Saturday, December 31, 2011

Cheers to 2011 and Welcome 2012!

Pen and Ink - 11 x 14
by Beth S. Macre 2011  ©  2011     
Two more pen and ink commissions that I did this year. I couldn't post them until after Christmas, so here they are.

The pen and ink drawings have kept me busy this year and I appreciate all of the positive feedback from everyone.  I hope to have the opportunity to continue to create drawings for those who want to capture memories of home to give as gifts, or for yourselves.

In the coming year, I hope to add some other subjects to my commission works.  I am working on creating a portfolio of portraits of both people and pets to offer for commissions.  Look for updates in the near future.

Have a wonderful New Year!

Pen and Ink - 11 x 14
by Beth S. Macre 2011  ©  2011 

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Commissions

Now that Christmas is over, I can slow down and relax...for a few days anyway! It was down to the wire before Christmas, but I finished my last pen and ink commission on Christmas Eve!  Thank goodness my customer knew ahead of time that it would be close, but she was excited and very understanding.  They picked it up Christmas Eve and were very happy with it.

Pen and Ink House Commission
11 x 14
Another commission that I completed for a Christmas gift was picked up last week and my customer (Sarah) seemed extremely excited and pleased with the drawing!  This was her childhood home that they have recently sold, so it was very special to her and her family.  It is special to me also, because this house is down the street from a house where we used to live and my daughter spent more than a few nights in this home with her childhood friend, Sarah.  The days when the girls were playing together, beginning in Kindergarten, turned into days of riding around together in high school, and now they are attending the same University and making more memories attending football games and other activities. Homes are such special places for families to make memories and I believe that is why so many people enjoy having a drawing of their home to preserve those memories.

Below is the lake house drawing that was delivered Christmas Eve. 
Pen and Ink House Commission
16 x 20
I have a few more drawings that I made for customers for Christmas, but I want to make sure the gifts have been given before posting them online.  I also have more pen and ink commissions to start, but I will be taking a short break from pen and inks and working on some other projects for a change of pace.

Hope you made some great memories in your home this year.


Monday, December 26, 2011

The Christmas Trees and Creative Wrapping

The Christmas tree doodles were created for samples for my students. I wanted them to created 'non-traditional' but creative Christmas trees. Not the typical tree with lights and ornaments. 

Colored Pencil Heart Tree
by Me
Acrylic Painting Starry Night Tree
by Beth Macre
The gift wrapping was done by my daughter. This is her creative outlet. She loves to make pretty packages. She used an idea that she found on Pinterest.  The idea is to use yarn, instead of ribbon on the packages.
She did a great job and most of all...I didn't have to wrap one present!

Packages wrapped by my daughter. 

Pretty Packages under the Tree

By now, all of the packages have been opened. 
Hope you all had a nice Christmas and best wishes for the New Year. 


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Dreaming of a White Christmas...

Colored Pencil ACEO
by Me
We never have a true white Christmas, but I would love to have at least see some snow on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.  I love snow.  I thought I would share this version of Santa, that I drew, in his long john pjs and the snowy night background, in hopes that we see some snow around Christmas.

Shopping is mostly done. Wrapping is mostly done... thanks to my daughter!  Drawing commission is in the works and that is what I will be spending the rest of the week working to finish by Christmas Eve!  After Christmas I will be able to share the pen and ink home commissions.  I don't want to take the chance of someone recognizing their house before they receive their gift.

Hope you have a safe and Merry white Christmas (if you want one)!


Saturday, December 17, 2011


Colored Pencil ACEO
by Me
Wow, the time goes by so quickly when you a very busy! Semester finals are over, tests are graded and posted, room closed up for the break. Now for the baking, drawing, shopping, wrapping, cleaning, and traveling...whew...I need a nap!


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Random thoughts about art and Christmas List...

Colored pencil ACEO
Trying to get things done before Christmas, so I can't really post photos of my current projects, so I thought I would just post some of my past Christmas Minis and some random thoughts...both art and Christmas related.  I thought this Santa drawing was appropriate for this post.

