Thursday, December 29, 2011

Art Unraveled, woo hoo!!!

Yay, I get to teach at Art Unraveled again!!! All of the retreats have their own personality and, for me, this one is about community, friendship, hanging out and making art together. It is held at an Embassy Suite, so the accommodations are quite nice. Free breakfast and free happy hour (uh, yeah, I admit I have called happy hour 'dinner') set up opportunities to meet people and that is when much of the 'hanging out' takes place.
I find there more interaction between teachers and students at AU - probably because it is so comfy to lounge around in the lobby/bar/pool area. Personally, I like that a lot and it is one of the reasons I enjoy teaching at AU - Linda is also incredibly detail minded and this operation runs like a well oiled clock. As for the ART? Well you have got to see the classes.....ooh, la, la, nice lineup this year, the 10th anniversary! 
So, go check it out. And I hope to see you there!!
pssssst, there is a discount for early registration, pass it on........

Saturday, December 24, 2011

'twas the Day before Christmas, when all through the house.....

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Of Peacocks and cupcakes - stencils, oh my!!!

I don't know if you're like me, but sometimes holiday gifts leave me still wanting for more.....ok, ok, call my selfish if you want, but I have a feeling some of you know what I mean. Sure it's great to get the lovely sweater from Aunt Gert, but maybe all I really wanted was a few Copic markers or Pan Pastels, or the Catalogue from the deKooning show.
As artists, many of us have art on our brains 24/7. I know that I do.
And now that my shopping for others is done, I will confess I am doing a little bit of shopping just for me. One thing I got was this:

What a great price, huh? I can hardly wait to start using dear as my family is, no one ever would have known how much of a thrill this would give me.

And I also got this, from Sabrina Ward Harrison. I have her other books, but had somehow missed this journal one. It is fantastic! She has done journaling on tons of pages, but also leaves lots of room including very thought provoking prompts. And guess what? Since she has already filled some of the area, I feel free to write all over it myself and I find that I am actually working through some issues. Yay!
Then......over at StencilGirl, we have 4 new products that I am pretty psyched about. These are 6x6 (!!) size and are being sold individually for $7 each. They are pretty special, don't you think?

Michelle Ward, of course, don't you love it?!!?!

New designer, June Pfaff Daley!!! How sweet she is.

More Michelle, coordinates with the large damask, so you are gonna want both....just sayin'

And another new designer, Kae Pea, a friend of mine from years ago, I'm so glad she is part of StencilGirl!!
So, if you are in the mood to treat yourself, here's the link to StencilGirl.
More designers and more designs coming soon. Too many to mention, but suffice to say, we are wallowing in the goodness and can.not.wait. to share it all with you!!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Valley Ridge lineup!!

You all know how much I love Valley Ridge. I adore Katherine, her house, the studio, her land and especially the students who attend the classes. Oh my, what a divine place to teach.
For 2012 I am thrilled to be opening the season by co-teaching with my studio partner, Julie Snidle. Obviously Julie rocks, I mean why would I share a studio with her otherwise, right? She is an encaustic dynamo. I kid you not. She has a way of teaching where she guides you step by step until poof! before you know it you have created an incredibly successful encaustic painting! 
And I'm teaching the Batik Paper part - it was 'passed on' to me by Katherine and I will be thrilled to share all the new techniques I have discovered. Plus I'll reveal some of the many ways you can use Mixed Media with your encaustic works. It is all waxy goodness and I would lovelovelove for you to join us.
So check it out HERE at the Valley Ridge site.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Tis the Season

