Hello, my name is Mitra Behnegar. I live in Buxton in the heart of Derbyshire’s Peak District, and I’m a hair stylist and artist.
I grew up in Iran, trained as a teacher, and taught Art and Design in high school before moving to England as an adult. After settling in the UK a number of years ago, I trained to become a hair stylist. Now well established in my home town, I’ve built close relationships with my clients who value my advice with hair styles and problems. A number of clients have been coming to me for years and will ask my advice on other matters too.
Working in my home salon has allowed me to develop my other passion, mixed media art. Over the past few years, I’ve enjoyed working with some of the leading Derbyshire and Peak District artists through workshops; this has helped me broaden my range of subject matter and techniques. I’ve worked in pastels and charcoal with Sandra Orme, mixed media collage with Rob Wilson, abstract landscapes with Lewis Noble, still life acrylic painting with Pam Smart and mono printing with Marie Keane. Further afield, I’ve participated in online oil painting classes with a professional Iranian artist. Through my artist friends I have had opportunities to take part in local art exhibitions and events such as Derbyshire Open Arts, Buxton Art Trail and the Buxton Fringe.
My home salon is also a showcase and gallery for my work, and a number of art-loving clients now own some of my works. These are often inspired by walks through the wonderful Derbyshire landscape, by holidays at home and abroad – especially architectural scenes – by classic nature studies, and also by my Persian heritage. I take regular outings with a local walking group and also nurture a sunny garden that provides subjects for still life. My house décor is now a varied and interesting mixture of both modern and traditional Iranian local art and my own work. My clients, friends and visitors admire this eclectic mix as well as my traditional Persian culinary treats. Some people have a studio cats or dog as their companions as they work but I’m pretty sure not many have a parrot! Joy is my companion and is very attached to me. She prefers to be allowed to be free around the house, exploring and tasting. She has a very lively character, is very vocal, and features in my photos.
So what’s next, professionally and artistically?
This year I joined the team at the Buxton salon of top national stylists Toni & Guy, working part time. I will be one of their colour specialists once I’ve completed their in-house training. Clients put a lot of trust in me and often ask for my opinion when they want a change but are not sure about what they want.
With my art, I want to continue to explore, practice and develop oil painting techniques. There will be new work available to purchase from my home gallery.
TAKEAWAY TOP TIPS
*If you self-colour, try professional colours that you can buy online; they’re often longer-lasting and better quality
*Pay attention to your hair; a tidy style gives you confidence
* Always carry a pocket sketchbook or notepad and pen/pencil to sketch with when you are outside
* Take the time to notice colours, shapes, shadows, and how they’re affected by changes in natural light
* Take a camera too – your mobile phone will do fine and will help you remember colour and scale
* Touch and feel textures, both natural and man-made – trees, leaves, stones, textiles, fur, feathers, hair etc.
If you would like to find out more about my work, please check out
Salon contact 07967 900891