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Artist Interview: Watercolour Painter Rachel McNaughton

By in Interviews

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In this artist interview Yorkshire-based painter Rachel McNaughton shares some of her beautiful watercolours, and talks about her inspirations, influences, and future plans. You can see more of Rachel’s work at

Being a painter

Please give us a few words of introduction about yourself

Hi, I am Rachel McNaughton and I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t drawing or painting. I trained as a teacher and taught for 9 years until children came along. My time for painting gradually became more and more to fill the gap as children grew up. Now I spend most of my time with a paint brush in hand and love every minute!


When did you decide to pursue painting as a career?

I didn’t! It is a hobby that has become a profession. I paint in watercolour, pastel and Brusho and also teach painting in all these media to adults at classes and workshops that I organise locally. I also run workshops for art clubs in my area. I exhibit at shows and galleries and have also had lots of work published as greeting cards, calendars etc.

What training did you have?

I did an O level a long time ago!! Other than that I have attended some adult education classes and a few courses but essentially I have taught myself.

What has been the high point of your career so far?

There are lots! Having my two watercolour DVDs for sale with the SAA, having paintings published by several companies including WHSmith, Woodmansterne, Ling and even Matalan (a cushion design).


General Questions

Who is your favourite artist?

Monet, Degas, and Turner.

What are you aiming for?

Simply to keep on painting for as long as possible and keep on improving too.

How will you get there?


You and painting

What feelings or reactions do you hope to arouse in people who view your work? Are you ever surprised by reactions that you get?

I once painted a snowscene with a hedge running up hill and was surprised when someone said how good was the herd of cows going up the hill !!!


From start to finish, how long does it take for you to create your work?

A few hours. The best things in watercolour happen while the paint is wet.

What music do you like to listen to when you work?

Not music….radio 4!

What are you working on next? Any future plans or projects in the pipeline that we should look out for?

I never know what I will be asked to do for the greeting card market. I have painted subjects that I would never have considered and look forward to more challenges.

Being inspired by painting

What feelings, subjects or concepts inspire you as a painter?

I love all things floral but am also inspired by the Yorkshire countryside where I live and wonderful places abroad such as Tuscany and Provence.

What is your favourite work that you’ve produced so far and why?

I recently made a big effort to change my style and paint in a much looser way. The first painting I did where i felt I had actually ‘got it’ was of blackberries and rosehips. It will always be a favourite. It is the first of the images chosen here.

a painter’s advice

For those thinking about turning a passion for painting into a career, could you give any advice?

Don’t be afraid to exhibit your work or call on galleries. You have to be resilient!!





About The Author

Photographer based in London

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