Margaret Evans is one of Scotland’s renowned international artists. She teaches all over the world and is the author of numbers art books and DVDs. Her latest book is Pastels Unleashed.
Margaret has been coming back to teach for us over and over again. Her workshops are always so dynamic and fun because of her enthusiasm, knowledge, and sense of humor!
She will be back again this June to teach a 5-day workshop based on her new book, Pastels Unleashed.
Here are Margaret’s responses to our interview questions:
How long have you been teaching and what got you started teaching?
I started teaching in adult education when my children were still small, so evenings to begin with and gradually built up until my husband and I were like ships passing in the night!
What is your favorite part about teaching?
My favourite part is probably the very part that scared me senseless in the beginning – walking into a room full of strangers, showing them not so much what I can do, but what they can do with positive attitude, perseverance and faith! And mostly out of that, a few good friends emerge for the future! I am truly blessed by the quantity of repeat business I still have after 25+ years teaching , which always helps me think I must be doing something right!
What would you tell your prospective students are three best reasons for taking a workshop?
What – only three??!! Firstly, they are broadening their own personal horizons by indulging in something they feel interested in… Secondly, they will enjoy meeting like-minded people, sharing the same interests, fears, and challenges, and make great new friends. And thirdly,…well..they will meet ME, learn how to paint, how to express themselves on paper/canvas/board etc., and pick up a few exclusive Scottish words in the process! What’s not to like??!!
What are you currently working on in your own art?
At present, I am working on new techniques, new ideas and new ways of introducing pastel as a strong contender for painting sales in galleries. I have cut back the number of workshops I will teach at home in the future, and am concentrating on painting more for galleries & exhibitions, plus teaching only for people like HRV. The workload on my easels consists of – more Scottish paintings for home galleries, new Italian work for International Galleries, and some Colorado work for my represented gallery in Denver, CO.
Where is your art currently being exhibited?
My work is in most of the top Scottish galleries, Elements5280 Gallery near Denver CO, Swanston Gallery IND and hopefully soon the Ann Jackson Gallery in Roswell Atlanta GA ( my incentive is that my son lives there and gets married in December this year!)
Is your work represented in galleries, and if so, what hints would you give to artists looking for gallery representation?
See above…. I would recommend studying the galleries that suit your style of work best, chat with the owner, let them know about your objectives, and your dedication to help them sell your work by promoting the galleries, and constantly striving to ‘better’ your work, and ‘up your game’!
Do you sell your work in any online gallery?
I have tried – honestly I have – Etsy, Daily Paintworks to mention 2, but find it all so time-consuming, and truly believe that my job is to paint, and the galleries who represent me ….their job is to sell! Call me old-fashioned, but that’s what I think it should be like, instead of trying to be all things to all people.
What is your favorite art quote?
It has to be Ed Whitney’s great quote ” Tell beautiful lies” reminding the artist not to copy what’s in front of them, but to elaborate, exaggerate, abstract-icate…whatever it takes to make it YOURS!
Describe your studio.
Always a mess….but a lovely, cluttered, untidy, organized mess. I have always believed that a tidy studio is the sign of a quiet unproductive studio. I don’t mean it has to be forever TIDY – there is a balance. I have to know where everything is, so every so often, I have a clear up and organize it again! I have a section for pastel work ‘on the go’ – an oil section permanently loaded up with fresh paint to keep me balancing the mediums, and a sketching/ preparation / ideas corner where my travel diaries meet my laptop/photos/computer and give me the source from which my ideas emerge. Oh and there’s usually a commission corner where portraits and special requests are under construction to keep the money coming in!!!
Name five of your “can’t” do without tools/products
- When travelling and painting, I can’t do without my Heilman box – it is by far the easiest and best way to travel with pastels.
- In the studio, I use lots of different brands but could not do without my indulgent Terry Ludwig Pastel sets which are like icing on the cake – creme della creme.
- My travel easel is American..it is an ordinary photographer’s easel that has been adapted with Velcro pads to stick the board on to -see Valpod on Google
- My Swan Stabilo water-soluble pens are invaluable to doing little value sketches before a painting
- Art Spectrum papers are with me always, as I love the colours, and can instantly create an exciting sketch using this paper
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