I know it's time to decorate. Well, past time, if you consider so many places have had their decorations up since Halloween or Thanksgiving. PEOPLE, what are you thinking.
Oh sorry, I digress.
I am in a quandry about the tree this year. Mainly because of........
Remington in the back, Lyra up front
Ahem....yes, I know they look innocent but, trust me, they are wild beasts. One morning John and I walked downstairs to find they had wiped out a dining room chair. On its back it was, all four feet up in the air, how they managed it I can not imagine. Or the bigger question, why didn't it wake us up?
The idea of a tree seems, well, a little nuts quite frankly.
But I do want ornaments, yes I do. I think I am going to duct tape them to the railing. It won't be the most glamorous look, but festive in a different way. I will get cute duct tape, tee, hee.
Seriously though, these are the ornaments on my list.......aren't they fab? They are oversize, B-I-G, very cool. Painted by my friend Calise for the wee sum of $18. If you are in St. Louis, you can grab them at the Wood Icing Store in Chesterfield Mall. If you are out of town email her:
She does custom work too, it is completely adorable. Hmmmm, me thinks I should have her do Remy and Lyra........

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Time in Flight

Where oh where does the time go? I mean seriously.
Lately I have become a delinquent blogger. I don't mean to, there are tons of blog posts that I construct in my head, but they never make it to the page for one reason or another.
I am doing a trunk show this weekend, over at Chesterfield Arts.  Since I've been doing so much teaching, I am waaaayyyyyy out of practice with the shows. Hence I feel like I've been reinventing the wheel this week. Plus I like to make gift items (in addition to wall art) for the holidays. Here is the small journal kit I made.
This required me to sew - see that handpainted paper on the cover of the journal, that is sewn together. I actually poked myself and bled on one of them, nothing that paint couldn't fix, tee, hee.
Several of my local art friends are doing the show so I know it is going to be fun.
Dawson will be there. 
I adore her work, have bought some of her tea lights for my house and also for gifts. Plus I am pining away for the work above, from her WallFlower series. I even have a spot picked out, where it will hang.......just sayin'....
And Sharon will be there.
Her work rocks. Seriously. Rock stars own it. Actually I just made that up, I don't know if they do or not, but they should.
So, in case you have been wondering what I'm doing, this is it.
If you are in the St. Louis area, come out and see us!!! 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Where oh where is my table??

I am getting ready for a holiday show. Seeing as my year was filled with teaching and stencils, I haven't done a show for a long time. And since it is holiday time, that means I am making some functional products in addition to wall art. As usual I am also attempting to re-invent the wheel.
I mean seriously. You know how easy it would be to paint up some products and be done? But oh-no, I am taking this time to experiment, play with different palettes, discover some new stuff. And on and on and on......these things make me happy though, so no complaints!!
Here is an aerial view of a portion of my table. This is after I cleaned.
No joke.
Yesterday (that was the day I should have stayed in bed cause my head was killing me) I stumbled into the studio with my cup of coffee which I promptly spilled all over my table. Then I spilled my dirty paint water while I was trying to clean up the coffee. Needless to say there were bad words, oy oy oy and I had to cover impressionable little kitty ears.

I am continuing to play with the Annie Sloan Chalk Paints. Love 'em. Here are some initial layers. The crackle was achieved by using Wood Icing's Fissure product which works beautifully with the chalk paint.
I have a lot of new ideas. My head is spinning but you know, I kinda like it that way. And guess what, no headache today, hooray for that!!!
So tell me, blog friends, what is on your table these days?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sale is over now.....stay tuned for another one in the future.

Yeah, yeah, we did this on Black Friday, but it seems just plan ole silly to skip Cyber Monday so......
let's do it again!!
StencilGirl Products is having a Sale. 
Pick a FREE 6x5 stencil with any order. Woo hooooooooo!!!!!!
That means you get to 'break up' the sets and pick one of our little stencils.
For Free.
All you need to do is Click HERE and place your order.
Then email me:
stencilgirlproducts at gmail dot com
to tell me which stencil you want.
That's it!
One per customer please, Monday only.
Designers include Judy Wise, Michelle Ward, Pam Carriker and Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch - with more designers coming soon!!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

StencilGirl Products Sale - can you say FREE Stencil!!!!

Yep, you heard it here first (well, maybe not 1st as I did send a Promotion earlier today). 
StencilGirl Products is having a Sale. 
Pick a FREE 6x5 stencil with any order. Woo hooooooooo!!!!!!
CLICK HERE to see details.
Designers include Judy Wise, Michelle Ward, Pam Carriker and Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch - with more designers coming soon!!!

