Spring Has Sprung and the Nature Artists’ Guild Encounter Has Begun

Instructions for the 2020 Spring Encounter for members of the Nature Artists’ Guild, There’s No Place Like Home are simple.  Participating members will sketch or create art for fifteen minutes each day for six weeks using whatever art supplies and subject matter they happen to find at home.  There is no requirement to stick to nature for subject matter this time (although we suspect many of our artists will.)

Think of the possibilities!  Some artists may choose to go with their mood and sketch whatever catches their eye each day. Other artists need a theme or structure to get them moving.  Those artists could consider something like –

  • Choosing a new subject each week.  One week could be fruits, another week could be vegetables, the following weeks could be houseplants, birds, or pets.
  • Choosing a different medium, or a different way of using a medium, each week.  There is no need to buy anything new.  Watercolors, pencils, pen and ink, and colored pencil are all versatile.  Art supplies that haven’t been used in years can be rediscovered.
  • Choosing a different style each week.  Each subject could be drawn or painted realistically, loosely, abstractly, or anything in between. An abstract interpretation of a houseplant could be fascinating, as could a photo-realistic banana, bruises and all.
  • Working in the style of some of the Masters.  A chickadee might be quite interesting in hatchmarks to resemble one of Rembrandt’s etchings or as seen from every angle in Picasso’s Cubist style.  How would Henry Moore sketch that chickadee to prepare for sculpting?  What colors would Matisse use on his?  A bonus to this approach is the time spent researching these artists and all the newly-gained knowledge.
Chickadee, copyright Alice Wych.
  • Choosing something out of a bowl.  Artists who spend more time trying to choose their subject than they do drawing it might appreciate this approach.  Slips of paper with a chosen subject, medium, or style can be prepared ahead of time and put in a bowl.  When the time comes for the daily sketching, one of these slips is chosen and the artist can get right to work.
  • Choosing different adjectives.  This approach is similar to choosing a subject, medium or style out of a bowl, but the slips of paper all have adjectives on them.  Some examples would be “calm”, “exciting”, “fresh”.  What subject or media would convey the feeling of “joyful”? A dictionary or thesaurus will make the preparation much easier.
  • Journaling the season.  At this time of year, the view outside the window will change almost daily.  A quick sketch each day of one fascinating observation would result in a wonderful record of the beauty of nature in Spring.

There are probably as many ideas as there are artists, and it will be fascinating and fun to see the results!  Guild members should let Jane Kellenberger know if they would like to participate by clicking on the RSVP link of their recent e-mail.

Natural History Artist Alex Warnick at The Morton Arboretum Tonight, March 5, 2020

Yellow-rumped Warbler, copyright Alex Warnick. Used with permission.

The Nature Artists’ Guild is excited to sponsor a presentation by renowned natural history artist Alex Warnick at the Thornhill Education Center of The Morton Arboretum tonight, March 5, 2020 from 7 until 9 pmThis event is open to all and free-of-charge for parking, admission, and entrance to the Arboretum.  Artists, birders, and nature enthusiasts are all welcome to attend!  Visitors should let the gate attendant at the Arboretum know that they are there for the Nature Artists’ Guild program to be admitted and directed to Thornhill.

Please visit AlexWarnick.com to learn more about Alex and view images of her stunning artwork.

A Busy March for Nature Artists

Please click on this link to important notices from The Morton Arboretum

 

Coming up in March for members of the Nature Artists’ Guild –

Eastern Towhee, copyright Alex Warnick. Used with permission.

Monday, March 2, 2020 is the last day for members to mail their completed prospectuses for the 2020 Spring Exhibit of Natural History Art.  The link for the prospectus was sent out to all members by e-mail last month.  New members, please don’t hesitate to participate.  The Guild is a supportive, non-competitive organization that values the contributions of nature artists at all skill levels.  Beginners to professionals, we welcome you all!

Update – the Spring exhibit has been postponed until a date to be determined.

Thursday, March 5, 2020 is the date of a very special program sponsored by the Nature Artists’ Guild at the Thornhill Education Center of The Morton Arboretum from 7 until 9 pm.   Visiting Artist Alex Warnick will be sharing some thoughts about her exquisite paintings and illustrations of birds and her adventures in birding. This event is open to all and free-of-charge. Members are encouraged to invite their fellow artists, birders, and nature lovers to this presentation.  Details are in this previous post.

