes for The Morton Arboretum will be required.

Note – this post has been updated to reflect the new gathering time of 9 am (formerly listed as 11 am.)

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.