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Painting Landscapes

Schedule and Location

Saturday, May 4, 2019, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Thornhill Education Center

Fees and Registration

$75.00 member
$88.00 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 Description

Capture Arboretum landscapes on canvas with local artist and author Joel Sheesley. This plein air (outdoor) painting workshop will begin with a short discussion of Sheesley’s approach to landscape painting. The class will then move outside to practice plein air painting on the Arboretum's grounds.

Sheesley will demonstrate techniques and provide one-on-one support to participants as they construct compositions and develop their paintings.  The session will conclude with a group critique involving all participants.

Course number



Joel Sheesley, artist and author

A retired professor of art, plein air artist Joel Sheesley has captured DuPage County’s natural spaces across seasons. After a year-long study of Lincoln Marsh, he recently completed a partnership with The Conservation Foundation for Art of the Fox as part of its Fox River Initiative, a program to help connect residents with the river and engage them in becoming environmentally conscious through local projects. As artist in residence, Sheesley set up his easel at various points along the river in all kinds of weather at different times of the day to showcase the beauty of the natural areas and human communities along its shores, creating 73 paintings that captured the river's varied habitats and geography through the four seasons.

Sheesley’s travels included canoeing to some locations, hiking trails and off the path with his French easel and paint box across his back, and even camping overnight to capture the light from the sunset and sunrise as it caressed the river’s surface. Following the meandering river, Sheesley found himself in some diverse habitats: wetlands, agricultural, glacially formed lakes, sandstone bluffs and densely populated urban areas.

Course Details

  • Notes: Held indoors and outdoors. Dress for the weather. Participants should have an understanding of the fundamentals of drawing and working with color. Limit 16
  • Supplies: Bring a lunch and your own painting materials, including a portable easel, painting support (ex. stretched canvas), brushes, paints (oil paint or other media), and appropriate solvents. A wide-brimmed hat, comfortable shoes, sunscreen, and bug repellent are strongly recommended.

Arboretum class weather, cancellation and refund policies