Art of the Fox with Joel Sheesley on Thursday, March 7, 2019

As The Conservation Foundation’s Artist-in-Residence, Joel Sheesley spent two years creating 73 wonderful original paintings of Fox River landscapes.  The Nature Artist’s Guild is honored to host Joel as he shares his truly stunning artwork and his adventures on the evening of Thursday, March 7, 2019 from 7 until 9 pm at the Thornhill Education Center of The Morton Arboretum.

Front cover of A Fox River Testimony by Joel Sheesley. Available at  Image credit  Please click on the image to read more or to view Joel’s artwork.

Page 12 of A Fox River Testimony by Joel Sheesley. Available at  Image credit  Please click on the image to read more or to view Joel’s artwork.

There is much more to read about The Conservation Program, Art of the Fox, and Joel Sheesley by clicking on the highlighted links.  The Nature Artists’ Guild would like to extend an invitation to all art and nature lovers to attend this program.  There will be no charge for admission or parking. Visitors can let the gate attendant at The Morton Arboretum know they are there for the event to be admitted free-of-charge and to be directed to Thornhill.

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.

2019 Winter Encounter Wraps Up with Collage

The 2019 Winter Encounter for members of the Nature Artists’ Guild has reached its final week, and here are some of the submissions from Week 4 -Collage.

Thanks to Evelyn Grala for creating this project, as well as for her weekly updates and words of encouragement for the artists. Many artists commented that they were trying some of the media or techniques for the first time and learning so much in the process.

The artwork from all four weeks can be seen on the 2019 Winter Encounter Gallery page of this website, located under the Member News tab, and will continue to be updated as new participant artwork is received.

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Nature Artists’ Guild Updates

The 2019 Winter Encounter Gallery, featuring artwork by participating members of the Nature Artists’ Guild has been updated to include ink drawings from Week 3.  Week 4, the final week of the project, requests that artists use collage techniques.  Please click on the above highlighted link  or on the Member Artwork tab to see the creative and lovely results from Week 3.

Project coordinator Evelyn Grala’s examples from the first three weeks –

The prospectus for the 2019 Spring Exhibition of Natural History Art at The Morton Arboretum has been sent to members of the Guild.  We will be hearing much more about the upcoming exhibit in the weeks ahead!

The first paint-out of the year, taking place at Orchids by Hausermann is scheduled for the morning of Tuesday, February 12, 2019.  All spots have already been reserved for this popular tropical paint-“in”.

The Nature Artists’ Guild sponsored program at The Morton Arboretum tomorrow evening, Thursday, February 7, 2019 will feature Benjamin Calvert III and his striking block prints.  All are welcome to attend this program, free-of-charge.  Please click here to read more.

North Shore Repose, copyright 2017, Benjamin F. Calvert III. Used with permission.

2019 Winter Encounter in Week 2

Initial line drawings and graphite drawings from Week 1 of the 2019 Winter Encounter have been posted under this website’s Member Artwork tab, and they are an excellent start.  Congratulations, participants!

Evelyn Grala, with her surprise instructions for Week 2, though, may have caused a bit of a stir!  Rather than just asking the artists to use a different medium, as many were obviously expecting, Evelyn asked them to use a very different technique using negative space. Judging from some of the initial drawings, that may be very difficult to accomplish. Fortunately, nature artists are generally a resourceful bunch and will likely be able to rise to the occasion.

Please click on any of these drawings by Evelyn to see a larger version –

Wood Block Printing by Benjamin Calvert III on February 7, 2019

The Nature Artists’ Guild of The Morton Arboretum is pleased to announce that the first program of 2019 will feature Benjamin Calvert III.  On Thursday evening, February 7, 2019, from 7 until 9 pm, Benjamin will share some of his artwork, his story, his techniques, and his inspirations in the Thornhill Education Center of The Morton Arboretum.  All are invited to attend what promises to be a fascinating program.

Great Migrator Rest Stop, copyright 2018, Benjamin F Calvert III. Used with permission.

Some quotes from Benjamin’s artist statement

I have a strong feeling for nature, and the wood complements my images. Different types of wood provide varied and often fascinating backgrounds, depending upon the subject.

The majority of my creations are printed on Japanese Kozuki paper, using oil based inks.

Pulling that first print off the block is pure joy. The excitement multiplies when there are multiple blocks for each color involved. Each successive color is a layer that informs the mystery and appeal of the final image.

Josh’s Rocks, copyright 2017, Benjamin F Calvert III. Used with permission.

Please click on either of the above images or on the highlighted link to view more artwork and read more about Benjamin on his website,

This program is open to all, and is free of charge for attendance, parking, and admission to The Morton Arboretum.  Attendees should let the gate attendant at the Arboretum know they are there for the Nature Artists’ Guild program and they will be directed to Thornhill.

Nature Artists’ Guild’s 2019 Winter Encounter Begins

The Nature Artists’ Guild’s 2019 Winter Encounter has begun!  Participants will be creating artwork using the same subject and composition, but with different methods and media each week.

As Evelyn Grala illustrates here, the first step is to choose and draw the subject and transfer the drawing to tracing paper so that it can be used each time, and the first week’s medium will be graphite, in any or all of its forms.  Evelyn will contact participants with details and a suggested medium each week for four weeks.  There is still time for Nature Artists’ Guild members to participate by contacting her to be added to the e-mail list.

Artwork will be shared on this website as the project proceeds, so check back often.