Nature Artists’ Guild Welcomes Autumn

The weather is already a bit brisker, there is just a hint of brilliant color in the leaves, and members of the Nature Artists’ Guild are looking forward to celebrating the wonderful displays of the season through their art.

Coming soon –

Tomorrow, September 24, 2022, the guild has a workshop scheduled for members interested in creating subtle pieces of art using color pencil on slate tiles.

Color pencil on slate, copyright Mary Ann Jimenez

On Thursday, October 6, 2022, artist and illustrator Kelley Cappell will be sharing some of her thoughts about creating artwork for a variety of viewers using pen and ink and acrylic, as well as digitally. This program, sponsored by the Nature Artists’ Guild is open to the public, free of charge.

Snow Leopard, pen and ink, copyright Kelley Cappell

October 10, 2022 is the last day for members to mail completed prospectuses for participating in the 2022 Autumn Nature Art Exhibit at The Morton Arboretum in November. More to come soon about the exhibit and Featured Artist Alice Wych.

Poster artwork by Alice Wych. Poster design by Jane Kellenberger.

Every Wednesday morning, a group of guild members meet at the Visitor Center of The Morton Arboretum to chat, sketch, or enjoy the morning quiet at the Coffee and Art gathering. All guild members are invited to stop by.

Previous October pages in nature journal, copyright Linn Eldred

Members who would like to participate in celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Schulenberg Prairie will be able to pick up an 8 x 8 canvas, board, or paper for the project at the Thornhill Education Center on September 24 during the Color Pencil on Slate Tile workshop or on the evening of October 6 at the Kelley Cappell presentation. Some types of supplies may be limited, so interested members may wish to contact Carol Balabanow for more information.

8 x 8 pieces from the Schulenberg Prairie, copyright Marlene Vitek (first two) and Maggie Mardis.

As always, click on the highlighted links for more information.

The Nature Artists’ Guild Welcomes Scientific Illustrator Kelley Cappell on October 6, 2022

Snow Leopard, pen and ink, copyright Kelley Cappell. Used with permission.

On Thursday, October 6, 2022 at 7 pm, the Nature Artists’ Guild will welcome scientific illustrator Kelley Cappell to the Thornhill Education Center of The Morton Arboretum to share some of her inspirations and experiences creating illustrations and collaborating on exhibit design for the renowned Brookfield Zoo.

A qualified scientific illustrator with a degree in biology, Kelley creates her work in traditional methods using pen and ink, acrylic, and graphite, as well as digitally. In addition to her work at the zoo, Kelley is an instructor at the Water Street Studios School of Art in Batavia, IL.

This presentation, sponsored by the Nature Artists Guild of The Morton Arboretum, is free and open to all. There will be no fee for admission to the arboretum for this event, no fee for attendance, and no fee for parking (and no timed-entry pass necessary.) Visitors can let the gate attendant know they are there for the program to be admitted to the arboretum and directed to Thornhill.

Coming Soon for the Nature Artists’ Guild

Garden at Cantigny Park. Photo credit Jane Kellenberger.

This Wednesday, September 7, 2022, the Nature Artists’ Guild’s paint-out at the gardens of Cantigny Park will take place from 9 am until noon. While members are encouraged to let Linn Eldred know they are attending, drop-ins are also welcome. The gardens and grounds at Cantigny Park are always wonderful and this year there is the added bonus of an exhibit of colorful large-scale sculptures by artists from Mexico City. Parking and admission will be free.

(Boards, canvases, or papers for the Schulenberg Praire anniversary project will be available at this paint-out if a request is made in advance to Carol Balabanow.)

Note – The weekly Art and Coffee gathering will not take place on this date.

Also coming soon –

On September 24, 2022 from 10 to 2, members can attend a volunteer workshop at the Thornhill Education Center of The Morton Arboretum to learn how to create artwork using color pencils on slate tiles. The tiles will be sold at the upcoming Autumn Art Exhibit at The Morton Arboretum with proceeds benefitting the guild. Tiles will be provided, but participants are asked to bring a few other supplies (details are in the August 3rd email sent to members.)