Happy Turkey Day to all of you in the US. 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Another kind of painting

Some of you might be wondering what the heck I've been doing. Not making any of my usual art, that is for sure. But I am working on art of another kind, putzing around the house to prepare for Thanksgiving and the onslaught  welcome arrival of 11 extra family members, all staying with us.
And some people might think this would involve cleaning and cooking. But no, for me it tends to involve painting of another kind.....

This is a child-size chair that I picked up on my drive back from new Hampshire (Squam) a couple years ago. Yeah, as if I didn't already have the car packed to the gills, I managed to jam this $5 chair in. I have meant to paint it for years and finally got around to it over the weekend. I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint that I got from the Wood Icing store. I will warn you it is expensive, about $35 for a quart. But worth every stinkin' penny. Seriously. This paint rocks.
First of all, you don't have to do any prep work to the surface you are painting. Huh!?!? But it says so right on the can and that is what I did. My photography is not terribly good, but this color is called Duck Egg and I did a swoon when I saw it. Oh my.
I first painted some Wood Icing Fissure in random places on the chair and allowed that to dry overnight. The next day I painted on coat of the Annie Sloan paint. Wherever I had put the Fissure, it started cracked in a gorgeous way. It dries super fast, this paint does which is perfect when working on furniture. I found that one coat was plenty.
I also used the Clear Wax (another Annie Sloan product). Again, following instructions on the can, I applied a light coat, buffed, then distressed with sandpaper. Just a little bit here and there.
I love how it turned out and wish you could all feel the surface - it is so smooth and silky. Just amazing!!
And here is the finished product, sitting with its companion chair (that is little Remington underneath). So much fun!! I will definitely be doing more with this paint. Fantastic!!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Well smack me down with a feather

Just lookie here, my name is on the cover of a magazine. I feel like Steve Martin in that movie where he sees his name in the phonebook for the first time. 
When I got my issue I was literally dancing around the house. It was the night I had cooked dinner for my stepdaughter & her family. I was so wound up about showing them the magazine that John and I drove over to their house without the food. Yes. Without.The.Food. Geez, had to get a pizza.
Ricë Freeman-Zachery wrote a great article. She really crawled into my head in the nicest way possible. I think that she gets me, ya know? 
Obviously I knew the Portfolio had been written but I didn't tell my Mom cause I wanted to surprise her by mailing it. Of course it hadn't arrived yet when she saw (I mean what are the odds!?!) the magazine in a bookstore. Needless to say she flipped and instantly bought it while also notifying anyone withing spitting distance that was her daughter. My youngest brother says he feels like he is related to a famous person. Ha, just wait till I start telling if.....
Anyway, I am beyondo thrilled to be part of such a lovely issue full of inspiring projects and eye candy. One of my blog acquaintances, Kate Crane is in there. Her name is on the cover too.  I want to meet her some day, hopefully I will get to travel to England to do it, wouldn't that be fun?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Can you say Cruise Time??

This is so darn exciting it is going to be hard to wait till next year. 
It is expected to sell out, so I would suggest you sign up quickly - nothing would thrill me more than to have a bunch of peeps that I know on board, oh how fun would that be!??! So do let me know if you sign up, ok? Just cause I am nosy like that.

and it just me or do all of the participants have the same hair cut? Jim says he thought his was different, ha, ha. But seriously it cracked me up. And I have to chuckle when I do that 'head tilt' thing, awe geez....... My hubby says I automatically do it whenever I'm within a mile of a camera.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Lesson re-learned

I have written about this before. The Lesson of getting my brain out of my own way. See here for reference. I will probably write about it again because it is just darn hard. The idea of letting go and allowing the art to be what it wants to be. And not beating myself up so much when my art goes in a direction other than what I originally intended. Oy vay, it can be hard, can't it?