I have more Santa minis that I will post between now and Christmas!

1. I love Pinterest! I just started using it recently and I'm amazed at the talented and creative people out there! I put a follow me button on the right column of my blog, if you want to check it out. But be warned, it can be addictive. I have to limit myself.   (I can spend as much time on Etsy as I do on Pinterest!)

2. I can't wait until Christmas vacation, which starts in 5 days!

3. I love watching Christmas movies on Hallmark and Lifetime Channels while drawing commissions. (Even the ones that I have seen multiple times and can be quite cheesy).

4. I love snow and would really love to have snow at Christmas...and even after Christmas!

5. I am looking forward to Christmas with my parents.  Its our family tradition and I can't imagine what it would be like without it.

6. Christmas shopping is stressful for me and I am not finished!  My Christmas wish is to simplify Christmas shopping.

7. I'm in the mood for some Chocolate chip cookies.  My favorite cookie.

8. ...oh and if Santa is reading this list...or one of his helpers...I would like a simple  sewing machine.  I have some art project ideas that I need a sewing machine for!

9. ...a small table top kiln would be nice too, but I don't think Santa makes those! ;-)

10. list stops here for now. I need to grade papers. Bah humbug! (I do not like grading papers!)


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

What's Going on In My Studio?

Pen and Ink Commission
Beth S. Macre© 2011 
It's crunch time in the studio! Now that Thanksgiving is over, its time to get pen and ink commissions started and finished.  I have a few left to do before Christmas, Then I will start on some that are not Christmas gift commissions.  So, I will be working on pen and ink drawings for a while.  This one is the latest that I can show. It was a birthday gift commission and it has been delivered and given to the owner of the lake house.  Although it has a lot of windows, it was fun to draw and the customer is happy!  I haven't had much time to work with clay, but I hope to be able to do that over Christmas break.


Friday, November 18, 2011

Looking forward to Thanksgiving Break!

Only 2 more days of work until Thanksgiving break! I am so ready! It has been one of those weeks!  I'm looking forward to spending time with family and having our traditional family Thanksgiving dinner.  After Thanksgiving my daughter will be here to help put up the Christmas tree.  She loves to decorate for Christmas and has already decorated her tree.  She sent this photo of an ornament that I made for her.  She is a big Razorback fan, so she would probably decorate her whole tree with Razorback decorations, if she had enough!  Guess I need to work on some different ideas for next year.

I have spent some time this week working on another pen and ink commission after finishing the last one. I won't be able to share the current pen and ink until after Christmas.  So I will just share some of the house ornaments that I have made recently, some of which are for sale in my Etsy shop.  Sooo...if you need a new handmade ornament for your Christmas tree, feel free to check out my Etsy shop.

Have a great weekend! 


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Tis the Season...?

"Wipe Ur Paws"
Acrylic painting 10 x 10 in
Beth S Macre© 2011 be stressed...for me that is.  I really do love the Fall season and the Holidays from Thanksgiving to Christmas.  But it really has become a stressful time for me.  The pressure to do so much in so little time sucks some of the joy out of the season. I'm thinking that one of my top goals for 2012 will be to eliminate the extra stress  from my life. I know its early to be thinking about the new year, but some things will have to go.  I'm really hoping that 2012 will be better for everyone.

Relax and enjoy life will be at the top of my list.  Creating art and spending time with family and friends is more important than filling out useless paperwork.  Right?
So I wanted to share my latest whimsical paintings.  I love the fun and whimsical art, because it makes me smile.

"Go Hogs!"
Acrylic painting 10 x 10 in.
Beth S Macre© 2011


Sunday, October 30, 2011

Getting Ready for the Fall Festival

I usually do not participate in Fall Festivals as a vendor, but since I have not been able to go to any art festivals this year, I decided to do a small local one.  I will have a booth at the Westminster Village Fall Festival next Saturday.  So if you are local, stop by and see me in my booth.   The vendors will be inside the Ramey Center and my booth will be located just inside the door to the left.  I will be selling my little clay houses and some of my whimsical acrylic paintings.  The best thing about this is that we do not have to travel more than 10 minutes (at the most) to get there! But I would love to do more art shows in the future. It is just too difficult when trying to work full time.

