Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Experimenting with Texture, Paint, and Collage

"Paris Eiffel Tower"
Beth S. Macre © 2008

Acrylic Paint on canvas

As an art teacher, I am constantly looking for new projects for my 3rd and 4th year students. Since these students have been with me for 3 and 4 years, they need more and more challenging projects each year. Some of my students really love a challenge and I really enjoy seeing what they come up with. The latest challenge that we all took on together, was to create a map relief textured painting. They could choose a map of any place, pick out the interesting lines and shapes to create an abstract or semi-abstract design. The only other requirements were that they should use a gel molding paste to create textured relief parts. I told them they could add pieces of fabric, wire, paper, or other items if they wished to create a collage effect. I also showed them a few ways to add texture to the molding paste to create different effects. Some of which I included in my "Eiffel Tower Map of Paris" piece shown here.

When I applied the molding paste, I laid a piece of wire mesh on top of the wet paste and pressed it on, using a pallette knife, then removed the wire mesh, leaving the texture. You can see a close up of the textures in the 2nd and 3rd photos here. The textures show up after they are painted with layers of paint of a variety of colors. To see it larger, click on the image.

For my painting I used a map of Paris, from my trip last summer. I also collaged a cut out photo that I took of the Eiffel Tower and printed in grayscale, then painted around the edges and some on top of the paper.

This was one of those projects that I really had fun with and plan to do more using the molding gel. I really love the effects that you can create with the textures. One of my goals for 2009 is to do more of this type of painting.

Tomorrow I will be doing some studio cleaning and thinking about the rest of those goals for 2009.

Hope you have a happy and safe New Year!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

100 Posts...Time to Reflect

"Jessica's Thoughts"
Beth S. Macre © 2006
Prismacolor Colored Pencils on Stonehenge
100 posts! I just noticed that my last post was my 99th post to my blog! I started blogging last year in May. The first year I only blogged occasionally. I'm not typically a talkative person, so it was hard for me at first. Especially to talk about myself and my art. I had started an art journal before that, but it was private and noone else read it but me. I noticed a lot of artists were keeping art journals online. I decided to give it a try. I had been wanting a website, but I didn't really have enough recent work for a website. So I have realized, over the last year and a half, that my purpose for my blog is not only to share my art journey with my friends and family, but to share with other artists and to meet other artsts along the way. That is the best part! I love to see what other artists are doing and hear about how they go through their creative journey.

So this week, I will be thinking about the past year and what I have accomplished and will think about next year and what I hope to accomplish. I am going to think about what goals I want to set for the year and put them in writing this year so I can come back to it next year and see if they are the same. I am hoping this year will be a better year for everyone and I am looking forward to a fresh start!

Why do you blog?

Friday, December 26, 2008

Handmade Gifts...

...are made with love. It is a good feeling when you create something for someone who really appreciates and loves what you created for them. Especially when its family. My nieces love their dogs and wanted paintings of them, so I offered to do that for Christmas. It was close, but I did get them done for Christmas Day. After the delicious meal that Mom made, and we all enjoyed, we all went into the den to exchange gifts. The girls were very excited to finally see the paintings that I had painted, so they both unwrapped the paintings first. They both were very pleased and excited about their new art.
Both paintings were fun to create and handmade with love. I hope they will enjoy them for years to come.

Hope you all are having a wonderful holiday with loved ones.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Only Dreaming of a White Christmas....

I love snow!!!
Here in the South, we never have a true white Christmas. I've only heard stories from when I was a baby, when there was actual measurable snow on the ground on Christmas day! In fact, this year, we have no chance for a white Christmas. Last week we did have some white stuff on the ground, but it was a mixture of sleet and freezing rain. That is what it looked like outside my front door. Just enough to be dangerous for us southerners to drive on. So we did have two snow days. School closed for 2 days!
Those days were well timed for me. I worked on one of the two paintings that I have to complete by Thursday, Christmas day, as gifts for my nieces. I spent the last two days painting and I'm almost finished with both paintings. Whew! Its going to be close, but they will get done. (I will post pictures after Christmas.)
Now if I can find that last gift tomorrow...
So what are your chances for a white Christmas?
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

More Holiday Preparations...

