Easy and Enjoyable New Year’s Resolutions for Nature Artists

Why not a few resolutions for 2019 that are enjoyable and easy to keep?  Here are a few for artists at every skill level –

  • Learn new art techniques and methods from renowned artists from the local area as well as from across the country (and occasionally around the world)
  • Participate in wonderful and well-attended exhibitions at The Morton Arboretum and other venues
  • Attend paint-outs with fellow artists, often at locations only accessible as part of an artist’s group
  • Pick up tips and inspiration from artists who are also interested in nature, but whose work varies widely in style, specific subject matter, and technique

Nature Artists’ Guild at Orchids by Hausermann, an annual winter paint-out location.

2019 could be the year to increase artistic skills, learn a new technique, exhibit for the first (or 100th) time, or just have many opportunities to learn from and gain inspiration from fellow artists, all while having fun and enjoying the natural world. Becoming a member of (or renewing membership to) the Nature Artists’ Guild will make it much easier to keep those resolutions!

Please click on this link to the Membership Brochure to learn more. Membership in the Nature Artists’ Guild does not require membership at The Morton Arboretum.  A preview of some of the planned events for 2019 will be coming soon.

Enrollment for “Beetle-Mania” Extended Until Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Well, it’s not officially called “Beetle-Mania”, and there are no “mop-tops” involved, but it is all about beetles, and Wednesday really is the last chance to enroll in Under the Microscope:  Drawing Beetles at The Morton Arboretum.

The opportunity to view insects (or almost anything else) under a microscope is rare for most, and uniquely fascinating.  Beetles under a microscope don’t just look like larger beetles.  They bring to mind intriguing creatures from the distant past or imagined ones of the distant future!

Beetle drawings, copyright 2016, Karen A Johnson.

The class instructor, artist and insect expert Karen Johnson, has a new blog post all about beetles, which you can read by clicking on this link.

To learn more or to enroll in the class, please click on this link to the registration page of The Morton Arboretum.  The Arboretum will provide the microscopes and Karen will provide the specimens.

Coming Soon For The Nature Artists’ Guild

A few of the upcoming Nature Artists’ Guild’s activities for Autumn, one of the most wonderful times of the year to celebrate nature –

  • This Thursday, August 23, 2018 a paint-out at the Gardens at Ball will take place from 9 until noon for Guild members.  Please click on the highlighted link for more information.
  • On Thursday evening, October 4, 2018,  from 7 until 9 pm, pastel artist Pamela Hamilton (a favorite at last weekend’s Wine and Art Walk) will share some of her techniques and inspirations with Guild members, guests, and visitors at the Thornhill Education Center of The Morton Arboretum.  Check back soon for more about Pamela and her presentation.  The program, sponsored by the Nature Artists’ Guild, is free-of-charge and open to all.
  • The 2018 Holiday (Autumn) Exhibition of Natural History Art, featuring the artwork of Guild members, is scheduled for the weekend of November 3 and 4, 2018, with a reception for Arboretum members and guests of the artists on the evening of Friday, November 2, 2018 in the Cudahy Room of The Morton Arboretum.  Much more to come in the following weeks about this exhibit and the featured artist, Gary Chipman.

    Gardens at Ball. Photo credit https://www.ballhort.com/GardensAtBall/Visit/

Spread Your Wings! Lindsay Sandbothe’s Workshop on July 28 and 29, 2018

Red-winged Blackbird, copyright 2018 Lindsay Sandbothe.  Please click on the image for more at lindsaysandbothe.com.

Lindsay Sandbothe and her incredible paintings of birds return to The Morton Arboretum on the weekend of July 28 and 29, 2018.  In a two-day workshop for intermediate to advanced artists, Lindsay, in her friendly and fun teaching style, will share her techniques for painting on wood in acrylic.

From The Morton Arboretum class listings

Bird Portraits: Acrylic on Wood

Lindsay Sandbothe returns for a two-day, intermediate/advanced workshop. Explore intermediate techniques for painting on wood in acrylic, including staining, blocking, layering, and glazing while rendering detailed portraits of birds in their natural environment. Through demonstrations and time to work under the guidance of the instructor, students will create their own bird portraits.

To register or to read more about this workshop, please click on this link to The Morton Arboretum’s Learn and Experience page.  All artists with some painting experience are invited to participate.  There is no requirement to be a member of the Nature Artists’ Guild or The Morton Arboretum, but Arboretum members will receive a discounted fee.  Registration ends soon!

