Preserving and Presenting Artwork Workshop on March 21, 2023

On Tuesday, March 21, 2023, from 6:30 until 8 pm, members of the Nature Artists’ Guild will have the opportunity to learn about preserving their artwork and presenting it in ways that will enhance, and never detract from, the viewer’s experience.

Colbert Custom Framing & Art Printing has more than thirty years of experience in matting, framing, and preserving fine art. Third generation owner Stephanie Colbert Randall has offered to share professional knowledge about preparing and presenting artwork and a tour of their production and warehouse areas at their facility (click here for a short video) in Naperville, Illinois.

Interested members should contact Terrie McComb by email or by clicking here to complete a registration form before March 19 to reserve a seat. Space is limited and recent Nature Artists’ Guild events have been filling quickly!

Reminders –

  • Registrations are being accepted by for the Nature Artists’ Guild’s 2023 Spring Art Exhibit through March 20, 2023. Links to the prospectus and an online registration form were emailed to members on February 20.
  • The Nature Artists’ Guild will be sponsoring a presentation by watercolorist Thomas Trausch next Thursday, March 2, 2023 at 7 pm at the Thornhill Education Center of The Morton Arboretum. This event will be open to the public, free of charge.
  • All spots have been filled for the paint-out at Jurica-Suchy Nature Museum on March 9, 2023 but a wait-list is available.
  • Coffee and Art gatherings take place each Wednesday morning between 9 and 12 at the Visitor Center of The Morton Arboretum. Guild members and guests are welcome to stop by to sketch, chat, or sip!

We Just Can’t Wait!

Leaning Tulips, copyright Patricia Mroczka

It’s that time of year when we just can’t wait …

For the 2023 Spring Art Exhibit by members of the Nature Artists’ Guild at The Morton Arboretum, so we’ve posted above, and on the header, samples of artwork by the Featured Artist, Patricia Mroczka. Patricia, along with more than 50 other members of the Guild, will be displaying over 200 works of nature art on April 14, 15, and 16, 2023. A link for the prospectus will be emailed to members early next week.

For the spring flowers to bloom, which is why we will have some purchased ones to share and sketch at the next gathering of Coffee and Art on Wednesday morning, February 22, 2023 beginning at 9 am (weather permitting) in the Visitor Center of The Morton Arboretum. Guild members and guests are welcome to stop by and spend a little time chatting, sketching, or enjoying the view.

UPDATE – We will have to wait for the spring flowers after all! The February 22 Art and Coffee gathering has been canceled due to the weather forecast.

To get moving on the “Joy’s Vision” project, so Celia Rodee has announced a paint-out at Daffodil Glade at The Morton Arboretum in April, 2023, with the exact date and details to be determined (depending on the weather and bloom report.)

There is still time to renew membership or join the Nature Artists’ Guild for 2023 and receive a link to the prospectus for the Spring Art Exhibit.

Thomas Trausch’s Light and Color on March 2, 2023

Selection of watercolors by Thomas Trausch. Copyright Thomas Trausch.

Award-winning watercolorist, illustrator, and instructor Thomas Trausch will be sharing some of his inspirations and techniques with members of the Nature Artists’ Guild and visitors on Thursday, March 2, 2023 from 7 until 9 pm at the Thornhill Education Center of The Morton Arboretum.

Thomas’s work is included in numerous private, corporate, and public collections, and he has been exhibiting his work for more than 3o years. Often completed en plein air during his travels, Thomas’s watercolors are “driven by the use of both light and color … driving forces that add energy to the work.”

Guests and visitors are welcome to attend this presentation. Visitors can let the gate attendant at The Morton Arboretum know they are there for the Nature Artists’ Guild program to be admitted to The Morton Arboretum and directed to Thornhill. There will be no charge for admission to the Arboretum, admission to the program, or parking for this event. No registration is required.

Coming Soon for the Nature Artists’ Guild

The Nature Artists’ Guild is determined to add a little warmth and color to the cold and dreary days of late winter and early spring in Chicagoland.