I signed up for a swap, yeah, I know, what the heck was I thinking, but it was a group of really cool women, some whom I knew and others who I wanted to know. I was flattered to be asked so, even though I have like a zillion things on my plate, I said yes. I mean we're all busy, right? They are busy too and they are doing it. Plus it's only 13 months.  Ha, ha, ha.....right.....
The projects are masks and last week was the week to mail our first project. Naturally I had waited until the last possible moment to work on mine.

I had encaustics on the brain, partly because I am taking Judy Wise's class and partly cause I just love the wax. So I got this brilliant idea to paint my mask with encaustic pigment. I've never done a 3 dimensional piece, but lack of knowledge (or experience) typically never stops me. This can be a good trait or an incredibly stupid one depending on your vantage point.

In retrospect, I don't think my encaustic skills were ready for a 3D experience. I have this tendency to over-fuse, which means I allow the wax to get really liquid-like. Imagine how that might work with the curves on this face and you will immediately see where I went wrong. Wax sliding off the cheeks. The forehead, the chin. Over. And over. And over. Because I am nothing if not persistent. I used wasted so much wax. I worked on and off for a couple days. Being stubborn and trying to paint the mask of my dreams. I would get within spitting distance and then manage to mess it up, ugh.

The mailing date came and went. I persisted with more layers of wax. I carved, used oil sticks, painted, tried all the tricks I knew. But remained incredibly frustrated and uptight with my work.  Angry even, I will just admit it since I am trying to be honest here.
Finally I gave it up and stopped. Period. Put her under my table.

Grabbed another substrate and decided to collage. I pawed through my box and found some really cool hand painted tissue paper. I loved the way the paper had turned out and had been saving it for some unknown project. I tore smallish pieces and started gluing it to my mask. I added some tar around the edges. Painted the lips, added a little eyebrow texture with Wood Icing. Put it up on the wall and pronounced it done. It was that easy. 
Perhaps not genius, but I liked it.
Looking back at the encaustic mask(which is still under my table), I don't hate it as much as I did last week. What a compliment, huh? And I do want to try again because I still love the concept.

My question for you is why oh why are we so hard on ourselves? Artists seem to be their own worst critics. I frequently point this out to my students and urge them to be gentle with themselves. A lesson I definitely need to take to heart, huh?

Friday, November 04, 2011

Change is in the Air

Don't know if you have heard the word, but 2012 will be the final Artfest. There are some spots left, so you might wand to sign up right away. Two of my classes are already filled, but there are still openings in my Parts class which is going to be fun-fun-fun!!
I am so grateful to be part of the final event. Teesha writes more detail about this decision in her recent blog post, which you can read here.  I respect her so much for going with her gut. In my opinion, Teesha tends to be on the leading edge with things, so I very much look forward to whatever comes next.

And for me.......well, I said change is in the air, didn't I?
You have asked and asked and well, asked again. And I am finally going to do it.
I will be offering an online class early next year.
Yep, I'm working it all out before I post specific details. But suffice to say I am very excited, so stay tuned for more information.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Smitten with Kittens

Ok, so here's the thing about me and John. We are slightly nuts. Ahem, or perhaps I only speak for myself. I would venture that John often feels like our life is an amusement park ride. But I warned him about that, admitted as much on our first date.
So anyway, last time I wrote, I told you all that Gilligan died, right? It was horribly sad and our feelings were only eclipsed by the forlorn attitude of Jasper Johns, our remaining cat who continued to mope around the house day after day. I was grumpy, John was silent, we were mourning. 
At the same time, we knew we wanted another cat (and I secretly wanted 2 more) preferably Maine Coons since that is what we like - big ole furry animals!
John and I worked all the angles and contacted numerous organizations, toured humane societies, surfed online, etc, etc, etc. We were a tad obsessed and yes, I do mean both of us.
I registered on the Maine Coon Rescue site and was assigned an adoption counselor named Kelley. She was a treat to work with and quickly tied down what we wanted, that being 'older' kittens. But, as these things sometimes happen, the cutest kittens were in North Carolina and were plural as in there were 2 of them and you know how tragic it would be to split up a duo. Hmmm, what to do, oh what to do?
My glorious, perfect, kitty loving husband jumped in the car and drove on over there. From Missouri to North Carolina. Ten hours, you say? Pshaw, we say!
From upper left - Remy with Jasper, Lyra stretched out, Lyra asleep, all 3 on the landing, Remy playing, then on the scratching post, Remy closeup, middle pic is Lyra standing and Remy seated.
He met with Cat & Glen, the wonderful foster parents, loaded up the babies, and then drove 10 hours back home. After a brief isolation period (ok, I'm impatient, so sue me), we introduced the critters and life has never been the same. They jump, play, leap, scratch (we're working on that) and generally sound like a small herd - oh so much action and noise for such small kitties - running around the house. We love every second of it. In fact, it was love at first site for me. Definitely smitten. 

