Maggie Ramage is a name I've often heard tripping off the tongue of friends and acquaintances in the West End. She is a well known West End character much in demand for her work as a portrait painter. She is a member of the Glasgow Society of Women Artists and has exhibited with the Glasgow Group. She's a graduate of Glasgow's famous School of Art, where she studied drawing and painting and for many years she worked at Clydebank College as Senior Lecturer in Art. Maggie's work can be found in private collections throughout the world and at art exhibitions in Scotland.
Now, supposedly retired, she finds herself a busy, busy lady - but as I found out when we chatted over coffee at Tinderbox, she is having the time of her life. She looks a million dollars, vivacious and bright. Maggie is in great demand - with lots of commissions for portraits, a landscape painting class at University of Glasgow's Department of Adult and Continuing Education, as an illustrator and for private tuition in drawing and painting
She is enthusiastic about her work and enjoys teaching art to people of all ages and abilities; in particular she loves to work with beginners' classes because the students often surprise themselves by picking up new skills very quickly: 'It's great to hear them say things like - I didn't know I could do that!'
. Making me think that perhaps I have a hidden talent and should sign up for some painting classes.
What seems like a particularly good idea is combining art classes with a trip to a lovely, sunny, relaxing place and Maggie will be providing just that opportunity for the first two weeks in July, when she sets off for Barga in Tuscany. She works there in the summer for Artemisia, an international package holiday company. She will teach art to holidaymakers intent on simultaneously developing their creative skills and enjoying the splendour of Tuscany's landscapes.
Maggie is looking forward to returning to Barga, where she has carved out a very pleasant little niche for herself. Last year she stayed for some months, not only running the art tuition course at Artemisia but participating in local festivals and undertaking commissions. She was delighted to be part of 'Incontrato con un artista', where artists from different countries were asked to contribute on a specific night - countries such as Japan and USA were represented and Maggie was the Scottish artist. Word got around of her presence and talent in the area and she also found herself with commissioned to paint some very special souvenirs including the lovely local churches.
There are firm connections between Barga and Glasgow and you can find out more about these in Ian Mitchell's article Barga - Chianti, Culture and Chips. Maggie and Ian are old pals from Clydebank College, where they worked together, and Maggie has provided the illustrations for soem of Ian's books. Like many Scots they are both fascinated by this Scottish / Italian connection and by the place itself.
Maggie has caught the attraction of Tuscany in her paintings, a few of which are illustrated on the web page. I can't wait to see it for myself - and must have a think about those art classes.
Most of Maggie's commissions for portraits are through word of mouth, however, you can contact her at: 0141 334 4265
Her drawing and painting for beginner's and visual art classes start in October at Glasgow University.
Enquiries to Department of Adult and Continuing Education, St Andrew's Building, Eldon Street. Telephone: 0141 330 1835.