One More Week of the 2021 Winter Encounter

Here are a few more wonderful pieces of art by members of the Nature Artists’ Guild as we go into the last week of the 2021 Winter Encounter.  Susan Stachovic used a photo of a bird to inspire her work done in colored pencil and watercolor.  Jean Black shared her painting of a frequent winter sight, and Karen Johnson added to her journal with views of the prairie completed en plein air.  Please click on any image for a larger version and the artist’s name.

Members of the Nature Artists’ Guild are welcome to join in any time before the end of the month and contribute photos of their work by March 1 to share on this website.

Winter Sketches Just Barely Beginning to Show Signs of Spring!

There is more than a foot of snow on the ground, temperatures have been dropping into the single digits, and icicles hang from the roofs, but Spring is nevertheless on its way.  Even though the official start of the season is weeks away, members of the Nature Artists’ Guild are seeing and noting some of the first promising signs in their sketchbooks.

Red-headed woodpecker sketchbook pages, copyright Kathy Belletire.

Kathy Belletire lives a bit farther south than many members and is seeing some of the birds that will reach us soon.  She used a field guide to fill out the details of the red-headed woodpecker that visited her oak, but was unable to confirm the identity of her mystery bird.  Jean Black continues to share her observations of the natural world, and Jill Spealman braved the cold to record a budding elm after being motivated by online nature-journaling classes by Carrie Carlson and John Muir Laws.

Thank you to all of the artists who have shared images throughout the 2021 Winter Encounter.  Members of the Nature Artists’ Guild are invited to join in any time throughout the month. Please click on any one of the images for a larger version and the artist’s name.

Winter Sketching Continues

There hasn’t been much outdoor sketching going on lately for members of the Nature Artists’ Guild, but comfortable indoor sketching continues.

Jean Black sketched the visitors to her balcony and Marlene Vitek took note of the contrasts between the scenes inside and outside of her balcony window, as well as the variations in icicles. Lisa Kanellos sketched a mink skull that she received through a monthly subscription service for prepared animal skulls (please contact Lisa for more information about this service.  Her contact information can be found in the guild’s Yearbook.)

Mink skull sketch, copyright Lisa Kanellos

The Nature Artists’ Guild’s Winter Encounter continues through the end of February.  Members can join in any time and are encouraged to send in their images.  Please click on any image for a larger version and the artists’ name.


More Winter Work by Members of the Nature Artists’ Guild

Nature Artists’ Guild members continue to practice their art and observation skills during the 2021 Winter Encounter.  Beata Nowak worked from a photo she had taken of some eagles at a local rookery, Dorothy Duffala worked along with an online video to paint her poppies, and Laverne Bohlin painted from her car at a trailhead in New Mexico.  Kathy Belletire sketched and painted a visiting “plague” of grackles and Jean Black sketched a pair of cardinals observed through her window. Marlene Vitek and Lisa Kanellos worked from found objects, and Marlene, who also worked from a photo, remarked that she is “so glad that I am doing this – really need a push sometimes to get to work! Once there, I am so glad I did something.”

Please click on any of the images for the artist’s name and the title or description of the work.  Members are invited to join in at any time throughout the month.  Details for participating are in the January 16th email sent to all members.

The Views are Quite Delightful

Oh, the weather outside may be frightful, but the views are quite delightful!

Nature Artists’ Guild member Laverne Bohlin’s view from her car in New Mexico may be vastly different than what we see from our windows in Chicagoland, but she shows us that a small watercolor or acrylic painting, a colored pencil, graphite, or ink sketch, or a photograph for future reference material are all quite possible from the comfortable confines of the automobile.

With the recent snow creating a winter wonderland, today may be the day to try sketching from the car, with just a few art supplies, a warm drink, and a safe and scenic place to park (including your own driveway if you’re still snowed in).

Piedra Lisa Trailhead, watercolor, copyright 2021 Laverne Bohlin

Nature Artists’ Winter Work

The first images from the Nature Artists’ Guild’s 2021 Winter Encounter are here!  Members are invited to join in any time, whether or not they choose to share images of their artwork.  The suggestions for participating are simple and the practice will lead to improvements in technique and interesting discoveries.  Members of the guild can refer to their email from January 16 for details.

Thank you to the members who have already inspired their fellow artists by sharing images of their wonderful work.  Please click on any image for a full view and the name of the artist.

The Nature Artists’ Guild “Winter Encounter” Begins

The first Nature Artists’ Guild “Encounter” of 2021 has begun, and it requires not much more than a few art supplies and an internet connection.

It’s always fun to watch someone else draw or paint!  For the next seven weeks, though, instead of just grabbing a snack and enjoying the videos, participants will actually be trying the techniques themselves.  Practicing one technique, or trying many – it doesn’t matter. Either way, each participant will improve their skills and emerge this spring as a better artist.

Members of the guild can find some links for excellent free art instruction (as well as instructions for participating) in the email they received yesterday.

Trees, watercolor, copyright Carol Jean Rogalski

Join or Renew Today!

The Nature Artists’ Guild welcomes renewals and new members at any time, of course.  Membership in the guild is for the calendar year, though, so by renewing (or joining) now, artists will ensure that they receive the full benefit of their membership.  Last year’s members can still renew today (if they haven’t already) for a reduced fee of $30.  After today, the renewal fee returns to $45.

Please visit the Membership page of this website to join or renew online, or mail your check to the address on the membership application or (for current members) to our treasurer, Catherine Stacy. Catherine’s address can be found in the Nature Artists’ Yearbook, or in the latest issue of the Nature Artists’ Quarterly.

Cardinal Couple, watercolor, copyright Laurie Alvear


Happy Holidays from the Nature Artists’ Guild

Holiday card 2020, copyright Mary Sinclair

To add cheer to the season, members of the Nature Artists’ Guild created and exchanged holiday cards, and some of the artists or recipients have shared images of those cards here for us to enjoy. Thank you to Susan Bartlett for coordinating this fun exchange and to all the participating artists for contributing their time and talent!

If you are unable to view the slideshow on your device, please click here or on the title at the top of the post to be directed to the Nature Artists’ Guild website.

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Time to Mail the Holiday Cards

Images of the wonderful handmade holiday cards being exchanged between Nature Artists’ Guild members have been trickling in, and we will be sharing those soon on this website.  Any participating member who hasn’t mailed their card yet should finish it up, put it in an envelope, and mail it today!  Images of the cards can be emailed by the recipients to Denise Fisk, whose contact information can be found in the Nature Artists’ Guild Yearbook.

Holiday card by Maggie Mardis.  (Maggie does the best nests, doesn’t she?)