On October 6, 2022 at 7 pm, Artist and Illustrator Kelley Cappell will share some of her experiences, inspirations, and techniques with the audience at the Thornhill Education Center. This program will be open to the public, free of charge. More about Kelley and her art coming soon.

October 10, 2022 will be the final date for members of the Nature Artists’ Guild to mail their completed prospectuses for participating in the Autumn Art Exhibit at The Morton Arboretum in November. The link to the prospectus was emailed to all members on August 31. Much more about the exhibit and the Featured Artist, Alice Wych, to come.

Nature Artists’ Guild members who would like to participate in the Schulenberg Prairie anniversary project can still pick up an 8 x 8 canvas, board, or paper at any of the in-person guild events (including by request at the Cantigny paint-out and excluding the Wednesday Coffee and Art gatherings.) Members can also use their own surface, but the final artwork must be exactly 8 x 8 inches (and less than approximately a half inch deep) to fit into the display. Questions about the project can be emailed to Carol Balabanow.

Just this Week for the Nature Artists’ Guild

Shady Lakes, pastel, copyright Laverne Bohlin. Used with permission.

This week the members of the Nature Artists’ Guild –

  • Can still contribute to the upcoming Quarterly by sending images of their autumn-focused artwork to Jane Kellenberger. Images must be sent by today, August 1, 2022.
  • Can try out pastels at this week’s Coffee and Art Club on Wednesday, August 3, 2022 beginning at 9 am. A few basic supplies will be shared by fellow artists so that interested members can give the medium a try. There is hope that our program presenter for Thursday (and fellow member) Laverne Bohlin will join us for coffee and a chat. Timed-entry passes will be required (usually available the same morning.)
  • Can attend a program by renowned pastel artist Laverne Bohlin on Thursday, August 4, 2022. Laverne will share some of her techniques and inspirations beginning at 7 pm at the Thornhill Education Center of The Morton Arboretum. Visitors and guests are welcome to attend this program free of charge and can let the gate attendant at the Arboretum know they are there for the program to be admitted and directed to Thornhill. Timed-entry passes are not required for this event.
  • Will open a new exhibit at Gallery 200 in West Chicago. A reception, complete with refreshments and open to all, will be held at the gallery on Friday, August 5, 2022 from 6 to 8 pm.
  • Will learn more about a project to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Schulenberg Prairie at The Morton Arboretum. Details are still being worked out and will be shared with members as soon as they are finalized. The Schulenberg Prairie is “one of the nation’s oldest and most successful prairie and savanna restorations.” – mortonarb.org

As always, please click on the highlighted links for more information.

Nature Artists’ Guild’s Late Summer Events

Coleus, copyright Ann Lamoureux will be one of the lovely pieces exhibited at Gallery 200 during August 2022.

The Nature Artists’ Guild is returning to Gallery 200 in West Chicago this August. This spacious and vibrant gallery regularly showcases the work of thirty artists but has plenty of room for special exhibits as well. The artwork of participating Nature Artists’ Guild members will be featured from Thursday, August 4 until Friday, August 26, 2022. (Artwork drop-off will be from 11 am until 1 pm on Saturday, July 30, 2022.)

A reception will be held at the gallery on Friday, August 5 from 6 until 8 pm. All are welcome to drop in to meet some of the artists and enjoy the exhibit.


Red-tailed Hawk, copyright Alice Wych is one of more than fifty pieces of artwork in Visions of Nature at the Hidden Oaks Nature Center during July 2022.

Visions of Nature at Hidden Oaks Nature Center ends on Saturday, July 30, 2022. This wonderful exhibit includes more than fifty works of art by Nature Artists’ Guild members. (Artwork pick-up will be on Sunday, July 31, 2022 between noon and 2 pm.)


Wetland Tangle, copyright Laverne Bohlin

August also begins with a program sponsored by the Nature Artists’ Guild featuring Laverne Bohlin and her serene pastels. This program will be open to all, free-of-charge, on Thursday, August 4, 2022 beginning at 7 pm.

More details about these events can be found by clicking on the highlighted links.

