Coming Soon for the Nature Artists’ Guild

The Nature Artists’ Guild is determined to add a little warmth and color to the cold and dreary days of late winter and early spring in Chicagoland.

  • This Thursday, February 2, 2023, members and guests of the Nature Artists’ Guild will have the opportunity to attend an online presentation by artist and author Amy Lindenberger beginning at 7 pm.
  • Next Thursday, February 9, 2023, a paint-out at the renowned Orchids by Hausermann will begin at 7 am. The promise of incredible color and warmth might be enough to convince artists to set their alarm. Registration is required and a few spots are still available.
  • From the tropics to the jungle! A paint-out is scheduled for Thursday, March 9, 2023 at the Jurica-Suchy Nature Museum at Benedictine University. More details to come soon.
  • Nature Artists’ Guild members (and guests) can sketch nature while sipping a warm beverage inside the Visitor Center of The Morton Arboretum each Wednesday between 9 and 11:30 am at the Art and Coffee gatherings.

Also coming up soon for the Nature Artists’ Guild –

The “Joy’s Vision” project of creating 8 x 8 pieces of artwork for display at the guild’s autumn exhibit has begun. Participants who would like to include a snowy scene in any of their works still have time to visit The Morton Arboretum for inspiration and reference material! 8 x 8 surfaces (watercolor paper, pastel paper, and others) will be available at no charge at the March paint-out and future events. (Artists’ may also use their own surfaces, but the finished size must be 8 x 8 inches.)

Members who would be willing to share images of their spring artwork in the upcoming issue of the Quarterly (a members-only publication) should email them to Jane Kellenberger by February 3.

The workshop co-sponsored by the Nature Artists’ Guild featuring Heeyoung Kim is full, but artists who would like to see Heeyoung’s work along with the work of numerous other accomplished botanical artists, are invited to attend an “Artist Walkthrough” at the Brushwood Center at Ryerson Woods on February 5, 2023 from 1 to 3 pm.

An in-person presentation by watercolor artist Thomas Trausch will be held at the Thornhill Education Center of The Morton Arboretum on Thursday, March 2, 2023 from 7 until 9 pm. Guests and visitors are welcome and more details will be coming soon.

There is still time to join the Nature Artists’ Guild and receive a prospectus for the upcoming 2023 Spring Art Exhibit at The Morton Arboretum. The prospectus will be emailed to members on February 20, 2023.

Amy Lindenberger To Bring Color on February 2, 2023

Anyone living in the Chicago region could certainly use some color about now, and the Nature Artists’ Guild’s guest speaker for February, Amy Lindenberger, who literally wrote the books (and magazines) on it, will bring it!

Many of Amy’s popular books give instruction on using colored pencils on different surfaces – black paper, clayboard, pastelmat, and watercolor paper. Her latest, Colors: A Workbook and Even More Colors: Workbook 2, provide guidance on using color in almost any medium (focusing on colored pencil) and cover “a range of skills for handling color, beginning with color perception – the ability see color accurately – and color analysis – the ability to classify a color according to its hue, value and intensity.”

The Nature Artists’ Guild is proud to present a live online meeting with Amy Lindenberger on Thursday, February 2, 2023 beginning at 7 pm. After her presentation, attendees will have the opportunity to ask Amy questions about color (and colored pencils) from the comfort of their own home. Guild members will receive a link for attending and instructions by email. Guests and visitors are also welcome to attend this online presentation and may request a link by using the contact form on our About page.

Note – The previously scheduled presenter, Lynne Railsback, asked to be rescheduled and the Guild looks forward to seeing Lynne and her wonderful work soon.

Nature Artists’ Guild’s Annual Trip to the Tropics

Detail of photo by Linn Eldred

On Thursday, February 9, 2023, from 7 until 10 am, members of the Nature Artists’ Guild can experience some of the warmth, sights, and scents of the tropics at the annual paint-out at Orchids by Hausermann, one of the world’s oldest and largest growers of orchids.

Paint-out participants will be able to sit and paint or wander and photograph numerous varieties inside the display area of the vast greenhouse before it opens to the public. One participant will be chosen at random to receive a gift certificate for an orchid to take home!

Attendance at the paint-out is limited to the first twelve members to register with Celia Rodee by email or by completing this form. Celia will contact participants with further details and instructions.

Also please note –

  • The weekly Coffee and Art gathering will not take place this Wednesday, January 18, but will return on January 25.

Mr. Morton, Mr. Potter, and the Chauffeur

The wonder we now know as The Morton Arboretum all began when “while touring by automobile in 1909, Joy Morton, his friend E.A. Potter, and their chauffeur jumped from their car to stamp out a grass fire and stumbled upon the spot that captured Joy’s vision for a home, and ultimately his legacy. ” 

Beginning in 1922, Mr. Morton began to establish some of the delights of the original 175 acres of his “museum of trees.” Some of those landmarks still exist in much their original state up to 100 years later – Joy Path, Lake Marmo, and Sargents Glade (now affectionately known as Daffodil Glade.)

Details from previous works by Terrie McComb, Alice Wych, Laverne Bohlin, and Pat Mroczka, cropped to squares to simulate display of four seasons at The Morton Arboretum.

