Nature Artists’ Guild Exhibit Opens Tomorrow, August 5, 2021 at McCord Gallery

Artwork by Karen Johnson. Postcard design by Jane Kellenberger.

McCord Gallery is open to all on weekdays from 10 am until 4 pm and Saturdays from 11 until 4 pm (closed on Sundays.) There will be a reception for artists, friends, family, and other visitors on Sunday, August 22, 2021 from 2 until 4 pm.

Seeds of Inspiration by Members of the Nature Artists’ Guild on August 5, 2021

Participants in Seeds of Inspiration will be sharing some of their experiences and artwork in an online meeting of the Nature Artists’ Guild of The Morton Arboretum on Thursday evening, August 5, 2021 beginning at 7 pm. Here is a small sample of the work –

Details of works by (clockwise) Alice Wych, Catherine Stacy, Terrie McComb, and Betsy Edwards.

Images of artwork for the presentation should be emailed to Terrie McComb by July 31, 2021.  All Nature Artists’ Guild members will be emailed instructions for attending the meeting.

Also coming up –

  • The artwork drop-off date for the McCord Gallery exhibition is Monday, August 2, 2021. Participants can check their prospectus for details. Nature Artists’ Guild members are asked to help spread the word about this exciting in-person exhibit by sharing the digital postcard and inviting friends and family to a reception at the gallery on Sunday, August 22, 2021 at 2 pm. Postcard design by Jane Kellenberger and artwork by Karen Johnson.

Please share with friends and family

  • Interested guild members will be meeting at The Morton Arboretum for the Tuesday Morning Coffee Club. The gathering takes place rain or shine, but the weather forecast looks promising! Please click on the highlighted link for details.

Tuesday Morning Coffee Club at 9 am tomorrow

  • A paint-out has been scheduled for the morning of August 18, 2021 at The Gardens at Ball in West Chicago, IL. Details will be coming soon to members’ emails and on this website. Photo by Linn Eldred.

Gardens at Ball paint-out on August 18

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)

Two Paint-Outs This Week for the Nature Artists’ Guild

The first opportunity this week for guild members to spend a little time with their fellow artists to talk, eat or drink, learn something new, take some photos, or sketch or paint will be at the the weekly Coffee Club on Tuesday morning at 9 am at the Visitor’s Center of The Morton Arboretum. This paint-out takes place rain or shine and there is plenty of seating in and around the Visitor’s Center.

Linn Eldred has been working on her sketchbook. She does each initial drawing in pencil and completes the work in ink and watercolor.

The second paint-out will be at the Gardens of Cantigny on Wednesday, July 7, 2021 at 9 am. It is recommended that interested members contact Linn Eldred to be added to the contact list for weather-related updates, but last-minute and late participants are welcome.

Nature Artists’ Guild at previous Cantigny Gardens paint-out.

Please click on the highlighted links to learn more.

Some Spring Artwork from the Nature Artists’ Guild

Whether on a solitary trip to the prairie or while participating in the paint-out at The Morton Arboretum, members of the Nature Artists’ Guild found plenty of spring treasures to sketch last week. Here are some that members have shared (please click on any image for a full version) –

Plein Air in June with Karen Johnson at The Morton Arboretum

Whether or not tomorrow’s Nature Artists’ Guild paint-out goes forward (it’s all up to the weather), there will be many more opportunities for guild members to paint outdoors in the coming months.

For those members who are new to painting outdoors as well as for those who love to but want to learn some new tips for making the best of the experience, the Morton Arboretum is offering an in-person class on painting ‘en plein air‘ with talented and experienced artist and educator (and recent Nature Artists’ Guild Featured Artist) Karen Johnson. Karen has been painting outdoors for years all over the world and one of her latest projects has been sharing the beauty of all the seasons (yes, even winter) in the prairie through her sketchbooks.

Karen Johnson sketching in Sweden

Many artists assume that painting en plein air involves traipsing through the woods lugging large easels and solvents and later trying to get back to the car without smearing or dropping their fresh (and wet) oil paintings. Karen will show that there can be an easier way.

Sketchbook page, copyright Karen A Johnson

From The Morton Arboretum’s listing for Art in Plein Air

Enjoy a creative morning outside with this art class “en plein air” at The Morton Arboretum. Under the guidance of your instructor, capture the landscape, the form of a tree, or the tiny detail of a flower bud. Bring your graphite pencils, colored pencils, pen and ink, watercolors, or other medium of choice, and get tips for building a field kit of art supplies you can easily carry with you on any trip outdoors. Enjoy plenty of time to work independently with the support of your instructor. 

The class is offered on either Saturday, June 12 or Friday, June 18, 2021 from 9:30 am until 12:30 pm. Class size is limited. Enrollment is not limited to members of The Morton Arboretum or the Nature Artists’ Guild, but arboretum members will receive a discounted registration fee.

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

Sharing Joys of Spring

Nature Artists’ Guild members have been busy gathering and sharing some of the joys of spring through their art! Here are a few examples of their spring artwork –

Spring Journal Pages, copyright Kathy Belletire
Maple Keys, copyright Lisa Kanellos

Members of the Nature Artists’ Guild are encouraged to share their artwork on this website throughout the season. Images from spring sketchbooks as well as finished pieces are all welcome. If a piece is from a paint-out (coming soon) or the Seeds of Inspiration project, please make a note of that when submitting. Images can be e-mailed to Denise Fisk, whose contact information is in the guild’s Yearbook.

Redbuds in Bloom

The redbuds (Cercis canadensis ) are in full bloom in northern Illinois, so it is time for nature artists to find a few and sketch a sketch, draw a drawing, paint a painting, or simply take some reference photos before the pinks and purples disappear.

No, your eyes are not deceiving you – the flowers of the redbud tree were magenta last week, are bright pink this week, and will be turning lavender in another week or so. Be sure to make some color notes!

The redbuds of Lake Marmo at The Morton Arboretum are always gorgeous this time of year, but these native Illinois trees can also be found in forests preserves and front yards across the area.

Here are a few images from Nature Artists’ Guild members over the past few years for inspiration –

Nature Artists’ Guild members are invited to send images of their recent spring flora and fauna artwork to share on this website in upcoming weeks. Images should be sent to Denise Fisk, whose email address can be found in the guild’s Yearbook.