My daughter and I decorated her homemade snowflake cookies this afternoon. This is a new cookie for her to make and we thought they turned out very pretty. This could become a new holiday tradition for us. Are you changing or adding any holiday traditions this year?

Friday, December 19, 2008

Preparing for the Holidays

Its been a busy week finishing up the fall semester at school...after a 2 day snow day break...but now its over and I'm trying to get busy with preparations for Christmas! I can't believe that it is already next week! I will be working on another painting this week that is going to be a Christmas gift, plus I have more shopping to do! So this week will be hectic, but relaxing at the same time. Time at home with family is always good. Cookies are being baked right now...and the good thing is...my daughter is doing the baking! But I've been told I will be helping decorate them soon. I will post pictures when they are done.

Hope you are all having a wonderful holiday season!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Time is Short!

Well, you know how they say time flies when your having fun? Well I guess I've been having too much fun because this semester has flown by! (Well, I have been so busy that I haven't had any time to be bored!) Time has gone so fast that this is the last week of school and I'm realizing how soon Christmas will be here! I am not ready for this! Is it because there was one less week after Thanksgiving? I have done very little Christmas shopping. I've got 2 paintings to finish for Christmas gifts. I'm praying for a snow day tomorrow, just so I can get those paintings started. We are under a winter weather warning for tonight and the morning, so there is a good chance of it! Can't show you my ideas yet, but I'll show you the subjects of the 2 paintings. Lets just say my nieces are very proud of their dogs! As we all are of our wonderful pets. I have my idea sketched out on the canvas and they are ready to paint. I think they will be fun to paint so I'm ready to get started. Meet Georgia and Bella. Aren't they sweet?

Sunday, December 7, 2008

In the Spirit of Giving...

Christmas is many things to many people, but it gives people great opportunities to give of yourself to others. Some people have that special way of making other people feel special and always find ways to give to other people. I have met many people that are well liked by many people because of their loving and generous personalities. Since I've been blogging, I have been lucky to have come to know, through the internet, one of those generous personalities. This week she is spotlighting me and some other artists' Etsy shops on her blog, Fannie Narte. She has purchased items from our shops and is giving them away to her blog readers! Now that, to me, is a beautiful example of the spirit of giving!
She has been very helpful and supportive of me and my art, I want to give her some of the spotlight. She has an Etsy shop too where she sells journals, mixed media art, fiber arts, and cards. Please go check out her shop. She is very creative!

Thank you Fannie!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Decorating the Tree

"Angel on the Tree"
Beth S. Macre © 2008
I haven't put up my Christmas tree yet. My plans are to do that next weekend before the kids come home for the holidays. But I did work on this colored pencil drawing of my tree and a couple of the ornaments that I have created in the past. I love handmade ornaments and other Christmas decorations. They can have such special meaning. I made these ornaments along with several others that decorate my tree. The angels are made of lace and the gold ball ornament is a glass ornament with paint swirled inside. Some were also given as gifts that year. Some of my favorite ornaments are the ones that the kids made when they were in school. I'm looking forward to bringing out the memories.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Holiday Season is Here!

Santas Making His List!
Well now that Thanksgiving is over, the rush of the holiday season has begun! Only a few weeks of school is left until Christmas Holiday begins! Which means only 25 days until Christmas! I've only purchased a few Christmas gifts so far. I really wish I were one of those organized people who finishes all of their shopping long before the crowds at the malls and stores. In the past few years I have begun to dread shopping because of all of the crowds, lines, and not knowing what to buy for my loved ones. So some of my shopping will be done online this year for that reason. Tomorrow is supposedly the beginning of cyber shopping and it even has its own name... "Cyber Monday". Well I don't know if that is really the case, because I think many people shop online all year round these days. But just in case anyone wishes to buy from my Etsy shop...I am running a special for $50 purchases this week. Any $50 or more purchased from my Etsy shop will receive Free Shipping to anywhere in the US Special this week only! So stop by my shop to browse. The special ends Friday December 5th.