So there you have it. We are a 3 cat family again.
Everyone is getting on splendidly and happiness has returned to the Shaw household.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Rambling around

When I stepped into my Collector's home and saw the diptych in their foyer, I felt like I had come across an old friend. I honestly couldn't even remember when I painted it, at least 5 years ago. Then I walked into the dining room and saw a more recent piece, I think that one was maybe last year?
And there were others too, not shown here because my photography is so unbearably pitiful. It is interesting to see how my style has changed. This Collector first met me when I was doing the Common Denominator series, which started over 10 years ago. They own a few of those too, what a blast to the past. I feel incredibly blessed to have Collectors; people who own multiple pieces of my work. What a gift to be in their home and see my work all around. 
They told me a story about a friend who visited and, after looking at their art collection said....I saw some art you need to see because I know you would love it, I think the artist's name is Mary Beth Shaw....We all got a laugh out of that one.
And their children, so adorable, they have been the subject of several commissioned works although they are too young to take it seriously, I feel they will appreciate it one day.

I am coming off a crappy week, what with my cat Gilligan dying on Tuesday. I have been wallowing around, can't seem to motivate myself in any specific direction; I wander about my studio making ugly art, sit in my office staring at a blank screen or hang out in bed way too long.
I though perhaps I would try to pull myself out of it today. And be thankful for all that life gives me, thankful for the fact that I shared almost 20 years with such a loyal and loving kitty. Thankful for the gift of art, the way it restores and invigorates me and allows me to share my passion with like minded souls. Making it, looking at it, reading about it, all those things. And especially that lovely sweet spot when someone resonates with a piece.
So thanks to all of you too, my readers and friends. 
I think I am finally ready to get back to work. I have paintings to make, ideas to explore. How about you? What is going on in your neck of the woods?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

I'm in The Pulse - let's celebrate with a contest

YAY, We have winners!!!!! Carlanda, Bren, AmyD Woo hoo!!!

Check it out HERE. It's Techniques & Tools, so this ought to be good. I think I'm going to mosey on over myself and see what everyone talks about. I have also includes a link over in my sidebar, so you can click over any time.

Since I talk about Wood Icing (yeah, yeah, I love the stuff, what can I say?), thought this might be a great time to have another leave a comment below and you will be entered for  container of Wood Icing. YAY!!!!  I will give away 1 container each to 3 lucky winners. I'll draw names on Friday, so you have plenty of time.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Artsy Shout Outs

In the course of my rambles, I often run into other artists. Well duh, of course I do! I always enjoy seeing other people's work but sometimes I really really like what I see. And that is when I need to do a 'Shout-Out'. Just so you'all get a chance to look at these neat things too.

First up, and this goes back awhile, to when I was in Chicago at CREATE. The first day - in my Circles class - June Pfaff Daly was in there. She is a blogger I met online and then I met her in person several years ago. We sort of clicked, you know? Needless to say, I was thrilled when she signed up for my class. And....brought a couple of her friends, Claire and Heather. They were My roommate, Julia and Kelley (I met both at Valley Ridge, is this a small world, or what!??!) had dinner with these girls.
Aren't they cute? Anyway, if you look real close you will see they are all wearing uber-cool fiber necklaces made by Heather, she is the one in the middle. She collects gorgeous vintage fabrics from Paris and sews them (by hand!) into amazing necklaces. I bought one. Julia bought one. Pokey Bolton, yes, *that* Pokey bought one. We were all wearing them, cult-like, as we perused the stores of Napierville. I can't believe how many people complimented us on our necklaces, it became a joke of sorts. But they are really that cool. So, anyway, I was cleaning my office. Ahem. When Heather's biz card surfaced and I knew I had to tell you guys about her. So here is a  LINK to her etsy shop if you happen to be interested.