  • This Thursday, February 2, 2023, members and guests of the Nature Artists’ Guild will have the opportunity to attend an online presentation by artist and author Amy Lindenberger beginning at 7 pm.
  • Next Thursday, February 9, 2023, a paint-out at the renowned Orchids by Hausermann will begin at 7 am. The promise of incredible color and warmth might be enough to convince artists to set their alarm. Registration is required and a few spots are still available.
  • From the tropics to the jungle! A paint-out is scheduled for Thursday, March 9, 2023 at the Jurica-Suchy Nature Museum at Benedictine University. More details to come soon.
  • Nature Artists’ Guild members (and guests) can sketch nature while sipping a warm beverage inside the Visitor Center of The Morton Arboretum each Wednesday between 9 and 11:30 am at the Art and Coffee gatherings.

Also coming up soon for the Nature Artists’ Guild –

The “Joy’s Vision” project of creating 8 x 8 pieces of artwork for display at the guild’s autumn exhibit has begun. Participants who would like to include a snowy scene in any of their works still have time to visit The Morton Arboretum for inspiration and reference material! 8 x 8 surfaces (watercolor paper, pastel paper, and others) will be available at no charge at the March paint-out and future events. (Artists’ may also use their own surfaces, but the finished size must be 8 x 8 inches.)

Members who would be willing to share images of their spring artwork in the upcoming issue of the Quarterly (a members-only publication) should email them to Jane Kellenberger by February 3.

The workshop co-sponsored by the Nature Artists’ Guild featuring Heeyoung Kim is full, but artists who would like to see Heeyoung’s work along with the work of numerous other accomplished botanical artists, are invited to attend an “Artist Walkthrough” at the Brushwood Center at Ryerson Woods on February 5, 2023 from 1 to 3 pm.

An in-person presentation by watercolor artist Thomas Trausch will be held at the Thornhill Education Center of The Morton Arboretum on Thursday, March 2, 2023 from 7 until 9 pm. Guests and visitors are welcome and more details will be coming soon.

There is still time to join the Nature Artists’ Guild and receive a prospectus for the upcoming 2023 Spring Art Exhibit at The Morton Arboretum. The prospectus will be emailed to members on February 20, 2023.

Amy Lindenberger To Bring Color on February 2, 2023

Anyone living in the Chicago region could certainly use some color about now, and the Nature Artists’ Guild’s guest speaker for February, Amy Lindenberger, who literally wrote the books (and magazines) on it, will bring it!

Many of Amy’s popular books give instruction on using colored pencils on different surfaces – black paper, clayboard, pastelmat, and watercolor paper. Her latest, Colors: A Workbook and Even More Colors: Workbook 2, provide guidance on using color in almost any medium (focusing on colored pencil) and cover “a range of skills for handling color, beginning with color perception – the ability see color accurately – and color analysis – the ability to classify a color according to its hue, value and intensity.”

The Nature Artists’ Guild is proud to present a live online meeting with Amy Lindenberger on Thursday, February 2, 2023 beginning at 7 pm. After her presentation, attendees will have the opportunity to ask Amy questions about color (and colored pencils) from the comfort of their own home. Guild members will receive a link for attending and instructions by email. Guests and visitors are also welcome to attend this online presentation and may request a link by using the contact form on our About page.

Note – The previously scheduled presenter, Lynne Railsback, asked to be rescheduled and the Guild looks forward to seeing Lynne and her wonderful work soon.

Nature Artists’ Guild Bids Farewell to 2022

2022 was a busy year for the Nature Artists’ Guild. In-person paint-outs, programs, gatherings, workshops, exhibits, and even a holiday party returned, and our members were ready for it!

Here is a quick look at some images from events, presenters, and guild members throughout the year. For more information about any of the artists or events, please take a moment to scroll back through the posts of 2022.

The Subtle Beauty of Winter Returns

Great Solomon’s Seal, copyright Lynne Railsback

The subtle tones of winter return as the Nature Artists’ Guild prepares for 2023. After celebrating the many moods of the prairie last autumn, members of the guild can now look forward to studying the nuances of local and exotic plants in various phases during the upcoming months.

