Wonderful Marge Hall and her Wonderful Flowers, October 18, 2021

Many art-fair visitors in Chicagoland will recognize Marge Hall and her wonderful large-scale close-up portraits of flowers. Marge can be seen throughout the summer in front of her booth painting and talking with visitors, engaging with and inspiring collectors and artists alike.

Marge Hall is also a popular instructor at the Dupage Art League where she teaches painting to artists at all levels. Many of Marge’s tips and techniques for painting flower portraits in oil can be adapted for use in acrylic, pastel, or even watercolor.

The Wheaton Public Library and the Dupage Art League have announced a joint presentation of Oils Start to Finish, an online program with Marge Hall, on Monday, October 18, 2021 from 6:30 until 8:30 pm. There will be a chance to ask questions, follow along at home, or just sit back and enjoy. Please click on one of the highlighted links to register for this free program, open to all.

Please click on photos for titles. All rights reserved by Marge Hall. Photos used with permission (previously posted.)

Members of the Nature Artists’ Guild who participate in the event are encouraged to create their own floral portrait (in any medium) and submit an image to Denise Fisk by for display on this website.

Before Autumn Begins

Summer may be coming to an end soon, but nature artists still have time to enjoy the beautiful weather while beginning to prepare for the colder months. (As always, please click on the highlighted links for more information and important details.)

Links to the prospectus for the Autumn 2021 Exhibit have been emailed to all members. This long-awaited in-person exhibit at The Morton Arboretum in November 2021 will have extended hours to better accommodate artists and visitors. Much more about this exhibit and Featured Artist Jill Adzia will be coming soon.

2021 Nature Artists’ Guild Exhibit poster. Artwork by Jill Adzia, poster design by Jane Kellenberger.

A paint-out at the Peck Farm Park is scheduled for Friday, September 10, 2021. The park’s Butterfly House closes soon, so it may be one of the last chances to capture an image of these beauties this year!

Jeanne’s Garden, copyright Linda C. Fairbanks

Tuesday Morning Coffee Club gatherings continue at the Visitor Center of The Morton Arboretum every week beginning at 9 am. All members are welcome to stop by but will need a timed-entry ticket to enter the arboretum.

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

Online workshops by Visiting Artist Betsy Rogers-Knox and one of the guild’s own talented members, Carrie Carlson, are open for registration at The Morton Arboretum. Members of the Nature Artists’ Guild will receive an additional discount for the Visiting Artist class if they register by phone and mention their guild membership.

Holiday card in watercolor, copyright Carrie Carlson

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.

Dan Danielson’s Fresh, Fluid, and Fun Watercolor Techniques

Fellow Nature Artists’ Guild members may know Dan Danielson as one of the presenters in last August’s online program or from some of the artwork he has shared on this website. (Please click on any image for the title and a full version.)

But Dan has been painting and teaching art since first studying at Chicago’s American Academy of Art. His award-winning artwork and techniques are so vibrant and lively that The Morton Arboretum has asked him to share his talents by teaching an online class this spring, Fresh, Fluid, and Fun Watercolor Techniques.  

Registration is open to all for the four-part online class that begins April 15, 2021. There is no requirement to be a member of the arboretum or the Nature Artists’ Guild to register, but space is limited, so early enrollment is recommended. Please click on one of the highlighted links to the class or Dan’s website to read more.

Ant, copyright Dan Danielson

Who Has a Houseplant Handy?

Nature Artists’ Guild members recently received an e-mail with links to various free online instructional art videos.  Some of the videos are presented by Strathmore Artists Papers, and one of their contributing artists, Cathy Johnson, has created a series called “Watercolor Sketching”.

In her short video, Watercolor Sketching, Part 1, Cathy uses nothing more than a potted plant and a few watercolor supplies to create a wonderful journal page. Beginning watercolor students will gain valuable skills in less than ten minutes, and even experienced watercolorists may add to their knowledge just by watching.  Please click on the highlighted link or the image to view.

Members of the Nature Artists’ Guild are encouraged to share an image of their results as part of the 2021 Winter Encounter.

From Watercolor Sketching Part 1, Watercolor Journal Page with Cathy Johnson.  Please click on image to be directed to the video.

Nature Artists’ Guild To Enter Its 35th Year!

The Nature Artists’ Guild of The Morton Arboretum enters its 35th year of art and nature in 2021!

As it has for more than 34 years, membership in the Nature Artists’ Guild in 2021 brings opportunities to participate in programs, paint-outs, exhibits, workshops, and social events (in person or online, as conditions require.)  In addition, the Nature Artists’ Quarterly, featuring news, articles, and artwork by, for, or about members is delivered to every member’s mailbox each season.

Now, before the season becomes too busy, might be a good time for Nature Artists’ Guild members to renew their membership for 2021 (or for new members to join.)  Current members of the guild can renew at a reduced fee (through the end of the month) by clicking here and scrolling down to the appropriate payment button.  New members can click here to join at the regular rate.  If preferred, new members can send a check to the address on the membership form and returning members can send a check to treasurer Catherine Stacy. Use of the membership form is not required as long as the member’s contact information is included with the check or online payment.

 

 

Ink for October

The Nature Artists’ Guild is participating in Inktober®2020!  The rules are simple, and joining in is even simpler.

Inktober is a registered trademark of J.P. Creative, LLC. Used with permission.

The Nature Artists’ Guild and The Morton Arboretum are offering some upcoming opportunities for learning to use ink in interesting and enjoyable ways –

Tomorrow, October 1, 2020, Lara Call Gastinger will be giving an online presentation about nature journaling to members.  Her remarkable journal drawings in ink illustrate some of the versatility of the medium. Guild members received an e-mail on September 24 with instructions for participating.

