Thursday, December 27, 2007

Time to Relax!...a little.

Now that the rush of getting ready for Christmas, traveling to visit relatives, and having relatives over for Christmas day is over, I finally have a little time to relax...a little bit. There is plenty to do around here. I have to put away the decorations that were so carefully put out only a few weeks ago. I also need to get organized for the new year. But I am taking a few days to just relax and take it in. That is what Radar, the Papillion in the photo, is good at...just taking it all in. Here he is perched on the back of my mom's couch, in the sunshine, just watching he doesn't miss a thing!
I did spend some time yesterday organizing my art studio clutter. I actually filled a trashbag with old items that I never use. I should probably get rid of a lot more, never know when I might need a few hundred envelopes, or three jars of paintbrushes, or half a dozen plastic tubs to put water in for painting! Or some of the old Artists Magazines from the last 5 years. Why do I keep them? Honestly, I don't know. Sometimes I do take a years worth of old magazines to work and let my students look through them, but I don't think they get as much out of them. Maybe I could donate them to a local doctor's office and inspire someone to paint or draw. Well, I better get back to my...relaxing.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Latest Pen and Ink Portrait

Home Portrait
Pen and Ink
18" x 8"
As I mentioned earlier, I had two pen and ink home commissions to finish before Christmas. Well I finished Wednesday and delivered them Thursday. I had to get them delivered Thursday, as I was going out of town this weekend. This one also had to be framed, so I ordered a frame online, so the frame was delivered and ready to put the drawing into it. I ordered the frame from and was very pleased with the results. All I had to do was put in the size of the drawing, pick out a frame, pick out a mat color, choose the backing material, and order. That is great for when you are in a rush. The frame was delivered within a week.
Now all of the pre holiday rush is almost over, I hope to work on some colored pencils pieces soon. I need something to enter into the CPSA competition, so I need to get busy with the colored pencils.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Old Red Barn Commission

Old Red Barn
Prismacolor Colored Pencil on Stonehenge
Beth S. Macre © 2005
While I am working furiously on my current pen and ink house commission, I will post a colored pencil commission that I did a couple of years ago. The highway is being widened next to this property, so the owners house had to be torn down. The house was located next to where I took this photo. The barn is still there, but the house has been torn down, so the yard has been changed. Although the barn is pretty old, the owners (farmers) have taken really good care of it.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Latest Pen and Ink Home Commission

18" x 8" Pen and Ink
on Stonehenge
I just finished this commission of my neighbor's house. (Those pine trees are in my backyard!) I have done several architectural study drawings over the last few years. I guess the people in my little town know my pen and ink work more than anything else. I've only had one architectural colored pencil commission requested so far. I drew a barn a few years back with colored pencils. I have one more house to draw before Christmas. I will be starting that one tonight.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Drawing Partner

My Painting Partner

This little cutie sits and waits in my chair at my drawing table when I am on the computer. Here he is all decked out in his Christmas sweater. He wants to sit in my lap to see what I'm doing, but I don't get much accomplished with him in lap. I'm trying to finish the drawing that is on my table. It, and one more, have to be finished before Christmas!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Santa ACEO Series

"Santa's Flight with his Pal Snowflake"

Here are a couple more Santa ACEOs that recently sold on Ebay. I enjoy the small cards (2 1/2" x 3 1/2") because they can be finished quickly (for me). These were done with prismacolor watercolor pencils and ink on watercolor paper. I enjoy creating the different illustrations and the variety that comes with creating all unique miniature works.
"Catching Some Z's with Santa"
Colored pencil, ink.
Beth S. Macre © 2007

Monday, November 26, 2007

Latest ACEOs

I've only had time for ACEOs lately. I've done a series of Santa ACEOs to sell on Ebay. Right now I have 2 listed. I would like to have more listed at once, however I just do not have the extra time to work on any during the week. Unfortunately, my personal art time is limited to the weekends. So here are my latest are variations of Santa, done in watercolor pencils and pen and ink.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Pumpkin ATC

Beth S. Macre © 2007

Here is my latest ACEO for the trade on ScribbleTalk. This is prismacolor on white stonehenge.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Seasons of Trees

This tree is created with colored pencil scribbles on cut white paper on black paper. I first cut the white paper into a tree shape, spreading out the white paper on the black background paper, glued the white paper down. Then I started adding the scribbles for the colors. I wanted to show the stages of the seasons that the tree goes through during a year. The scribbling was a little scarey at first, but it got easier the more I added. I've seen other colored pencil artists use the scribbling technique that I wanted to try. Specifically John Smolko, the award winning artist known for this technique. This tree is experimental and I enjoyed the process. Maybe I will try another one soon. Right now I am working on another tree, but not scribbling. I will post it when I finish.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

September ATC

“Three Apples”
Colored pencil Stonehenge
Beth S. Macre © 2007

This month has been extremely busy because it was the first full month of school. The first couple of months are always very busy trying to get organized, learning new procedures, computer programs, meetings, etc. etc. Plus I decided to paint my kitchen and breakfast room this month. It is mostly done, but I still need to finish up the baseboards and the wall going down my hallway. So, I haven't had much time or energy for completing much artwork. I did manage to complete a small piece (ACEO size) for the ATC trade at ScribbleTalk. So here is my image that I will be trading. "Three Apples" is Prismacolor on White stonehenge.

