Classes and Exhibits


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

Female Blue Dasher on Grass
© 2016 Karen A Johnson

Bring insects to life in your artwork. Work side-by-side with artist and insect aficionado Karen Johnson and learn to to capture life-like postures and detailed renderings of insects. See them under the microscope and study their intricate anatomy.  Learn to place insects realistically within your paintings, and study the posture and behavior of commonly found garden insects. Photographs as well as specimens from the collections will be used. Karen will demonstrate in acrylic, but if you are comfortable in a different medium, you are welcome to use it.
 Schedule and Location

Four Thursdays, March 7 through 28, 2019, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Administration Building

Fees and Registration

$138.00 member
$162.00 nonmember
(Fees include admission to the Arboretum)

BY PHONE: 630-719-2468 (Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.)

Course Details

  • Prerequisite: This is an intermediate/advanced course; basic drawing skills and an understanding of color theory required.
  • Notes: A supply list will be provided. Limit 15
  • Course number: A262


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

© 2016 Karen A Johnson


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: April 10 – 24; 12:30pm – 3:30pm ;
Class ID: 219114030
Class Price: $115
Member Price: $90(check your newsletter for discount code)
Materials Fee: $0


Nature Artists’ Guild Spring Exhibit

Wishing for Spring
© 2019 Karen A Johnson

Date: April 6-7 from 10 am – 4 pm at Cudahy Auditorium at the Morton Arboretum, Lisle, IL.  Artists’ reception on Friday, April 5 from 4-8 pm.

Karen Johnson will be the featured show artist.  Come see artwork featuring plants and insects in paintings, sculpture and jewelry.




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