Visiting Artist Series: Nature in Word and Image with Julie Zickefoose


A sketch of a baby bird in a nest
Join artist, author, and field biologist Julie Zickefoose for a two-day exploration of nature through art and writing. Learn to turn your journal page into a meaningful, personal expression of the natural world using sketches and words. Deepen your connection to the outdoors through a combination of observation, writing and sketching activities.

Begin on day one with an exploration of Julie’s watercolor techniques, and learn how her long relationship with birds has inspired her art and writing. Focus on your own relationship with nature through indoor and outdoor exercises that sharpen your observation, writing, and sketching skills. Learn to “melt” into nature using situational awareness in order to experience your surroundings more fully. Put pencil to paper to explore your insights through creative journaling and sketching.

Day two is all about the birds! Class will begin offsite at Willowbrook Wildlife Center, just two miles from the Arboretum, where native wildlife--including birds, bobcats, and more--find refuge and rehabilitation. After a demonstration of techniques, you’ll get to work, writing, sketching, and painting in your journal. Use your favorite medium to practice under Julie's guidance. Whether applying dashes of color to your journal or creating a detailed painting, Julie will help you develop pieces that reflect the true nature of your subject matter.

Whether you are a birder, an artist, a writer, or some combination of these, you will be delighted by Julie’s passion, knowledge, and artistry.

About Julie Zickefoose
Julie Zickefoose is the author of Baby Birds: An Artist Looks into the Nest, the product of 13 years' deep involvement and close observation of nestling birds. Julie's paintings break new ground in both art and ornithology, describing the development of 17 bird species from egg to fledging. Her extensive portfolio reflects her deep love and understanding of birds, which she depicts with incredible accuracy, in their appropriate habitat, with careful attention to composition and light.  Learn more and view her portfolio at

Instructor: Julie Zickefoose, author and artist
Notes: Bring a journal or sketchpad, pencils, erasers, a small chair. Optional: Bring your favorite color medium, if you wish. Most supplies are available to borrow from the Arboretum if needed. Call the registrar’s office to learn more.  Limit 18

Course number


Schedule and Location

Two days: Friday and Saturday, June 8 and 9, 2018, 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (SOLD OUT)

  • Day 1: Friday, June 8, Thornhill Education Center, The Morton Arboretum
  • Day 2: Saturday, June 9, Willowbrook Wildlife Center


Please check out Julie's Friday evening class Personal Habitat: Creating a Haven for Wildlife (and Yourself).


Fees and Admission

Nonmembers: Fees include admission to the Arboretum. 

$150.00 member
$172.00 nonmember

Registration Information

This class is sold out. 
Please call the registrar at 630-719-2468 to be wait listed.
(Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.)