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.

Garden Markers for the Creative Gardener

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