New! Thursday Drawing Classes

Drawn to Nature I ( Introductory) & Drawn to Nature II (Intermediate to Advanced) Drawn to Nature I – Introductory Level These classes are for those who wish to work on building basic drawing and shading skills. The focus will be nature with concentration on learning about drawing tools and how to use them to progress from lines to shaded forms to  3-dimensional representations . There will be plenty of demonstrations and individual instruction. September 27th – October 18th, 2018 – 4 classes – 2 hours each Thursdays 10am – noon Cost $80 + HST * ($92.00) Class maximum: 6 Location: St. John’s studio * Some supplies included in cost.  A materials list will be sent to participants. Contact: Drawn to Nature II – Intermediate to Advanced – These classes are designed to hone observational skills and advance drawing mastery using the offerings of nature as our subjects. The focus will be on making use of graphite to expand from basic lines to drawings with value changes, texture and  3-dimensional effects giving a look of reality. Participants may bring their own more challenging specimens or choose from those presented by Margaret. Thursdays,  November 1, 8, 22 & 29, 2018 (4 classes – 2 hours each) Cost $80 +  HST ($92.00) * Class maximum: 6 Location: St. John’s studio * A materials list will be sent to participants Contact:  

Workshops -Winter to Spring 2018

Workshops – Winter to Spring 2018  

Check out the workshops below to see if there are any that might interest you or your friends.
Please note that all workshops will be in watercolour and drawing. While I sometimes offer workshops in print making (monotype and linocuts), these aren’t offered during this winter.

Although I love painting many subjects, classes in this block of time relate to plants and nature. My own focus this year is the native plants of our province, so in keeping with that , other wonderful topics won’t pop up in my workshop listings for now.

If anything else gets added, I’ll add a post right away. Check out my website ( ) occasionally to hear or see new images or events.

If you have any questions or would like to register for a workshop, please email me at or call at (709)753-2643 and leave a voice message.

More details will be sent to to those who are registered but anyone who has a question about a workshop please contact me at .

#1. Simplifying Watercolour – An Introduction
Date: Thursday, February 8, 2018
Time: 9:30 am to 3:30 PM
Location: St. John’s studio
Cost: $90 + HST ( Total $103.50) *
Level: Introductory 

Description: Come and bring a friend for a day of fun with watercolours!
This workshop is designed for those who have had little or no experience with painting or for those who have painted in another medium and want to check out the possibilities of watercolours. It will focus on the materials and tools which will contribute to your success and then follow with demonstrations of tools & techniques, followed by giving you time to practise each one and enjoy this wonderful medium. It’s easier than you think!
All workshop materials will be supplied but, if you already have some supplies, please bring them along. This is a good time to check their performance.

* All materials included in the registration fee for this workshop

#2. Colour Mixing – Getting the Colours You Want
Date: Thursday, February 15, 2018
Time: 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Location: St. John’s studio
Cost: $55 + HST (Total $63.25)
Level: Beyond Basics*

Description: This is a time to play with colour as you learn the basics and beyond in watercolours. There will be lots of direction to help you get the most from the 3 hours. Learn the basics of colour and colour mixing and how to get dozens and dozens of colours from a limited palette. Learn how to adjust Hue, Value and Saturation and why all of this is important in a painting. There will be demonstrations and charts ready for your application of paint.

Paper (140-pound Arches or comparable) will be included in this workshop. If your own palette is not set up, you may use the class palettes I have available. Feel free to bring along any watercolour paints you have on hand. If you are considering purchasing watercolour paints, I would recommend doing your shopping AFTER this workshop. Not all paints are created equal.

* Beyond Basics Level means that the participants need to have previously done some basic work in watercolour or in another paint medium.

# 3. Introduction to Drawing – Subject is “Flowers of Different Forms”*
Date: Thursday, March 1, 2018
Time: 9:30 am – 12:30 pm
Location: St. John’s studio
Cost: $50 + HST (Total $ 57.50)
Level: Can accommodate various levels

Description: No need to know how to draw a straight line! This workshop is an introduction to drawing various flower/blossom forms. There are NO straight lines! It will allow you to see how to approach blooms so that the drawing and any later painting of it will be an enjoyable time of getting acquainted with your subject. Loose and more detailed approaches will be presented.

*Drawing tools will be supplied. More details to registered participants.