The second artist is Carmen Alana Tibbets - she goes by Alana. I met her at The Historic Shaw Art Fair, a show I used to do, back in the day (a few years ago, ha, ha) when I was doing the outdoor art fairs. Anyhoo, even though she lives in Edwardsville, IL, I had not crossed paths with her before.  Here is a pic of her holding one of her completely delightful creations.
You must go look at her WEBSITE. Seriously. Go now, I'll still be here when you get back. Look at the gallery and enlarge the pics of all her creatures. They are so amazing in person, the level of detail blew my mind, especially the hands.....and the faces. Plus all their little outfits. Oh my, I really want one of the rabbits. Their expressions are so real, I can't even find the right words and you know I am rarely rendered speechless, ha!!
Seems to be a little trend here, in my admiration of fabric work, eh?

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Destination Creativity Blog Hop

We have a winner, woo hoo!!!! Contest is over, thanks so much for entering :)

Have you heard that Ricë has a new book? You all know who I'm talking about, right?  Ricë Freeman-Zachery, writer extraordinaire! Maybe you saw her hilarious video book promo? Maybe you heard people talking about the book at a recent retreat? Maybe you have already pre-ordered a copy? Or perhaps you wanna WIN a copy? More on that in a minute.

Ricë's new book, Destination Creativity: The Life-Altering Journey of the Art Retreat is all about Art Retreats. She and Earl (her hubby, aka The EGE or the Photographer) spent a year touring the country and attending Art Retreats, interviewing artists and kind of documenting 'the scene.' I ran into them several times, first was Artfest 2010. Naturally I had heard of Ricë, I mean she is a celebrity in my world. So I was more than a wee bit star struck. And yeah, I acted ignorant like I do when I get nervous and don't know what to say. But thank goodness I got to know them better. Cause they are such fun folks!! 
Since Ricë spends so much time interviewing artists, I thought it was high time someone turned the tables and asked her some questions. So how about a little back story.....some of the nitty gritty, never been told details, revealed right here, right now (oh my goodness, I feel like a tabloid writer). Because I dare to ask the questions, tee, hee, hee........and share the answers. Read on for my interview with Ricë.
1. You have such a strong sense of personal style and make/alter/dye many of your clothes. As a 'fashion chameleon' I am curious as to when and how your style developed?
Thanks, Mary Beth! I’ve been obsessed with my clothes as far back as I can remember. My mother and I would go shopping for my school clothes, but not in clothing stores; we’d go to the fabric store and pick out fabric and patterns. But not just A Pattern. Nope. My mother would get one pattern for the bodice, and one for the skirt, and another for the sleeves. I would describe what I wanted, and she would bring it to life. She indulged me totally. My favorite outfit in grade school was an orange corduroy jumper worn over an orange-and-white striped long-sleeved t-shirt with orange fish-net tights, burnt orange patent leather shoes, with an orange plaid poncho my mother made and finished with a rabbit fur collar from an old coat. I ADORED this outfit and would have worn it every single day if I could have gotten away with it. I started altering my own clothes when I was in high school, embellishing my jeans and swapping out the buttons on my workshirts every night. I was inspired by Native Funk and Flash and just kept on going.

2. Prolific is your middle name! How do you find your writing inspiration and do you ever face the blank page syndrome. If so, how do you handle those moments?

