Sharing Seeds of Inspiration on August 5, 2021

In an online program on the evening of Thursday, August 5, 2021, beginning at 7 pm, members of the Nature Artists’ Guild of The Morton Arboretum will be sharing some of their experiences, inspirations, and artwork from the Seeds of Inspiration project.

It promises to be an interesting and entertaining program as some of the participants discuss how their seedlings, their frustrations, their accomplishments, and their artwork all “grew” throughout the summer.

Morning Glory Seedling, copyright Betsy Edwards

Detailed instructions for attending this virtual gathering will be emailed to all Nature Artists’ Guild members before the meeting.

A Busy Summer for the Nature Artists’ Guild

Members enjoyed lovely weather and spectacular views at last week’s Nature Artists’ Guild paint-outs at The Morton Arboretum (Tuesday Morning Coffee Club) and the Gardens at Cantigny. Tommorow’s gathering of the Coffee Club is open to all members and meets at the cafe in the Visitors Center of The Morton Arboretum at approximately 9 am.

Plein Air painting in oil at the Gardens at Cantigny, copyright Terry Niccoli

A link to the prospectus for the guild’s upcoming exhibit, Visions of Nature, at McCord Gallery has been emailed to all members. Completed prospectuses must be returned by this Saturday, July 17, 2021.

Postcard for Nature Artists’ Guild exhibit at the McCord Gallery, 2021

The next program of the Nature Artists’ Guild will take place online on Thursday, August 5, 2021 beginning at 7 pm and will feature fellow members sharing artwork and experiences from the Seeds of Inspiration project. More details and instructions for attending will be emailed to all members closer to the program date.

Coleus, acrylic, copyright Ann Lamoureux (artwork from previous exhibit, not Seeds of Inspiration)

Paint-Out at The Gardens at Cantigny on July 7, 2021

At The Gardens at Cantigny. Photo by Linn Eldred

On the morning of Wednesday, July 7, 2021, members of the Nature Artists’ Guild are invited to meet at 9 am at the Visitor’s Center of Cantigny Park for a paint-out in the gardens.

Cantigny Park is the 500-acre former estate of Colonel Robert R. McCormick, longtime editor and publisher of the Chicago Tribune. The park is now the home of two museums, a visitor’s center with a cafe, restaurant, and gift shop, an education center, walking trails and a picnic area, the gardens, and a golf complex.

The Gardens at Cantigny at 29 acres, is one of the largest display gardens in the Midwest and includes more than 160,000 flowers, shrubs and trees as well as statuary and water features.

“The Gardens at Cantigny beckon you. They tug at your senses, drawing you closer. If you listen carefully, each garden will tell you a story, unfolding with every step. You will feel your body relax as you absorb the landscape and the landscape devours your stress. The hustle of life melts away just a few steps into our 29 acres of flourishing, blooming tranquility. Come enjoy the pace of nature here in The Gardens at Cantigny.”

– Cantigny.org

Admission to Cantigny Park is always free, and parking is also free on the day of the paint-out. Members of the Nature Artists’ Guild who are interested in attending are encouraged to contact Linn Eldred to be ensured of receiving weather-related updates. Linn’s contact information can be found in the guild’s Yearbook. Last-minute or late attendees are also welcome.

Please click on any of the highlighted links for directions and to read more about Cantigny Park and The Gardens.

Art, Nature, and Friendship Every Tuesday Morning at The Morton Arboretum

Linn Eldred, who organizes the paint-outs for the Nature Artists’ Guild would like to announce a fun new experience for members- the Tuesday Morning Coffee Club!

Exterior of Ginkgo Restaurant and Cafe facing Meadow Lake at The Morton Arboretum. Photo credit mortonarb.org.

Coffee, tea, juice, or water – doesn’t matter. Sketching, meeting and spending time with fellow artists, and enjoying nature are the important elements of these gatherings. Interested members will meet on Tuesday mornings at 9 am at the Visitor Center of The Morton Arboretum. Attendees will decide each Tuesday their plans for the morning (usually depending on the weather.) Even on rainy days, the views from inside the Visitor Center’s Ginkgo Cafe offer plenty of sketching inspiration.

This new adventure began last Tuesday and received good reviews by the participants, who plan to return next week. While no advance notice is required for members of the Nature Artists’ Guild to attend, each will need to reserve a timed-entry ticket from the Arboretum’s website. Tickets are frequently still available on the morning of the event (so far – subject to change.) The Arboretum’s Know Before You Go page has further information.

Tomorrow, June 3, 2021, Rhonda Nass

Rhonda Nass will be presenting an online introduction to scratchboard to members of the Nature Artists’ Guild tomorrow evening, June 3, 2021, beginning at 7 pm. Guild members received an email on May 27 with some valuable information from Rhonda as well as instructions for attending. It’s not too late to obtain a few basic scratchboard supplies to follow along!

The three slides show work in progress and the spectacular finished piece, Zinnia Medley#2, copyright Rhonda Nass.

