Workshops & References

Margaret loves teaching. She has a nurturing style that encourages confidence in beginners. She has also developed a fine-tuned skill of identifying where intermediate and advanced painters need to focus in order to progress to higher technical levels.

Margaret’s educational and professional background as an art teacher ideally qualifies her to offer botanical watercolour and coloured pencil classes—a genre to which she has been dedicated for the past twenty years. She has tutored individuals and small groups, and conducted group workshops in Canada, the U.S.A., Bermuda and South Africa. She has also led destination workshops in the UK, Italy, Morocco, and Spain.

She holds nothing back when teaching, guided by something Annie Dillard said: “The impulse to keep to yourself what you have learned is not only shameful, it is destructive.”

Upcoming workshop schedule and booking information:

The following are confirmed events. There will be more pending confirmation of dates and topic details. Please check back periodically or use the contact email form (click here) to ask to be on the mailing list.

Chester, Nova Scotia.

DUE TO CORONAVIRUS, POSTPONED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE

March 20th and 21st, 2020: Chester Art Center, Chester, Nova Scotia. 9.30 am to 3.30 pm. 2-day Workshop: Exploring Watercolour.

This workshop is about the fundamentals of watercolour. It’s ideal for beginners or as a refresher or update opportunity for those with experience. There will be a focus on the latest materials that enhance success in the medium as well as the fundamental techniques that suit all genres. It will be a good place to start or re-launch an interest.

Registration at Chester Art Center – 902 275 5789.

Hamilton, Bermuda.

DUE TO CORONAVIRUS, POSTPONED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE

April 2nd, 3rd, 4th & 5th, 2020: Bermuda Society of Botanical Artists. Education Centre, Bermuda Acquarium, Museum and Zoo. 4-Day Workshop Series: Chasing Shadows

Perhaps the most important element in capturing a 3-dimensional result is accurately rendered shadow. Shadow areas help mould the form of a subject; shadows create contrasts. If working in graphite you will learn how to increase your tonal ranges in shadow. If working in colour you will focus on colour choices for shadows and when or how you under paint or over paint shadows. Choice of subject matter suited to each skill level will be recommended to registered participants before the workshop commences. 

  • Day 1: Accurate drawing and identification of shadow areas.
  • Day 2: Colour matching ans testing.
  • Days 3 and 4: Techniques for layering and textures.

Registration: https://bermudasba.org/contact/ 

Chester, Nova Scotia.

DUE TO CORONAVIRUS, POSTPONED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. PLEASE CONTACT CHESTER ART CENTER AT THE NUMBER BELOW FOR UPDATES AND RE-SCHEDULING

April 17th & 18th, 2020: Chester Art Center, Chester, Nova Scotia. 9.30 am to 3.30 pm. 2-day Workshop: Exploring Coloured Pencil.

Coloured pencil is the most rapidly changing art form in terms of materials and opportunities. Explore ways to enjoy drawing and colour with this popular dry medium. Learn about the latest materials and basic techniques for success. This is an opportunity to start or expand skill development. 

Registration at Chester Art Center – 902 275 5789.

Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia.

DUE TO CORONAVIRUS, POSTPONED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE

May 2nd & 3rd 2020: Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia. Introduction to Botanical Art. A free lecture on the history of botanical art will also take place. Details and booking: https://form.jotform.com/92906058718264

FULLY BOOKED: Wait list at Annapolis Region Community Arts Council: ARCAC.ca or Phone 902 532 7069. 

Chester, Nova Scotia.

DUE TO CORONAVIRUS, POSTPONED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. PLEASE CONTACT CHESTER ART CENTER AT THE NUMBER BELOW FOR UPDATES AND RE-SCHEDULING.

May 22nd and 23rd, 2020: Chester Art Center, Chester, Nova Scotia. 9.30 am to 3.30 pm. Shadow and Dimension. In your preferred medium of graphite, watercolour, or coloured pencil. This workshop is about learning how to apply effective techniques and smart colour choices in shadows to achieve a more 3-dimensional result. 

Registration now open at Chester Art Center: 902 275 5789 

Dundas, Ontario.

DUE TO CORONAVIRUS, POSTPONED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE

June 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th, 2020: Dundas Valley School of Art, Ontario. A Study of Stems and Buds. 

June 2nd: The Study of Stems and Buds – Drawing. A good botanical study starts with accurate drawings. Beginners and newcomers to botanical art are required to take this first day to boost confidence and understand the process. As Margaret will focus on a variety of stem types this is also important for intermediates to advanced artists to focus on what it takes to perfect stems.   

June 3rd, 4th, and 5th: Techniques in Stems and Buds. In your choice of medium (graphite, coloured pencil or watercolour) participants will focus on techniques required to capture the elegance and texture of stems and the sculptural aspects of buds. More advanced artists will be able to access Margaret’s advice on techniques suited to blooms of the selected subject.   

Registration at https://dvsa.ca/classes

Chester, Nova Scotia

DUE TO CORONAVIRUS, POSTPONED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. PLEASE CONTACT CHESTER ART CENTER AT THE NUMBER BELOW FOR UPDATES AND RE-SCHEDULING.

June 18th, 19th & 20th, 2020: Chester Art Center, Chester, Nova Scotia. 3-day workshop. Bursting Buds & Blooms. Seasonal Nova Scotian garden blooms such as rhododendrons and irises have magnificent sculptural buds as they begin to burst into colour. This is a workshop for either watercolour or coloured pencil. 

Newcomers welcome. More experienced artists may venture into the blooms as they open in front of you. 

