Roxanne Evans Stout: A teacher’s journey
Roxanne Evans Stout explains her journey to create her own qualification and become a mixed media arts teacher.
Roxanne’s Friday Feature Artist Interview can be found at the bottom of this page.
Artist and teacher, wanderer and dreamer, garden dweller, river walker, child of the forest, daughter of the sea, always grateful, always noticing, always growing. Fibre Arts Take Two had the pleasure of talking with mixed media artist Roxanne Evans Stout.
Roxanne says art has always been part of her life. “I’ve always loved drawing and painting. When I was a little girl I was very artistic and I always loved nature and I just kind of put them together. And in high school, I was really active in the arts, and I got a lot of great, great feedback from my teachers. Then in college, I just took art on the side.”
Art wouldn’t stay on the side for Roxanne, though. After she took a class called Biological Illustration, new opportunities arose. “I had this wonderful, wonderful teacher, and he appreciated my drawings right away.” With this teacher’s help, Roxanne was able to create her own major, which she called Biological Illustration. “I was just in heaven, I got to pick my own classes, and of course, get them approved. And then I got a Bachelor’s in Science, so I have that science background.”
After college, Roxanne moved to a small town in California and was able to start showing and selling her work. “They were all pen and ink and watercolours, lots of details, lots of close-ups of grass and flowers and birds and barns and stuff like that.”
Before long, the influence of the Pacific Northwest with its birds and mountains began a shift in Roxanne’s style. This, along with joining a thriving online community, inspired Roxanne to delve into the world of mixed media. “This is when I think I started to blossom. I started blogging and meeting people from all over, and I started really loving mixed media art. I love using all the different tools and creating something that’s a little different.”
Art in collaboration
Roxanne has also found great reward as a collaborative artist and has actively sought collaborations with many artists, including NYC-based fellow mixed media artist and teacher Seth Apter. She says, “Everybody has a different style, and you want to make something that fits within the artist’s First Vision but still go off on your own.” Roxanne sees the challenge as part of the reward, saying that “Every time you collaborate, you learn so much, and you’re stretched and challenged. It’s better not to be totally safe; it’s better to learn and grow with your work, and I feel like you’re learning something new every day.”
Artist and teacher
“I had been teaching middle school art, and then elementary school, and I taught some adult classes in the summers. Then I ended up taking early retirement from teaching public schools. And I just started teaching.”
Roxanne acted as her own advocate to build her teaching career. “I heard about galleries that had classes, stores, or venues and phoned them up and introduced myself and sent pictures of my work and I just kind of started. When I first started, I just had a few people come to my workshops, but as the years went by, I would have more people approach me, which is wonderful.”
In the past 5 or 6 years, Roxanne has moved into online workshops. In the past year, this has proved to be an exciting new avenue.
“After COVID started, I just thought I’m going to jump in and do a workshop on Facebook Live. It was a little hard setting up my camera and a few issues, but that class was amazing. It was like lots of different things that may be put together. It was called Notebook Journeys, and we did fabric and paper. I was just thrilled. And it was fun for my students. At least they all said so! And then it was fun for me because I got to connect with people and feel like I was contributing to the art world.”
Roxanne believes this connection is especially important now, even for artists. “ I know many of us are solitary people, but connecting is important, and I think it is important to push ourselves to do that.”
About the artist
Roxanne Evan Stout’s mixed media art is inspired by the natural world around her, from the picturesque rivers and forests surrounding her pacific northwest home in the US to the subtleties of the changing light of the seasons through her studio window. Roxanne has found a way to incorporate nature’s magic into her textured and layered mixed-media work.
Roxanne’s work is diverse, from collages incorporating found objects stitch and even in encaustics, but she’s best known for her beautiful art books and journals, which often tell a bigger story over time. No matter what form, Roxanne’s work is unmistakably recognisable as her own. As an international tutor and best-selling author, Roxanne inspires and encourages her students to tell their own stories, as she helps them to find magic in the everyday and create artwork from their hearts. Check out Roxanne’s website for more on her beautiful work.