Taking Time for Nature Art

Indigo Bunting 2, copyright Carol Cooley

It is true that it’s one of the busiest times of the year for those who appreciate nature. Nature artists are often also birders, hikers, amblers, gardeners, or travelers, and late spring is a wonderful time to enjoy (as well as sketch, paint, or photograph) those adventures. The Nature Artists’ Guild would like to add just a few more worthwhile activities to fit into those busy schedules in the next few weeks.

Next Wednesday, May 25, 2022, Nature Artists’ Guild members will meet for a paint-out at the Jurica-Suchy Museum from 10 am until noon. Attendance at this paint-out will be limited and not available for drop-ins. Members who have not yet signed up to attend can email Linn Eldred to check for openings.

On Thursday June 2, 2022, beginning at 7 pm, visitors to the Thornhill Education Center of The Morton Arboretum will have the opportunity to watch and interact with three members of the Nature Artists’ Guild as they demonstrate and discuss their artwork. This popular annual program is open to all, free-of-charge.

Please click on any of the highlighted links for more details.

Back to the Bison, Beetles, and Birds at the Jurica-Suchy Nature Museum

Photo credit Jane Kellenberger

It’s been a while since members of the Nature Artists’ Guild have been able to attend a paint-out to sketch and photograph some of the thousands of natural history specimens (from the tiniest insects to the largest mammals) on display at the Jurica-Suchy Nature Museum at Benedictine University in Lisle, IL.

Museum staff have graciously offered to open to fifteen members of the guild on Wednesday, May 25 from 10 am until noon. (The museum will not be open to the public at that time.) Interested members should contact Linn Eldred soon, as many of the spots have already been filled! Linn’s contact information and more details about the paint-out, including required safety precautions, can be found in the recent email sent to all members.

In the Works at the Nature Artists’ Guild

The June 2, 2022 meeting of the Nature Artists’ Guild (open to all, free-of-charge) at 7 pm at the Thornhill Education Center of The Morton Arboretum will feature three guild members sharing their techniques, materials, and talents. This popular annual “Artist Trio” presentation usually takes place in August, but has been moved to June this year so that we can welcome a special guest in August. Much more about the 2022 presenters coming soon!

From former years –

Laverne Bohlin, an award-winning pastel artist (and Nature Artists’ Guild member) who recently moved to New Mexico from the Chicago area will be back in August to teach a workshop at The Morton Arboretum focusing on painting water with pastels. Laverne has generously agreed to share some of her techniques and inspirations at the guild’s August 4, 2022 meeting at 7 pm at the Thornhill Education Center. The August 4 program will be open to all, free-of-charge.

Wetland Sunset II, Pastel, Copyright Laverne Bohlin

There were reports of balmy and beautiful weather at the recent daffodil paint-out and the daffodils responded in a spectacular manner! Paint-outs will be offered throughout the summer, and members are encouraged to keep some of their most portable art supplies and a folding chair ready to go. (Paint-outs will normally be announced at least two weeks ahead of the date, but occasionally a last-minute opportunity comes along.)

From recent paint-out locations –

Daffodil Paint-Out Rescheduled to Saturday, April 23, 2022

April Snow, copyright Ann Lamoureux

The daffodils certainly don’t seem to mind the rain (or even snow), but that kind of weather can make things a little uncomfortable for the nature artist!

Because of the forecast for rain on Friday, the Nature Artists’ Guild paint-out has been re-scheduled to this Saturday, April 23, 2022 at 10 am. Interested members should meet in front of the Thornhill Education Center of The Morton Arboretum with their art supplies, camera, and a folding chair or stool. Members can contact Linn Eldred with any questions.

Please click on this link for The Morton Arboretum’s latest Bloom Report.

Timed-entry passes will be required and may go quickly on this spring weekend.

“A host, of golden daffodils”

Spring flowers, copyright Linda Fairbanks

When all at once I saw a crowd,

A host, of golden daffodils;


Ten thousand saw I at a glance,

Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.


And then my heart with pleasure fills,

And dances with the daffodils.

Wordsworth, “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” (3-4, 11-12, 23-24)

Members of the Nature Artists Guild are invited to gather at the Thornhill Education Center of The Morton Arboretum at 10 am on Saturday, April 23, 2022 for a paint-out celebrating ‘golden daffodils’ and other early blooms of spring. Interested members should contact Linn Eldred with any questions and to be put on the list to receive weather-related updates. Timed-entry passes will be required.