This year, the Nature Artists’ Guild will celebrate “Joy’s Vision” with artwork created throughout the year at these favored locations of Mr. Morton. Similarly to last year’s Schulenberg Prairie Project, members will be asked to create artwork at, or inspired by, Joy Path, Lake Marmo, and Daffodil Glade.

  • Each participating artist may contribute up to four pieces. Some may choose to do one location in all four seasons, others may complete three pieces (one from each location) and some may prefer depicting just one or two locations or seasons.
  • The artwork must be completed on 8 x 8 inch surfaces, which can be obtained free of charge at various paint-outs, programs, or other gatherings throughout the year. Artists can also use their own surfaces as long as they measure 8 x 8 inches and are less than 3/8 inches thick.
  • Paint-outs may be planned in upcoming months at these locations.
  • Finished pieces will be exhibited at the Nature Artists’ Guild’s 2023 Autumn Art Exhibit at The Morton Arboretum.
  • No framing or preregistration is required for participating.

Much more about this celebration of “Joy’s Vision” coming soon, but those who want to include all four seasons should take note that winter is already half over!

Nature Artists’ Guild Bids Farewell to 2022

2022 was a busy year for the Nature Artists’ Guild. In-person paint-outs, programs, gatherings, workshops, exhibits, and even a holiday party returned, and our members were ready for it!

Here is a quick look at some images from events, presenters, and guild members throughout the year. For more information about any of the artists or events, please take a moment to scroll back through the posts of 2022.

The Herbarium – Where the Work of the Botanical Artist Begins

Specimens at The Morton Arboretum’s Herbarium. Photo credit mortonarb.org.

On Thursday, January 19, 2023, members of the Nature Artists’ Guild will meet in the Cudahy Room of the Administration and Research Center of The Morton Arboretum from 9:30 am until 12:30 pm to study and draw specimens from the Arboretum’s Herbarium.

A Closer Look at the 100-Year-Old Arboretum Herbarium gives the fascinating history of the collection of plant specimens (now numbering in hundreds of thousands) established by Joy Morton in 1922. “Notable samples include dried plants from William Edward Parry’s Arctic expeditions of the 1820s, a hybrid buckeye grown from seed collected by George Washington, and a fern collected by Ernest Hemingway’s father in 1891.”

The paint-out is limited to twelve participants. Interested Nature Artists’ Guild members can reserve a spot by contacting Celia Rodee by email or by completing this form.

P is for Pine, copyright Suzanne Wegener

The Subtle Beauty of Winter Returns

Great Solomon’s Seal, copyright Lynne Railsback

The subtle tones of winter return as the Nature Artists’ Guild prepares for 2023. After celebrating the many moods of the prairie last autumn, members of the guild can now look forward to studying the nuances of local and exotic plants in various phases during the upcoming months.

  • January 2023 will include a paint-in at The Morton Arboretum’s Herbarium, which contains within its more than 200,000 specimens the world’s most complete collection of dried plants from the Chicago region.
  • Wednesday morning Art and Coffee gatherings will return in January with various plants or greenhouse flowers for sketching while sipping.
  • In early February, Lynne Railsback will return with an online program, sharing her stunningly intricate artwork and thoughts about spontaneity and the use of a limited palette.
  • The palette will become more colorful in February at the Nature Artists’ Guild’s annual “trip to the tropics” at Orchids by Hausermann, one of the Midwest’s largest orchid growers.
  • The Guild is honored to co-sponsor a workshop by renowned botanical artist Heeyoung Kim at The Morton Arboretum in March. Guild members will have the opportunity to enroll in the workshop at a discounted fee.

Dates, times, and other details for these and other upcoming events will be shared with members by email and on this website as they become available.

From Bold and Beautiful to Delicate and Detailed

Flora or fauna, vibrant or muted, bold or delicate, loose or detailed – members of the Nature Artists’ Guild do it all.

Downers Grove Public Library will host an exhibit of works by members of the Nature Artists’ Guild of The Morton Arboretum throughout January 2023. The library has a long tradition of proudly collecting and exhibiting the work of a wide variety of artists, from local to international, within two dedicated gallery spaces. The Nature Artists’ Guild is honored to participate each January.

Links to the prospectus and a library disclaimer were emailed to members on November 21, 2022. All artwork must have been included in a previous Nature Artists’ Guild exhibit and members will need to have renewed their guild membership for 2023 in order to participate. Completed forms must be returned by mail to Gary Chipman, postmarked by Saturday, December 10, 2022 and the artwork drop-off will be on the following Saturday, December 17.

Holiday Party Tonight for the Nature Artists’ Guild

The Morton Arboretum Thornhill Education Center. Photo credit http://www.mortonarb.org

Who isn’t awed by The Morton Arboretum in the evening, especially during the holiday season when the festive lights of the buildings and their surroundings contrast with the dark, silent woods and meadows? It can truly be an experience of wonder.

Members of the Nature Artists’ Guild are invited to experience this wonder along with the joys of sharing food and laughter with friends and fellow artists at the annual Holiday Party tonight, December 1, 2022.

Festivities begin at 6 pm in the Founder’s Room (originally the library of the country estate of Joy Morton) at the lovely and historic Thornhill Education Center of The Morton Arboretum.

All the details were emailed to members on November 26. No RSVP is necessary and each member is invited to bring a guest.

Invitation by Mary Ann Jimenez