Mayslake Art Exhibit "Double Vision: Cooperative Art"

A Blog Story About Nature in Our DuPage Forest Preserves

Mayslake Art Exhibit "Double Vision: Cooperative Art"

Posted by Forest Preserve District of DuPage County | 1/19/21 3:02 PM

They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but what about art? It too is subject to interpretation, as two artistic groups from Mayslake Peabody Estate prove in their collaborative virtual art exhibit titled “Double Vision: Cooperative Art.”

In summer 2020 the Mayslake Exploring Watercolor Class partnered with the Mayslake Nature Study Photography Club to share their interpretations of art. The idea was simple: photographers submitted nature photos and watercolor artists chose a photo to paint. The result is a stunningly rich mosaic of art on display below, and featured on Mayslake’s Facebook page on Fridays beginning Jan. 15.

“These photos and watercolor art are the result of our second year of collaboration,” said Steve Ornberg, president of the photography club. “It is always interesting and impressive to see how the artist renders the photo images as watercolor art.”

Creativity takes inner vision, as any artist will tell you. According to Ann Grill, instructor of the “Exploring Watercolor” class at Mayslake, “Artists and photographers rarely find their art forms run parallel to each other. The artist is more inspired by the mood and impression, and the photographer more inclined to capture the moment and the feeling. In this time of COVID-19 it can be hard to feel creative, but the beautiful images the Mayslake Nature Study Photography Club shared with our Exploring Watercolors group were inspiring.”

The exhibit also challenges the viewer to see artwork in different ways. “It’s an enriching experience to see one piece of artwork interpreted in another art medium,” said Shannon Burns, Mayslake education program coordinator who curated the exhibit. “It forces the viewer to see the photograph in a new and unique way.”

Enjoy the virtual “Double Vision: Cooperative Art” exhibit below, along with accompanying artist’s statements. Some of the art in “Double Vision: Cooperative Art” is for sale. For more information, contact Shannon Burns at sburns@dupageforest.org.

We also invite you to try your hand at making some cooperative art on your own with this fun DuPage Forest Preserves @Home activity.


Mt. Hood

Ann Grill, Mayslake Exploring Watercolor class instructor 

During COVID-19 we haven't been able to travel to Oregon, a place of majestic beauty that we love. Trillium Lake looking towards volcanic Mt. Hood appears so peaceful at sunset, hiding the power the mountain contains.

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Steve Ornberg, president, Mayslake Nature Study Photography Club

I have always dreamed of getting this photo. I previously had traveled to Mt. Hood, Oregon in April but had to turn back because there was still a foot of snow on the ground and the road to Trillium Lake was closed. I went again in late June and the snow was thankfully gone. This image was taken at sunset and I was lucky that Mt. Hood was not engulfed in clouds. The setting sun lit up the clouds and there was no wind, so Trillium Lake provided a great mirror image of Mt. Hood.

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Hummingbird

Jackie Clare Louis, watercolor

I am a retired artist that enjoys sharing art with fellow artists and other art lovers. Since retiring I now have time to learn and improve my skills. I hope you enjoy this lovely little hummingbird as much as I enjoyed painting it from the photograph.

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William Ludemann, photograph

This is a photo of a female ruby-throated hummingbird. I have tried to get this photo for a long time. I set it up by placing a lobelia flower into one of the openings of my hummingbird feeder. The photo was taken through my kitchen window.

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Spring Beauty

Mary Ellen McDermott, watercolor

I chose to paint this picture in watercolor based on the photo Spring Beauty. I am intrigued by looking at nature from unique perspectives and was challenged by the detail it displayed.
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Barbara Dunn, photograph

The triangular shapes in this photo created by this flower’s leaves and green accent colors attracted me to it as a photographic subject. The light during that late afternoon was inviting, evenly illuminating the petals and bringing out their textures. I love the details found in nature, and try to capture their beauty in my images.

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Thermal Mist

Laura Stratis, watercolor
I have had a brush in my hand since age of 7. In high school, I started to play around with watercolors and enjoyed the spontaneity of the paint. My paintings are strongly influenced by my travels around the world, and the mood that light creates with shadows and reflections. Ultimately, the goal of my work is to capture the essence of the subject and entertain the viewer through the use of lost and found edges. A painting should not be too literal, but an interpretation of what is seen through the eyes of the artist.

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Charles Peterson, photograph

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The Back Stairs

Linda Schmitt, watercolor
I liked the stark look of the picture and the challenge of the stairs. I usually paint with a colorful palette, so this was an exercise in restraint and trying to achieve a bleak look.

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Fran Piepenbrink, photograph
For me this image is all about lines — the roof line, the stair rails, the stair steps and the open doorway under the stairs. The composition was thought out to include the full staircase at an angle where the openness of the stair steps could be seen. There also needed to be an unobstructed view of the open doorway under the stairs. (Photo taken at Old Joliet Prison)
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Coats of Many Colors

Rita Rosen, watercolor
Coming from a background in graphic design and branching off into watercolor instruction, I chose this photo for its angularity and colorful depiction of rusting iron. It was a fun project.

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Fran Piepenbrink, photograph
I love being outside in nature and my photography is an extension of that love. Both bring me enjoyment, peace and a break from everyday stress and worries. I try to capture the beauty I see in a manner that conveys not just what I saw, but how I felt about the subject or place. I share my work in the hopes it will encourage others to appreciate and enjoy nature too. (Photo taken at Old Joliet Prison)

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Nature’s Umbrella

Marilyn Dean, watercolor
The photographer called the photo Nature's Umbrella, referring to where the little yellow bird has taken shelter from the rain. I chose it because of the name and the fact I wanted to use yellow paint for a change. I like to paint from what I see with my own eyes, but it's fun to share a vision with the photographer!  