Happy shopping to all!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Lake House Tile

Lake House Tile
Beth S. Macre © 2008
Click here if you would like purchase this tile!
I created this tile a couple of months ago, but just now got it fired and ready to list in my Etsy shop. I've been so busy with work at school and bringing work home from school that I just haven't had much spare time for my own work. But I have managed to get a few clay pieces fired recently but I haven't had much luck with the results. I've been less than happy with some of the pieces that I glazed fired recently. But I am happy with the this tile.
Sales have been slow on Etsy anyway and I'm blaming it on the economy for now. Its either that or I need to stop creating these tiles. I'm going to run out of room storing them in my art room! So I guess I need to concentrate on working with my colored pencils for awhile. I've really been missing my time using my colored pencils lately, so that's what I will be working on next...as soon as I finish a painting that I'm working on. I will post that when I get it to a stage where I'm satisfied with it. I know, I'm all over the place with different mediums. I think that is because I'm an art teacher. I'm usually working on something similar to an assignment that I've given my students. Plus I don't get bored when I changed up often.
On another note, today was my last day for jury duty! I've been doing my civic duty for about the last 6 weeks. Although it is a pain to have to plan to be out of work, I really would like to have been chosen for a jury...just for the experience. But I wasn't. Out of the 4 times that we actually had to show up to the courthouse, they only picked one jury. My number wasn't picked, so I missed my one chance to actually be on a jury! Maybe next time.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

ATC Trade

I've participated in ATC exchanges on ScribbleTalk many times and it is very exciting to receive one of these little packages in the mail. One of those little packages came from Paula Pertile last year. It is the beautiful fortune cookie image in this post. Paula Pertile © 2007 -2008
Thanks Paula, I proudly have this on display in my studio! So I found out about this Holiday ATC exchange from visiting Paula Pertile's blog about this Strathmore Artist Papers Holiday ATC Swap. I'm thinking about participating if I can get one done by November 26th, which is the postmark deadline. It says the theme is Holiday or Winter Theme, so maybe I can come up with something, if I can come up with the time. I've been sick for the past week and I'm finally feeling human again, so hopefully I can get back into a creative mood soon!
I do have a holiday themed colored pencil drawing that is on the drawing board and waiting to be finished...I started it last year, so my goal is to finish it this year!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

October ATC Exchange

by Brandy Perez © 2008
I am the lucky recipient of this little beauty that was created by Brandy Perez. Some of the members of ScribbleTalk.com, a website for Colored Pencil, and other pencil media, participate in an exchange of ATCs (Artist Trading Cards). For the October exchange, I received this drawing by a very talented young artist. Brandy Perez is an award winning artist who, I predict, has a very bright future with her art. She is known for her amazing colored pencil paintings of cows, but she has proven to be talented with many subjects.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

AREtsy Team

The Arkansas Etsy Team is called AREtsy. I live in Arkansas, so I joined this Etsy Street Team to help promote my shop on Etsy. There is a wide variety of items and styles in this group and it is a very friendly group. I hope you will check out some of the shops.

I was featured in an Arkansas Treasury this week too. I was very pleased to find my tiles in two different treasuries this week. The first one was for the Etsy Mud Team and the second was the AREtsy team. Check out the Arkansas team Blog for a list of members and shop links. This treasury featured my custom tile listing.

This treasury was created by Glassbead. Thank you Glass!

Etsy Treasury

I was featured in a recent Treasury that was created by an EtsyMudTeam member, MudGoddess. It expires tomorrow, but here is a snapshot of the treasury.

