Tribute to a Treasured Tool

The New York Times Magazine recently published a short photo essay about the manufacturing process of pencils.  Don’t let the seemingly technical title, Inside One of America’s Last Pencil Factories, fool you – the photos and prose are a love letter to one of our oldest and most versatile tools.  At first glance, the photography will grab your attention and you might be tempted to skim through the text.  While doing so, you may come across a few phrases that convince you to go back to the beginning and savor the words.  For more tributes from artists and writers, visit the comments sections (use the “Readers Picks” option for some of the best).  You may never look at a pencil the same way again.

From The New York Times Magazine, “Inside One of America’s Last Pencil Factories”. Photo by Christopher Payne. Please click on photo or one of the highlighted links for full article.

Lori Stralow Harris and Butterflies on June 1, 2017

Update – We apologize, but due to a scheduling concern, Lori will not be presenting the June 2017 program.  Please join us instead for a presentation by Marge Hall on June 1, 2017 from 7 until 9 pm.

Artist and educator Lori Stralow Harris opened the Salt Creek Butterfly Farm in 2012 in an effort to provide a “wide variety of opportunities for children and adults to slow down, observe, and appreciate the quiet but spectacular presence of butterflies in our world.”

On Thursday, June 1, 2017 from 7 until 9 pm, members of the Nature Artists’ Guild, guests, and visitors will have the chance to experience one of these opportunities as Lori brings her talents as well as some live butterflies to the Thornhill Education Center of The Morton Arboretum.

Attendees are encouraged to bring their camera and sketchbooks to this unique presentation! As always, guests and visitors are welcome to attend this Nature Artists’ Guild sponsored program, and there is no charge for admission or parking. Visitors should let the gate attendant know they are there for the program in order to be admitted free-of-charge and directed to Thornhill.

Please click on this link for the Salt Creek Butterfly Farm or the photo below to read much more about Lori and her fascinating mission.

Photo credit Copyright Lori Harris.

Annual Danada Nature Art and Photo Exhibit October 8 and 9, 2016

The Friends of Danada are proud to present their annual Nature Art and Photo exhibit on the weekend of October 8 and 9, 2016 between 11 am and 5 pm. Nature artists and photographers throughout the Chicagoland area are invited to participate in this juried exhibit located inside Danada House, the beautiful and historic former home of Dan and Ada Rice, at 3S507 Naperville Road in Wheaton, IL.

Danada House entrance. Photo credit

Danada House entrance. Photo credit

The Friends of Danada Nature Art and Photo Exhibit is held in conjunction with the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County’s largest event of the year, the annual Danada Fall Festival. This popular festival is held on Sunday at the Danada Equestrian Center, on the grounds of Danada House, and attracts over 10,000 visitors each year.  Parking and admission to the event are free-of-charge.

An artists and photographers reception will be held at Danada House on Friday, October 7, 2016 from 7 to 9 pm. Winners in the various categories will be announced at that time.

For more information about participating in the Friends of Danada Nature Art and Photo Exhibit, please click here for Friends of Danada contact information.

Update:  Susan Bartlett’s Paper, pictured below, was awarded a first place ribbon at the Danada Nature Art and Photo Exhibit.  This stunning work is “colored pencil on five different papers and is titled Paper in reference to the paper birch, paper kite butterfly, paper wasp and paper whites”. Congratulations to Susan and all of the other Nature Artists’ Guild members who participated, some of whom were awarded “Honorable Mention” ribbons.

"Paper" copyright Susan Bartlett

“Paper” copyright Susan Bartlett

Call for Artists for The Morton Arboretum Wine & Art Walk

The Morton Arboretum will be presenting a “Wine and Art Walk” on the weekend of August 27th and 28th, 2016.  This juried art festival will feature the works of approximately 80 nature artists “in a wooded and open area along a paved trail around Meadow Lake located near the Visitor Center”.

Applications will be accepted until March 25, 2016. Interested artists can read more about the festival and application process by clicking on this link to the event page of The Morton Arboretum’s website.

Speaking of Raptors!

Last week we posted a notice about an opportunity to photograph raptors.  This week, Nature Artists’ Guild member Carla Schmakel has shared with us some more news about raptors – information about an art exhibit featuring owls at Glacial Park Conservation Area in McHenry County, Illinois.

Only Owls will be exhibited until March 8, 2015 at the Lost Valley Visitor Center at Glacial Park Conservation Area.  Please click on this link to the McHenry Country Conservation District website to see an example of the artwork  and to read more about Glacial Park. According to the website, “Only Owls brings together an array of 40 artistic representations in pencil, charcoal, ink, watercolor, and woodcut drawn from the Woodson Art Museum’s collection. A compliment of owl facts and artifacts will be on display offering a blend of natural history information and art appreciation.”

This link to the Glacial Park Conservation Area website page offers much more information about this unique natural area, and by clicking on this link to the Lost Valley Visitor Center, you will find be able to read more about the center, including the address and visiting hours.

Thanks for the tip, Carla.  It sounds like a fascinating opportunity!

The Morton Arboretum Photographic Society (MAPS) Would Like to Share this Opportunity

Our friends at The Morton Arboretum Photographic Society (MAPS) wanted to let us know about this rare opportunity to see and photograph raptors on Saturday, February 7, 2015.  You can read more by clicking on this link to the Stillman Nature Center’s website.

For those who love to photograph the raptors…

Stillman Nature Center is offering “RAPTORS for PHOTOGRAPHERS”

Stillman Nature Center is offering its third annual winter raptor photography day. Now’s your chance to get a close-up of a peregrine falcon, broad-winged hawk, red-shouldered hawk plus great horned, barn, barred, and screech owls. The Stillman volunteers will bring the birds out in the afternoon light to increase your chances of getting that perfect image. Drop by anytime between 3:00 and 4:30 PM on Saturday, February 7th.  Cost is $20 per person.  This is a fund raiser for the nature center.  Stillman Nature Center is located at 33 W. Penny Rd, South Barrington, IL.

HeeYoung Kim Workshops at Ryerson Woods

Many Nature Artists’ Guild members will remember HeeYoung Kim from her wonderful presentation for our members.  Others may have seen her on Chicago Tonight speaking about her botanical art.  Now, we are glad to share the news that HeeYoung will be conducting workshops at the Brushwood Center at Ryerson Woods, 21850 Riverwoods Road, Riverwoods, IL  in January and February of 2015.

The Saturday workshops, “Composition Rules” in January, and “Bold and Modern Design in Ink” in February, each feature a fresh modern approach to botanical art.

For more information about the workshops or other classes taught by HeeYoung, please click on this link to her blog, or on this link to the website of the Brushwood Center at Ryerson Woods.

Thank you to Nature Artists’ Guild member Barbara Rose for this tip!