Classes and Exhibits


Exhibit postcard
© 2017 Karen A Johnson

“Nature’s Transitions”– An Art Exhibit by Karen Johnson and Suzanne Wegener

Where: Heller Nature Center-2821 Ridge Rd. Highland Park, IL 60035

When: May 2 to July 2, 2017

Reception and Demonstration: Saturday, May 6, 2017, 1-3 pm

Local artists Karen A. Johnson and Suzanne Wegener will be exhibiting their work at the Heller Nature Center Prairie Room.  The exhibit entitled “Transitions” includes a variety of media that captures details of nature’s moments as seen through the eyes of the artists.

Heller will also host a special artist’s reception on Saturday, May 6 from 1-3 pm. The public is welcome to view the exhibit, meet the artists, and learn more about their techniques.

Both Johnson and Wegener are natural science illustrators with degrees in science and art. Combining art and science allows the artists to accurately portray the often overlooked parts of the world around us.

The “Transitions” exhibit is free and runs through Saturday, July 1. Patrons interested in viewing the exhibit should call the Heller Nature Center at 847-433-6901 in advance to assure the Prairie Room is available for their visit.

Hours: Mon-Fri: 8:30 am-5 pm   Sat: 9 am-3 pm    Sun: Closed


 At the Morton Arboretum-4100 ILLINOIS ROUTE 53, LISLE, IL 60532

Basking Buckeye (acrylic) Karen A Johnson copyright 2012

Acrylic paint is a versatile medium that can be used in layers like watercolor or in thick strokes like oil.  It has very different properties than any of those media however.  Come explore and learn a new medium and its exciting characteristics with Karen, a natural science illustrator, as she walks you through how she uses acrylics in her work.

Instructor: Karen Johnson, freelance artist
Notes: No experience necessary.  Limit 15

Course number: A001

Four Thursdays, May 25 through June 15, 2017, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Cudahy Auditorium, Administration Building


Nonmembers: Fees include admission to the Arboretum.

$138.00 members
$162.00 nonmembers

CALL: 630-719-2468 (or to be wait listed)
IN PERSON: Stop by the Visitor Center during open hours.

at the Fine Line Creative Arts Center-37W570 Bolcum Road, St. Charles, IL 60175

© 2016 Karen A Johnson

Drawing and Painting Flowers

Increase your drawing and painting skills in this class that uses flowers as your subject matter. Learn how to draw and then transfer a flower to canvas and then bring it to life. Karen will share her technique for layering rich backgrounds and painting realistic depictions of flowers. At the end of the class we’ll have a show and tell of our garden of paintings!

Supplies: Bring a fairly simple flower in a pot or vase. Sketchbook or drawing paper, pencil, eraser, 2-8″ x 10″ (or similar size) gessoed boards or canvas (one will be for practice), shallow plastic container with lid-at least 5″ x 7″ (used for palette for paint), paper towels, water container, a couple of small plastic containers to mix paint in, mister, sponge or rag, brushes-(2″, 1″, #12 & 4 flats, #0 & 4 rounds or whatever acrylic brushes you have that can do detail), acrylic paint-(some suggestions: titanium white, lemon yellow, cadmium yellow light, aureolin yellow, permanent rose, cadmium red light, quinacridone magenta, burnt sienna, cerulean blue, ultramarine blue, indanthrene blue, hookers green). If you have a favorite palette, you’re welcome to bring those colors.
Location: Kavanagh Building
Days: Wednesdays: May 31 – June 21; 12:30pm – 3:30pm ;
Class ID: 217214190
Class Price: $145
Member Price: $120

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