I was also featured in an AREtsy Treasury. I will post it in my next entry along with more information about Arkansas Artists or the AREtsy Team.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Heart Frame Tile

I haven't posted in awhile because I've been feeling creative frustration lately. Work and life have been very busy and stressful lately so I haven't had much time for creative time at home. I hope that will change soon. I need to make it a priority again, for my own sanity. I need to turn off the tv and stop watching the news. All the economic and political turmoil is becoming negative energy. I want to create for the sake of creating, but when I think of the economy, I begin to wonder if there is any point. But I will keep creating, despite the bad economy, because that is what I do. I don't feel like I've accomplished anything if I go very long without finishing a project. I just posted this little clay tile frame with hearts in my Etsy shop. I've got a few more clay items that I will be posting soon.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

"The Ritz" - Custom Tile Finished!

My latest clay tile is finished and on its way to its new owner who plans to give it as a gift. It has taken many weeks for this process to be completed because of the many steps that are required to finish a clay piece. First I made sketches from the description that the customer gave to me for what she wanted. In this case, she wanted a lakehouse. She made a couple of suggestions for changes of little details. Then I created the tile in clay, which took me 3 to 4 hours. Then the drying and waiting time began. To avoid warping of the tile, I loosely cover my tiles for several days to start the drying process, very slowly. After it is leather hard, I start to uncover the tile for a little while each day. I don't want the little details to dry too quickly. Eventually leaving it uncovered to completely dry out. Some of the edges are cleaned up, then I put it into the kiln to fire. After it is bisque fired, I apply black glaze to the surface and wipe away the black on the top surfaces, leaving black in the creases, lines, indentions, etc. The black glaze makes the texture and the depth show up better. The glaze colors are painted on, then refired. The best part is opening up the kiln to see the final result! Hopefully, it looks like I planned. Sometimes it does not. That can be disappointing. Although this process can take several weeks, I enjoy it and the creative process.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Memphis Chapter CPSA Art Show

I don't have much news this week, except that I have two drawings hanging in the Memphis Chapter of CPSA show at the Bartlett Performing Arts Center, Bartlett, Tennessee. This show will run through Oct. 29th. As I mentioned last month , I had my latest baseball picture and my Tree Scribbles framed for this show. You can see these hanging in these two pictures. That's my baseball above the woman's head in the picture. The collage tree with scribbles is in the 2nd photo in the middle. The opening reception was held last night.

"Stars, Stripes, and Stitches
"Colors of the Seasons"

Saturday, September 27, 2008

New Clay Tile

Last week I posted a picture of this tile before it went into the kiln. This is how it turned out. This little cottage garden was inspired this summer when I was in France. As we were driving through the country and the villages, I noticed that many of the homes had flower boxes and pretty gardens, and they all had shutters on the windows. I have always been interested in architecture and I had plenty to look at in France. I have many reference pictures that I hope to use for future drawings and possibly more tiles. It is now in my Etsy Shop.
Garden House Tile
Beth S. Macre
© 2008

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

My Etsy Treasury

I have had a shop at Etsy for several months now. Etsy is very busy, large and growing larger all the time, so it is important to promote your shop so people (buyers) will see your work and, hopefully, buy something from your shop. One method of promotion at Etsy is through the Treasuries. But the idea behind the treasuries is to promote other artists that you like in the treasury. A showcase of your own favorites or members of your 'teams'. It is, however, a challenge to get a treasury(that would take a whole post to explain how to get one and to create it). I've only made 2 treasuries since I opened shop. This is a snapshot of the one that I made last night. It features some colorful pieces from some of my favorites from 'team' members of the 'Mud Team' (clay artists), and a few from Arkansas artists, and some from online forums that I have gotten to know over the years that have recently opened new Etsy shops. Some of the new shops that have been opened are Cindy Haase, Paula Pertile, and Fannie Narte. They are very talented and friendly artists who have been kind to me and I wanted to show them my appreciation by helping to promote their shops. So I hope you will drop by their shops and see what beautiful things that they have been creating!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Another week of school done and I'm beginning to get caught up and ready to start working on some things of my own. I have some clay tiles and some smaller pieces that I need to glaze and fire to add to my Etsy shop. I hope to do that soon. Here is one of the tiles I'm working on before it was fired. I will post an update as soon as I glaze fire it.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Getting Framed...