  • January 2023 will include a paint-in at The Morton Arboretum’s Herbarium, which contains within its more than 200,000 specimens the world’s most complete collection of dried plants from the Chicago region.
  • Wednesday morning Art and Coffee gatherings will return in January with various plants or greenhouse flowers for sketching while sipping.
  • In early February, Lynne Railsback will return with an online program, sharing her stunningly intricate artwork and thoughts about spontaneity and the use of a limited palette.
  • The palette will become more colorful in February at the Nature Artists’ Guild’s annual “trip to the tropics” at Orchids by Hausermann, one of the Midwest’s largest orchid growers.
  • The Guild is honored to co-sponsor a workshop by renowned botanical artist Heeyoung Kim at The Morton Arboretum in March. Guild members will have the opportunity to enroll in the workshop at a discounted fee.

Dates, times, and other details for these and other upcoming events will be shared with members by email and on this website as they become available.

Holiday Party Tonight for the Nature Artists’ Guild

The Morton Arboretum Thornhill Education Center. Photo credit

Who isn’t awed by The Morton Arboretum in the evening, especially during the holiday season when the festive lights of the buildings and their surroundings contrast with the dark, silent woods and meadows? It can truly be an experience of wonder.

Members of the Nature Artists’ Guild are invited to experience this wonder along with the joys of sharing food and laughter with friends and fellow artists at the annual Holiday Party tonight, December 1, 2022.

Festivities begin at 6 pm in the Founder’s Room (originally the library of the country estate of Joy Morton) at the lovely and historic Thornhill Education Center of The Morton Arboretum.

All the details were emailed to members on November 26. No RSVP is necessary and each member is invited to bring a guest.

Invitation by Mary Ann Jimenez

A Few Found Feathers This Wednesday

Journal Pages with Feather Study, 2021, copyright Kathy Belletire

Found feathers from a Great Horned Owl and a few other birds will be available for interested Nature Artists’ Guild members to study or sketch at this Wednesday’s Coffee and Art gathering. (Attendees are also encouraged to bring feathers of any type from their own collections.)

Everything You Need To Know About Feathers from The Cornell Lab provides the basics in a simple but thorough summary.

Guild members are invited to stop in any Wednesday morning at the Visitor Center of The Morton Arboretum beginning at 9 to sketch, chat, or simply enjoy the morning quiet. Participants are always welcome to bring artwork, inspirations, or supplies they’d like to share or discuss with the group.

Nature Artists’ Guild Welcomes Autumn

The weather is already a bit brisker, there is just a hint of brilliant color in the leaves, and members of the Nature Artists’ Guild are looking forward to celebrating the wonderful displays of the season through their art.

Coming soon –

Tomorrow, September 24, 2022, the guild has a workshop scheduled for members interested in creating subtle pieces of art using color pencil on slate tiles.

Color pencil on slate, copyright Mary Ann Jimenez

On Thursday, October 6, 2022, artist and illustrator Kelley Cappell will be sharing some of her thoughts about creating artwork for a variety of viewers using pen and ink and acrylic, as well as digitally. This program, sponsored by the Nature Artists’ Guild is open to the public, free of charge.

Snow Leopard, pen and ink, copyright Kelley Cappell

October 10, 2022 is the last day for members to mail completed prospectuses for participating in the 2022 Autumn Nature Art Exhibit at The Morton Arboretum in November. More to come soon about the exhibit and Featured Artist Alice Wych.

Poster artwork by Alice Wych. Poster design by Jane Kellenberger.

Every Wednesday morning, a group of guild members meet at the Visitor Center of The Morton Arboretum to chat, sketch, or enjoy the morning quiet at the Coffee and Art gathering. All guild members are invited to stop by.

Previous October pages in nature journal, copyright Linn Eldred

Members who would like to participate in celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Schulenberg Prairie will be able to pick up an 8 x 8 canvas, board, or paper for the project at the Thornhill Education Center on September 24 during the Color Pencil on Slate Tile workshop or on the evening of October 6 at the Kelley Cappell presentation. Some types of supplies may be limited, so interested members may wish to contact Carol Balabanow for more information.

8 x 8 pieces from the Schulenberg Prairie, copyright Marlene Vitek (first two) and Maggie Mardis.

As always, click on the highlighted links for more information.