James N. Butcher, PhD

Queensgate Studios is a great place for aspiring artists to gain skill and confidence in their work—whether they prefer watercolour, pastels, or oils. Linda Bennion is both an accomplished artist and a great teacher. That unusual combination—vast artistic experience and an effective teaching style—is a bonus for those of us at Queensgate.

All you do is show up at the studio—all the necessary painting materials are on hand. Queensgate has a friendly atmosphere. Each session usually involves 3 or 5 others. Linda selects capable, friendly staff to assure that the session goes well. For me, that means a cup of coffee (others, of course, tea) and assistance with locating endless types of brushes and other materials. Her assistants are artists themselves with varied backgrounds (including Ming, a Chinese opera singer).

An added benefit is being able to observe high-quality paintings produced by other students. Almost magically, my paintings get a boost in quality working side by side with such talented individuals. Everyone profits from Linda’s consultation and observant eye. I benefit particularly from Linda’s “color consultation” because of my red-green colourblindness. Linda helps me see beyond the grey of some of those green or red shades.

Over the years Linda gently prodded me from my exclusive use of watercolours to oils. Without that encouragement, I would not have expanded my repertoire. Now, nine oils later, I enjoy both watercolours and oils—one of my many gains from Queensgate Studios.

Examples of my paintings—many produced at Queensgate—can be seen in an online exhibition at: