Turning art into work

By: Lauren Weber, The Press-Tribune
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Walking into MarGau Art Studio on Washington Boulevard in Roseville, several decorative pieces of art line the cranberry red and olive green walls. To the right of the entrance, welcome signs greet each visitor. One of them reads bienvenue, which translates to welcome in French, which seems fitting considering co-owner of MarGau is Sylviane Gaumer who is an art teacher from France. MarGau studio opened its doors in September 2007, and currently offers artist seminars, decorative art classes, custom orders and art pieces painted by Gaumer and co-owner Katie Martin that are available for sale. Martin and Gaumer met in a painting course seven years ago while Gaumer was living in Roseville. Martin has been a Roseville resident for 35 years and Gaumer is a relatively newcomer from Albertville, France. Gaumer's husband works for Hewlett-Packard and was transferred to Roseville last year, and from 1995 to 2000 as well. Martin and Gaumer previously painted as a hobby until they decided to team up, forming MarGau Art Studio. We need to paint, we need to get it out, Gaumer said. It's really the beginning of something we really want to share. The studio is full of painted plates, tiles, and boxes decorated with vegetables, flowers and animals. Toward the back of the studio, wood and tin pieces are up for sale for students to paint. In the center of the studio classes taught by both Martin and Gaumer take place about two times a week. The class levels vary between beginner, confident beginner and intermediate. Currently the classes consist mostly of adults, but the ladies are hoping to expand and include the younger artists, Gaumer said. Pat Nichol, a Rocklin resident and student at the studio, has attended numerous classes at MarGau Art Studio and said she hasn't found a studio like MarGau in the area. You get energized and inspired when you go in there. You get wonderful instruction, she said. This is just a wonderful, wonderful studio that opened up. Nichol also takes advantage of the solo painting sessions where aspiring artists are welcome to stop by the studio to paint on their own time and get instruction if needed. It's a really neat place because it's so bright and open, it's just a very happy, fun place, she said. In addition to the variety of classes, the studio conducts seminars with well-known artists offering their tips to the trade that have become quite popular. The studio also takes custom orders. If someone wants a decorative sink or plate to display, Martin and Gaumer are happy to put their artistic touches on it. I just love to paint, Martin said. But both women agree that it takes time and patience to learn. It's not a quick craft thing, but it's a learnable thing, Martin said. It's fun. When you start to do this, you want to do more, try more, Gaumer said. Gaumer's current project is a coaster set painted with a bee, ladybug and other insects, that she hopes to teach in an upcoming class. I don't like to plan too much. I like to play with colors and design. You have to try it and say ˜OK' that's what I want,' she said. MarGau Art Studio 699 Washington Blvd. #B7 780-1155