Rhonda Nass and Scratchboard on Thursday, June 3, 2021

Zinnia Medley #3, scratchboard, copyright Rhonda Nass. Used with permission. Please click on the image to see more of Rhonda’s work.

In just one week, on Thursday, June 3, 2021, beginning at 7 pm, Rhonda Nass will be presenting an online program about using scratchboard to create stunning works of nature art to members of the Nature Artists’ Guild of The Morton Arboretum. Guild members will be receiving an email soon with more information and a link and instructions for participating.

It is a thrill and an honor for the guild to welcome back such a delightful and talented artist and educator. Please click on this link to Rhonda’s website or on the image to see more of her extraordinary work.

A Morning at The Morton Arboretum for the Nature Artists’ Guild on May 18, 2021

For Nature Artists’ Guild members who enjoy sketching trees, flowering shrubs, or late wildflowers or bulbs, painting plein-air, or just taking photos, a beautiful morning in May at The Morton Arboretum would create all of those opportunities.

Paint-Out Chair, Linn Eldred, has arranged an outing beginning at 10 am on Tuesday, May 18, 2021 for members of the guild to experience many of the wonders of spring at The Morton Arboretum. Members can let Linn know by this Saturday if they are interested in attending, (Linn’s contact information is in the Nature Artists’ Yearbook or in an email sent to all members on April 27, 2021) and she will reserve group tickets. Last-minute attendees who are also members of the arboretum can reserve their own timed-entry tickets by clicking here.

Participating artists will meet near the front of the Visitor’s Center and spread out from there. It would be beneficial to check the Know Before You Go page from the arboretum’s website before attending.

We look forward to seeing some delightful sketches and paintings on this website after the outing! Participants can share their work by sending images to Denise Fisk, whose contact information will also be found in the Yearbook or in the April 27 member email.

Tulip sketches, copyright Susan Stachovich

Scratchboard with Rhonda Nass, June 3, 2021

The Nature Artists’ Guild is honored and excited to welcome back Rhonda Nass for an online presentation beginning at 7 pm on Thursday, June 3, 2021.

Rhonda has astonished and captivated viewers with her colored pencil and acrylic work for years and has now added scratchboard to her list of media mastered. She is fondly known as a kind and sharing educator and her teaching style helps give students the confidence and inspiration needed to begin their own journey in a new medium.

Please take a moment to follow one of the highlighted links to enjoy images of Rhonda’s stunning work. More about the presentation and instructions for attending will be shared with Nature Artists’ Guild members by email and on this website in the coming weeks.

Abundant Succulents 2, scratchboard, copyright Rhonda Nass. Used with permission.

Margaret Best Presents An Intimate Relationship with Colour on Thursday, March 4, 2021

With the snow falling and temperatures near zero, it hardly seems possible that spring blooms could be not many weeks away!

Pulsatilla patens, Prairie Crocus, copyright Margaret Best.  Used with permission.

Renowned artist and educator Margaret Best is well versed in the subtleties and surprises of nature in different climates and seasons from having grown up in South Africa, to now residing in Nova Scotia, and from traveling and teaching worldwide. Her botanical art can be found in private collections around the world, as well as at the Hunt Institute of Botanical Documentation of the Carnegie Mellon University and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Margaret will share some of her research into the innovative color system used by prolific illustrator of plants and animals in the nineteenth century Ferdinand Bauer in an online program for Nature Artists’ Guild members, An Intimate Relationship with Colour, on Thursday, March 4, 2021 beginning at 7 pm.

Please click on an image or on one of the highlighted links to reach Margaret’s website, where you can learn more about her life and art and enjoy images of her stunning paintings.  Nature Artists’ Guild members will receive by email, within the next few weeks, a link and instructions for attending the online program.

Crocus watercolor painting and supplies. Copyright Margaret Best. Used with permission.

From the Middle Triassic until Now, Tonight at 7 for Nature Artists’ Guild Members

Illustration of the oldest known dinosaur relative. Copyright Marlene Hill Donnelly, Field Museum. Please click on the image or this link for a news article about the discovery.

How do you accurately (as possible) illustrate the oldest known dinosaur relative and its habitat using only fossil records from 243 million years ago?  The Nature Artists’ Guild is excited to announce that the speaker at tonight’s online program is likely the only person in the world who has done just that!

This evening, February 4, 2021, beginning at 7 pm via live video, artist, educator, and scientist Marlene Hill Donnelly will share stories of some of her unique and fascinating experiences over the course of her career as a scientific illustrator for the world-renowned Field Museum.  Marlene often illustrated plants and animals that lived millions of years ago by creating her own models based only on fossil records and scientific knowledge.

Marlene has also worked as a freelance artist for the Belle Isle Aquarium, the Smithsonian Institution, HarperCollins, and the Honolulu Zoo, and has taught various botanical and scientific illustration and art classes at The Morton Arboretum and the Chicago Botanic Garden.

Nature Artists’ Guild members were sent an email on January 28, 2021 with a link and instructions for joining the meeting.  Any members who did not receive the link and wish to attend should contact Jane Kellenberger as soon as possible.