#4. Floral Painting in Watercolour
Date: Thursday, March 1, 2018
Time: 1:30 pm – 4:30 pm
Location: St. John’s studio
Cost: $50 + HST (Total $ 57.50 )
Level: Beyond Basics*

Description: One particular type/form of blossom (Bowl/Cup Shape) will be the subject. Samples will be presented in a variety of styles from very loose to realistic to traditional botanical. The afternoon will involve representing this bloom in one or several styles of painting. There will be a demonstration and plenty of one-on-one guidance.
* Participants will need to have had some previous experience in painting in watercolour

* #5. Introduction to Drawing & Floral Painting (combination of #3 & #4)
Date: Thursday, March 1, 2018
Time: 9:30 am – 4:30 pm (all day)
Location: St. John’s studio
Cost: $90 + HST (Total $ 103.50) *

#6. Traditional Botanical Painting – Creating Form*
Date: Monday, March 12, 2018
Time: 9:30 am – 12:30 pm
Location: St. John’s Studio

Description: This worktop will involve demonstrations and assistance on creating more form in elements in a botanical painting in progress or one at the starting stage. Emphasis will be on the following: twists & turns of petals or leaves, lighted and shaded areas, fullness and depth of stems/ branches/ cones, etc..
Bring all necessary supplies.

Further details will be sent to registrants.

* This workshop is available ONLY to Members of the Botanical Art Society of Newfoundland & Labrador unless spaces are still available a week before March 12.

#7. Traditional Botanical Painting – Fine Tuning A Painting*
Time: 9:30 am – 12:30 pm
Date: Monday, March 26, 2018
Location: St. John’s Studio

Description: This workshop is designed to help those already working on a botanical painting to get closer to the goals of completing a botanical painting which is (1) artistically pleasing while (2) presenting enough accurate information/details to characterize the specific plant. I will present a check list which we will work through and which can be a guide for future botanical painting. Maybe some other points can be added before the workshop has completed.

Further details will be sent to registrants.

* This workshop is available ONLY to Members of the Botanical Art Society of Newfoundland & Labrador unless spaces are still available a week before March 26.


#8. Pop-up Garden Workshops: Spring Tulips in Glorious Colours!
Time: Details closer to the date
Date: Part of one day between May 28 – June 1
Location: East End, St. John’s, Garden
Cost: Detail closer to spring

Description: Paint beautiful tulips during the last week of May – the week of May 28 to June 1. Join me amidst spring blossoms in a lovely East End St. John’s garden. The actual date, because it needs to be weather dependant, will be advertised on May 24th. If you are interested, please check out my Mini-Newsletter posting on or before May 24th. Maximum of 10. Details later.

#9. Pop-up Garden Workshops: Backyard Beauty!
Time: To be announced                                                                                 Date: During the week of June 11th 
Location: St. John’s Studio
Cost: To be announced

Description: Finding a fabulous backyard garden is always amazing. Painting in it is even better. This year, during the week of June 11th, this garden, near Elizabeth Avenue in St. John’s, will be the site for a fundraising workshop for the projects of the Friends of the Garden (FOG) of MUN Botanical Garden. If you are interested, please check out my Mini-Newsletter posting on or before June 9. Maximum of 10. Details later.

Thanks goes to those gardeners/home-owners who have offered their gardens for these workshops. The exact times and dates and other details will come later. Maybe a backyard picnic would be a pleasant addition. Each home has a space where artists can find shelter and still be near the garden, should we have a sudden change in weather conditions.

Classes 2018

This information is for those of you who might be considering a class with me this winter. If anything does pique your interest you can contact me at or 709 753 2643. Classes refer to regular, weekly sessions, as opposed to workshops which are single ones or two day events. These classes all focus on different aspects of drawing and painting. 


Wednesday Classes

Time: Chose from several daytime slots, no evening availability / Level: Intermediate to Advanced

About: These 5 week sessions each deal with a particular topic of interest to the group and are designed to challenge the participants.

Session 1: January 17 – February 14 (FILLED)

Session 2: February 21 – March 21  (FILLED)

Please contact Margaret ( if you would be interested in joining the class when a space becomes available. 

Open Studios 2018

Register now for the February 23rd Open Studio

The Open Studio is for those of you who are working on your own painting projects and would like guidance and advice on colour theory, composition, technique or problem solving as you continue or even as you begin something new. Maybe you have paintings that you know are missing something but you are not sure where to go to improve on them. You might be wondering about the next step in your work or what finishing touches will work before you want to consider a painting completed. I will be happy to offer a critique, give the piece ‘a fresh eye’ and offer advice as well as one-on-one instruction.

All open studio sessions will be at the Arts & Culture Centre, St. John’s, NL

#1        Friday, January 26, 2018 (9:30 – 3:30 )

#2        Friday, February 23, 2018 (9:30 – 3:30)

#3        Friday, March 23, 2018  (9:30 – 3:30)

#4        Friday, April 27, 2018  (9:30 – 3:30)

Cost: $57.50 Including HST
Reserve your space now and register ahead for the February, March & April spaces by dropping me an email at .

