Wednesday, June 1, 2016

What I'm Working on Wednesday

What have I been up to? 

Among my many other projects, I decided to join in on a challenge on Instagram.
You can find me on Instagram here: @BethMacre on Instagram
You can find me posting pictures almost daily on Instagram. Where I post peeks into my studio and the projects that I am working on.  Lately I have been posting daily pictures of my #100daysofpaintingwithbeth

What was I thinking when
I committed to a challenge called #the100dayproject ?
I do not know. Maybe the word 'challenge' had something to do with it. I have been wanting to paint more so I have been setting aside a little time each day, or every other day, to paint. Mostly in watercolor.

What is #the100DayProject ?
The 100 Day Project is a challenge for anyone to do something for 100 days and post a photo each day. This challenge was started by an artist that goes by @Elleluna on Instagram. Check out her page for the details. The challenge started April 19, 2016 and runs through July 27, 2016 (or whenever you finish).

Let me just say, 100 days is a long time to do anything, for me anyway!

44 days later, I am still at it...although I am a few days behind. But that is because I took a trip to Florida and I was away from my studio for 7 days.  Considering the time away during my trip, I am really ahead. That is the way I am looking at it. Because the Florida trip was necessary. Time with the girlfriends is always necessary, right?

This is my first year to take on this challenge. I really didn't know what I was going to do when I started it. I've changed my mind a few times, so far. If I do this again next year, I will plan a little better and use the same medium and same size for all the works, to create a unified collection of work.

I'm only 40 paintings into this, so I will post a collection of them when I get to 50! So check back to see my progress and hold me accountable! I will post a link here when I do.

Week 1 and Week 6
Normally I am much more detailed when I paint, draw, or do anything creative. But I wanted to keep this project simple. What started out as very simple paintings have progressed a little more paint and more of the paper covered.  Most of them are painted on 5 x 7" watercolor paper.

I plan to frame some of my favorites and possibly put some up for sale. Some of them need a little more work and I may add some other media to them to see what how I can push them a little farther.

We will see what 41-100 brings!

Sunday, May 29, 2016

It's Been a Long Time

I took a break.

A break in blogging, that is.

I have been very busy making and creating art, though!

Back in September, the last time I blogged, I was getting ready for the big fall craft show(s). I really had to focus on getting ready for the 2 shows that I had on my schedule. One in October and one in November. Then life happened and I never even got around to blogging about the shows! And then Christmas happened. After Christmas, I thought things would slow down, but actually, business (and life) got even busier!

And real life happened. 
To be completely honest, some personal stuff was going on that just took all of the energy that I had left in my body and soul. Things that I just couldn't bring myself to talk about, nor could I pretend that things were just fine. And I do not want my blog to become a 'poor me' story. I want to keep it positive. So I just didn't blog. But things are better now, so I feel like I can share my art again. Maybe eventually share the 'personal stuff' that almost brought me down. Really.

But, I have a lot to catch up on here!

Today I will just start with War Eagle and the Boutique Show.

October 2015:  War Eagle Fair 
War Eagle Fair is my biggest event all year. It is a 4-day craft show that is held every year in October. That same weekend, there are dozens of craft shows all over NWA (Northwest Arkansas).

This craft fair is held under several large tents. My booth is in tent #2. 
We plan to be back in the same spot in October of this year.
Dates for 2016 are October 13-16

This show is great for the handmade businesses. It is a well known, highly attended, and is a destination for many people every year. Sometimes the traffic caused by the large crowds can be overwhelming, so it is important to come early! 

For information about the Craft Show, visit their website here:  

November 2015:  NorthWest Arkansas Boutique Show

The Boutique Show was nice. It was local and only 10 minutes from my house, but...sales were not good enough to convince me to return this year. I really wish I could, but my handmade work cannot compete with the Boutiques. Maybe I will try it again someday, but not this year. It is a great show that is highly publicized and really brought in the crowds. This is a 2-day show.   

For more information about the NWA Boutique Show, go their website here:

Now that I am blogging again, I promise to keep it up. I want to give updates on what I am working on in the studio! I have been busy!

So, until next time...

Have a great week!


Sunday, September 13, 2015

Weekly Sketches

Sunday Sketches

This week has been super busy. I am getting ready for 3 fall shows coming up, so I am working daily to create plenty of inventory to sell. I will post more about those later.

Today I will quickly share a watercolor and pen doodle sketch that I worked on this week. I'm not quite finished with it, but I am liking the colors and the shapes. I think it needs a few more little tweaks, then on to the next one. If you have seen my latest doodle sketches, you can probably see the theme developing here. The whimsical flower designs are pretty fun to create and I feel like the design elements will be seen in future works. Possibly some mixed media paintings.