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Ramu Bijanki, photograph

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Yellow Warbler: Ready to Go!

Deming Payne, watercolor

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Christine Dewey, photograph
I love being outside in nature and my photography is an extension of that love. Both bring me enjoyment, peace and a break from everyday stress and worries. I try to capture the beauty that I see in a manner that conveys not just what I saw, but how I felt about the subject or place. I share my work hoping it will encourage others to appreciate and enjoy nature too. 

8-yellow-warbler-ready-to-go-Christine-Dewey


Portrait of a King

Laura Stratis, watercolor
I have had a brush in my hand since age of 7. In high school, I started to play around with watercolors and enjoyed the spontaneity of the paint. My paintings are strongly influenced by my travels around the world, and the mood that light creates with shadows and reflections. Ultimately, the goal of my work is to capture the essence of the subject and entertain the viewer through the use of lost and found edges. A painting should not be too literal, but an interpretation of what is seen through the eyes of the artist.

9-Portrai- of-a-K ing-Laura-Stratis

Chuck Klingsporn, photograph
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Yellow Joy

Jessica Pekny, watercolor
I loved the photographic image of the yellow bird. I love watching birds on my bird feeder. They make me happy. They are such dear, beautiful creatures. I found out that yellow birds mean joy, hence the name. I loved the challenge of copying the photo and interpreting in watercolor.

10-Yellow-Warbler-Jessica-Pekny

Steve Ornberg, photograph
Magee Marsh, situated on the southern shore of Lake Erie, is a prime stopover for North American warblers during spring migration in mid-May. I have always wanted to visit Magee Marsh to photograph the many different species of warblers. I spent two days walking the nearly 2-mile long boardwalk with a few thousand other birders and photographers. Whenever a rare bird was seen, everyone would gather around with binoculars and long photo lenses to try and capture a glimpse. Yellow warblers were very colorful and plentiful at Magee Marsh. I was lucky enough to photograph over 20 different bird species on this trip, many of which were “lifers” for me.

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A River Runs Through It

Ruth Morrison, watercolor
I spent many vacations with my husband in Colorado's Rocky Mountain National Park. The photo of the rocky stream, which I titled Rushing Mountain Stream, reminded me of our favorite hiking trips. I tried to capture the feeling in my watercolor.

11-A-River-Runs-Through-It-Ruth-Morrison

Steve Ornberg, photograph
This photo was taken on a trip to Colorado to photograph the autumn colors in October. The scenes were grand and magnificent. I stopped at a roadside trailhead and a few hundred yards in crossed a small river. I was drawn to the colorful rocks, leaves and water. I was fascinated by this intimate scene with the light on the water flowing over rocks with colorful leave on top. It was a very calming scene and I sat by the water taking in all the sights and sounds.

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Dickcissel

Rose Marie Dagostino, watercolor

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Steve Ornberg, photograph
This was a fortunate capture of a dickcissel, a small seed-eating bird that breeds on the prairie grasslands of the Midwest. On a trip to Nachusa Grasslands, this was the first time I saw and heard a dickcissel. It was sitting and singing loudly on top of a plant begging to be noticed. The basic song is a simple, buzzy dick-dick-see-see-see, which is how it got its name.

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Ready to Dive

Linda Schmitt - watercolor
I loved the water in the photo Ready to Dive and the sweet expression on the merganser’s face and wanted to try and capture both. This was very fun to paint.

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William Ludemann, photograph
This photo of a female common merganser was taken at the Tracey Aviary in Salt Lake City, Utah. We have two sons who live in Salt Lake City. The aviary is one of my favorite places to visit. This is a photo of a wild bird stopping at the aviary during the fall migration.

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Purple Spiderwort

Ann Grill, watercolor class Instructor
This little flower, purple spiderwort, always surprised me with its diminutive size relative to the punch it packed in the garden. With a mind of its own, it always resisted transplanting!

14-Purple-Spiderwort-Ann-Grill

Sue Gajda, photograph
Colors in the prairie change as the seasons progress. In spring, one of the first colors you see after the browns of winter is the purple of the spiderwort. The combination of colors — deep purple petals, bright yellow stamens and soft green leaves — beg to photographed. The bees love to come to visit and so do I. This spiderwort was photographed at the Schulenberg Prairie at Morton Arboretum in Lisle, IL.

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Milky Way at Crater Lake

Tim Tertell, watercolor
I chose the photo for the overwhelming night sky. The sight of sky is not dark but lit up by the stars. Running down the center is the band of stars that give the Milky Way its name. It’s a beautiful sight.

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Steve Ornberg, photograph
I have always loved photographing the Milky Way. I traveled to Crater Lake specifically to capture this photo. Crater Lake is at 5,000 foot elevation and the skies are almost free of any atmospheric or light pollution. The Milky Way is so bright it casts shadows on the ground! This shot was made on July 1 and it was 38 degrees with a 30-mph wind — so it was very cold. But it was worth it to capture this image.

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Topics: Insider, Recreation, Plants, Take 5, Wildlife, Nature, Club, Group, native plant

Written by Forest Preserve District of DuPage County

The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County manages nearly 26,000 acres in 60 forest preserves containing prairies, woodlands and wetlands.