An Opportunity to Learn Woodblock Printing with Ben Calvert

Nature Artists’ Guild members may remember Ben Calvert from his fascinating presentation on creating woodblock prints in February, 2019.  Ben will be teaching a four-evening introductory class beginning on Wednesday, September 11, 2019 and continuing for the following three Wednesday evenings, at The Morton Arboretum, where he will share the history, supplies, and processes involved in woodblock printing.  All supplies are included.

All are welcome to join Ben in this class, which will be suitable for all skill levels.  There is no requirement to be a member of the Nature Artists’ Guild or The Morton Arboretum to register, although Arboretum members will receive a discounted enrollment fee.  Please click here to register or to read more about the course.

Fellow procrastinators should note that to prevent cancellation, The Morton Arboretum requires a minimum enrollment number well before the start date of any class.  To minimize the likelihood of any class cancellations, early enrollment is highly encouraged.

Great Migrator Rest Stop, copyright 2018, Benjamin F. Calvert III.  Please click on the image to be directed to Ben’s website.

Coming Soon for the Nature Artists’ Guild

  • There will be a paint-out this September for members of the Nature Artists’ Guild, with the exact date and location to be announced shortly.  Update – the paint-out will be at Chicago’s Field Museum with Peggy Macnamara at 10 am on September 18, 2019. More details to come soon!
  • The prospectus for the 2019 Autumn (Holiday) Exhibition of Natural History Art at The Morton Arboretum will be sent in early September to all members of the Nature Artists’ Guild.  New members are welcome to join the Guild before then to receive a prospectus.
  • Images from the 2019 Summer Encounter are being received from the artists and will be shared here and in the next issue of the Nature Artists’ Quarterly (a members-only publication).
  • A Creative Event has been scheduled for September 5, 2019 at 7 pm at the Thornhill Education Center of The Morton Arboretum for Nature Artists’ Guild members.  Lots of fun and creativity will be in store as members create handmade objects to sell at the Autumn (Holiday) Exhibit.  A list of skills being shared and suggested supplies to bring was sent to members on August 12.  All proceeds from the sales will be used to support the Nature Artists’ Guild.

Nature in Graphite with Suzanne Wegener begins July 10, 2019

A former president of the GNSI, Guild of Natural Science Illustrators, and current vice-president of the ASBA, American Society of Botanical Artists, Suzanne Wegener is a master at capturing the nuances of nature in graphite. She will be sharing her knowledge in Nature In Graphite, a four-evening class at The Morton Arboretum, beginning on Wednesday, July 10, 2019.

This class is open to anyone interested in improving their drawing skills, but some previous drawing experience is beneficial. Participants do not need to be members of The Morton Arboretum or the Nature Artists’ Guild, but there is a discounted enrollment fee for Arboretum members.

Please click on the image or the above highlighted link for more information.  Prompt registration is encouraged as class size is limited.

Sunflower, graphite, copyright Suzanne Wegener.

Nature Composed Workshop with Wendy Brockman Next Month

Practice is crucial and studying is important, but possibly the best way to rapidly improve artistic skills is to work with the most accomplished artists in the field.  The Visiting Artist Series: Nature Composed workshop with Wendy Brockman coming to The Morton Arboretum for three days, May 17th through May 19th, 2019, will give nature artists the opportunity to learn from one of the best.

Beach Feathers, mixed media on bristol, copyright Wendy Brockman. Used with permission.

This workshop is open to all artists, not just members of the Nature Artists’ Guild or The Morton Arboretum.  Click on the above link to the registration page to read more or to enroll in the workshop.  Space is limited.

Please visit Wendy’s website to read about her inspirations and accomplishments and to see more of her artwork. It is stunning.

Painting Landscapes with Joel Sheesley on May 4, 2019

Artist and author Joel Sheesley presented the March, 2019 program at The Morton Arboretum for members of the Nature Artists’ Guild, their guests, and visitors.  Joel, his fascinating adventures, and his work interested and inspired so many that the Arboretum has invited him back to teach a workshop about painting landscapes.

Below Dayton Bluffs, May 9, 12 x 24, © 2017 Joel Sheesley. Used with permission.

Painting Landscapes, will take place on Saturday, May 4, 2019 from 9 am until 3 pm.  This mostly plein air workshop is available to all artists, not just members of The Morton Arboretum or the Nature Artists’ Guild, although Arboretum members will receive a discount on the registration fee.  Interested artists can read more or enroll by using this link to the workshop’s registration page, or this link to the LEARN & experience page of The Morton Arboretum.

Please click on this link to Joel’s website or on the image above to see more of Joel’s work and to read about his exciting painting experiences.

Spring Is On Its Way!

One of the earliest signs of the season is the announcement of the annual Nature Artists’ Guild’s Spring Exhibition of Natural History Art at The Morton Arboretum!  The dates of the exhibition are April 6 and 7, 2019 (with a reception for guests of the artists as well as members of the Arboretum on the evening of Friday, April 5, 2019).

There will be much more information about this exhibit and its Featured Artist, Karen Johnson, to come in the next few weeks.

Brought to Life, Leadwort, Acrylic, Copyright Karen A. Johnson.  Please click on the image to view Karen’s blog, Karen’s Nature Art.

For now, this is a reminder to participating artists that completed prospectuses should be mailed on or before Monday, March 4, 2019.  The prospectus form and instructions were e-mailed to eligible Guild members on February 4, 2019.  Members can contact Alice Wych (whose contact information can be found in the Nature Artists’ Guild Yearbook) for any questions.

Also, the fundraising workshops are back!  On Wednesday, February 27 at 1:30 pm, at the Thornhill Education Center of the Arboretum, Pat Mroczka will be hosting a member’s workshop for painting rocks or small canvases to be sold at the Spring Exhibition.  This casual workshop is a fun way to get to know other artists and possibly learn a new skill or pick up some tips.  Rocks and canvases will be provided, but participants are asked to bring their own paints and brushes (acrylic paint and synthetic brushes are recommended for painting the rocks). Those members who would prefer to just stop by and pick up a rock or canvas to work on at home are welcome to.

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!