School started 3 weeks ago and I've been busy with work and no energy left at the end of the day to post or create. But hopefully things will start to settle down with school and I won't have as much work to bring home soon. I do have a few clay tiles that have been drying and waiting to be fired, so I hope to get to that soon.

I will be in a group show beginning around the end of this month, so I've gotten a couple of my most recent colored pencil paintings framed. The show is the Memphis Chapter of CPSA that I belong to. Their annual show will be held September through October at the Bartlett Performing Arts Center in Bartlett, Tennessee.

One of my colored pencil paintings is my 'Tree Scribbles' that I worked on in the last year. It is a collage of colored pencil on stonehenge pieces, glued to a black stonehenge background. The Colors extend onto the black stonehenge, which is hard to see in the photo. You can see a better image of the drawing unframed here. I've been debating on the title for awhile, but I think I've decided on "Colors of the Seasons".

This was another loose piece that I enjoyed working on lately. As soon as things slow down at work, I hope to do some more colored pencils pieces using these loose textural strokes.

Another piece that I will show is my latest cp piece, "Stars, Stripes, and Stichtes". Here it is framed. I think it turned out very nice in the frame. I ordered the frame and mat online, but the mat came slightly too large for the image, so I had to go back and add a quarter inch around the edges so it would fit, and I like the way it turned out. You can see a better unframed image of this one here.

"Stars, Stripes & Stitches"

Beth S. Macre © 2008

Friday, August 22, 2008

One Week Down...

I survived the dreaded first week of school with the kiddos. Its always so exhausting. With all of the new lesson plans, teaching the rules, seating charts, schedule changes, and being on my feet all day long. I haven't had much energy at the end of each day for creating anything new. I'm hoping to begin to feel creative soon. I start to feel useless if I'm not working on something! That feeling is beginning to creep up on me...and I don't like it!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Fun Painting!

I am known for how slowly I work on my art. Colored pencils, pen and ink are both very slow processes for me, but I have much better control over those materials. So I think that is why I am 'drawn' to them. But on the other hand, I really admire loose paintings and loose drawings, for that matter. I 'want' to work more loosely! My daughter tells me that "I 'try' too hard, Want it to be 'too perfect'. " So, as I said earlier, she just moved into an apartment, and needed art for her walls. Well after she took some of my art off my walls, she still needed more! So she showed me some styles and subjects that she liked and I said that I would try to paint something for her. Well
I ran out of time before she moved, so I took my acrylic paints with me when we moved her, but even then I just didn't have enough to time to come up with a painting that 'she' could visualize that I could also visualize. So I gave up on creating paintings for her. So when I returned home, I started moving some of my art supplies into her empty bedroom (specifically my paints). So last weekend, I felt especially creative so I went into her room and painted both of these paintings that day! And they are very large paintings, for me. 24"x36" each! But I enjoyed choosing my own color combinations, subject, and slapping some paint here and there, adding some textural medium and really enjoyed the whole process. I managed to break out of that perfectionist mode for the day. I hope to do some more paintings using this style. So right now these paintings are hanging on my previously empty wall (she took another painting that I had done earlier in the same style) and I am really liking the way they look on that wall. But I have listed them in my Etsy shop, so if someone else loves them as much as I do, then I will part with them. If they don't get purchased, I have a feeling that they may disappear when my daughter comes home to visit her empty bedroom! Guess I need to go buy a bed!

