Sharing Seeds of Inspiration on August 5, 2021

In an online program on the evening of Thursday, August 5, 2021, beginning at 7 pm, members of the Nature Artists’ Guild of The Morton Arboretum will be sharing some of their experiences, inspirations, and artwork from the Seeds of Inspiration project.

It promises to be an interesting and entertaining program as some of the participants discuss how their seedlings, their frustrations, their accomplishments, and their artwork all “grew” throughout the summer.

Morning Glory Seedling, copyright Betsy Edwards

Detailed instructions for attending this virtual gathering will be emailed to all Nature Artists’ Guild members before the meeting.

A Busy Summer for the Nature Artists’ Guild

Members enjoyed lovely weather and spectacular views at last week’s Nature Artists’ Guild paint-outs at The Morton Arboretum (Tuesday Morning Coffee Club) and the Gardens at Cantigny. Tommorow’s gathering of the Coffee Club is open to all members and meets at the cafe in the Visitors Center of The Morton Arboretum at approximately 9 am.

Plein Air painting in oil at the Gardens at Cantigny, copyright Terry Niccoli

A link to the prospectus for the guild’s upcoming exhibit, Visions of Nature, at McCord Gallery has been emailed to all members. Completed prospectuses must be returned by this Saturday, July 17, 2021.

Postcard for Nature Artists’ Guild exhibit at the McCord Gallery, 2021

The next program of the Nature Artists’ Guild will take place online on Thursday, August 5, 2021 beginning at 7 pm and will feature fellow members sharing artwork and experiences from the Seeds of Inspiration project. More details and instructions for attending will be emailed to all members closer to the program date.

Coleus, acrylic, copyright Ann Lamoureux (artwork from previous exhibit, not Seeds of Inspiration)

Tomorrow, June 3, 2021, Rhonda Nass

Rhonda Nass will be presenting an online introduction to scratchboard to members of the Nature Artists’ Guild tomorrow evening, June 3, 2021, beginning at 7 pm. Guild members received an email on May 27 with some valuable information from Rhonda as well as instructions for attending. It’s not too late to obtain a few basic scratchboard supplies to follow along!

The three slides show work in progress and the spectacular finished piece, Zinnia Medley#2, copyright Rhonda Nass.

Rhonda Nass and Scratchboard on Thursday, June 3, 2021

Zinnia Medley #3, scratchboard, copyright Rhonda Nass. Used with permission. Please click on the image to see more of Rhonda’s work.

In just one week, on Thursday, June 3, 2021, beginning at 7 pm, Rhonda Nass will be presenting an online program about using scratchboard to create stunning works of nature art to members of the Nature Artists’ Guild of The Morton Arboretum. Guild members will be receiving an email soon with more information and a link and instructions for participating.

It is a thrill and an honor for the guild to welcome back such a delightful and talented artist and educator. Please click on this link to Rhonda’s website or on the image to see more of her extraordinary work.

Scratchboard with Rhonda Nass, June 3, 2021

The Nature Artists’ Guild is honored and excited to welcome back Rhonda Nass for an online presentation beginning at 7 pm on Thursday, June 3, 2021.

Rhonda has astonished and captivated viewers with her colored pencil and acrylic work for years and has now added scratchboard to her list of media mastered. She is fondly known as a kind and sharing educator and her teaching style helps give students the confidence and inspiration needed to begin their own journey in a new medium.

Please take a moment to follow one of the highlighted links to enjoy images of Rhonda’s stunning work. More about the presentation and instructions for attending will be shared with Nature Artists’ Guild members by email and on this website in the coming weeks.

Abundant Succulents 2, scratchboard, copyright Rhonda Nass. Used with permission.

Nature Artists’ Guild Members to Spread Seeds of Inspiration

My Tomatoes and Freda’s Dill, copyright Yvonne Buckley

Members of the Nature Artists’ Guild are invited to spread some Seeds of Inspiration to fellow artists this spring!  Each participant will exchange a packet of seeds with a fellow member and then sow, grow, and show the process or results through their artwork. Sketchbooks tracking growth as well as finished pieces will be shared at the August 5th Nature Artists’ Guild meeting and through images here on this website.

All the details are in an email sent to members on March 6.  Guild members who would like to join in should let Terrie McComb know by this Saturday, March 20, 2021.  Terrie’s contact information can be found in the email or the Nature Artists’ Guild Yearbook.

Tomorrow, March 4, 2021, An Intimate Relationship with Colour with Margaret Best

Internationally renowned artist Margaret Best will present An Intimate Relationship with Colour for members of the Nature Artists Guild online, March 4, 2021, beginning at 7 pm.

