Fall Landscapes in Pastel with Laverne Bohlin in October 2019

Autumn’s Song, pastel, copyright Laverne Bohlin, http://www.lavernebohlin.com. Used with permission.

By the time Laverne Bohlin returns to Illinois and The Morton Arboretum in the first week of October, there will be plenty of views similar to the one she has portrayed in her stunning Autumn’s Song, above.  Autumn is one of the best times of the year for artists to attempt to capture some of the beauty of nature, and Laverne will be sharing some of her techniques for doing so in soft pastel.

On Thursday, October 3, 2019, from 7 to 9 pm, Laverne will give a presentation, sponsored by the Nature Artists’ Guild, at the Thornhill Education Center of The Morton Arboretum.  Tips, techniques, materials, subject matter and inspirations will be touched upon in the program, and guests will be able to ask questions and get a close-up look at some of Laverne’s luminous artwork. This program is open to all, free-of-charge.  Visitors and guests should let the gate attendant at Arboretum know they are there for the Nature Artists’ Guild meeting to be directed to Thornhill.

Laverne Bohlin’s pastel supplies and pastel painting in progress.

For those who want to learn even more about painting with soft pastels, Laverne will also be teaching a weekend workshop, Fall Landscapes in Pastel, at the Arboretum on Saturday and Sunday, October 5th and 6th, 2019.  The workshop will take place indoors and out, with the changing colors of nature as inspiration.  Beginning and intermediate artists are welcome, but some experience working with pastels would be helpful.  The workshop is open to all interested, and there is no requirement for membership in the Nature Artists’ Guild or The Morton Arboretum, although Arboretum members will receive a discounted registration fee.  Please click on the above image or highlighted link for more details, to review the supply list, or to enroll in the workshop.

Creativity, Learning, and Fun on September 5, 2019

Members of the Nature Artists’ Guild are invited to attend a fun and educational gathering on Thursday, September 5, 2019 at 7 pm.  Participants will be exploring techniques for working on wood to create unique hand-made objects for fundraising at the Nature Artists’ Guild’s Holiday (Autumn) Exhibition of Natural History Art on November 9 and 10, 2019.

Fellow artists will be sharing their skills in nature printing, collage, colored pencil, pen and ink, painting, staining and much more.  Some supplies will be available, but artists are also encouraged to bring a few of their own. Wood will be provided.

All proceeds from the fundraising will be used to support the Nature Artists’ Guild.  This event is for members only, and will meet at the Thornhill Education Center of The Morton Arboretum.

Photo credit Nature Artists’ Guild Fundraising Committee

Nature Artists’ Guild Program Next Thursday, August 1, 2019

The next program sponsored by the Nature Artists’ Guild is only one week away, on Thursday evening, August 1, 2019 from 7 until 9 pm at The Morton Arboretum. This program will feature three stations with different types of artwork being done at each.  Please click on this link to read more.

All fans of nature and art are welcome to attend, free-of-charge.

Please click on any of the images for larger versions and artist names.

Three Types of Nature Art at August 1, 2019 Program

Each August, the Nature Artists’ Guild invites three of its members to share tips and techniques for creating artwork in “new” (or sometimes ancient) ways.  This annual program is open to all and free of charge for parking, admission, and entry to The Morton Arboretum.  Members, guests, and visitors are welcome to attend on Thursday, August 1, 2019 from 7 until 9 pm.  There will be light refreshments and door prizes. There is no membership requirement for either the Arboretum or the Nature Artists’ Guild for this event.  Visitors should let the gate attendant at the Arboretum’s main entrance know they are there for the Nature Artists’ Guild program to be admitted and directed to the Thornhill Education Center.

The Arbor Room room in Thornhill will be set up into three different stations.  The audience will divide into three casual groups and visit each station for approximately 20 minutes to listen, watch, and ask questions (and occasionally participate) and then move to the next (or stay at the same place if so inspired).  It is a fun and informative event and a great opportunity to meet other artists and learn some new techniques.


At one of the stations, Jill Adzia will be sharing her tips and techniques for working with scratchboard, including the use of color to create stunning pieces.


