PROFESSIONALLY SPEAKING   

In the Picture with Margaret Evans

In this issue we step into the studio of artist Margaret Evans as she talks about her artistic journey 

Trying to describe my working life as an artist is difficult, as it’s so much more than just painting or teaching art, and figuring out how I reached the stage I am at today, and where it all began.

After graduating from the University of London with my Art Teacher’s Certificate, I built up a reputation for portrait commissions, and, as my family expanded, having children inspired more portraits, and our pet cats and dogs spilled into pet portraits! Life continued to dictate what I should paint when I returned to Scotland and became inspired by the beautiful Scottish Highlands.

Clouds at Sunset’, pastel and gouache, 51x51cm

I would never have dreamt at that stage that I’d lead painting holidays and visit art societies all over the world, or even paint outdoors! But from early beginnings of teaching in adult education, emerged our aspirations for the family - to move to the countryside and set up painting studios where people would come to join art workshops, and where we could offer picture framing and run a gallery.

Those studios, Shinafoot, are celebrating 25 years in business, and we are now expanding to offer painting holidays around the world, and art group management services, which put together painting holidays for art societies and other teaching artists.

‘Rooftops Lucca, Tuscany’, pastel, 53x48cm

A great stepping stone for me was being involved with the SAA in its early days – I am still proud that I was invited to be the first President after founder Alwyn Crawshaw, and thoroughly enjoyed those three years meeting members, teaching workshops and writing articles for Paint.

‘Gondoliero’, pastel 33x23cm 

No-one could have realised that the early videos we were filming for the art market would continue to re-invent themselves, firstly into DVDs, then onto satellite television, Internet programmes and such like. It’s a pleasure, and often a surprise, to see where your name pops up.

My husband was highly amused when a man in the street approached me one day, saying he’d seen me on TV the night before, and it was hilarious being recognised in Tesco, making me blush bright pink! Life is full of surprises, and receiving invitations to teach workshops in foreign countries, as well as meeting art societies to talk about painting, continues to make our lives unpredictable and exciting.

To date we have been to Australia three times, India three times, and have made regular visits all over USA, as well as taking in our annual selection of breathtaking locations around Europe; we even inadvertently found our daughter’s husband-to-be through running our Paintaways in Tuscany, one of our favourite locations.

‘Portrait of Mel’, pastel, 26x23cm 

Pastels are without doubt my passport to painting, although I maintain my love of oil painting, and teach watercolours, pen & wash and acrylics. My watercolour sketchbooks travel with me, providing quick sketches which later inspire paintings I do in the studio.

There’s now a bookcase full of these colourful books, which tell my story pictorially, far better than I could put it into words One of the most gratifying aspects of teaching has been the repeat visits from my students. I have many who make weekly, monthly and annual trips to learn from me, and this not only fills me with pride, but keeps me focused on learning and improving myself, so that my teaching never becomes stale.

Demonstrating at the Pastel Society of America in New York 

Although I have the same basic principles that I feel are important to teach, I like to challenge myself continually with new ideas and techniques, and my regular students never quite know in which direction I’m going to push them next! Someone once said to me: “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got!” Never a truer word was spoken, and every New Year I set challenges for my own development, and make sure I push my students a bit further – there’s no resting on your laurels in my studio!

‘Snow on Sgurr’, oil, 20x20cm 

Nowadays, we have so many ways to access theory, from books, DVDs and television, to computers, but it’s no use having your head stuck in theory if you don’t practise practise practise….and be willing to experiment, take risks, and don’t forget to enjoy the process. Painting is such good fun, whether it’s a hobby or your career, and happy teachers love to share that knowledge with their students!

Margaret is a Signature member of the Pastel Society of America, Pastel Artists of Canada, and Art du Pastel in France.

Her numerous books and DVDs are available from the SAA, and she is currently working on her new book ‘Pastels Unleashed’ to be published by Search Press later this year. She has Paintaways planned in Tuscany, Venice, Sicily and France this year, as well as South Carolina and New Mexico.

Full details are available at www.shinafoot.co.uk Details of Art Group Management can also be requested from info@shinafoot.co.uk


PROFESSIONALLY SPEAKING   

In the Picture with Margaret Evans

In this issue we step into the studio of artist Margaret Evans as she talks about her artistic journey 

Trying to describe my working life as an artist is difficult, as it’s so much more than just painting or teaching art, and figuring out how I reached the stage I am at today, and where it all began.

After graduating from the University of London with my Art Teacher’s Certificate, I built up a reputation for portrait commissions, and, as my family expanded, having children inspired more portraits, and our pet cats and dogs spilled into pet portraits! Life continued to dictate what I should paint when I returned to Scotland and became inspired by the beautiful Scottish Highlands.

Clouds at Sunset’, pastel and gouache, 51x51cm

I would never have dreamt at that stage that I’d lead painting holidays and visit art societies all over the world, or even paint outdoors! But from early beginnings of teaching in adult education, emerged our aspirations for the family - to move to the countryside and set up painting studios where people would come to join art workshops, and where we could offer picture framing and run a gallery.

Those studios, Shinafoot, are celebrating 25 years in business, and we are now expanding to offer painting holidays around the world, and art group management services, which put together painting holidays for art societies and other teaching artists.

‘Rooftops Lucca, Tuscany’, pastel, 53x48cm

A great stepping stone for me was being involved with the SAA in its early days – I am still proud that I was invited to be the first President after founder Alwyn Crawshaw, and thoroughly enjoyed those three years meeting members, teaching workshops and writing articles for Paint.

‘Gondoliero’, pastel 33x23cm 

No-one could have realised that the early videos we were filming for the art market would continue to re-invent themselves, firstly into DVDs, then onto satellite television, Internet programmes and such like. It’s a pleasure, and often a surprise, to see where your name pops up.

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