I also have colored pencil paintings currently on display at St. George's Episcopal Church in Germantown, TN, with the Memphis Chapter of the Colored Pencil Society of America, until Nov. 7th.

Shown are photos of my booth from the Norcross Art Festival that I attended last Fall.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Working Small with Pen and Ink

Rockin' on the Porch
Ink and Colored Pencil
Beth S. Macre © 2011

I organize an ATC exchange on the Colored Pencil Forum called ScribbleTalk. I have a wonderful collection of original art from a variety of artists from all over the country and some international artists.  ATCs are very small works of art. They are 3 1/2 inches x 2 1/2 inches.  Today I posted the most recent exchange on ScribbleTalk. I managed to finish this one for the exchange this time.  It will be going to its new home in North Carolina.  I will receive one from an artist who lives in Oregon. 

My inspiration was from a photo that I took while on a trip this summer with my old friends from high school. I posted a photo of the front porch here.    I'm sure at some point, this porch or house will be in another work of art from me. Right now its still in my mind, but it will be done someday. 

Have a nice week!


Saturday, October 22, 2011

I Love Connecting with other Artists!

I recently received an email from an artist named Teresa, whom I met at an art festival in Georgia last year. She contacted me about creating some churches for her to give as gifts.  So this is what I came up with. I have created some churches before, but I believe I will create more and in different styles. I love meeting other artists through art shows, organizations, and even online artists friends.  You never know when you will make a new friend!   


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Busy Fall Season

I love Fall weather and it has started to feel more and more like fall in the last couple of weeks.  I just wish I could slow down and enjoy this season. But fall seems to be one of my busiest times of the year. But I will try to enjoy it as I can...and as long as my allergies will let me.  Unfortunately, with fall comes the sinus problems.

But as for me and my art, I have had a little time to work on some pen and ink commissions.  One of which has been completed and delivered to the recipient of a birthday gift, so I can post a photo.  The recipient is very pleased and sent me a very nice Thank You note.

Now on to the next.


Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Balancing Act

Colored pencil and Black Sharpie Pen
Beth S. Macre © 2011

I am trying my best to balance out my school teaching duties with my own artistic goals, which is important as an art teacher, without getting overwhelmed. Plus I also have a personal life to keep into the equation. Sometimes I am tempted to chose not to participate in activities with friends and family, because I am so busy with everything else, which is not good. So that is what I am struggling with. I really want to do it all, but unfortunately, I have to sleep sometime during the 24 hours a day that we are given.
This week was an especially busy week at work, so I was extra tired and got little accomplished after work each day. There are so many creative projects that I would love to start, but right now the time is just not available. I will definitely need to cut back on those time wasting activities that accomplish nothing, except procrastination.
But this little drawing shown is a drawing I did with my students who were working on line designs with black pens and colored pencils.  I call it 'Butterflower' because it started out as a Flower, then I added the antennae and the flowing lines. I just thought it looked alot like a butterfly too.  I'm not sure if it is finished yet. I need to decide how I will use it.  I also have a black and white digital image of the design, so I may play around with adding different colors in photoshop.

Well I'm off to go work on some clay projects then more pen and ink house projects.
Have a nice weekend!


Sunday, September 4, 2011

Creating my own Mini Art Gallery...

Miniature Clay Art Galleries
One of these days I would like to have an art gallery/studio...but for now, I'll have to just create my own mini ones. Here is a photo of a couple that I have created.  I need to get busy creating a lot of new houses. I recently sold quite a few houses and need to restock...which is a good thing!  Now I just need to make the time to create.

Hope you are having a nice holiday weekend!


Friday, July 29, 2011

Summer break is almost over!