Photos from my co-exhibitors in England

You can check out the Irish Society of Botanical Artists on Facebook for more photos from the Royal Horticultural Society’s botanical art exhibition where the ISBA received a SILVER medal. 

More Fabulous New!!! A SILVER MEDAL

More Fabulous News!!! A SILVER MEDAL

As you heard in a previous news posting, my botanical painting “Narcissus Soft Focus” was chosen as one of six to represent the Irish Society of Botanical Artists at the Royal Horticultural Society’s Spring Exhibition in Malvern, UK. The show finished yesterday, May 14th, and I am overjoyed to tell you all that The Irish Society of Botanical Artists received a SILVER medal. I was so overwhelmed to share the space at the exhibition with Holly Somerville, Rona Orchard, Niamh Harding-Miller, Siobhan Larkin and Susan Sex. What an honour!

My Painting - a WINNER at the Arts & Letters Awards

My painting was a Winner!
The Arts & Letters 2017 Exhibition at The Rooms, St. John’s NL

I was thrilled enough to learn that my entry to the Arts & Letters Awards Program had been chosen for exhibition at The Rooms in St. John’s, NL (April 26 – May 14th, 2017) but now I’m more excited to tell you that my painting was chosen as a winner in the Visual Arts category.
My watercolour “Spring Lookout” depicts those early shoots of a fir branch, still tightly bundled together, and backed by the harbour entrance of my hometown of Fermeuse, NL. I’m sorry I don’t have an image to attach but when I submitted it just in time for the entry way back in November, there was no time for a proper scan or photo. I’ll add it to my site in a few weeks.

Floral in Funchal - Art Workshop Tour

Following wonderful art vacations in Ireland and Italy in past years, another one is planned for 2017. This time the destination is the beautiful Portuguese island of Madeira.

Brochure information on our art vacation, planned and escorted by travel consultant Michele Hutton, can be found below.
I would be delighted to have you share in the experience of travel to a fabulous destination and an art workshop with me as we capture the beauty of this island paradise.

Due to interest, there will be two workshop holiday/tours.

11 days/9 nights
Session One: September 14-24, 2017
Wait-list available

Session Two: September 23-03 October, 2017
3 spaces available

Madeira, Portugal is an island located in the Atlantic, some 560km from Morocco and north of the Canary Islands. It is 1.5 hours from Lisbon, Portugal by air. Funchal, the capital, has a sub-tropical climate and temperatures average 22-26C with an average 1.5″ rainfall in September.  It is a lush and beautiful island known year round for its flora and fauna.

The chosen property hotel is a superior 4* , PORTO SANTA MARIA, located at the water’s edge with direct access to the sea-front promenade in the city of Funchal, the location of our hotel.  This is a beautiful walking city and the hotel is located in the perfect position of Old Town. Rooms will be based on twin occupancy but single rooms are available, with a supplement.  The hotel has both indoor and outdoor pools, a gym and a spa.

The Funchal market is convenient for those who are interested in having food and beverages in their studio. An assortment of dining options are easily accessible from the hotel.


Transfers to and from airport to Porto Bay Santa Maria Hotel, Funchal.

9 nights superior accommodation – Seaview Studio
with a balcony, based on twin (two beds) occupancy.

Daily buffet breakfast at the hotel.  Both indoor and outdoor dining available.

Welcome Dinner

Farewell Dinner

Art Workshops (10 sessions) with Margaret Walsh Best + Guest Madeira Artist Workshop and Gallery visit

All land taxes, fees, etc.

Gratuities for included meals and services (bus, tours and activities below)

Activities/Tours included in the holiday tour:

Cable Car
Botanical Garden
Traditional Wicker Toboggan Ride
Famous Madeira Wine – tour and tasting
Levada Flora and Fauna Tour -leisurely walking tour
Opera Musical Show featuring popular music

$2599* Cdn. land package as stated above

Payment schedule:
$750 at time of booking
$750 February, 2017
$1099 April, 2017

*a small surcharge for any exchange over 1.5Cdn per Euro.

Air: group fares are being requested now. Individual airfares also available for those who plan to extend their holiday. Based on 2016 rates, please plan for approx. $1400-$1500 per person.

For further information or to book, please
contact:  Michele Hutton, travel agent
Tel: 709 325-2134

It's Official! Newfoundland and Labrador has a Botanical Art Society!

In September of 2016, a group of artists gathered in the Botanical Garden at Memorial University of Newfoundland and decided to form the Botanical Art Society of Newfoundland and Labrador. Now, with help from Memorial University and the Botanical Garden, that idea has become a reality.

Keep an eye out for developments as this, the first botanical arts society to be formed in the province, gains momentum and grows in both membership and influence into the future. This is truly a historic moment in the botanical and local visual arts.