Coming Soon for the Nature Artists’ Guild

Poster art by Patricia Mroczka, poster design by Jane Kellenberger, daffodil sketch at Coffee and Art by Celia Rodee, “Daffodils” in colored pencil by Alice Wych, frame display by Colbert Custom Framing

Some reminders for members of the Nature Artists’ Guild –

  • Monday, March 20, 2023 is the final day to mail completed prospectuses or register online for this April’s Spring Art Exhibit at The Morton Arboretum. Links for the prospectus and online registration form were emailed to members on February 20.
  • There are still spots available for the talk and tour at Colbert Custom Framing on Tuesday evening, March 21, 2023. Interested members can register here.
  • A paint-out at the Daffodil Glade at The Morton Arboretum is scheduled for the morning of Thursday, April 13, 2023. This would be a great opportunity to complete sketches or gather reference material for the Joy’s Vision exhibit of 8 x 8 inch works scheduled this autumn. Members who would like to be put on the email list for updates about the paint-out can click here.
  • Members of the Nature Artists’ Guild and their guests are always welcome to stop by the Visitor Center of The Morton Arboretum for Coffee and Art any Wednesday morning after 9 am to sketch, sip, or chat. No registration is required.

Nature Artists’ Guild to Celebrate Joy’s Vision at Daffodil Glade

Daffodils, copyright Alice Wych

Joy’s early plans for the Arboretum included Sargents Glade on the West side of the Thornhill ravine, but most guests today know this beautiful area by a different name, Daffodil Glade. Beneath widely spaced old oaks, spring rolls out a grassy carpet filled with waves of cheerful, varied daffodils. The first daffodils here were planted in 1946.

The Morton Arboretum

Joy Morton shared some thoughts about his vision for The Morton Arboretum with his colleague Professor S.C. Sargent of the Arnold Arboretum at Harvard University in 1921 –

Excerpt of document archived by the Sterling Morton Library

And again in 1924 –

Excerpt of document archived by the Sterling Morton Library

The Nature Artists’ Guild is planning to honor Joy’s Vision with a exhibit this autumn of artwork created at or inspired by Daffodil Glade (originally “the Sargent Plot” or “Sargent Glade”), Joy Path, and Lake Marmo. These areas were all part of Mr. Morton’s original vision for the Arboretum, near his house in an area that he predicted would “ultimately become one of the prettiest parts of the Arboretum.”

A paint-out at Daffodil Glade has been scheduled for members of the Nature Artists’ Guild on Thursday, April 13, 2023 from 9 am until noon (rain date April 20 if required). Participants will meet near the Thornhill Education Center of The Morton Arboretum, enjoy some muffins, and wander off to choose a spot among the daffodils. They should bring their sketchbooks and art supplies, a portable chair, their favorite drink, and plans to enjoy a wonderful morning filled with the sights, scents, and sounds of Daffodil Glade.

Members can let Celia Rodee know they plan to attend by email or by completing this registration form. Celia will have some 8 x 8 surfaces available for members to use or bring home for later use if they plan to participate in the Joy’s Vision project.

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.

Nature Artists’ Guild’s Yearly Safari on March 9, 2023

Photo credit Jurica-Suchy Nature Museum

No need to book a flight or pack (except for a few art supplies and possibly a folding chair) for the Nature Artists’ Guild’s annual trip to the Jurica-Suchy Nature Museum.

Members of the Guild will have the opportunity to visit the museum at Benedictine University in Lisle, IL on Thursday, March 9, 2023 between 9 am and noon to sketch, paint, or photograph specimens from the museum’s vast collection. Exotic predators abound, but there are also thousands of less ferocious mammals, birds, insects, and aquatic species to study or sketch.

Nature Artists’ Guild members who would like to attend the paint-out can reserve a spot and receive detailed directions for parking and visiting the museum by contacting Celia Rodee by email or by completing this registration form. Attendance is limited to fifteen members and previous paint-outs have filled quickly!

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.

Nature Artists’ Guild’s Annual Trip to the Tropics

Detail of photo by Linn Eldred

On Thursday, February 9, 2023, from 7 until 10 am, members of the Nature Artists’ Guild can experience some of the warmth, sights, and scents of the tropics at the annual paint-out at Orchids by Hausermann, one of the world’s oldest and largest growers of orchids.

Paint-out participants will be able to sit and paint or wander and photograph numerous varieties inside the display area of the vast greenhouse before it opens to the public. One participant will be chosen at random to receive a gift certificate for an orchid to take home!

Attendance at the paint-out is limited to the first twelve members to register with Celia Rodee by email or by completing this form. Celia will contact participants with further details and instructions.

Also please note –

  • The weekly Coffee and Art gathering will not take place this Wednesday, January 18, but will return on January 25.

Mr. Morton, Mr. Potter, and the Chauffeur

The wonder we now know as The Morton Arboretum all began when “while touring by automobile in 1909, Joy Morton, his friend E.A. Potter, and their chauffeur jumped from their car to stamp out a grass fire and stumbled upon the spot that captured Joy’s vision for a home, and ultimately his legacy. ” 

Beginning in 1922, Mr. Morton began to establish some of the delights of the original 175 acres of his “museum of trees.” Some of those landmarks still exist in much their original state up to 100 years later – Joy Path, Lake Marmo, and Sargents Glade (now affectionately known as Daffodil Glade.)

Details from previous works by Terrie McComb, Alice Wych, Laverne Bohlin, and Pat Mroczka, cropped to squares to simulate display of four seasons at The Morton Arboretum.

This year, the Nature Artists’ Guild will celebrate “Joy’s Vision” with artwork created throughout the year at these favored locations of Mr. Morton. Similarly to last year’s Schulenberg Prairie Project, members will be asked to create artwork at, or inspired by, Joy Path, Lake Marmo, and Daffodil Glade.

  • Each participating artist may contribute up to four pieces. Some may choose to do one location in all four seasons, others may complete three pieces (one from each location) and some may prefer depicting just one or two locations or seasons.
  • The artwork must be completed on 8 x 8 inch surfaces, which can be obtained free of charge at various paint-outs, programs, or other gatherings throughout the year. Artists can also use their own surfaces as long as they measure 8 x 8 inches and are less than 3/8 inches thick.
  • Paint-outs may be planned in upcoming months at these locations.
  • Finished pieces will be exhibited at the Nature Artists’ Guild’s 2023 Autumn Art Exhibit at The Morton Arboretum.
  • No framing or preregistration is required for participating.

Much more about this celebration of “Joy’s Vision” coming soon, but those who want to include all four seasons should take note that winter is already half over!

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 Herbarium – Where the Work of the Botanical Artist Begins

Specimens at The Morton Arboretum’s Herbarium. Photo credit

On Thursday, January 19, 2023, members of the Nature Artists’ Guild will meet in the Cudahy Room of the Administration and Research Center of The Morton Arboretum from 9:30 am until 12:30 pm to study and draw specimens from the Arboretum’s Herbarium.

A Closer Look at the 100-Year-Old Arboretum Herbarium gives the fascinating history of the collection of plant specimens (now numbering in hundreds of thousands) established by Joy Morton in 1922. “Notable samples include dried plants from William Edward Parry’s Arctic expeditions of the 1820s, a hybrid buckeye grown from seed collected by George Washington, and a fern collected by Ernest Hemingway’s father in 1891.”

The paint-out is limited to twelve participants. Interested Nature Artists’ Guild members can reserve a spot by contacting Celia Rodee by email or by completing this form.

P is for Pine, copyright Suzanne Wegener

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.