New houses in my Etsy shop. 
Just thought I would share a couple of photos of some houses that I've finished lately. As you can see, I have added a few accessories to my items that I sell.  I will be working to get a lot more finished and ready to list in my Etsy shop and more to ship to a couple of actual shops as soon as possible. (More about that when I get them ready to go!)  The ones in these photos are listed in my HeartHomes Etsy shop.  

I go back to work next week. Where did the summer go?  I have orders for custom pen and ink drawings that I am working on too, so I have more than enough to keep me busy!  Guess I need to cut back on playing games on Facebook! Sorry neighbors...;-)...


Friday, July 22, 2011

Back home for a few days...

Dallas, TX

...from the CPSA convention and exhibition in Dallas, TX. That is the Colored Pencil Society of America, for anyone who does not know what CPSA is.  This year the convention was held in Dallas, TX where it was a balmy...well...just plain HOT... 100-105 degrees every day that we were there.  But it was just as hot back home in Arkansas, so I couldn't escape it!  But I was indoors most of the time anyway.

The convention was very nice, as usual. I spent the entire week with artists from around the country, who have similar interests as me. I also made some new friends that I look forward to staying in contact with.  I really believe that artists who belong to the CPSA are the friendliest bunch of people! I enjoyed the entire week, but was ready to get home to rest.  But I am off again this weekend to go visit with family, so this post will be short.

We made a side trip on Friday to the butterfly garden in Dallas.  We took pictures for as long as we could stand being in the butterfly room. We took a lot of pictures, that i expect to see some in future works of art.  It wasn't too bad, but it was a little muggy in there.  We had to get back to get ready for the awards night banquet.

View the award winning entries here:
It was a beautiful show this year. Next year the show will be held in Cincinnati. I look forward to going to that one and seeing a part of the country that I haven't seen!


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

What makes a home?

I love houses. I create houses. I take pictures of houses. I draw houses. At one time, I even thought I might want to be an architect. But I actually just like drawing houses and buildings.  So I decided to pursue my 2nd love, that was art.  I often found myself including houses and parts of buildings in my drawings.  I take lots of pictures of houses to get ideas for drawings and clay houses too.  I had the pleasure of being a guest in a home recently.  The house was very cute with lots of character.  You could really see the  personality of the homeowners come through the decorative items in and around the home.  The love and personality made this house a home.

Hmmmm....this one could become drawing or a HeartHome...


Monday, June 27, 2011

Annual Girlfriend Reunion...

38 yr. old gum wrapper chain.
Cindy and I started creating this in Jr. High School.
Each one of us took home a piece of the chain.,

Last year, some of the girls that I went to junior high school, high school, and college with, decided that we should get together.  All 6 of us had gone on with our separate lives over the year, getting jobs, getting married, having kids, and some of us had moved away from our hometown.  We occasionally kept in contact through the years, but as time went by, it was less and less frequent.  But in 2005 tragedy struck one of the 'girls'.  Her tragedy brought us all back into contact through email and other occasional meetings.  Her tragedy made me realize that we should not let time and our busy lives cause us to lose contact with people that were important in our lives.  The 5 other girls (including me) were connected because of her.  We wanted to be supportive to her and each other during this time. But because of the distance that separates us and so much time had passed, it was not easy to be there for her, except through prayer, phone calls, and emails.  About 2 years ago, with the help of Facebook, I started talking to these girls and we started trying to plan a trip or weekend together.  Finally, last year, our 1st Annual Girlfriend Reunion happened.  We had so much fun talking and laughing and spending time together, that we decided to do this every year.  This past weekend we had our 2nd Annual Girlfriend Reunion. The picture of the bird garland was hanging in the kitchen of the house where we stayed.  It is so cute and reminds me of the 6 friends that are connected by our friendships.  Again, we had a great weekend together making more happy memories and made our plans for our next reunion in 2012.  Life is too short to lose contact with family and friend that you love. 

Contact an old friend today...

Thursday, June 16, 2011

What did you do during the summer...back in the day?