Mostly I work on assignment, and those have deadlines, and I’m really good with deadlines. So I don’t have a lot of trouble getting started. I’m *kind of* (snort) anal-retentive about it. But if I have something huge to do--a book, for instance--I get started by setting my own deadlines and working back from those, picking a day to start and telling myself, “OK. Today you need to write just the first sentence, and then you can stop.” Since I really love to write more than just about anything, once I get the first sentence, I want to keep going. I love the process of writing; it’s just that, like most people, I dread getting started on something huge. By telling myself I can take baby steps, I’m off and running. It’s kind of pathetic when you use reverse psychology on yourself, isn’t it?

3. Ok, so who did the driving, you or Earl or do you take turns? What do you do in the car - listen to music, books, work on hand sewing, etc?

Earl drove every. Single. Inch. Of the entire trip. I didn’t even back the car out of the parking space at the hotels. We have music on the iPhone going through the speakers, and I sew whenever I’m not navigating. I love road trips where I can get a ton of stitching done--that’s why I love going to Dallas or Houston--it’s far enough that I can get a lot done, but we’ve done it so many times I don’t have to navigate at all. The truck could drive itself.

4.What's up with all the animals in your car? 
Those are Car Toys. The SUV is so big and empty, we thought it needed some toys. Some are ones friends made for us, and some are those you buy at Kohl’s for $5 and the money is donated to some good cause. You need toys, you know?
5. When did you start with the tattoos and are they your own design? Are you still adding more tattoos?

Until I was 45, I had brown hair that was below my waist--I could sit on it--one set of holes in my earlobes, and not even the slightest interest in tattoos. I’d never even thought of getting one. Then I started going through menopause, and, man, did my life change. By the time I figured out what was going on, I had a couple tattoos, very little hair, and a bunch more holes in my ears. Better than joining the circus or having an affair, for sure. I haven’t gotten any tattoos in several years--I had the whole melanoma thing with checkups for two years, and I kind of got out of the habit. 

6. Your favorite road food? Snacks you keep in the car?
We’re not really snackers. [of course they aren't, this is MB talking, because they have amazing friggin' bodies and, well, how did I think they maintained them, duh, stupid question on my part .] We’re pretty disciplined about what and when we eat, but when we travel, we do make some allowances. Earl gets ice cream every now and then, and I will sometimes eat Cheetos, which is pretty much like eating deep fried salt with a shovelful of fat. Sure, I feel guilty for abusing my arteries. Also bloated. And thirsty. But, oooooh, the crunchiness! 
7. I know (for sure) that you love to hit used clothing stores, can you reveal your favorites around the country?

Ha! You know the answer to that one: My Sister’s Closet (all four fabulous locations!) in Phoenix, introduced to us by Jeanie Thorn. Here in Midland, I love BJ’s (yeah, the name always makes me snort, too, especially since the sign for the shop features just the name and a huge pair of lips. For years I thought it was a naughty lingerie shop, which is totally laughable if you know Midland, Texas (they’d have the sheriff shut it down in a heartbeat)). I’d love it if people would take me to their favorites when we travel, but Jeanie is one of the few who’s willing to share. Most people keep their sources pretty secret, you know?

Would you like a chance to win a copy of Rice's book? Oh I know you would! Please leave me a comment below and you will be entered for the book drawing. 
If you want to go ahead and order the book now, you can hit the link below. 
Be sure to check out the other stops on the Blog Hop!  

Thursday, October 6th: Carla Sonheim 
Friday, October 7th: Lisa Myers Bulmash 
Saturday, October 8th: Melissa Manley 
Sunday, October 9th: Deryn Mentock 
Monday, October 10th: Jen Cushman
Tuesday, October 11th: Jill Berry
 And don't forget to visit Ricë's blog here.

Monday, October 03, 2011

My summer vacation - ICA Boston

After I left Squam, I drove down to Boston to pick up the hubster who was flying in from St. Louis. I knew I would have a little extra time and I wanted to see the Swoon exhibit at the Institute of Contemporary Art. 