I have 2 projects on the drawing board that I will post later. Hopefully this month will be more productive, artistically.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Candy anyone?

"Lemon ~ The Chosen one"
Colored Pencil on Stonehenge
3 1/2" x 2 1/2"
Shown here is my most recent addition to my ACEO size colored pencil artwork. It was created for the August ATC trade at ScribbleTalk. August has been a very busy month with school beginning last week, two weeks of in-service before that, and the CPSA exhibition the week before that. So, my artwork has been limited this month. Also the temperature outside has been over 100 degrees plus the heat index in the 110's. Not that I work outside, but any activity in this kind of heat can be draining...especially after working with 140 teenagers all day! Hopefully I will be able to work on some of my art this weekend. I'm beginning to get cranky from not having something on the drawing board. I have a group art show to get at least one new piece ready for. So back to stare at the blank papers on my drawing table.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Time Flies!

Pen and Ink Home Commission
I recently completed this pen and ink commission for a client. This is half of the original drawing. I have done a few commissions of homes, businesses, churches, and barns in recent years. Some in pen and ink, some in colored pencil.
I haven't been very disciplined in posting on this blog. The summer has been so busy that time has flown by! It seems like just yesterday that I was saying that summer if finally here! But next week I have to return to work/school for teacher workshops. But first I will be traveling to Washington DC to the CPSA exhibition. I will be attending a workshop given by Linda Lucas Hardy and I am very excited about that. Her workshop is on using a sanded drawing paper with colored pencils. I've experimented some with a different kind of sanded drawing paper and like it very much. So I'm hoping to learn alot and have fun on the trip too.

This summer I have been pretty busy with my art. I tried to make it my priority this year. Usually during the summer, I try to paint a room or two. I haven't had time to do that this year. I completed around 15 ACEO size drawings and a pen and ink commission (above).

School will be starting in a few weeks and then I will really be busy! But I plan to continue to put my art at the top of my priority list. So I must learn to set aside at least an hour each day to work on my art. That will be a challenge because working with teenagers all day can be very exhausting! We will see how it goes and I will try to be better about posting the results here.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Baseball Card Series

Well, lately I've done several ACEOs for Ebay and for trading with other artists in a group that I belong to. Some of those have been more baseball subjects. My son has played baseball for many years, so I have lots of pictures to use for reference material, not to mention the actual balls that line the shelves in his bedroom. Here are two of the baseball ACEOs that I have done this week. SOLD

But, I have to decide on subjects for some larger pieces for an artshow that I will be participating in this November. I will be spending some time doing some sketches to get some ideas for compositions.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Baseball Cards

“Flag Baseball Series”
Colored pencil Stonehenge
Beth S. Macre © 2007

Well, I've been working on more ACEOs for ebay. For the second batch I decided to draw some individual baseballs in the dirt. Last year I did a large drawing with 9 baseballs, so for the small ACEOs, I decided one ball would be interesting to try. Drawing this small can be tricky, getting it small enough for the card, but big enough to see it. Anyway the 3 baseball cards sold on ebay last week. So I decided to do two more this week with a Fourth of July theme....hence, the Flag Baseball Cards. To see other listings, visit my ebay.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Wine Glass Studies

“Wine Glass & Grapes”
Colored pencil on Black Stonehenge
Beth S. Macre © 2007
I love using black paper with colored pencils. I have done several pieces using back stonehenge paper. My most recent pieces on black are studies of wine glasses. I did them the size of ACEOs so that I could list on Ebay. I plan to do some more studies on the black paper, as well as other colors using sanded pastel papers. But that will comes later. I hope to finish 3 to 4 of these a week. Who knows, maybe I will get on a roll and finish 5 to 7 a week. The small ones are pretty fun to do, plus it helps to work out composition and colors before working bigger.

Summer Break is here...finally!

Well finally school is out. The school year lasts about 9 1/2 months and summer lasts a mere 9 weeks for teachers. That 9 weeks will fly by! I love my time off during the summer. Things slow down quite a bit around here. I do tend to sleep a little later, but I also stay up a little later (or wake up in the middle of the night like now). I often make a list of things to do for the summer. Usually things like serious spring (summer) cleaning of closets, garage, and an annual purging in the art studio. My art studio consists of a small room without a closet that is full of furniture to try to compensate for the tons of art supplies that I 'can't live without'. There are supplies in there that I have had for years, but I can't throw them out because: 1. I may need them... 2. They were not cheap in the first place... 3. If I can't use them, maybe someone else can. So the dilemma is always an art studio that is too crowded. So Monday I will start to go through old supplies to make room for the new ones that I will buy during the next year.