Tiny Clay House
Listed on Etsy
When I was in school, we filled our summers with activities that took some creativity and imagination. I have always liked to do artsy and crafty things, but I think that came about because we had to entertain ourselves.  I have always enjoyed creating little houses and villages and creating little imaginary places. Even to the point of creating a little village in the dirt, using moss for the grass and little sticks for trees, and the little boxcars that I played with back then.  Yes, I played with dolls some too, but little cars were up there on my playtime to do list.   We had to find things to do to entertain ourselves during the long summer months. (summer vacation was actually 3 months long back the 60s and 70s).  Of course, this was before  I was old enough to drive, so I had plenty of time to fill during the summer.  This was also before video games, cell phones, computers or internet, and probably even cable TV!  I don't remember when we actually started getting Cable, but I do remember the summer when the only thing on the 3 channels (+Educational the channel with things like Mr. Rogers...ugh)  that we got on TV was non-stop coverage of court hearings about some boring old political corruption called Watergate!  Being too young to drive, I was pretty much stuck at home to play outside in the heat, ride my bike to a friends house, or ride my bike to the pool.  I even played softball a few summers, even though I am not all! My sister was the athletic one. I was the creative one.  I certainly was not interested in watching Watergate hearings.  So when it was too hot to go outside, we (my sister and I) spent time reading books, playing games, and stitching designs on dish cloths for our Mom, going to friends houses, talking on the telephone (that was plugged into the wall).  I didn't have a lot of art supplies like paint or clay or access to a kiln back then.  I can only imagine what I would have done if I had had that!  (After I started driving, that's another story!)  But now I am never 'bored' or have 'nothing' to do.  I have paint, colored pencils, and clay to create my little houses and buildings and accessories. So this summer will be filled with some creative time, mixed with time to relax and watch some TV (not much), even though there are 100s of stations on the TV now, and  internet time (which I love), and maybe even a little cleaning around the house (not too much).

What did you do during your summer break...back in your day?


Sunday, June 12, 2011

More experiments with textures

Just thought I would show an experiment before I show current projects. Currently I'm working on some custom clay tiles that aren't finished, then I have some
pen and ink custom home portraits.  So for now I will show a project that I worked on a few months ago.  Along with my students, I have been experimenting with mixed media paintings.  I tend to be very detailed with colored pencils and pen and ink, so I love the looseness of working with torn papers and modeling paste for textures and layering the variety of media allowing for previous layers to show through in places.  Here is a piece that I experimented with, although I still feel like its not quite finished.  The roof of the house needs another section on the right side. Although I was going for whimsical, it looks a little off balanced, so I am going to add a little more to it.

Some of the layers include: paint, then torn papers with architectural details and musical notes, tissue paper (crinkled up), black pastel for sketch, more paint, more layers, more paint. I didn't take photos as I went. I really need to start taking photos along the way. But here are some close ups so you can see the layers and the textures.

Enjoy the process!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Blog or Website?

...or both?  If I want to market my art, what is the most effective use of my time and money? I have been blogging for several years now.  Before I discovered the blogging world, I was journaling about my art on my computer, which no one saw except me. Then I found blogs and it took me awhile to get the courage to actually start my own.  I really didn't think I had anything to say, much less anyone would want to read about it. Well, along the way I did pick up some readers and met some very nice artists.  I have no idea how much this blog is actually read, but for me its still more about journaling about what I'm doing with my art.  I'm not sure that it has any effect on marketing my art, but I guess it gets my work seen by some people, at least.  Being from a small town, there are no art galleries or local places that sell original art. (That's the subject for another blog post.)  I do have online shops where I sell my artwork and I have links on the sidebar of this blog, set up to both of my Etsy shops, Hearthomes, where I sell my little clay houses, and BMacre, which I sell my pen and ink drawings and other drawings and paintings.  I also set up a page on Facebook to display my artwork, which has brought in some business from local people, which is great!  It has always been hard for me to talk about myself and show what I do either because (1) I feel like no one is interested, or (2) it feels a little like showing off.   But I can't sell my work if I don't show it to people, right?   ...This is why I did not go into sales, but I'm learning.
Custom Pen and Ink
House Portrait

So my dilemma is, should I have a website? Do people actually go look at websites that stay the same for long periods of time? How often do websites get changed?  So far, having the blog and facebook page has worked for me.  I can very easily add pictures of what I am working on currently. But would a website make a difference? I have a free website with WIX, but it is very limited on what I can add to it. And it needs updating if I keep it. But I think that if I have a website, I will be using my domain name. Problem is, I just don't know how to set up a website, or the time to learn anything very difficult.

