Some Inspiration For Getting Started

For Nature Artists’ Guild members participating in the Summer 2017 Encounter, Nature Artists’ Journal, these first two entries into Karen Johnson’s sketchbook show how simply and beautifully an artist can effectively illustrate a natural setting.

Ladyslippers © 2017 Karen A Johnson. Used with permission.

Notice that Karen has included the date, the weather, and a few details about the setting and plant. All of this information may be useful in future artwork. Perhaps more importantly, those details will greatly contribute to the wonderful memories of the experience (“First day of summer and one lone poppy is blooming”).

Poppy © 2017 Karen A Johnson. Used with permission.

For more information about participating, Nature Artists’ Guild members can contact Evelyn Grala.  The project began on June 1, 2017 and continues for 10 weeks, so there is still time to join in.  Evelyn’s contact information can be found in the Nature Artists’ Guild Yearbook.

Many more examples of Karen’s nature journaling can be found by clicking on one of the drawings or on this link to her blog, Karen’s Nature Art.  At the left side of the page there will be a “cloud” of common categories. Clicking on the word “sketch” will connect you to all of  the posts that include Karen’s sketches.

An Added Bonus for Members and Guests

For members of The Morton Arboretum and guests of Nature Artists’ Guild members, the Artists’ Reception for the Spring Exhibit of Natural History Art on Friday evening, April 7, from 5 until 9 pm will include a bonus exhibition of the work of and an opportunity to meet Luciana Peters in the Sterling Morton Library, located next to the Cudahy Auditorium in the Administration & Research Center.

Painting of birds, copyright Luciana Peters

Luciana Peters has been an active and influential member of the Nature Artists’ Guild for 30 years, and an illustrator and artist for almost 80!  At the age of 97 1/2, Luciana has a long list of accomplishments to be proud of, and is still working on more.

Luciana began her career as a commercial illustrator at the age of 18 in the late 1930’s, and has contributed to Vogue, Parade and Harper’s Magazines. As comfortable in nature as in the big city, Luciana is also an award-winning children’s book illustrator, an accomplished botanical artist, portrait artist, and naturalist. Her art is widely loved and collected and the Nature Artists’ Guild is honored to have her as a member.

Portrait of Wason (naturalist and educator Richard R. Wason), copyright Luciana Peters

Nature Artists’ Guild members can read more about Luciana in an article by Gail Diedrichsen for the Spring edition of The Nature Artists’ Quarterly.

Preparations for Next Week’s 2017 Spring Nature Artists’ Guild Exhibit Are Almost Complete

The food is being ordered, the rooms are being prepared, the flowers are being planned, and the exhibiting artists of the Nature Artists’ Guild are busy finishing up details or picking up their work from the framer.

Copyright Nancy Wu, featured artist of the Spring 2017 Nature Artists’ Guild Exhibition

Artwork drop-off (more officially known as Referee Night) is next Wednesday, April 5, 2017 between 6 and 8 pm in the Cudahy Auditorium, located in the Administration & Research Center of The Morton Arboretum.  

The opening of the exhibit and Artists’ Reception takes place on Friday, April 7, 2017 from 5 until 9 pm in the historic Sterling Morton Library, also located in the Administration & Research Center.  Refreshments will be available and all members of The Morton Arboretum as well as guests of the artists are invited. Guests can let the gate attendant know they are there for the exhibit and they will admitted free-of-charge and directed to the location.

The exhibit will continue throughout the weekend of April 8 and April 9, 2017 between 10 am and 4 pm and is open to all Arboretum visitors.  The Cudahy Auditorium is just a short and scenic walk from the Visitor Center.

Artwork pickup will be on Sunday, April 9, 2017 between 4:15 and 4:45 pm.

The Nature Artists’ Guild Spring 2017 Exhibition

Congratulations to Nancy Wu, the featured artist for the Nature Artists’ Guild Spring Exhibit of Natural History Art. Nancy and nearly 50 other members of the Nature Artists’ Guild of The Morton Arboretum in Lisle, IL will be exhibiting more than 150 stunning works of nature art in a variety of media.  The exhibition is open to all and admission is free, although a fee will be required (except for members) for entry into The Morton Arboretum.


Artwork copyright by Nancy Wu. Poster design by Evelyn Grala.

An artists’ reception is scheduled for the evening of Friday, April 7, 2017 for members of The Morton Arboretum as well as guests of the artists. Nature Artists’ Guild members will receive a copy of the postcard with all the details by e-mail, which they can forward to their friends and family.

Copies of exhibit posters and postcards are available at the Thornhill office, or by contacting Evelyn Grala or exhibit co-chairpersons Patty Koenigsaecker or Mary Sinclair. Members can find contact information in their Yearbook.

Please click on this website’s Featured Artist page for more artwork by Nancy Wu .

Surely It Was Too Early For Spring to Have Sprung!

The snowflakes outside remind us that yes, we were fooled once again this year by the recent gorgeous weather. We weren’t the only ones, though.  Birds, mammals, bugs and even reptiles have also been out soaking up the sunshine and warm temperatures in the last few days.

Spring will have sprung before we know it, though, and Nature Artists’ Guild members have plenty to keep them busy until it arrives-

  • Prospectuses for the Spring Exhibition of Natural History Art at The Morton Arboretum are due on Wednesday, March 1, 2017
  • Peggy Macnamara will be the featured speaker at the next Nature Artists’ Guild program from 7 until 9 pm on Thursday, March 2, 2017

    Goldfinch © 2013 Peggy Macnamara 2013

    Goldfinch © 2013 Peggy Macnamara

  • The Jurica-Suchy Nature Museum paint-out will be happening from 1 until 4 on Friday, March 10, 2017
  • The wonderful Winter Encounter has one more week to go


    Magnolia, Ink and Colored Inks, © 2017 Nancy Thyfault

  • Openings are available for upcoming art classes offered by The Morton Arboretum
  • The Spring Exhibition of Natural History Art will be held on the weekend of April 8th and April 9th, 2017 at The Morton Arboretum, with a special artists’ reception for Arboretum members and guests of the artists on Friday, April 7, 2017.  Check back soon for more about this event and the exhibition’s Featured Artist, Nancy Wu.

    2017 Spring Exhibition Featured Artist Nancy Wu at Nature Artists' Guild paint-out at Jurica-Suchy Nature Museum, 2015

    2017 Spring Exhibition Featured Artist Nancy Wu at Nature Artists’ Guild paint-out at Jurica-Suchy Nature Museum, 2015

Please click on any of the highlighted links to read more. Some events are open to the public, while others are reserved for members of the Nature Artists’ Guild.

The Winter Encounter is Underway

The Winter Encounter has begun.  Member Evelyn Grala, who brought us the wildly popular Sketchbook Encounter last summer, has inspired us again with the Winter Encounter, a challenge to fellow bodacious (check out that list of synonyms) Nature Artists’ Guild members to create a new work of art per week, yes every week, until Spring!

The weekly results of this challenge can be seen on the Winter Encounter Gallery page of this website, and will also be included in the upcoming Quarterly.

Giraffe, copyright Alice Wych

Giraffe, copyright Alice Wych

Bravo, Winter Encounter participants!