Of course I need those supplies so I can create works of art...because I have to. Many artists say they paint or draw or create things because they have to. I put myself into that category of artists. I don't paint or draw to make a living...that is why I teach. But I paint and draw because I feel like if I do not 'create' artwork, then I'm not living up to my potential. I guess I define myself with my art. I am an artist, even though I do not sell my art on a daily basis. Although I would, if it were easier for artists to make a living with their art. The average non-artist does not appreciate the value of artist as professionals. Understandably, the average person cannot pay alot of money for original art. Of course that is a subject that is discussed by artists all the time. How to earn a decent living on your art based on what your art is worth. So artists are looking for new ways to market their works. The internet seems to be a good tool for artists. Even that is changing constantly. There seems to be 'new' websites all the time to change the way we market our work. I am in the early stages of this new technology. Hopefully one day, I too will be able to make a living off my art, not just supplement my teaching income. So along with the cleaning of closets, drawers, and the studio, I must begin my summer routine of drawing and painting to use up some of those supplies, so that I can reach my be recognized as a professional artist...not just an art teacher.

Friday, May 25, 2007

"Two Fish"

"Two Fish”
Colored pencil on Black Stonehenge
Beth S. Macre © 2007
"Two Fish" is my most recent colored pencil painting. It is prismacolor on 14" x 6" black stonehenge. This is a smaller piece than what I have done recently, but it was a fun to do. I plan to do more small pieces and to create a several pieces that are similar in technique. I recently sold a clay tile piece titled "One Fish" and just recently completely more tiles with the same theme. This one was fun to do on the black paper. I like the black paper that creates the dark contrasts. I also used the black glaze on the clay pieces to create the contrast in the cracks and crevices. This was fun to do and I want to create pieces that are fun to look at. I hope you enjoy looking.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Starry Starry Night

One of my favorite artists is Vincent Van Gogh. I love Impressionism and his painting titled 'Starry Night' has always intrigued me. I love to paint using the Impressionists techniques as well. I am planning to do some impressionist style paintings soon. But most recently, while doing some handbuilt pieces of clay, I created a vase and used the subject as the theme for this vase. Here are 2 photos of the finished piece. I may be putting it up for auction on ebay soon.

Monday, May 14, 2007

"One Fish"

I am an art teacher, so with that job comes the opportunity to use a wide variety of materials to give my students experience with two and three dimensional media. Each year in the spring I bring out the clay. It is a nice change for my students who may be getting a little tired of drawing and painting all year. Each year I make examples for them to demonstrate and get ideas from. Last year I came across an article in an Art Journal that gave me the idea to create a tile of clay that highlights the textures of the design. I really enjoyed this process and have made several tiles since then, using this technique.

~First I rolled a slab and cut the shape that I want. Trying to avoid a stagnant square or rectangular, I cut it with some curves.

~Then I cut out shapes out of another thinner slab to attach on top of the original slab. I find the design is more interesting if it incorporates 3d forms with the design.

~After drying and firing the piece, I then cover the bisqueware piece with black glaze. After drying it, I wipe away the black glaze on the raised surfaces. The black glaze settles into the grooves and the creases between the raised forms. Then I add the rest of colors. After completing the color, I cover the entire piece with clear glaze. I like the look of the shiney surfaces, so the whole pieces comes out shiney after another round of firing in the kiln.
~This piece was recently sold on Ebay, but I have made several more pieces this year. I plan to keep using this technique and make some others. I will post the most recent ones as soon as I get some good photos of them.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

"Village by the Sea"

“Village by the Sea”
Colored pencil on Black Stonehenge
Beth S. Macre © 2007
Collection of Becky Ramey

This is my latest colored pencil painting to complete. This is a commissioned piece by a coworker and friend. It is a panoramic view of the Villefranche. My coworker/friend is a French teacher and visits France usually once a year. She took some photos of this coastal village while there in 2006. I tried to capture the charming look of the tourist village. This one is done with Prismacolors on black Stonehenge paper. I hope to do some smaller pieces wih more closeup views of these little restaurants and shops along the waterfront.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Starting a new path...

I have decided that I'm going to take my art to the next level. I've been teaching my students about art now for over 20 years and I need to take my art more seriously. Actually I have taken my art seriously for several years, but I've been limited on what I could achieve with it because of my location. But with all of this new technology, I've decided its time for me to just jump in and learn how to use it. I'm going to document my journey through this journal.

My latest accomplishments have been to make my first sale online and I've just recently completed a commission. I hope to make more sales online in the near future. As soon as school begins to wind down for the year, I will have more time for my art.

In the meantime, check back in the near future to see what I'm working on.

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