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.

Handmade Bookbinding Workshop Begins in January 2020

What does bookbinding have to do with nature art?  Plenty!  Handmade books can be a lovely form of art, as groups of artists have shown in recent Nature Artists’ Guild exhibits.

Handmade books are a wonderful and useful place for artists to gather together some of their best sketches, drawings, and prints.  Every artist has sketches that turned out so well that they deserve to be showcased.  Putting them together into a handmade book is a great alternative to matting and framing each one.

Many accomplished artists make a habit of bringing rolled sheets of heavy watercolor paper into the field instead of a sketchbook.  This enables them to create beautiful works in their preferred medium that can later be trimmed and bound together into a book.

Handmade Bookbinding Workshop at The Morton Arboretum.  Image credit mortonarb.org.

The Morton Arboretum is offering a 5-evening Handmade Bookbinding Workshop beginning on January 21, 2020 and continuing into February.

Each student will make a total of four unique books of various styles over the course of the program and get personalized feedback from the instructors. All supplies are included.

This class is appropriate for all experience levels. Enjoy this hands-on opportunity to celebrate the gift of paper that trees and plants provide. Make something creative, beautiful, and useful, and gain the skills to continue the practice of bookmaking on your own.  – Mortonarb.org

There is no requirement to be a member of the Nature Artists’ Guild nor The Morton Arboretum to participate in this workshop, but Arboretum members will receive a discount on the registration fee.  Please click on the image or highlighted link to read more or to enroll in the workshop.  This opportunity for learning could also be a great gift for that special artist in your life.  Workshop space is limited, so early enrollment is encouraged.

Nature Artists’ Guild Exhibit in Downers Grove, January 2020

Spring Rapids on the Farm, copyright Ann Lamoureux.

For renewing Nature Artists’ Guild members, the upcoming 2020 Downers Grove Public Library exhibit will be the quickest and easiest of the year to participate in.  As all of the artwork has to have been included in a previous exhibit at The Morton Arboretum within the last five years, the difficult part is already done.  The artwork is ready!  There will be no need for last minute touches, no trips to the framer, no titles to compose, and no referee process to go through.

Participants in this popular exhibit only need to mail their prospectus by this Friday, December 13, 2019, drop off their artwork at the library on Saturday, December 28 between 10 and 11 am, and ensure that their 2020 dues are paid by December 31, 2019.

The Downers Grove Public Library has an ongoing commitment to exhibiting artwork both in their wonderful permanent collection and in rotating exhibits featuring accomplished local artists.  The Nature Artists’ Guild exhibit will be showcased throughout January 2020.

Spring Rapids on the Farm by Ann Lamoureux, featured above, is a lovely example of artwork that has been included in previous Nature Artists’ Guild exhibits.

This December for the Nature Artists’ Guild

Silverpoint drawing, copyright Mary Ann Jimenez

This Thursday, December 5, 2019, is the annual holiday party.  It’s fun, not too formal, and a good opportunity to get to know fellow artists a bit better (programs and paint-outs don’t always leave much time for socializing).  Please click on the link for more information.

On Saturday, December 7, 2019, members who have reserved a seat at the Sterling Morton Library presentation will be treated to a hot beverage and an afternoon of fascinating tales from author Cindy Crosby and librarian Rita Hassert.

Nature Artist’s Guild members wishing to participate in the January 2020 Downers Grove Library special exhibit will need to mail their completed prospectus by Friday, December 13, 2019 and drop off their work on Saturday, December 28, 2019 between 10 and 11 am at the library.  All the details are included in the exhibit prospectus, which was e-mailed to members on November 17.

Returning members of the Nature Artists’ Guild can pay 2020 membership dues by sending a check to Treasurer Catherine Stacy (whose address can be found in the Yearbook), by paying her or another board member with cash or check at the holiday party, or by clicking on the Membership tab of this website to use PayPal or a credit card.  New members can send a check to the address listed on the Membership brochure or use PayPal or a credit card as mentioned above.