Sunday, February 24, 2008

The Creative Process

I've been struggling with creative block lately. I want to work on my own project, for a change, so bad that I just cannot seem to decide what to draw! Over the last couple of months I've had some commissions to do, so my time to work on 'whatever' has been limited. So now that I have some time to work on something else, I'm frustrated because I'm stumped as to what to do next. So when I read Cindy's blog about "The Creative Muse", it caught my attention. I spend a lot of time looking for new ideas for my students. My advanced students seem to have problems deciding for themselves also. Today I'm looking for ideas for lesson plans and came across some articles about the creative process and where Artists come up with ideas. I came across Nita Lelands blog about "Blockbusters for Artists". I think this is a good list, but I feel such a time crunch that I don't always take the time for these creative activities. I want to jump right in to 'my next great piece'! HA. But it doesn't work that way! I do have her book "The New Creative Artist" and use it at school with my students. I've even made some lessons from some of her projects. So I just need to take my own advice to my students, and play around with some of her ideas. I know what medium I want to use, Neocolors II and Prismacolors on pastelboard are my new favorites, because of their speed and painterly possibilities. Now for deciding what to paint/draw.
So Cindy suggests creating a list to get ideas. I'm still working on the main idea...The subject! I want to chose a subject that says its ME! Cindy often does Still Life, Nicole Caulfied often does Still Life. Paula does Yarn and other cute illustrations. I just seem to be all over the place! (Maybe a result of teaching art for 25 years.) I've got to focus more on 'my subject'! I've done many architectural pieces, but I'm not sure if that is 'my subject' or if I should pursue more still life or what? So what do you think? If you have any suggestions, please feel free to leave a comment.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Tulips ATC

"3 Tulips"
2 1/2" x 3 1/2"
Prismacolors and Neocolor II
Blue Colourfix
Beth S. Macre © 2007
This is my latest ACEO. I used neocolor II underpainting with prismacolors on top. This is included in the online trade of ATCs at ScribbleTalk. ScribbleTalk is an online community of colored pencil artists (and some others who use other drawing media).

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Pear with Neocolor II

I finally had some time to play with my new neocolors II today. I really had no idea how to use these, so I just started to play. What I really wanted to do was to make it look painterly. So I started with a simple sketch of a pear. Its such a simple shape, but can be so interesting to me. Then I used scarlet neopastel as the underpainting for the pear(except I used yellow for the light highlighted side of the pear). And a vermilion color for the underpainting of the background. Dark brown went down for the underpainting of the table. After I wet the colors and let them dry, I began to lay down dry color with prismacolors. I used blues on top of the background colors. Light greens on top of the pear. So here is my result, but I have to say, the original looks taller than this image.

Beth S. Macre © 2007

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentines Day

"Valentine" 2/14/2008 ~ bsm

We made valentines at school today. High school students really get into giving valentines. I thought my students who were finished with their cubism projects might want to create some valentine cards for fun. And yes, they really had fun with it. A lot more fun than I expected! And that's a good thing! Its not always easy to please high school students!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Links to talented colored pencil artists...

I guess I was tagged on another blog by Cindy, a very sweet person who is amazingly talented with colored pencils, quilting, and other fabric arts. She is an amazing person who I admire alot. She offers workshops in colored pencils, so check her out!
I'm fairly new at blogging, so I'm not real sure of what to do with being tagged. That said...I'm just going tell about the blogs that I check out almost daily:

1. Cindy's (see links above)
2. Paula - Another amazing colored pencil artist, illustrator,and crafty knitter! I am the proud owner of 2 of her ACEOs! She also sells some knitted pieces here.
3. Fannie - A very creative and talented artist who seems to be very busy doing things for others. She experiments with colored pencils, neocolors, and fabric art.
4. Nicole - An amazingly talented colored pencil artist. I love to read about what she is currently working on.
5. Katherine - This blog is full of good information for artists...from composition to business to art supplies. Wow, she does a lot of research!

Hope you guys will check them out. I'm learning alot from them.

One other blog I check weekly is not an artist, but one of my former art students (and family friend) who is studying in France this semester.
6. Sarah - She is blogging about her experiences in France and I'm proud to say she is taking advantage of the art museums.

I think I am supposed to tell some things about myself, but I'm not sure anyone would find anything that interesting. Maybe later, I will try to think about that one. Hmmm.....

I am through with the portrait commission, so I hope to start working on a new project of my own soon. I'm going through reference photos to get ideas. So I will post just 2 more journal sketches for now.