Nature In Graphite Begins Thursday, July 12, 2018

Ball of Confusion, graphite, copyright Suzanne Wegener.

Please enroll in Nature in Graphite this weekend to guarantee your spot!

Learn to capture nature with graphite, the perfect medium for textures. As you study and draw the details of living plants, you will learn the techniques of pencil drawing, develop your eye-hand coordination, and learn the structures of the plants you draw. Regular activities include daily drawing exercises, weekly home assignments, and constructive critiques.

Instructor Suzanne Wegener, current Vice President of the American Society of Botanical Artists, is a talented and experienced artist and educator, and the small class size will ensure that each participant is given plenty of personal attention.  Some drawing experience is recommended.

Please click on this link to read more or to register.  The class, scheduled for four Thursday evenings beginning July 12, 2018, is offered by The Morton Arboretum and is open to all.  Membership in the Nature Artists’ Guild or The Morton Arboretum is not required, but Arboretum members will receive a discounted registration fee.

Sculptures Inspired by Science: Physics, Proteins, and People

All are invited to this free program featuring artist and scientist Julian Voss-Andreae on Wednesday, June 27, 2018 from 7 until 8:30 pm at The Morton Arboretum.  Registration is required, so please click on the image to be directed to the Arboretum’s website.

Please click on the image for more information or to reach The Morton Arboretum’s registration page.

Coming Soon, Spring 2018 Edition

So much art and so much nature coming up so soon!

Two classes coming up very soon are being taught by some of the best artists and best instructors that The Morton Arboretum has ever offered.  Suzanne Wegener will be the instructor for Drawing Nature II on four Thursday evenings beginning on May 31, 2018.  Suzanne will be teaching skills that are essential to any artist who wishes to draw nature realistically.  Plein Air on the Prairie, on either Monday, June 4, or Monday, June 11, 2018 is a three-hour excursion onto the prairie with a sketchbook and two experts, naturalist Cindy Crosby, and artist Karen Johnson.  It’s a unique opportunity to learn about and experience the prairie from a botanical as well as an artistic point of view.  Please click on the above links to learn more or to enroll.  Classes are open to all, not just members of the Nature Artists’ Guild or The Morton Arboretum, but Arboretum members will receive a discount on registration fees.

Page from Karen Johnson’s sketchbook. Copyright 2017, Karen Johnson.

Evelyn Grala has done it again, and come up with a way to keep Nature Artists’ Guild members growing this summer.  Evelyn has planned a new Summer Sketchbook Encounter, to begin on June 1 and continue until September 1, 2018.  Participants will be asked to fill four pages of a sketchbook per week, using any media they would like (including crayons), and to have fun.  It’s as simple as that. The improvement in drawing and composition skills will come automatically!  Interested members who have not already signed up should contact Evelyn (whose contact information can be found in their Yearbook) to ensure they receive her periodic updates and encouragements.

The Nature Artists’ Guild will be exhibiting at the Mayslake Peabody Estate in Oak Brook, IL from Wednesday, June 6 through Friday, July 13, 2018.  The exhibit may be viewed any time during estate business hours, Monday through Friday, from 9 am until 3 pm, or Saturday between 9 am and 1 pm, but the best time to visit would be on Wednesday evening, June 27, 2018 between 6 and 8 pmThis artists’ reception is open to all, and is a great opportunity to meet and talk with the artists and enjoy light refreshments.  Participating artists should check the prospectus for drop-off and pick-up dates and times.

There is so much excitement and anticipation around the upcoming program featuring biologist, author and artist Julie Zickefoose on Thursday, June 7, 2018 at the Thornhill Education Center of The Morton Arboretum.  All are welcome to attend this event free-of-charge.  Please click on the highlighted link for more information.

Page from Baby Birds, An Artist Looks into the Nest, copyright Julie Zickefoose. Used with permission.

A new paint-out has been added for June, and it’s at one of the prettiest spots in the area, Meadow Lake at The Morton Arboretum.  On Tuesday, June 26, at 9 am, Nature Artists’ Guild members will meet at the P-2 parking lot east of Meadow Lake. There will be water, flowers, grasses, shrubs, and trees (naturally), and even some large mysterious creatures in the area. Guild members can contact Jane Kellenberger if they would like to attend, but last-minute drop-ins by members are also welcome.

Note:  This post has been updated to include the new date for the rescheduled paint-out.

Artist in Residence Thomas Dambo at work on one of his creations for the Troll Hunt at The Morton Arboretum. Photo credit mortonarb.org.  Please click on the photo for more information about the artist.