Welcoming New Members, a Television Appearance, Paint-Out, Exhibits, Program, and More

Porcini and Pinecones, copyright Jane Kellenberger. One of more than fifty works of art featured at the Visions of Nature exhibit at the Hidden Oaks Nature Center.

For those who have long been considering joining the Nature Artists’ Guild or those who have just discovered it and don’t want to wait until the new year to join, there is now a half-year (July through December) membership plan available for new members only. Please click on this link to the Membership page to read more.


Some current and upcoming events –

Suzy Lyttle of the Will County Forest Preserve District was interviewed recently by Naperville Community TV about the upcoming Nature Artists’ Guild exhibit and the reopening of the Hidden Oaks Nature Center. Please click on this link to view the short interview (and some of the artwork.) A reception and open house with light refreshments will take place at Hidden Oaks this evening from 4 until 7.

A Nature Artists’ Guild exhibit at Gallery 200 in West Chicago has been scheduled for the month of August 2022. The prospectus was emailed to members on June 24 and completed prospectuses for participating artists must be returned (postmarked) by Saturday, July 16, 2022.

Members will meet for a paint-out at the Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center on Monday, July 25, 2022 from 9 am until noon. More about the paint-out coming soon.

A program featuring Laverne Bohlin and her lovely pastels will be open to all, free-of-charge at the Thornhill Education Center of The Morton Arboretum on Thursday, August 4, 2022 at 7 pm.

The Nature Artists’ Guild will have an information table and artist demonstrations inside the Visitor Center of The Morton Arboretum during the Wine and Art Walk the weekend of August 20 and 21, 2022.

Finally, there’s an opportunity every Wednesday at 9 am to enjoy a few hours of chatting, sketching, snacking on delicious muffins, or just relaxing and watching the chipmunks scurry through the flowers at the Coffee and Art Club.

Laverne Bohlin’s Serene Pastels on August 4, 2022

Fox River View, copyright Laverne Bohlin. Used with permission.

Laverne Bohlin has been a valued instructor, volunteer, and member of The Morton Arboretum and the Nature Artists’ Guild for many years. Although she has chosen to spend her “retirement” creating award-winning paintings in the mountains of New Mexico, Laverne still enjoys visiting and painting the many wonderful local landscapes of the Chicagoland area.

Although her work often depicts ordinary scenes that are experienced by many – looking, seeing and recording the effects of light on the landscape is the essence of her work.

lavernebohlin.com

The Nature Artists’ Guild is proud to sponsor a program featuring Laverne Bohlin and her stunning pastel works on Thursday, August 4, 2022 at 7 pm at the Thornhill Education Center of The Morton Arboretum. This program will be open to all, free-of-charge (including free admission to The Morton Arboretum and free parking.) Visitors can let the gate attendant at the Arboretum know they are there for the Nature Artists’ Guild program to be directed to Thornhill.

Laverne will also be teaching Nature in Pastel: The Nuances of Water at The Morton Arboretum the following weekend. A few spots are still available and details can be found by clicking on the highlighted link above.

The Not-So-Lazy Days of Summer Begin

Summer Memories, pastel, copyright Laverne Bohlin. Click on image for link to Laverne’s website.

The Nature Artists’ Guild has a lot in store, from programs and paint-outs to special exhibits and projects, for the upcoming “lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer (Nat King Cole, 1963.)

Members are invited to stop by Ginkgo Restaurant and Café in the Visitor Center of The Morton Arboretum at 9 am for informal weekly gatherings beginning tomorrow, June 1, 2022. These will continue throughout the season. (Timed-entry passes will be required.) Note – time has been updated to 9 am from previously announced 11 am.

The following evening, Thursday, June 2, 2022, the Nature Artists’ Guild will be sponsoring a program (open to all, free of charge) at the Thornhill Education Center of The Morton Arboretum at 7 pm. This annual program will feature three talented members of the guild sharing some of their artistic inspirations, tools, and techniques. (Timed-entry passes are not required.)

Paint-outs will be scheduled as the summer progresses, and special projects and exhibits are being planned for July and August. Award-winning pastel artist (and guild member) Laverne Bohlin will be giving a presentation at the August 4th program and teaching a workshop for the arboretum the following weekend. Many more details coming soon!

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

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).”