Close up of One of the "Flowers in the Vases"
Pair of 2 Large canvases.
Beth S. Macre © 2008

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Starts, Stripes & Stitches II

"Stars, Stripes & Stitches"
Beth S. Macre © 2008
15" x 7 1/4"
Colored Pencils on Watercolor Paper
Earlier I did a smaller version of this as a practice piece. I decided that I did want to enlarge it and I just finished it. The earlier version is posted here. This one will be framed and hang in a show in a few months. Now on to start a new project.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Back to School...

My summer break is already over! Teacher in-service started yesterday. Students come back in a week and a half! Where does the summer go? I am grateful to have June and July off, but it sure does go by quickly! Especially if you take any trips or have alot going on. Since I started the summer with the trip to France and ended the summer by moving my daughter, it just seems like it only lasted a few weeks!

I had hoped to get more accomplished with my art, but I did not have as much time as I would have liked. I did do alot of promotion and setting up of my new Etsy shop, so now I hope to start adding some more pieces to my shop. This year will be testing the waters as far as sales go. There are tons of blogs that give wonderful advice on selling, especially for the holidays. I will have to spend some time reading through some of them. Of course, that is more time out of the studio and I really need to spend time this weekend in the studio.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Emptying the Nest

My daughter has recovered from her tonsilectomy...finally! She had a tough couple of weeks, but she is now ready for her next big adventure! She will be moving back to college this weekend! We've done this before (moving her to college) but this one seems to be even more of a big ordeal...getting ready, getting furniture, getting her necessites (that she seems to think are the decorating items). She wants me to paint some large paintings for her living room, so that could be interesting. If it turns out I will post a picture. I will be glad when the move is behind us, but I will miss her, and her Papillion, at home. So my nest will be half empty again. In a year or so, the nest will be empty (probably temporarily so) but it will happen eventually.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Etsy Trade

Last week I mentioned that a lady from Canada contacted me about my Clay Tiles that I list in my Etsy shop. She mentioned that she would like one with her dogs and asked me if I would want to trade. Apparently there are many artists on Etsy that regularly trade with other artists. So I looked in her shop and liked this painting. Anyway, we agreed to trade, I created the Custom Dog tile that I posted here, and sent it off in the mail. I received this painting in the mail yesterday and I am very pleased to get it! I love the painting. I think it is very creative and it is proudly hanging in my home now. Please check out Serena's shop called heaven's earth. She hasn't received the tile yet, so I'm hoping to hear that she received it soon.
Because of this trade, I also added a listing to my shop for custom orders. So far I haven't had any orders, but I'm hoping that things will pick up in the future.
On a personal note, my daughter had her tonsils out last week, so I have been busy nursing her back to health and get her ready to move back to college next month. So I will not be accomplishing alot of personal artwork until after the move. My daughter wants me to paint some things to decorated her walls, but I don't know when that will happen!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Slightly Slower Pace

After our visit to the chateau at Versailles, we traveled to Tours, France. Our hotel was more of a traditional old style hotel in France. It had been renovated and updated so although it was very old, it was clean and comfortable, with the exception of the size of our bathroom. In the lobby, the one elevator was the old kind that you have to open the door on the outside and the inside and there was room for only 2 to 3 adults (or one person with several suitcases)!

After we got settled in the hotel, we walked to dinner in the Old part of downtown Tours. In these pictures, you can see the old charming achitecture that is full of cafes, creperies, and shops. Our dinner was at a little restaurant called L'Auberge de Savoie. Its decor looked like a ski lodge. After dinner we walked through the old town looking at the sights...and stopping for ice cream. I don't speak French, but I did manage to order 'Un bule orange' or one scoop of orange sherbet. It helps when you are traveling with a French teacher!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Tour of Versailles

On the 5th day we boarded the bus to travel to Versailles.

