Please click on this link or the Member Artwork tab above to view the first contributions to the Fall into Winter Encounter gallery. Participating Nature Artists’ Guild members spent time each week in the autumn collecting items, photos or sketches from nature. The winter phase of this project is to create a montage each week or one final montage using some or all of these collections. Please check back each week for more artwork.
No, there will not be any actual alpacas in the historic Founder’s Room or Arbor Room of the Thornhill Education Center of The Morton Arboretum in the near future, nor have there ever been, as far as we know. The Nature Artists’ Guild, though, will be hosting a program at Thornhill on Thursday evening, February 1, 2018, from 7 until 9 pm featuring artist and alpaca farmer, Susan Waldron.
While Susan also creates wonderful paintings in the more familiar media of oils and watercolors, her fiber art made from the wool of her own alpacas is uniquely beautiful.
On her website, Susan Waldron Art, she writes-
I use my own hand-dyed alpaca fibers in the art pieces that I create. The alpaca fiber feels like a combination of cashmere and silk. As a result of raising these animals from birth, there is a spiritual connection with the animals and the felted pieces.
I am able to combine my love for color, nature, and alpacas to create exquisite, felted pieces.
Exquisite, indeed. Please visit her website for more images and to read more about Susan’s artistic journey and these fascinating creatures she raises.
As always, programs sponsored by the Nature Artists’ Guild of The Morton Arboretum are open to all. Guests and visitors are welcome and there will be no charge for attendance, parking, or for admission to the Arboretum for this event.
The Nature Artists’ Guild would also like to encourage potential new members to attend. Please arrive a few minutes early if you have any questions about our group and one of our members will be happy to assist you. There is absolutely no pressure to join and it’s a great opportunity to learn more about the Guild, its members, exhibits, and activities.
Whether your priority for the upcoming year is to make more art, to learn new techniques, or simply to view more art or make new friends, the Nature Artists’ Guild has it covered. There is still time to join or renew, and since memberships are for the calendar year, the sooner you join, the more benefit you’ll receive from your membership.
Here are a few of the activities coming up in the next month or so –
- The Nature Artists’ Guild is proud to present their first exhibit of the year at the Downers Grove Public Library. This lovely collection of members’ work will be open to the public throughout the month of January during regular library hours.
- On Thursday evening, February 1, 2018, between 7 and 9 pm, Susan Waldron will give a presentation at the Thornhill Education Center on her techniques for creating floral and landscape paintings in oil as well as in fiber made from, if you can believe it, the wool from her own herd of alpacas! Guests and visitors are also welcome to attend this program free-of-charge. More details will be coming soon, but please visit Susan’s website for a preview of her work (and her alpacas).
- The first paint-out of the year is scheduled for Tuesday morning, February 6, 2018 from 8 until 11 am at Orchids by Hausermann in Villa Park, IL.
This popular paint-out (think tropical weather and being surrounded by thousands of orchids) has limited space and fills up quickly, so interested Guild members should contact Jane Kellenberger to save a spot. Jane’s contact information can be found in the Yearbook.
- New classes and workshops start soon at The Morton Arboretum. Some upcoming nature art classes include Rocks, Minerals and Bones in Colored Pencil with Kimberly Mullarkey, Jewelry Making: Winter Berries Necklace with Karen Johnson, Linoleum Block Printing Workshop with Carrie Carlson, and Advanced Textures in Graphite and Watercolor and Nature in Graphite with Suzanne Wegener. For those just starting out, Beginner’s Nature Art Workshops: Winter Foliage in Graphite and Begin to Draw Nature are scheduled for late February and early March. All classes are open to the public and a discount is offered for members of The Morton Arboretum. Please click on this link to the Arboretum’s class listings for more information or to enroll.
- It won’t be long before we begin to post montages from those Nature Artists’ Guild members who are participating in the Fall into Winter Encounter. It will be exciting to see the results of weeks of collecting and creating!
Please check back here soon or click on any of the highlighted links for more about these and other upcoming activities.
Great News! The Morton Arboretum is offering an extra discount to members of the Nature Artists’ Guild for Lindsay Sandbothe’s upcoming class. Of course, non-members of the Guild or The Morton Arboretum are welcome to enroll for the regular fee, and Arboretum members always receive a discounted rate. Please follow this link to The Morton Arboretum’s website or click on the image below for more information. Nature Artists’ Guild members must enroll by phone by 4 pm on December 1, 2017 to receive the extra discount.
Participants in the Nature Artists’ Guild’s Fall into Winter Encounter have been busy outdoors this autumn collecting nuts, leaves, twigs, pine cones, berries, feathers, and other natural treasures and stashing them away in boxes or bags, as well as taking photos and making sketches.
At the start of the new year, out come the treasures, the paints, the pencils, the canvases, the paper, the sketches, and the photographs as the artists begin creating. Participants will be creating one montage per week for the following six weeks, or if they choose, one grand montage using all their collected materials. According to Merriam-Webster, “montage” can be defined as an “artistic composite of juxtaposed more or less heterogeneous elements”.
Beginning in January 2018, photos of completed montages will be posted on this website in the Member Artwork section. There is still time for industrious members of the Guild to participate by catching up with the collecting phase before the creating phase begins. Those interested can sign up by contacting Evelyn Grala, whose contact information can be found in the Yearbook. Evelyn will continue to send informational and encouraging e-mails to participants throughout the project.
The work is done (for a while), the exhibit was a success, and now it’s time to celebrate a wonderful year of creating nature art.
The theme for this year’s holiday gathering is Birds of a Feather,We Flock Together. The party planners have a festive evening planned, with decorations, music with an (optional) sing-along with Bruce Oscar of WDCB’s Swing Shift, lots of food, and the traditional raffle (which will include the generous donation of free admission to a class from The Morton Arboretum).
The best part, of course, will be the chance to celebrate with fellow members of the Nature Artists’ Guild, a special flock of friendly, sharing, and talented birds!
The evening begins at 6 pm on Thursday, December 7, 2017 in the historic and lovely Founders Room of Thornhill Education Center at The Morton Arboretum. Dinner begins at 7 pm, and the after-dinner raffle will continue until 9. Current members of the Nature Artists’ Guild should check their e-mailed invitation for details and contact Gail Diedrichsen or Susan Bartlett (whose contact information can be found in the Yearbook) with questions.
Nature Artists’ Guild members are finishing up those last-minute details (remember to double-check the prospectus for requirements), the gallery space is being prepared, the flower arrangers are gathering their supplies, the art-hanging crew is ready to get to work, and the refreshments are being ordered for the reception. There are raffle baskets to wrap, ceramic art plates to arrange, and many, many lights to light.
The list goes on and on, but the members of the Nature Artists’ Guild have expertly done it all before (for over 35 years!), and even though the exhibits have changed in numerous ways, one thing stays the same – there is always a wonderful collection of nature art for visitors to enjoy.
The 2017 Holiday Exhibition of Natural History Art opens on the evening of Friday, November 3, 2017 for friends and family of the artists, as well as members of The Morton Arboretum. The exhibit continues throughout the weekend of November 4 and 5th, 2017 for all visitors to the Arboretum. Please click one of the highlighted links above for details.