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.

Three Nature Artists on June 2, 2022

An annual tradition of the Nature Artists’ Guild is to ask three talented members to share some of their art, inspirations, methods, and materials with fellow members and visitors. This year the popular “Nature Artists Trio” presentation will take place on Thursday, June 2 at 7 pm at the Thornhill Education Center of The Morton Arboretum.

Guests are welcome to attend this program, sponsored by the Nature Artists’ Guild, completely free-of-charge. There will be no charge for admission to the program, admission to the arboretum, or parking. The event will not require a timed-entry ticket to the arboretum. Visitors can let the gate attendant know they are there for the program to be directed to Thornhill.

The 2022 presenters –

Travel sketching supplies, Maggie Mardis
Sketchbook pages, copyright Maggie Mardis

Maggie Mardis will “discuss and show my Travel Sketchbooks and Travel Art Kits. I will have watercolor, colored pencil and ballpoint pen art kits set up and sketchbooks to match in those mediums.”


Soft Magnolia Spring Assemblage, copyright Cheryl Holz

Cheryl Holz will be “doing an introduction to the Gelli plate, a type of printing that does not involve a press. I’ll focus on natural patterns and textures using manmade and natural masks or resists.”


Detail of Whispers of Summer, copyright Kathy Steere
Detail of Chantilly Nights, copyright Kathy Steere

Kathy Steere will “be presenting ‘Wholecloth – drawing with thread and a power tool.’ I will talk through the process and then demonstrate how to use water-soluble crayons (NeoColor II) and watercolor pencils on fabric. Thread on fabric is just another medium, like pencil on paper, or paint on canvas. I am not planning on bringing my sewing machine (the power tool).”

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 –

George Bruce Presentation Tomorrow, March 3, 2022 at 7 pm

Copyright George Bruce

The March 3, 2022 presentation sponsored by the Nature Artists’ Guild of The Morton Arboretum will feature George Bruce and his lovely paintings in watercolor and oil pastel. Please click here for more information.

Please note – The board of the Nature Artists’ Guild has, in an effort to ensure that all members and guests feel safe and welcome, made a decision to require that masks be worn by all attendees at the March 3, 2022 meeting. The presenter may not wear a mask during the presentation, but has been asked to while in closer conversations with guests. Please note that The Morton Arboretum has, in alignment with the state of Illinois, lifted its indoor mask requirement and there is a slight possibility of encountering arboretum staff or members of the public within the building who may not be wearing masks.

George Bruce Presentation on March 3, 2022

Copyright George Bruce

George Bruce’s education and career in design and marketing well-prepared him for later following his passion of creating fine art. Initially creating lovely scenes in watercolor, George also developed an affinity and for using oil pastels and sometimes combining the two.

More of George’s work can be seen at the Proud Fox Gallery in Geneva, IL and he teaches at the Dupage Art League.

On Thursday evening, March 3, 2022 beginning at 7 pm, George will give an in-person presentation sponsored by the Nature Artists’ Guild at the Thornhill Education Center of The Morton Arboretum. The presentation will be open to all and free-of-charge for admission to the program, admission to the arboretum, and parking. Visitors can let the gate attendant at The Morton Arboretum know they are there for the Nature Artists’ Guild program to be directed to Thornhill.

Please note – The board of the Nature Artists’ Guild has, in an effort to ensure that all members and guests feel safe and welcome, made a decision to require that masks be worn by all attendees at the March 3, 2022 meeting. The presenter may not wear a mask during the presentation, but has been asked to while in closer conversations with guests. Please note that The Morton Arboretum has, in alignment with the state of Illinois, lifted its indoor mask requirement and there is a slight possibility of encountering arboretum staff or members of the public within the building who may not be wearing masks.


Note for members – Posters and postcards for the upcoming 2022 Spring Nature Art Exhibit at The Morton Arboretum will be available to pick up at the meeting.

Sculptor Adam Matano, February 3, 2022

The Hunter, bronze, copyright Adam Matano. Photo credit adammatano.com.

Sculptor Adam Matano will be the presenter for the February 3, 2022 online program sponsored by the Nature Artists’ Guild of The Morton Arboretum.

Adam’s stunning large and small-scale bronze sculptures of animals are usually from “real life models that he has spent time with, through observation or interaction.”

In Los Angeles, where Adam sculpts and teaches, he often brings his students to the zoo to work from live models. He has also begun teaching online workshops for students at all levels where they “learn basic anatomy, form and proportion, rhythm and design; and its application in the sculpting of animal figure.”

More about Adam, short videos about his works, his process, and his classes and workshops, as well as images of his artwork are available on his website.

Nature Artists’ Guild members will receive instructions and a link for attending this online program by email within the next week. Since the guild’s presentations are open to all, any non-members who wish to attend can request a link by completing the contact form on our About page.

Guild members were emailed a basic list of materials on January 13 for those who would like to try some of Adam’s techniques on their own.

The Latest for the Nature Artists’ Guild

Ongoing

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.