IMG_7507Each year I host a series of 1-5 day workshops. From introductory to advanced levels, the goal of the workshops is to present a full art experience, with instruction and demonstration coupled with time for the participants to work on their own. Travelling to a variety of studios and historic sites throughout my home province of Newfoundland & Labrador, into other parts of Canada and the USA and Europe, workshops are focused on the landscape or floras of some of these amazing spaces.

My own studio, Island View Studio in Tors Cove, NL, less than 40 km south of St. John’s, NL, is the home base for a number of my summer workshops. The landscapes of the East Coast Trail surrounding it provide endless inspiration. Whatever the location, near or far, you will find an encouraging atmosphere, individual attention and the inspiration to help you realize your potential.

To broaden the experience, I occasionally invite a guest instructor/artist to join in my workshop series. The instructors come from a cross-section of the best artists in their respective media, both from the province and from around the world. As they deliver expert instruction and immerse you in the art process, they inspire creativity and dynamism.

Regardless of the site all workshops are designed to allow the participants to explore the painting process, while giving them the opportunity to discover the surrounding landscape. The world lying just outside the studio allows the participants to experience colours in the landscape, the delicacy of a blossom, the movement of the ocean and the textures of the cliffs. The goal is to make each session an art experience. Please don’t hesitate to contact us for more detailed workshop descriptions.

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.

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


A Brush with History:
The Flowers of the Colony of Avalon 2015

Art Workshop with Margaret Walsh Best in Ferryland, NL


July 30 & 31, 2015    10:00 am to 4:00 pm
Come and enjoy the historic community of Ferryland, on Newfoundland’s Southern Shore, while taking in an art workshop at the Colony of Avalon archaeological site. Be inspired by the flowers and plants of the site’s heritage gardens.

Workshop Includes:

  • Colony of Avalon admission and guided tour
  • Two day workshop in the gardens and indoor studio space
  • A workshop intended to accommodate different levels of ability and capability from the beginner to the advanced.

· Instruction and demonstration by artist Margaret Walsh Best  who will present techniques for drawing and painting a variety of historic plants found in the Gentleman’s Garden and the Herb Garden. Learn techniques for capturing the unique characteristics of the plants of your choice. Work will be done using graphite and/or watercolour- the choice of each participant.

Cost: Two-day workshop $165 +HST. Kits of all necessary art supplies for the two days will be available at a small additional cost for those who request them. ($7)
Registration: Contact the Colony of Avalon by phone at 709-432-3200 or 1-877-326-5669 or by email at . Ask about accommodations, dining options and area attractions.

For details visit

For other details including Ferryland accommodations and cultural events



Pop Up Workshops  

Two gardens ready to be experienced.

This summer I wanted to try something a new! I will be hosting several POP UP ART CLASSES. These will be one-day workshops each held in a special garden. The inspiration will be to embrace the splendor of the local flora while in the height of their blooming season.

For the two listed below, I wanted to support MUN Botanical Garden. Over the years I’ve spent much time, gotten untold inspiration and received tremendous help in my plant research. As a thank-you I will be donating 25% of the registrations from the 2 workshops below to The Garden programs.

These 2 special workshop gardens have been offered by long-time “Friends of the Garden”. They look forward to sharing them with us.

Cost $85 + HST  Kits of all necessary art supplies for the day will be available at a small additional cost for those who request them. ($5)

Registration: Please contact Margaret at

Notes: Small groups. Bring along a lunch. Tea & Coffee will be provided.

Participants will be sent directions in advance.

#1 Pop-Up Workshop – Monday, August 10 (10:00 – 4:00 )

Brenda & John’s Garden in Flatrock

#2 Pop-Up Workshop – Thursday, August 13 (10:00 – 4:00)

Paul’s Garden in Outer Cove



Fall Colours In The Landscape (TWO SPACES REMAINING)

Date: October 17 & 18, 2015
Time: 10am – 4pm
Location: Island View Studio – Tors Cove (Margaret’s Studio)
Cost: Two-day workshop $165 +HST.
Level: Beyond Basics – Advanced


Simplifying Watercolour- an Introduction

Date: Saturday November 7, 2015
Time: 10:00 am to 4:00 PM
Location: St. John’s location
Cost: $85 + HST (ALL materials included in this workshop)

Level: Beginner

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 experience the possibilities of watercolours. It will focus on the materials and tools which will contribute to your success and then follow with demonstrations giving you time to practise and enjoy this wonderful medium.


Tools & Techniques of Watercolour

Date: Sunday November 8, 2015
Time: 10:00 am to 4:00 PM
Location: St. John’s location
Cost: $85 + HST

Level: Beginner & Beyond Basics

Enjoy a day of experimenting with the tools of watercolour as you create a series of mini pieces, each designed to illustrate a different technique. Learn the best uses for traditional painting tools and try other unconventional tools and techniques. Lots of demonstration will be combined with one-on-one instruction as you get the time to experiment.