It was a cool and cloudy morning when we arrived at the Palace of Versailles. The palace is very large and we were only able to tour a small part of it. It was the home of Louis XIV, so it is very grand with lots of gold and elaborate ornamentation and large paintings. I couldn't begin to give a brief version of the summary of this historically rich place. There is a massive amount of information about this Chateau if you follow this link (if you are interested). There is a pretty cool aerial view that you can click on.

This is the back of the main part of the Palace of Versailles.
And the view from here is towards the gardens and the Grand Canal.

After we left Versailles, we were back on the bus to head towards our next destination of Tours, France, a very charming French town, where we were to stay 2 nights. Next I will post some pictures from there and the next Chateaus that we visited.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Tired Group!

Trip to France...continued...
I have no new finished artwork of mine to show, so I will post a few more pictures from my trip to France. After Becky and I took our time looking around the Musee Dorsay, we came out at our planned meeting time, to find the rest of our group! Lively bunch huh!
Next we left Paris to go visit the northern part of France. I will post some of those pictures later. We visited some very large chateaus and the highlight of the rest of my trip was our trip to the Normandy Beaches. So I hope you will come back and visit if you are interested in those sites.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Custom Tile for Canadian

Here is a picture of the custom tile that I created for a lady in Canada. She wanted a tile and asked if I wanted to trade something from her shop, so I agreed. There was a painting in her shop that I liked, so she sent me photo of her 2 dogs. They were standing up on the railings of the porch of her house. She didn't give me any other instructions, so this is what I came up with. I have to say that I really enjoyed creating it, so now I listed in my Etsy store custom tiles. So maybe some others will order some custom tiles from me. I'm going to work on some other sample tiles to sell soon. It does take a couple of weeks for them to be finished. They have to dry slowly, get fired, then get glazed and fired again. So the whole process can take up to 2 to 3 weeks, depending how busy I am.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Taking a break...

I've been taking a break from the blog this past week. I've been busy working on some things but I haven't had anything to show. I've been doing a lot of research on Etsy.com. I think I mentioned earlier that I recently opened a shop there. You can find me at bmacre.etsy.com.
So I've been doing a lot of reading about how to promote my shop so it doesn't get lost in crowd. There are so many artists with shops on there that are very successful, but from what I understand, that doesn't just happen without alot of effort! I did have my first sale about a week ago (YAY!) to a lady in Greece! So my Pink Flamingo ACEO should be in Greece by now. I guess that means I've gone International. lol I've also been working on a custom tile as a trade with an artist in Canada. I fired it in the kiln today, so hopefully I will be able to photograph it tomorrow and post it here. I hope that she likes it!
Some other things that I'm working on are ideas for future pieces that will be put in my shop, a larger colored pencil drawing for an upcoming CPSA Chapter Art Show, and I'm also getting ready to paint a mural at my church soon. So I've got alot to do, but my summer break will be over in one month! So I have to get busy! Oh and life has a way of cutting into that art time too! Oh well, I guess I would rather be busy than bored! Bored? I really don't know what that word means!

Monday, June 30, 2008

Patriotic Baseballs

Study for "Stars, Stripes, & Stitches"
Beth S. Macre © 2008
Prismacolor pencil on Watercolor paper
3 1/2" x 7 1/2"
Wishing everyone has a happy and safe Fourth of July!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

End of Day Four...a long day...

Day four proved to be an interesting but very busy day of walking, touring, walking, touring, and more walking. As I mentioned several posts back, we started out this day with our early morning tour of the Eiffel Tower, then on to the Musee d'Orsay by way of walking and the metro (or RER train). After a few hours at the Musee d'Orsay, we were able to return to the hotel briefly to freshen up, then meet for our boat ride on the Sienne River. The boat ride was nice but you cannot see alot from the water. I think everyone was happy to sit for an hour. After that we were off to the metro to head towards the Arch de Triomphe. They now have a tunnel under the round about, so you don't have to go through the crazy traffic to get there.

