March 19, 2016

Award-winning pastel painter Margaret Dyer has lived in Atlanta, GA, since her family moved from New York in 1960. She attended the Atlanta College of Art at the High Museum of Art and furthered her studies under painters Roman Chatov, Kate Fetterolf and Jim Richards.

A Master Pastelist with the Pastel Society of America, Masters Circle in the International Association of Pastel Societies and award-winner in the American Impressionist Society, Margaret has made her living for over 20 years selling her work and teaching.


One of our most popular and motivating instructors, Margaret returns to the Hudson River Valley Art Workshops July 17 to 23, 2016 to teach her Pastel Figures class. Margaret has previously taught three-day Workshops here, so we’re really pleased that this year, students will have the chance to spend a full five days working with live models in the Studio.


Yellow bucket 8x10


How long have you been teaching and what got you started teaching?

It’s been so long ago that I can’t count the years. Maybe 15, 20 years ago? I really don’t know. I had been selling my work through galleries and festivals–you can imagine how difficult it can be to make a living strictly on sales–so I decided to try teaching as a way to supplement my income. I was afraid I might not be a good teacher so I signed up to teach a class far out of town. In case I failed miserably, nobody would hear about it. I discovered I loved teaching.


Denise with striped fabric


What is your favorite part about teaching?

I get thrilled when I see the student’s eyes widen in enlightenment. That ‘Aha! I understand!’ moment. I like knowing that I can play a part, however small, in opening new doors for someone.


Sunday morning


What would you tell your prospective students are the three best reasons for taking a workshop?

It is a luxury to have total immersion in art for 3 days or more. Learning a new technique can be invaluable. Getting to know the instructor and being a part of a wonderful community of artists.


Model dakota


What are you currently working on in your own art?

I am currently transitioning from pastels to oils. I too take classes and have found a teacher who is able to unlock what has been stubbornly hidden in me for many years. I am always striving to improve my work.

Evening 12x16

Where is your art currently being exhibited?

At this moment you can see my work at Sue Stewart Fine Art in Charleston, SC and Lagerquist Gallery in Atlanta, GA.


Cumberland island ponies


Is your work represented in galleries, and if so, what hints would you give to artists looking for gallery representation?

I am represented by Lagerquist Gallery in Atlanta, GA; Sue Stewart Fine Art in Charleston, SC; River Gallery in Chattanooga, TN; Allison Sprock Fine Art in Charlotte, NC.

If an artist wants to approach a gallery, I would suggest he or she have a body of work, maybe 6 -10 finished pieces to show the gallery operator. Be bold. Be different. Be consistent. Trust the gallery owners; they know what sells, they know the appropriate prices.


Little boy


Do you sell your work in any online gallery?

I sell my small works through my blog and I sell my larger works through galleries.


Rosza at Night


What is your favorite art quote?

“Inspiration exists, but it has to find us working.” Pablo Picasso


Describe your studio.

Unfortunately my studio at the moment is in my mudroom. I have an easel between my laundry door and my office. I am splattering paint all over the floor and walls. It’s a mess.

But soon I will have a beautiful northern sunlight-filled room with high ceilings. I am converting a detached garage to a studio but it’s only at its beginning stages. I won’t have a real studio for many months. Until then, my studio is my mudroom, and I’m too embarrassed to provide a picture of it!


Name five of your “can’t do without” tools/products.

  1. my iPad
  2. my camera
  3. my portable pochade box
  4. a good black pastel or tube of oil paint
  5. my glasses!