"Scribbling" sketch journal
Fall 2005
Beth S. Macre

"Drawing the Baseball Team" sketch journal
Spring 2006
Beth S. Macre

Friday, February 8, 2008

More sketches...

'Pink Painting' journal sketch
Beth S. Macre

'First Baptist Church' pen & ink commission journal sketch
June 2004
Beth S. Macre

'Cooks Barn' colored pencil commission journal sketch
'Farmer's Bank' pencil and ink commission (on table)
Fall 2005
Beth S. Macre

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

More Sketches...

I'm still working on the portrait commission, so I will post a few more journal sketches. These are distractions that kept me from spending much time drawing that year.

"Ready to Shop"
Beth S. Macre
I really hate to shop actually, but back then it was a regular distraction.

"Where is the snow?"
Beth S. Macre

Every year I hope for a pretty snowfall. I guess I need to move farther north, because it has become rare for us to get more than a dusting or just flurries around here. 20 years ago it was much more common to get several inches a few times a year.

"Baseball Season"
Beth s. Macre

Another activity that took up alot of my time up to a couple of years ago is my son's baseball games. He still plays on the high school team, but I'm not able to go to all of their games because of distance and work.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Hope for Natalee

"Hope for Natalee"
May 2005
I made this sketch in my journal in 2005 not long after Natalee Holloway went missing.
Beth now has answers...
...I hope Joran gets his punishment now.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

More sketches...

Why did I become a teacher?

I've been drawing and painting since I was a child, but I was never really got serious about it until I went to college. I took art classes in high school then in college, but I changed my major a few times, not thinking I could make a living from being an artist. I didn't, after all, know anyone personally that actually did that. So being the type person that plays everything safe, I decided that art degree needed a steady job to go with it. So I made the decision to become an art teacher. I know, most people say that they teach because they want to work with kids. Well, I have to be honest, that was not my motivation. I wanted a steady paycheck. I have enjoyed working with the older (high school) kids. But I also must say that it can be frustrating to get them motivated to work to their potential! (I'm sure my teachers thought the same about me, come to think about it!) Its great when the students really get it, enjoy it, and work at it! So I have taught high school art now for over 20 years and I've really learned alot from my students over the years. I think I have grown and evolved as an artist because of my teaching career. I have really grown to love working with the kids too! But on the other hand, it has limited my time to work on my own art, to the point of being frustrated by never having enough time to do what I want to do. I hope to have that time to work on what I want to do someday...but for now I have to go to work...I have duty this morning.

Here are a few more pages from my 'Artist Block Journal':

Ready to draw...
Beth S. Macre

Ready to Go...
Beth S. Macre

Sometimes I don't create because of other having to go to work, grocery shopping, kids activities....

'Lizie and Lexie'
Beth S. Macre

Sad and lazy. Sometimes I just get sad and lazy and don't do anything for a few days...especially this time of year!

Artist Block Sketch Journal

Artist Block Journal
About 4 years ago I decided to make art a bigger priority in my 'spare' time. My children were in high school and did not require as much of my time...they were going out with friends, going to events without me more and more. Before high school, they were more dependent on me and my transportation, obviously. Anyway, in 2004 I wanted to start drawing more regularly, as time allowed. But taking an hour or two of my busy daily schedule is harder than it sounds, and even harder to have inspiration to draw on demand! So I decided to start a sketch journal. I call it my "Artist Block Journal", because I only sketched in it when I couldn't come up with an idea for a 'real' sketch or drawing. I decided I would use a simplified figure in all of the sketches. That figure would have characteristics similar, but not exactly, like me. So I came up with a very rough charachter with a round head, that I named 'Lizie'...short for Elizabeth.

While I am working on the portrait commission that I have to finish in another week, I will post some of these sketches from that journal. Fortunately, 2004 has the most posts. Since then I have gradually been able to spend more of my spare time on actual sketches, drawings, and some paintings. But I enjoy looking back at the evolution of 'Lizie' and some of the projects that I have illustrated in those sketches. I plan to continue this sketch journal as much as possible.

Here are the first few pages of my artist block journal:

Page #1 in my Artist Block Sketch Journal
Lizie 1/1/2004
Beth S. Macre
Notice the very round head. She has evolved a little since then.

Page #2 ~ Artist Block Sketch Journal
Lizie 1/1/2004
Beth S. Macre
Notice the Turtleneck?

Page #3 ~ Artist Block Sketch Journal

Lizie 1/10/2004

"Wanting to Draw"

Beth S. Macre

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