Note: This post has been updated with the new date.

Meadow Lake Paint-Out on March 23, 2022

Meadow Lake construction, The Morton Arboretum. Photo credit The Morton Arboretum.

Meadow Lake was established in 1959 at The Morton Arboretum when a meadow with boundaries (now shoreline) and plantings dating from the late 1930’s and early 1940’s was excavated and the gravel used to widen a nearby road. The Morton Arboretum’s first director, Clarence Godshalk, wrote in a letter to the Board of Trustees –

The new Meadow Lake has given me more of a thrill in its creation than anything I have done in the Arboretum development… The first thing in the morning and the last thing at night I find great pleasure in looking at this body of water as it grows, now that the lake is being filled.

The Nature Artists’ Guild has scheduled a paint-out at The Morton Arboretum as one way to participate in celebrating their Centennial.

On the morning of Wednesday, March 23, 2022, members of the Nature Artists’ Guild will have early access to the Gingko Restaurant and Cafe in the Visitor Center of The Morton Arboretum to sketch the lovely view of Meadow Lake from 9 until 11 am. Artists are welcome to stay later, but the cafe will open to all visitors at 11. Members can contact Linn Eldred with any questions or to let her know they’d like to attend. To protect the floor of the cafe, oils, acrylics, or other potentially staining art materials are not allowed.

Exterior of Ginkgo Restaurant and Cafe facing Meadow Lake at The Morton Arboretum. Photo credit mortonarb.org.

The Latest for the Nature Artists’ Guild


The 2022 New Year with the Masters project enters week 2 with three works of art from the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago. Please click on any title to see the full image and read more about it.

The Nature Artists’ Guild exhibit at the Downers Grove Library continues until January 30, 2022.

In Search of Emily Carr, copyright Sharon Malec

Coming Soon

A paint-out is scheduled for February 9, 2022 at Orchids by Hausermann, one of the world’s largest orchid growers. Members of the Nature Artists’ Guild will meet in the morning, before Hausermann’s opens to the public, and except for some employees, will have the large greenhouse to themselves. Details were emailed to members earlier this week.

Inside the greenhouse at Orchids by Hausermann

On the evening of February 3, 2022, Nature Artists’ Guild members will have the opportunity to attend an online presentation by talented sculptor Adam Matano. More details about Adam and his work, as well as links and directions for attending the online meeting will be emailed to all members later this month.

In-progress sculpture, photo credit Adam Matano.com/blog

Looking Back at 2021 with the Nature Artists’ Guild

Copyright Cheryl Holz

Before moving ahead to 2022, we’d like to share a few reminders of some of the Nature Artists’ Guild’s projects, paint-outs, exhibits, and programs of 2021. Here is a sample of nature art shared throughout the year by guild members and program presenters as well as some photos from paint-out locations.

To view more of the wonderful artwork of 2021, scroll through the Home page or visit the Member Artwork or Featured Artist pages of the website.

Please click here to join or renew membership in the Nature Artists’ Guild of The Morton Arboretum for 2022.

One More Thing Before the Holiday Season Begins

Become a new member or renew your membership to the Nature Artists’ Guild before the busy holiday season and start the new year enjoying all that membership offers.

Selection of member and presenter artwork and paint-out settings. Each piece of artwork is copyrighted by the artist and may not be used without written permission.

Wonderful Marge Hall and her Wonderful Flowers, October 18, 2021

Many art-fair visitors in Chicagoland will recognize Marge Hall and her wonderful large-scale close-up portraits of flowers. Marge can be seen throughout the summer in front of her booth painting and talking with visitors, engaging with and inspiring collectors and artists alike.

Marge Hall is also a popular instructor at the Dupage Art League where she teaches painting to artists at all levels. Many of Marge’s tips and techniques for painting flower portraits in oil can be adapted for use in acrylic, pastel, or even watercolor.

The Wheaton Public Library and the Dupage Art League have announced a joint presentation of Oils Start to Finish, an online program with Marge Hall, on Monday, October 18, 2021 from 6:30 until 8:30 pm. There will be a chance to ask questions, follow along at home, or just sit back and enjoy. Please click on one of the highlighted links to register for this free program, open to all.

Please click on photos for titles. All rights reserved by Marge Hall. Photos used with permission (previously posted.)

Members of the Nature Artists’ Guild who participate in the event are encouraged to create their own floral portrait (in any medium) and submit an image to Denise Fisk by for display on this website.