Nature Artists’ Guild Welcomes Back Marlene Hill Donnelly on February 4, 2021

It’s been nearly ten years since members of the Nature Artists’ Guild have had the pleasure of attending a presentation by artist, educator, and scientist Marlene Hill Donnelly.  The guild is excited to welcome her back as their first speaker of 2021.

On Thursday evening, February 4, 2021, beginning at 7 pm, via live video, Marlene will talk about some of her unique experiences over the course of her career as a scientific illustrator for the Field Museum and as a freelance artist for the Belle Isle Aquarium, the Smithsonian Institution, HarperCollins, and the Honolulu Zoo.  Marlene has also taught various art and botanical and scientific illustration classes at The Morton Arboretum, and is currently teaching at the Chicago Botanic Garden.

Detail of Landscape Reconstructed – Greenland, copyright Marlene Hill Donnelly.

Instructions for joining this program will be emailed to all Nature Artists’ Guild members later this month. Those who have not yet joined or renewed for 2021 are encouraged to do so before the end of January to ensure that they receive the participation instructions.

Happy Holidays from the Nature Artists’ Guild

Holiday card 2020, copyright Mary Sinclair

To add cheer to the season, members of the Nature Artists’ Guild created and exchanged holiday cards, and some of the artists or recipients have shared images of those cards here for us to enjoy. Thank you to Susan Bartlett for coordinating this fun exchange and to all the participating artists for contributing their time and talent!

If you are unable to view the slideshow on your device, please click here or on the title at the top of the post to be directed to the Nature Artists’ Guild website.

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Time to Mail the Holiday Cards

Images of the wonderful handmade holiday cards being exchanged between Nature Artists’ Guild members have been trickling in, and we will be sharing those soon on this website.  Any participating member who hasn’t mailed their card yet should finish it up, put it in an envelope, and mail it today!  Images of the cards can be emailed by the recipients to Denise Fisk, whose contact information can be found in the Nature Artists’ Guild Yearbook.

Holiday card by Maggie Mardis.  (Maggie does the best nests, doesn’t she?)

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.



Still Time to Join the 2020 Nature Artists’ Guild’s Holiday Card Exchange

The Nature Artists’ Guild is celebrating a year of nature, art, and friendship –

Any Nature Artists’ Guild member who would like to participate in the exchange of a handmade holiday card with another member should click on the link in the e-mail sent on November 18 or contact Susan Bartlett (whose information can be found in the guild’s Yearbook) before December 4, 2020.  Susan will let each participant know the name of their card’s recipient on December 5, and all cards should be sent by December 15.

Images of the finished cards can also be sent to Denise Fisk by December 15 to be shared later (after all the cards have been sent – no spoilers here!) on this website.

Handmade card by Susan Bartlett.

Celebrating the Season with the Nature Artists’ Guild Holiday Card Exchange

This year members of the Nature Artists’ Guild will be celebrating a year of friendship, art, and nature by exchanging handmade holiday cards!  Any member who would like to participate should let Susan Bartlett know by December 4, 2020 by clicking on the link in an e-mail sent to members on November 18.  On December 5, Susan will let each person know the name of the recipient of their creation.  All cards should be mailed by December 15, 2020.

An original handmade card should be sent to each artist’s exchange recipient, but scans or prints of the cards could also be shared with friends and family. Images of the cards will be posted on this website (after the exchange is over, of course – we wouldn’t want to ruin the surprise) if any artists choose to share. Those images can be sent to Denise Fisk any time before December 15.

Some handmade holiday cards by Susan Bartlett.

The 2020 Online Exhibit of Natural History Art

Members of the Nature Artists’ Guild would like to share some of the work that would have been (and might be in the future) exhibited at The Morton Arboretum as part of the guild’s annual Spring or Autumn (Holiday) Exhibit of Natural History Art.

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If the slide show does not show up on your device, please click on this link to the Nature Artists’ guild website. Click on any image to see a larger version and the title, artists’ name, and media used.  The images are also available for scrolling through or viewing individually on the 2020 Exhibit of Natural History Art page under the Member Artwork tab of this website. Thank you to all participating members for sharing your artwork.

All artwork exhibited on this website is the sole property of the artist and should not be used or reproduced without their written consent.  If you would like to contact one of the artists, please leave a comment on this website and you will receive an e-mail reply, normally within 48 hours. Your e-mail address will not be shared or used for any other purpose.

2020 Autumn (Holiday) Exhibit of Natural History Art Coming Soon Online

The annual Autumn (Holiday) Exhibit of Natural History Art by members of the Nature Artists’ Guild of The Morton Arboretum will be online-only in November 2020.

Study of Red Oak Trees, acrylic and soft pastel, copyright Laverne Bohlin

There is nothing like viewing artwork in person – the colors are somehow either more vivid or more subtle, the texture and brushstrokes are more obvious, and even the size of the work adds to the effect.

That being said, 2020 is a year for adapting.  Online exhibits give viewers the chance to zoom in on details, study their favorites without a line forming behind them, and bypass weather, crowds, and parking.  Any refreshments will be exactly to taste and can be enjoyed right along with the exhibit!

Members of the Nature Artists’ Guild are asked to submit a few pieces of artwork that otherwise would have been exhibited in person this fall to include in the online exhibit on this website. These pieces can still be submitted for future in-person exhibits at The Morton Arboretum.  Artwork should be submitted by November 14, 2020 according to instructions sent by e-mail to all guild members on November 7.

A Strong Finish in Ink

Nature Artists’ Guild members bought some new pens, tried some new techniques, and sometimes even followed the suggested prompts (kudos, Alice!) for a strong finish to Inktober®2020.  Many of the artists included the autumn color of the area while honing their drawing skills and ensuring that the fleeting treasures of the season did not go unnoted.  Here are the final contributions –

Please click on any image to see the artist’s name and a larger version of the work and scroll down on the website to see previous weekly contributions.  Thank you to all of the participants!

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

Fall Color Will Be Fading Fast

It may be peak color in the Midwest, but it won’t last too long.  Opportunities for capturing the colors of fall, the vivid blues of the sky and the stunning reds and yellows of the leaves, will be ending soon for this year.

Members of the Nature Artists’ Guild are encouraged to go outside and bring back some of that color.  It could happen in a plein-air painting, sketch, or drawing (including those done from inside a vehicle), or in a photograph and color-notes later translated into artwork in the studio.  Those interested in sharing their creations can send an image to Jane Kellenberger before November 1 for the Quarterly (a members-only publication) or by November 5 to Denise Fisk for this website.  Contact information can be found in the Nature Artists’ Guild Yearbook.

Chicagoland is home to numerous parks, forest preserves, as well as the spectacular Morton Arboretum, so inspiration should be plentiful!

Fall Oak, copyright Maggie Capettini