Stippled Leaf, sketchbook, copyright Lara Gastinger. Used with permission.

Of course, Inktober®2020 would include the art of Sumi-e, a Japanese style of painting in black ink in which emphasis is placed on the beauty of each brush stroke. The Morton Arboretum will be offering a three-part online Sumi-e workshop, taught by Patricia Larkin Green beginning on October 8, 2020.  This workshop is open to all, not just members of the Nature Artists’ Guild or The Morton Arboretum.

Patricia Larkin Green Sumi-e paintings and studio.

Please click on any of the above images or links for more information. All it really takes is a pen and some paper to begin, and images of ink creations by members of the Nature Artists’ Guild will be shared on this website in the coming weeks.

Inktober is a registered trademark of J.P. Creative, LLC. Used with permission.

An Artful Autumn at the Nature Artists’ Guild

Members of the Nature Artists’ Guild of The Morton Arboretum can look forward to a full Fall of art and nature!

Autumnal Gold, copyright Patricia Mroczka

Some upcoming events include –

  • A virtual lecture this month about the symbolism of art (much of it nature) portrayed on an 18th Century Asian screen. (Postponed until further notice.)
  • A “paint-out” in September where members create art in their own environment and share their experiences through video-chat or by sending images to display on this website.
  • An online presentation about journaling in nature with Lara Call Gastinger. Lara’s workshop at the Arboretum sold out immediately, but all Nature Artists’ Guild members are invited to join her October 1 presentation.
  • A new “Art Encounter” in October that will involve working almost solely in ink.  Its a great way to quickly hone those drawing skills!
  • An online exhibit in November of images of some of the finished artwork that members had hoped to include in the cancelled 2020 Spring or Autumn (Holiday) exhibits.
  • A fun and creative holiday card project in lieu of the annual in-person celebration.

Dates, times, and all the other details about these events will be shared with members through e-mails and announcements on this website.  

Field Journaling with Lara Call Gastinger on October 1, 2020

 

“As a trained plant ecologist, my love of learning and drawing nature is exemplified in my field journals.” – Lara Call Gastinger

Botanical artist and illustrator Lara Call Gastinger will be sharing some of her inspirations, ideas, and techniques for journaling in nature at the October 1, 2020 Nature Artists’ Guild online program.  Lara has received two gold medals at Royal Horticultural Society Botanical Art Shows in London and is the Chief Illustrator for the Flora of Virginia Project.

Please click on this link for a short video that features Lara speaking about some of her travels, discoveries, and inspirations as a “documenter of nature” and her joy in combining the love of both art and science in her work.

Members of the Nature Artists’ Guild will receive an e-mail closer to the program date with specific instructions on how to participate.  

Sketchbook pages, copyright Lara Gastinger. Used with permission.

Lara will also be teaching a three-session online workshop for The Morton Arboretum beginning on October 2, 2020.  During the workshop, Lara will “teach pen illustration techniques, plant identification, page composition, and how to add basic watercolor to your pages. During each live session, students will have the chance to interact with the instructor and each other, asking questions and sharing their work”.  Registration for Visiting Artist: Field Journaling with Lara Gastinger opens on September 1, 2020 by phone or though the Arboretum website’s Learn and experience page Members of the Nature Artists’ Guild can receive a discount for the workshop by registering by phone and confirming their membership.  Update – this workshop is sold out, but Nature Artists’ Guild members will still be able to participate in the program on October 1.

A Busy March for Nature Artists

Please click on this link to important notices from The Morton Arboretum

 

Coming up in March for members of the Nature Artists’ Guild –

Eastern Towhee, copyright Alex Warnick. Used with permission.

Monday, March 2, 2020 is the last day for members to mail their completed prospectuses for the 2020 Spring Exhibit of Natural History Art.  The link for the prospectus was sent out to all members by e-mail last month.  New members, please don’t hesitate to participate.  The Guild is a supportive, non-competitive organization that values the contributions of nature artists at all skill levels.  Beginners to professionals, we welcome you all!

Update – the Spring exhibit has been postponed until a date to be determined.

Thursday, March 5, 2020 is the date of a very special program sponsored by the Nature Artists’ Guild at the Thornhill Education Center of The Morton Arboretum from 7 until 9 pm.   Visiting Artist Alex Warnick will be sharing some thoughts about her exquisite paintings and illustrations of birds and her adventures in birding. This event is open to all and free-of-charge. Members are encouraged to invite their fellow artists, birders, and nature lovers to this presentation.  Details are in this previous post.

On Saturday, March 7, 2020 a repeat of last month’s Round Table Paint-In event will take place at Thornhill beginning at 1 pm.  Members should contact Linn Eldred if they’d like to participate.  Linn’s contact information is included in the February 19 e-mail sent to members.  All supplies will be provided, and there is no cost to attend this fun and creative event.

And that’s not all!  Plans are in the works for a paint-out at the Jurica-Suchy Nature Museum later in the month.  Details about this popular annual paint-out will be shared as soon as they are finalized.   Update – This event has been postponed until a date to be determined.

A fundraising workshop has been scheduled for Saturday, March 28, 2020 at the Thornhill Education Center.  Supplies will be provided for Nature Artists’ Guild members who wish to participate by painting canvases to be sold at the Spring Exhibit as a fundraiser.  Fundraising workshops are a great place to get to know and enjoy some time with fellow Guild members.  Update – This event has been postponed until a date to be determined.