France's Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is under the Arch, where they have a ceremony nightly to relight the eternal flame. You can pay to go up to the top of the Arch, but there are lots of steps involved, and most of us were getting rather weary from our day of walking and touring. So we looked around from below, then returned to the Champs Elysées and began walking towards our restaurant for dinner. On the way, we stopped to watch some 'street dancers'. They were pretty good after they got warmed up. We had reservations for dinner at an Italian restaurant. It was very good, but everyone was very tired and ready to go back to the Hotel when we were finished eating. The next day we would leave Paris for Tours, France.

Monday, June 23, 2008

New Artwork...finally!

"Giraffe Snack Time"
ACEO ~ 2 1/2" x 3 1/2"
Beth S. Macre © 2008
I will post more about my trip to France later. This weekend I finally worked on some of my own art. I finished up 2 little ACEOs. Both are animals, which is not common for me, but these have been wanting to be drawn, so I caved in. So one is the Papillon that currently resides in my home...and the other is a giraffe having a snack. One of our very talented student photographers took some pictures, one of which was the giraffe, and gave me permission to draw. I took the picture of the Papillon and have been wanting to draw it so I did this little ACEO size one first. The lighter colors of the fur are difficult to get accurate in the scan. But after adjusting it, it looks a little closer to looking like the original. Both drawings were done with a technical pen first, then I added an underpainting of Prismacolor watercolor pencils, then dry Prismacolor pencils on top. For now, I need to get back to the drawing board! Summer is flying by!

"Just Laying Around"
ACEO ~ 2 1/2" x 3 1/2"
Beth S. Macre © 2008

Friday, June 20, 2008

The Musee d'Orsay

This week has flown by and I have not had time to write a decent post about the Musee d'Orsay, until now. I have been interested in the Impressionists since I started teaching high school students and created lesson plans that would motivate my students to learn more about art history. Of course, Vincent van Gogh has always caught their attention because of his tragic life and his unique style. So I was very excited about going to the Musee d'Orsay to see their collection of Impressionists paintings. So I wanted to give this museum a post all by itself. It took me awhile to decide what pictures to include. I kindof went crazy taking pictures of the Impressionist paintings, so it was a little difficult for me to decide which ones to include. I've posted them smaller because there are several, but you can click on them to see them larger. Especially the 'Bedroom in Arles' by Vincent van Gogh close up. You can see how thick the paint is in the picture. But don't look at the picture of me too close, you will see my wrinkles and other flaws!

Inside the Main Hall of the Musee d'Orsay

So, here is the inside of the Musee d'Orsay in the main hall. This beautiful architecture was originally built as in 1898-1900 as a 'modern' passenger railway station. The site, in the center of Paris, is by the Siene River. Before this site was purchased, it was in ruins with two buildings that had burned down, during the insurrection (revolt) in 1871. The new railway station would be finished in time for the Universal Exhibition of 1900 and would be used as a busy railway station for many years. After WWII, its use became outdated and eventually closed. After being used for various things throughout the years and coming close to being demolision, finally in the 1970's, it was decided that it should be preserved and reopened in 1986 as the Musee d'Orsay.

Me taking a break after viewing all of the Impressionists paintings.

Me beside the painting by Vincent Van Gogh ~ "Bedroom at Arles"

Self Portrait by Vincent Van Gogh (close up)
If you click on the image, you will see a close up of the bold color, texture, and brushstrokes that Van Gogh is so well known for! Some of the other Impressionist artists that I love to look at up close are Claude Monet and Georges Seurat (pointillism). There are others, but this post is getting very long, so I think I will have to stop with these.

Waterlily Pond, Symphony in Rose 1900 by Claude Monet ~ close up.

"The Circus" Georges Seurat, 1890-91.
Pointillism fascinates me and this was the first Seurat that I have seen in real life.
I think all artists are inspired by other artists, both living and historical. Do you have a favorite style or artist? Have you seen any up close and in real life?

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