Making Marks with Pauline Agnew

Mixed media on acid free paper.

Mixed media on acid free paper.

This weekend I participated in Pauline’s OPENSTUDIO taster class. A sample of her “Draw and Paint what you Love” course. The event took place both on her website seedbedstudio, and on Facebook over  two days. Pauline provided fantastic videos, both for instruction and for inspiration.

Pauline Agnew is an artist with a Degree in Fine Art, a Masters in Multimedia, and lots of experience in teaching art from Primary to University levels. Her work has been seen in public and private galleries, and she had an artists residency in The Irish Museum of Modern Art and was chosen as an artist in residence also for Cork City’s year as European capital of culture in 2005.

 Seeds of Inspiration

Watercolor portrait in blue

Quick sketch

I found this class by accident, and I am so glad I did! I was visiting Lucy Chen’s website late at night, watching her self-portrait video. Thank You Lucy! Lucy works in oils, and she has only been an artist since 2011. Before that she worked in finance! Her work is really amazing and I hope you will take a look! I was so inspired to start this class, I had to wet my brush and spread some paint before going to bed. So I did this quick sketch. Horrible I admit. But I felt better having moved some color around. 

Acrylic painting in progress

First layers


The next two days, I painted. Making marks as Pauline suggested.  I painted with a twig, swizzle stick, a couple of nail heads, a toothbrush, foam rubber, and a few brushes. I used acrylics, Inktense watercolor pencils, and pens.

Ideas Germinate

Not only is Pauline a wonderful instructor, but she was also immensely supportive of our efforts. The conversations and feedback from the other participants was such a blessing to take part in!  When I started, I had no intentions of painting a particular, anything. I was not thinking about a finished landscape, or portrait. For a while in the middle of the process, I was pretty sure I was not going to have a piece worth showing. But I kept on. Added more bits here and there. When I flipped the paper around to see if I had something to build on, I saw a neck, and a bit of a head wrap. 

I really am so pleased with this. It was a surprise. I think that is why I like it so much, I wasn’t trying to paint her. I was just painting. I spoke with a couple of the artists in class, and they suggest that I leave her faceless. I can almost see her features, but they have not quite revealed themselves to me. So for now, this is how she will stay.  Let me know what you think!

I feel this is one of the best paintings I have ever done. I am so thankful I found this introduction. Thank You Pauline for an enlightening weekend!

Mixed media on acid free paper.

Mixed media on acid free paper. 9 x 12

5 thoughts on “Making Marks with Pauline Agnew

  1. Lucy Chen

    Hi Sheila, thank you for linking to my website, and I’m glad you found Pauline! Her class is amazing!
    Before I started painting, I actually was setting up a business with my husband, and before that, I was working in finance. Now that our business is supporting the family and I don’t need to work in the office any more, I started making art full time. 🙂

    1. Sheila Post author

      So happy for you Lucy, what a joy that must be! So glad I found you as well new friend! I look forward to following your work 🙂


Leave a Reply to Lucy Chen Cancel reply