Check out Sunday Sketches on Blue Chair Diary Illustration Blog.

Stay tuned!

 Have a great Sunday and the rest of this week!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Doodling on Black Paper

New, to Me, Paper for Doodle Sketching

I had some black paper that I used to use for my colored pencil drawings, so I decided to try them out with a white pen (Uniball Signo Gel Pens).  I created a few drawings and loved the look, but wasn't thrilled with the way the pen was going onto the paper. It did not always flow evenly.

I saw these little packs of black paper at my local craft store, so I decided to try it out. The first drawing I did on this new (to me) paper turned out so much better than the other paper!

So I got online and found the same paper, Strathmore Artagain in a larger tablet size and ordered it right away! I ordered mine through Amazon, but it is also available through Blick Art Materials.

I've been playing around with the square tile paper to see what it can take and what I can do with them.

Here are a few of my doodles on the black tiles. 

I took one of them (so far), and added color with colored pencils. I always use Prismacolor pencils. I plan to add color to all 3 of these doodles.

I had hoped to use some paint pens, but the first kind I used did not work like I had hoped. So I will need to experiment with some other types of pens to see if I can get the look I wanted. For now, I will stick with the colored pencils.  I have tons of colored pencils! I hope to find some pens that leave a bright color on the black paper, similar to the white pen that I am using.

If anyone knows of some colored pens that work well on black paper, I would love to know! And if I find some, I will definitely update this post!

Hope you are having a nice 3 day weekend!
Have a great week!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

August is Artist Appreciation Month!

Did you know that? 

I didn't either! And August 13th is also National Lefties Day!  I am both an artist and a Lefty! Raise your hand if you are a LEFTY!
I hope that I am not the only lefty artist that didn't know about these two events until last week!
Sorry for all of the exclamation marks, but I'm trying to show my excitement. Maybe a selfie would show that, but I'm not going to subject y'all to that.

I totally 'left' out Lefties Day this year, but I didn't find out until the end of the day. But next year...well, I will definitely be more prepared!

So back to Artist Appreciation Month.

Since it is Artist Appreciation Month, I want to feature some artists! This may even take a couple of posts. I have been influenced and motivated by many artists. Some personal friends and others that I admire from afar.

Where do I Fit?

Being a whimsical artist, I find inspiration everywhere! As I look through my Pinterest boards and search online for whimsical artists, I find so many creative and whimsical artists out there! For many years, I couldn't figure out where my art fit in. Before the internet, before we had all of the resources that we have now at our fingertips, I thought that I needed to have a realistic or abstract style to make it in the art world. But I don't fit into either one of those styles. Yes, I like to draw realistically, I love to create abstract art. But actually my style fits somewhere in between those two. I like colorful art, and happy art. I like design. I create a lot of stylized images. More like illustrations. But I didn't consider myself an illustrator either.

Artists Who Inspire
Today, I would like to feature two well know and successful whimsical artists that I have admired over the years. Both have influenced my style. These talented women are artists who both became successful with their creative businesses.

Mary Engelbreit
Many years ago, my husband brought home a magazine for me, to cheer me up. At the time, I was struggling to find my way as an artist. I was actually pretty depressed about it. So he brought this magazine called  Mary Engelbreit's Home Companion. It was more of a decorating magazine, with articles about working artist's. Of course, Mary Engelbreit's art was all over the magazine too. But that magazine, and the articles about artists, were so good for me. Her art is bright and cheery and whimsical. And many of the artist's that she featured in her magazine were too. I think that is when I realized that my art did not have to be realistic and I could play and experiment and try to come up with my own style. I was really sad when the magazine stopped being published. But I had every issue since that first one my husband brought home to me. He also bought me a planner and/or calendar every year for Christmas. Now we have the internet to bring all of those inspiring images and stories to us!

Patience Brewster
I am always looking for other artists who share my vision of a fun and whimsical world. A few years ago, I came across the whimsical artist, Patience Brewster. She creates some wonderful and whimsical art, especially for the holidays. Her Christmas ornaments are beautiful! You can find the story about how her illustrations are turned into to 3D sculptural ornaments here: About the Ornaments .

 If you love unique ornaments and Holiday cards, then check out her website! View some of her latest Christmas Cards , because they are also beautiful!  And she has the coolest name!

Who inspires you?
I don't know these women personally, but I still feel like they have inspired me to be who I am, not what everyone else wants me to be. Because they have worked hard to make their style work for them. Every artist must find their own way. It's okay to be inspired and learn from others, but be yourself.

Be True to Yourself! 



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