If you have any thoughts on this subject, I would like to hear your comments.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Time to Straighten Up the Studio!

Now that school is officially out, I have plans to get into my own studio and get creative. Before I can do that, I must get it organized though. Or at least put things away.  Summer will be over before I know it!  I have several projects that are waiting to be started, plus I have several that I want to work on.  Shown is a sample of a few houses that I was able to work in over the last few weeks. I've also been experimenting with different accessories, like the fencing.  So, I hope to get to work soon.  Now off to straighten up the studio.

Hope you are having a great weekend!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

One more week...

...and I will have more time to sleep, play with clay, draw, paint, and maybe even take some time to clean the house and paint my studio! I've been avoiding that last one for a long time now. If you knew how much stuff is in my studio, you would understand! If you are an artist, you understand! It is definitely due for a good clearing out of things that I don't use anymore, but that takes time to go through and decide what to do with those things that are perfectly good art supplies!

Mixed Media Collage
Acrylics, paper, and feathers
So for now, I will just share a couple of photos of projects that I have been working on at school with my students.  The Altered Book project is a work in progress. And the Mixed Media Project might be finished. You never know when I may decide that it needs something else.
Have a great weekend!

Altered Book pages
Some progress...but not complete

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Adding a New Blog... my list of things to do! Yes, I know what you are thinking, if you have kept up with this blog! When do you have time to keep up another blog? Right, well sometimes I get so busy with school related stuff that I don't have time to work on my own art, but there are so many cool things that my students are working on and I wanted to have a place to share some of those things.  I also create projects for demonstrations for my students, so I think this new blog will be a better place to post those pictures. So this new blog , Mrs. Macre's Art Room, is going to be about what goes on in my Art Class. I have been teaching for 28 years, and so many people that I know have no idea what we do, or how talented my students can be.  So I hope that you will check it out occasionally.  Right now it only has one post, but I hope to go back through my files and add some pictures from the past and add new things as we go.

Hope you are having a great weekend!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Yellow Rubber Duck ATC

Yellow Rubber Duck ATC
Colored Pencil on UArt paper
Beth S. Macre © 2009
Just thought I would share a colored pencil piece that I did over a year ago, but never posted it, for some reason.  Anyway, I painted a dog portrait for my niece with the yellow rubber ducky. I enjoyed painting it so much that I drew it for an ATC exchange a while back.    At the time, I planned to do some more things using the Rubber ducky theme, but I haven't gotten around to it yet.  I think I will try to do something with soon.

Have a great Friday!  

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

It Makes a Village...

...well, if I put together all of the little houses that I have made over the last 2 years, I would have a pretty good size village!   I haven't had much time to make many new houses lately, but I did manage to get a few done this month.  Two of these are now listed in my Etsy shop.  The third was a custom order.  I will be working on more new ones very soon.  I am also working on some new accessories to add to the collection.

Miniature Clay Heart Home
Miniature Clay Heart Home
The last one shown here, is a custom ordered Heart Home.  The customer showed me one that she wanted hers to look like, but she wanted it personalized.  I have a custom order listing in my Etsy shop for larger houses or I can create a custom listing for my customers who want to order special details to a smaller heart home or add some extra accessories that I do not have listed.

Custom Order that is Personalized on the side.

Garden Markers for the Creative Gardener

Ceramic Plant Markers Plant markers are a fun way to decorate your garden and to mark your new or existing garden plants. I've se...