On Saturday, March 7, 2020 a repeat of last month’s Round Table Paint-In event will take place at Thornhill beginning at 1 pm.  Members should contact Linn Eldred if they’d like to participate.  Linn’s contact information is included in the February 19 e-mail sent to members.  All supplies will be provided, and there is no cost to attend this fun and creative event.

And that’s not all!  Plans are in the works for a paint-out at the Jurica-Suchy Nature Museum later in the month.  Details about this popular annual paint-out will be shared as soon as they are finalized.   Update – This event has been postponed until a date to be determined.

A fundraising workshop has been scheduled for Saturday, March 28, 2020 at the Thornhill Education Center.  Supplies will be provided for Nature Artists’ Guild members who wish to participate by painting canvases to be sold at the Spring Exhibit as a fundraiser.  Fundraising workshops are a great place to get to know and enjoy some time with fellow Guild members.  Update – This event has been postponed until a date to be determined.

Alex Warnick’s Birds in Watercolor on March 5, 2020

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Oh how we miss seeing these birds flitting from branch to branch or hopping among the leaves.  It won’t be long before they’re back, and Alex Warnick’s wonderful watercolor paintings give us a preview of what the next few months will bring.

On Thursday evening, March 5, 2020, the Nature Artists’ Guild’s program will feature guest artist Alex Warnick and her watercolor paintings and illustrations of birds at the Thornhill Education Center of The Morton Arboretum from 7 until 9 pm.  Alex has been drawing and painting birds since she fell in love with them as a little girl.  Her expert ability in capturing the intricacies of both the birds and their habitats in her work has earned her awards and partnerships from all over the world, and she is currently working on a field guide to the Birds of Costa Rica.  Please visit Alex’s website to enjoy much more of her work as well as some fascinating video and podcast interviews.

Alex’s workshop at the Arboretum, Visiting Artist:  Capturing Birds in Watercolor sold out quickly, but her presentation on March 5 is open to the all, free-of-charge.  Anyone with an interest in birds, art, or nature is welcome to attend.  Visitors should let the gate attendant know they are there for the program to be admitted and directed to Thornhill.  There is no charge for parking or admission to the Arboretum for this event. 

Julie Sutter-Blair at The Morton Arboretum this Thursday, February 6, 2020

This Thursday, February 6, 2020, Julie Sutter-Blair will share some of her ideas, inspirations, and artistic processes at a program at The Morton Arboretum’s Thornhill Education Center from 7 until 9 pmThe program is sponsored by the Nature Artists’ Guild and is free and open to all.  Non-members of the Arboretum should let the gate attendant know they are there for the program to be admitted free-of-charge and directed to Thornhill.

Copyright Julie Sutter-Blair.  Used with permission.

2020 Nature Artists’ Guild Spring Prospectus Has Been Sent!

The link to the prospectus for the 2020 Spring Exhibit of Natural History Art was e-mailed to all current Nature Artists’ Guild members on January 24, 2020.  Since the e-mail service used by the Nature Artists’ Guild has changed recently, some members’ e-mails could automatically be going to a different folder in their inbox.  Members who haven’t received the prospectus should check their “social”, “promotions”, and “spam” folders for the message.

There is still time to join the Nature Artists’ Guild for 2020 and receive a copy of the Spring prospectus.  Prospective members can join online or by mail.  More information is available on the Membership page of this website.  New members who join during January or February will be e-mailed a link to the prospectus.  All completed prospectuses must be returned by March 2, 2020. 

Pileated Woodpecker, copyright Jill Adzia, Featured Artist of the Spring 2020 Exhibit of Natural History Art.

Pollinators in Action: Flowering Journeys Call for Art

“You might not stop to admire a beetle on the sidewalk, but a stunning painting of a beetle might catch your eye,” says heritage interpreter Kendra Strubhart, curator of the upcoming Pollinators in Action:  Flowering Journeys exhibit at the historic Mayslake Peabody Estate in Oak Brook, IL.  “Animals are not the only means of pollination,” Strubhart adds. “If someone is inspired by how the wind carries pollen, we want to see what a work of art by that person looks like.”

