Art, Nature, and Friendship Every Tuesday Morning at The Morton Arboretum

Linn Eldred, who organizes the paint-outs for the Nature Artists’ Guild would like to announce a fun new experience for members- the Tuesday Morning Coffee Club!

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

Coffee, tea, juice, or water – doesn’t matter. Sketching, meeting and spending time with fellow artists, and enjoying nature are the important elements of these gatherings. Interested members will meet on Tuesday mornings at 9 am at the Visitor Center of The Morton Arboretum. Attendees will decide each Tuesday their plans for the morning (usually depending on the weather.) Even on rainy days, the views from inside the Visitor Center’s Ginkgo Cafe offer plenty of sketching inspiration.

This new adventure began last Tuesday and received good reviews by the participants, who plan to return next week. While no advance notice is required for members of the Nature Artists’ Guild to attend, each will need to reserve a timed-entry ticket from the Arboretum’s website. Tickets are frequently still available on the morning of the event (so far – subject to change.) The Arboretum’s Know Before You Go page has further information.

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

Nature Artists’ Guild To Enter Its 35th Year!

The Nature Artists’ Guild of The Morton Arboretum enters its 35th year of art and nature in 2021!

As it has for more than 34 years, membership in the Nature Artists’ Guild in 2021 brings opportunities to participate in programs, paint-outs, exhibits, workshops, and social events (in person or online, as conditions require.)  In addition, the Nature Artists’ Quarterly, featuring news, articles, and artwork by, for, or about members is delivered to every member’s mailbox each season.

Now, before the season becomes too busy, might be a good time for Nature Artists’ Guild members to renew their membership for 2021 (or for new members to join.)  Current members of the guild can renew at a reduced fee (through the end of the month) by clicking here and scrolling down to the appropriate payment button.  New members can click here to join at the regular rate.  If preferred, new members can send a check to the address on the membership form and returning members can send a check to treasurer Catherine Stacy. Use of the membership form is not required as long as the member’s contact information is included with the check or online payment.

 

 

Summer’s End Artwork from the Nature Artists’ Guild

Please enjoy these wonderful contributions to the Summer’s End paint-out from Nature Artists’ Guild members.  Beata Nowak and Jane Kellenberger drew and painted some of the annuals on their decks, Yvonne Buckley used pen and acrylic ink to illustrate some of the bounties of the garden, Marilyn Peretti visited a park where she found her subject on an oak tree, and Alice Wych, Eileen LaBarre, Dorothy Duffala, Bernadette Hanacek, and Kathi Kuchler all found the beauty in leaves, seeds, and flowers. Ann Lamoureux continued her work in progress from the front porch, and Gary Chipman painted a prairie view in pastel.

Congratulations to all the participants in the paint-out for choosing to take the time to appreciate the end of summer and thank you to the artists mentioned above who generously shared their beautiful results.

 

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A Beautiful Day for a Summer’s End Paint-Out

The sky is blue, the air is crisp, and the geese are flying overhead.  Hmmm.  Is there some activity that would help a nature artist make the most of the day?

Thank you to Alice Wych for the first contribution to the 2020 Nature Artists’ Guild Summer’s End paint-out with her lovely drawing, Thistle.  While Thistle is certainly worthy of a frame, paint-out creations do not need to be finished pieces of art.  Any sketch, drawing, or painting that reflects a few hours spent in nature can be a treasure.  Details about participating in the paint-out are in an e-mail sent to members last week.

Thistle, copyright Alice Wych

Summer’s End Paint-Out

Nature Artists’ Guild members will be receiving an e-mail soon with the who, what, where, when, why, and how of participating in this month’s Summer’s End paint-outThe paint-out will not be a gathering of members in person, but each participant can celebrate the beauty of nature during the last days of summer by painting, drawing, or sketching on their own and then sharing images of their artwork afterwords.

Oh to be tall, copyright Fran Kelly

 

An Artful Autumn at the Nature Artists’ Guild

Members of the Nature Artists’ Guild of The Morton Arboretum can look forward to a full Fall of art and nature!

Autumnal Gold, copyright Patricia Mroczka

Some upcoming events include –

  • A virtual lecture this month about the symbolism of art (much of it nature) portrayed on an 18th Century Asian screen. (Postponed until further notice.)
  • A “paint-out” in September where members create art in their own environment and share their experiences through video-chat or by sending images to display on this website.
  • An online presentation about journaling in nature with Lara Call Gastinger. Lara’s workshop at the Arboretum sold out immediately, but all Nature Artists’ Guild members are invited to join her October 1 presentation.
  • A new “Art Encounter” in October that will involve working almost solely in ink.  Its a great way to quickly hone those drawing skills!
  • An online exhibit in November of images of some of the finished artwork that members had hoped to include in the cancelled 2020 Spring or Autumn (Holiday) exhibits.
  • A fun and creative holiday card project in lieu of the annual in-person celebration.

Dates, times, and all the other details about these events will be shared with members through e-mails and announcements on this website.  

A Busy March for Nature Artists

Please click on this link to important notices from The Morton Arboretum

 

Coming up in March for members of the Nature Artists’ Guild –

Eastern Towhee, copyright Alex Warnick. Used with permission.

Monday, March 2, 2020 is the last day for members to mail their completed prospectuses for the 2020 Spring Exhibit of Natural History Art.  The link for the prospectus was sent out to all members by e-mail last month.  New members, please don’t hesitate to participate.  The Guild is a supportive, non-competitive organization that values the contributions of nature artists at all skill levels.  Beginners to professionals, we welcome you all!

Update – the Spring exhibit has been postponed until a date to be determined.

Thursday, March 5, 2020 is the date of a very special program sponsored by the Nature Artists’ Guild at the Thornhill Education Center of The Morton Arboretum from 7 until 9 pm.   Visiting Artist Alex Warnick will be sharing some thoughts about her exquisite paintings and illustrations of birds and her adventures in birding. This event is open to all and free-of-charge. Members are encouraged to invite their fellow artists, birders, and nature lovers to this presentation.  Details are in this previous post.

On Saturday, March 7, 2020 a repeat of last month’s Round Table Paint-In event will take place at Thornhill beginning at 1 pm.  Members should contact Linn Eldred if they’d like to participate.  Linn’s contact information is included in the February 19 e-mail sent to members.  All supplies will be provided, and there is no cost to attend this fun and creative event.

And that’s not all!  Plans are in the works for a paint-out at the Jurica-Suchy Nature Museum later in the month.  Details about this popular annual paint-out will be shared as soon as they are finalized.   Update – This event has been postponed until a date to be determined.

A fundraising workshop has been scheduled for Saturday, March 28, 2020 at the Thornhill Education Center.  Supplies will be provided for Nature Artists’ Guild members who wish to participate by painting canvases to be sold at the Spring Exhibit as a fundraiser.  Fundraising workshops are a great place to get to know and enjoy some time with fellow Guild members.  Update – This event has been postponed until a date to be determined.