Crocus watercolor painting and supplies. Copyright Margaret Best. Used with permission.

Working primarily in watercolor, Margaret has explored and studied the color system developed by early-nineteenth-century natural history artist, traveler, and adventurer Ferdinand Bauer.  Margaret will share some of her fascinating findings as well as “touch on how to make good colour choices for an effective palette.”

Natural History Museum, London, on Ferdinand Bauer –

The painter went to extreme lengths to recreate the true colour of specimens, which he noticed begins to fade soon after animals and plants die.

Rather than hurry his work or rely on memory, Bauer developed a colour referencing system in which he assigned each shade a four-digit number and meticulously recorded the various codes for each specimen.

Bauer could then complete full watercolour paintings at a later date. As a result, his illustrations are vibrant but accurate depictions of the organisms in life.

Duck billed platypus, c 1803 Ferdinand Bauer, Natural History Museum, London

Instructions and a link for attending this live online meeting were emailed to all members of the Nature Artists Guild on February 26, 2021. Please click on images or highlighted links to learn more about Margaret Best or Ferdinand Bauer.

Margaret Best Presents An Intimate Relationship with Colour on Thursday, March 4, 2021

With the snow falling and temperatures near zero, it hardly seems possible that spring blooms could be not many weeks away!

Pulsatilla patens, Prairie Crocus, copyright Margaret Best.  Used with permission.

Renowned artist and educator Margaret Best is well versed in the subtleties and surprises of nature in different climates and seasons from having grown up in South Africa, to now residing in Nova Scotia, and from traveling and teaching worldwide. Her botanical art can be found in private collections around the world, as well as at the Hunt Institute of Botanical Documentation of the Carnegie Mellon University and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Margaret will share some of her research into the innovative color system used by prolific illustrator of plants and animals in the nineteenth century Ferdinand Bauer in an online program for Nature Artists’ Guild members, An Intimate Relationship with Colour, on Thursday, March 4, 2021 beginning at 7 pm.

Please click on an image or on one of the highlighted links to reach Margaret’s website, where you can learn more about her life and art and enjoy images of her stunning paintings.  Nature Artists’ Guild members will receive by email, within the next few weeks, a link and instructions for attending the online program.

Crocus watercolor painting and supplies. Copyright Margaret Best. Used with permission.

From the Middle Triassic until Now, Tonight at 7 for Nature Artists’ Guild Members

Illustration of the oldest known dinosaur relative. Copyright Marlene Hill Donnelly, Field Museum. Please click on the image or this link for a news article about the discovery.

How do you accurately (as possible) illustrate the oldest known dinosaur relative and its habitat using only fossil records from 243 million years ago?  The Nature Artists’ Guild is excited to announce that the speaker at tonight’s online program is likely the only person in the world who has done just that!

This evening, February 4, 2021, beginning at 7 pm via live video, artist, educator, and scientist Marlene Hill Donnelly will share stories of some of her unique and fascinating experiences over the course of her career as a scientific illustrator for the world-renowned Field Museum.  Marlene often illustrated plants and animals that lived millions of years ago by creating her own models based only on fossil records and scientific knowledge.

Marlene has also worked as a freelance artist for the Belle Isle Aquarium, the Smithsonian Institution, HarperCollins, and the Honolulu Zoo, and has taught various botanical and scientific illustration and art classes at The Morton Arboretum and the Chicago Botanic Garden.

Nature Artists’ Guild members were sent an email on January 28, 2021 with a link and instructions for joining the meeting.  Any members who did not receive the link and wish to attend should contact Jane Kellenberger as soon as possible.

Nature Artists’ Guild Welcomes Back Marlene Hill Donnelly on February 4, 2021

It’s been nearly ten years since members of the Nature Artists’ Guild have had the pleasure of attending a presentation by artist, educator, and scientist Marlene Hill Donnelly.  The guild is excited to welcome her back as their first speaker of 2021.

On Thursday evening, February 4, 2021, beginning at 7 pm, via live video, Marlene will talk about some of her unique experiences over the course of her career as a scientific illustrator for the Field Museum and as a freelance artist for the Belle Isle Aquarium, the Smithsonian Institution, HarperCollins, and the Honolulu Zoo.  Marlene has also taught various art and botanical and scientific illustration classes at The Morton Arboretum, and is currently teaching at the Chicago Botanic Garden.

Detail of Landscape Reconstructed – Greenland, copyright Marlene Hill Donnelly.

Instructions for joining this program will be emailed to all Nature Artists’ Guild members later this month. Those who have not yet joined or renewed for 2021 are encouraged to do so before the end of January to ensure that they receive the participation instructions.