The exhibit is sponsored by the DuPage Monarch Project and the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County and will be part of the district’s “effort to highlight pollinators through programs, hikes, lectures and performances” this spring and early summer.  Exhibit applications will be accepted online beginning on February 1, 2020.  Please click here for the application and more information.
Hexagons and Honeybees 2, acrylic and polymer, © 2017 Karen A Johnson

Hexagons and Honeybees 2  by Nature Artists’ Guild member Karen Johnson is a great example of the type of work the exhibit will feature.  Nature Artists’ Guild members are a natural fit for this exhibit opportunity!

Tropical Paint-Out at Orchids by Hausermann on February 18, 2020

Photo credit Linn Eldred.

The weather outside might be frightful, but the weather inside Orchids by Hausermann will be delightful for the Nature Artists’ Guild paint-out on the morning of Tuesday, February 18, 2020 from 9 am until noon.

Hausermann’s Orchids, Inc.  in Villa Park, IL is one of the world’s largest growers of orchids with approximately 400,000 plants produced annually.  The showroom inside one of the large greenhouses is the site of an annual Nature Artists’ Guild paint-out each February, when many of the orchids are in bloom.

Nature Artists’ Guild members will soon receive an e-mail with details and instructions for reserving a spot at this popular paint-out.  Space is limited.

Julie Sutter-Blair at The Morton Arboretum on February 6, 2020

The Nature Artists’ Guild is excited to sponsor a program featuring artist Julie Sutter-Blair on the evening of Thursday, February 6, 2020 from 7 until 9 pm at the Thornhill Education Center of The Morton Arboretum.  Julie’s “passion is found in the natural world and the rituals of everyday life” and her wonderful prints and drawings certainly reflect that passion.

Heart Matters, colored pencil and graphite, copyright Julie Sutter-Blair. Used with permission.

Julie’s upcoming workshop in colored pencil and graphite at the Arboretum on February 7 and 8, 2020, Visiting Artist:  Expressions of Winter with Julie Sutter-Blair quickly sold out.  Happily, Julie has agreed to share some of her artwork, inspirations, and a few tips and techniques with members of the Nature Artists’ Guild, their guests, and visitors on Thursday evening.

This program is open to the public. Non-members of the Nature Artists’ Guild or The Morton Arboretum can let the gate attendant at the Arboretum know they are there for the program to be admitted and directed to Thornhill.  Entry to the Arboretum, admission to the program, and parking will be free-of-charge for this event.  Please click on the image or one of the highlighted links to see more of Julie’s stunning work.

Nature Artists of the Round Table on Saturday, January 18, 2020

The Nature Artists’ Guild has planned a fun event to start the new year!  It involves nature (flora, but no fauna) and it involves art (acrylic painting), but one of the best features of this event is that members don’t have to bring sketches, find photographs, search for subject matter, haul out their supplies, or clear off a spot in their studio or on their kitchen table.

Members of the Nature Artists Guild only need to do three things to participate –

  • Notify Linn Eldred that they plan to attend
  • Show up at the Thornhill Education Center of The Morton Arboretum on Saturday, January 18, 2010 before 1 pm
  • Find a chair and pick up a brush

This “round table” event will revolve (yes, pun intended) around a still life set up in the middle of each table.  Each artist will be given a canvas, some paint, and a brush and will begin to paint from their spot at the table.  After 15 minutes, each person will pass their painting to their neighbor at the table, who will add their own touch for 15 minutes.  This continues until each painting goes all around the table and returns to (and goes home with) the artist who began it.

Nature Artists’ Guild members admiring some of the completed paintings of a previous “round table” event.

For new and returning members alike, this event is sure to be an enjoyable, stress-free way to get to know fellow nature artists, possibly learn and practice some new skills in acrylic, and go home with a unique painting.  Space is limited to 25 artists, all supplies will be provided free-of-charge, and this event is for Nature Artists’ Guild members only.  No previous experience in acrylic painting is required.

Linn Eldred’s contact information can be found in the January 5th e-mail sent to all current members.  Members, please note that the e-mail provider for the Guild has changed and your e-mail may have incorrectly gone to your “social”, “promotions” or even “spam” folder.  Finding that e-mail and changing its folder to “primary” should direct future e-mails to the correct folder.