At another station, Arlene Widrevitz will discuss her adventures in the ancient art of Mokuhanga, Japanese woodblock printing.

Fritillaria, work in progress, copyright Arlene Widrevitz


At the third station, members of the Nature Artists’ Guild who participated in the 2019 Summer Encounter led by Evelyn Grala will be exhibiting their completed “progressive” artwork at the third station.  These examples by Nancy Kolar show the progression towards the finished piece.

Peggy Macnamara at The Morton Arboretum Tonight, June 6, 2019

Probably the liveliest treasure of Chicago’s Field Museum is their Artist-In-Residence, Peggy Macnamara, who will share some of her art and inspirations this evening with New Directions at the Thornhill Education Center of The Morton Arboretum from 7 until 9 pm.  This program, sponsored by the Nature Artists’ Guild, is open to the public, free-of-charge.   Please click here for more information. Here are some images of Peggy’s artwork, books, and previous presentations.

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New Directions with the Delightful Peggy Macnamara Next Week, June 6, 2019

She’s extremely talented, yes, but she’s also interesting and funny and kind.  The Nature Artists’ Guild would like to invite all who are interested in nature or art to attend a presentation by Peggy Macnamara on June 6, 2019, from 7 until 9 pm.  Peggy is calling this presentation New Directions, and we are intrigued!  Please take a moment to visit Peggy’s website or do an internet search to find videos, interviews, books, and photos of Peggy and her artwork.  It will be time well spent.

This program is open to the public and there is no charge to attend, no fees for parking, and no admission fee to The Morton Arboretum for the event.  Please click on this link to a previous post for more details.

Light refreshments will be available, and copies of some of Peggy’s books will be given away as door prizes.

From the March 2019 issue of The Costco Connection
peggy macnamara in her studio

“I never knew about the wildlife painting community because I came from the snobby art-history world,” says Peggy Macnamara (peggymacnamara.com). A noted nature painter for The Field Museum in Chicago, she found her vocation by serendipity: “I had too many kids at home, and I needed a studio space.”

The museum was close to her home, so she would go there to practice her craft. After about 10 years, she was asked to create paintings for the museum. She’s been there for 35 years now, and her work helps to draw attention to wildlife conservancy.

“[Nature is] much more magical than it appears at first,” she says. “We miss most of it. We miss the magic.”

Macnamara’s colorful art helps us find it. Her paintings are used in publications and museum presentations.


Peggy Macnamara is also a teacher.

“I see a lot of people afraid to jump into painting and drawing,” she says. “They think God’s gotta drop out of the sky and invite them. And there’s much more talent out there that never gets brought to the front because people don’t like to sit and do the work.”

But it goes beyond simple work. “What I would love is more people to see [creating art] as a form of meditation,” Macnamara explains. She tells her students to “slow down and observe something perfectly made. That’s a wonderful activity.” Steve Fisher

New Directions with Peggy Macnamara on June 6, 2019

Sea Dragon, copyright Peggy Macnamara. Used with permission.

The Nature Artists’ Guild is proud to sponsor a presentation by the delightful and talented artist, author, and educator, Peggy Macnamara on the evening of  Thursday, June 6, 2019 from 7 until 9 pm at the Thornhill Education Center of The Morton Arboretum.

Peggy is the Artist-in-Residence at the world-renowned Field Museum in Chicago, Il, where a large collection of her watercolors are on permanent display.  She also teaches at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and is the artist and author of numerous books about art and science. Please visit her website, peggymacnamara.com to learn more.

Many members of the Nature Artists’ Guild have met, learned from, and admired Peggy through classes, workshops, and previous presentations.  In New Directions, Peggy will share some of her latest adventures and projects.

The Nature Artists’ Guild invites all to attend this program completely free-of-charge.  There will be no fee for admission, parking, or entrance into The Morton Arboretum for the event, nor any requirement to be a member of the Nature Artists’ Guild or The Morton Arboretum.  Visitors can let the gate attendant at the Arboretum know they are there for the Nature Artists’ Guild program to be admitted and directed to the Thornhill Education Center.

Octopus, copyright Peggy Macnamara. Used with permission.

Seahorses, copyright Peggy Macnamara. Used with permission.