Registration now open at Chester Art Center: 902 275 5789 

Calgary, Alberta.

DUE TO CORONAVIRUS, POSTPONED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE

July 23rd, 24th, 25th, and 26th, 2020: Kensington Art Supply, Calgary Alberta. A Summer Tree Study in support of an upcoming exhibition in 2021. Choose a tree subject involving any aspect such as buds, flowers, stems, leaves, lichens on branches, etc. The focus is on textures and techniques.

Registration isn’t open yet but if you want to reserve a place please do so by emailing from the CONTACT page on this site.  

Dundas, Ontario.

MAY BE POSTPONED DUE TO CORONAVIRUS. UPDATE TO FOLLOW.

August 11th, 12th, 13th, and 14th, 2020: Dundas Valley School of Art, Dundas, Ontario. The Carolinian Forest Floor – Fallen Leaves, Ferns. A seasonal connection to stems with the abundance of the Carolinian Forest.

August 11th: Drawing and composition – newcomers welcome

August 12th, 13th, and 14th: Colour matching, technique in chosen medium of coloured pencil or watercolour.

Registration at https://dvsa.ca/classes

Chester, Nova Scotia.

MAY BE POSTPONED DUE TO CORONAVIRUS. UPDATE TO FOLLOW.

August 27th and 28th, 2020: Chester Art Center, Chester, Nova Scotia. Launching a Nature Journal. Start a personal visual connection to the natural world through drawing the changes in nature around you. Medium: graphite and a colour medium of your choice.

Registration at Chester Art Center: 902 275 5789

Chester, Nova Scotia.

September 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th, and 18th, 2020: Chester Art Center.

2nd Annual Fall 5-day intensive workshop: Fungi, Ferns, Forest Floor. For artists with prior botanical art experience.  

FULLY BOOKED.

To be wait listed please contact Chester Art Center at 902 275 5789 or email chesterartcentre@ns.aliantzinc.ca

Calgary, Alberta.

October 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th October, 2020. Kensington Art Supply, Calgary. A Fall Tree Study in support of an upcoming exhibition in 2021. Choose a tree subject involving any aspect such as single or layered fall-coloured leaves, seeds, seedpods etc. The focus is on colour brilliance and textures as found on tress in the fall.

Newcomer spaces limited.

Registration isn’t open yet but if you want to reserve a place please do so by emailing from the CONTACT page on this site.  

Chester, Nova Scotia.

October 16th and 17th, 2020: Chester Art Center.

Subject and booking information to be announced. 

Hamilton, Bermuda.

November 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th 2020: Bermuda Society of Botanical Artists. Education Center, Bermuda Aquarium. 4-day workshop series

Information and registration: https://bermudasba.org.contact/

Chester, Nova Scotia.

November 20th and 21st, 2020: Chester Art Center.

Subject and registration details to be announced.

 

You can see more about Margaret’s workshops and classes on her Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/MargaretBestBotanical/

 

Workshop participant references:

“Thank you Margaret for your wonderful workshop at Chester Art Centre. You are such a gifted teacher.” – Katherine MacPherson, Marvin’s Island, Nova Scotia. 

“I feel that the 3-day workshop was a complete eye opener. I look at the drawing that I did and know that it is completely different from the staid spray of the plant that I would have produced without you! You have so much knowledge to impart and a wonderful ability to do so.” – Gwenda Caplan, Johannesburg.

“Thank you so much for a wonderful workshop! I learned a lot and enjoyed the heck out of myself.” – Susan Tomlinson, Lubbock, Texas.

“I enjoyed the course tremendously. It was stimulating both intellectually and creatively. Thank you for your personal encouragement . It does help to motivate and get on with doing and persevering.” – Helene Nel, Pretoria.

“This is my fourth class with Margaret. I so admire her teaching. She’s a world-class educator and well known internationally.” – Margaret Johnson, Sarasota, Florida.

“Thank you so much for your inspiring workshop and your very generous sharing of knowledge and time. Green will never be the same!” – Julie Wilson, Stilbaai, South Africa.

“Your class has been invaluable and incredible! I have learned more in your class than years elsewhere. Wish we had 10 more days.” – Barbara, San Francisco.

“You exude a most refreshing and elite style of instruction with such grace and professionalism that is quite inspiring. You are truly gifted and I am grateful for your patience and willingness to share instruction with others. Thank you for all the valuable time and energy that you have devoted to botanical art. I appreciate how you create the most engaging workshops to share your wisdom and insight.” – Nina Clark Ph.D., New Brunswick.

“Thank you for a very useful class. I wish the class had been longer. Your knowledge and skills have been inspiring and the call has been empowering. I do hope that you do the Filoli again.” – Peggy Irvine, San Francisco.

“I really enjoyed your workshop. I found the slides where you pointed out examples to illustrate what you were saying, very beneficial . . . another aha moment for me was your explanation of how overworking occurs so easily. I have battled with this forever.” – Lesley Berry, Mmabolela, South Africa.

“Recently I was lucky enough to take several of Margaret’s classes in watercolour and pencil. I was concerned that I would flounder in a class of more advanced artists, but thanks to Margaret’s teaching skills , I was able to relax, learn and ultimately be pleased with my progress. Margaret possesses a rare combination of talents; not only is she a very accomplished artist , she is an exceptionally competent teacher. She truly enjoys passing on what she knows.” – Marg Hammond, Bermuda.

“In Margaret’s classes we are clearly in the hands of not only an expert, which is a great feeling, but an expert with wonderful vision and enthusiasm. I feel reinvigorated and confident. I can’t wait for the next class.” – Myra Sourkes, Toronto.