Swoon is a street artist who has gone museum, woo hoo for her, huh? I adore her work because of the printmaking and of course all the paper cuts. They are incredibly intricate and honestly I can not even imagine how her mind conceptualizes these pieces.
At ICA Boston, the piece spans their lobby area and then sort of meanders over into an elevator shaft where you can view the work from various floors. Needless to say it is hard to photograph. I swear I walked around with my mouth hanging open the entire time. Really cool. I wanted to take the papercuts home with me. LOVED.THEM.
Go watch this video to see what I am talking about.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Encaustic Landscape (of sorts)

 Recent encaustic work that I completed while I was at Squam. 
It is so rare I demo and then actually complete a piece during class. 
But I like these.
That goes to show you I was really relaxed. 
And that's a good thing.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Journey called Squam

This is the third year I have been privileged to teach at Squam.
SAW is a difficult event to explain. One, because it isn't really an 'event' per se; it is more of an experience, a journey.
Kelley, Susan, Sue, Kathy
I shared a large house with 12 other women, some I knew from my first year, others I met this year. To say they were all special sounds idiotically trite, but they really were. I felt a connection with each and every woman, this deep visceral thing that doesn't lend itself to words.
It is so odd to me how this group of incredibly diverse people migrate to Squam each year and how the right ones manage to find and connect with one another. Like I always find the exact person I need at the exact moment. I don't know how it happens really, I am convinced it's magic conjured up by Elizabeth and somehow dispersed through a wand??
I took very few photos this year, preferring to sap up the feelings instead. But now I wish I had more photos. I wish I could have captured a shot showing the spirit of friendship that developed in our house, a camaraderie so natural it was as if we had known each other forever.
Linda and Jacqueline

Mary's butt - the quote says Live fully, Laugh often, Leave a legacy.
But it wasn't just about my housemates. I saw other people too, my teaching peers, people of whom I am IN AWE, like how can I even be part of this inspiring group!?!?
Jen Lee, who I met my 1st year; she is an ancient spirit I am certain of that, uncanny wisdom in such a young body. And Misty, what a treat for me to see her a second time this year! And Flora. Ok, maybe I have just a wee little crush on Flora. Me and the rest of the world, that woman is on fire, simply radiating beauty in everything she does. Pixie, it was the first time I met her, another old soul - naturally I knew who she was, but was stunned when she knew who I was, geez, I am such a dork like that, all self confidence on the outside but a bundle of insecurities on the inside.
And Elizabeth, always the hostess with the mostess, what a legacy she has built. I soooooo admire that.
Ice block at the Art Faire
And my students, with their love of learning and willingness to try new techniques. Sadly, my photos of their work did not turn out, but suffice to say I was blown away by the work they produced, wow, wow, wow! They filled me up.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Another Star Pupil

You may recall that I taught in Chicago at the CREATE retreat in August. Oh was it ever fun, hope I get to do it again next year. Anyhow, I did a Circle Mania Class and Peggy Wilkinson was one of my students. She did great work in class, but then went home and made a CLOCK! Wowza, what a terrific idea. Needless to say, it is gorgeous, and look how amazing with her pieces from class. Great job, Peggy and thank you so much for allowing me to share your creations.

This is so gratifying to me you can not imagine. Oh be still my heart :)
Happy weekend, everyone. Let's all paint, how about it!?!?!?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Star Pupil

Since I have run away from home(joke), I apparently am not generating intelligent blog content at the moment. But! Lucky for me, one of my students from Art Unraveled has been working away......check out his post here.
Thanks, Don!!!
And keep making those color charts, what a great way to enhance your painting skills. For those of you wondering, there is a chapter in my book which includes the instructions much like the class I teach.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Where oh where is Mary Beth

reflecting and remembering;
thinking and musing.
But not too hard.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Sewing with Stencils

Some of you dear readers follow me over on Facebook and noticed my post about my stiff neck and shoulder.......from my hand sewing efforts no less.

Well, here it is. My second altered t-shirt using my stencils (the first debuts in the next issue of Pasticcio)
I first saw The Incredible Jenny Doh using one of my stencils on a scarf. Then I saw stencils used as applique patterns in the The Alabama Stitch book. So why not mine?
I think Pam Carriker's WING or Judy Wise's ROOSTER or Michelle Ward's CIRCLE RAY or Patricia Seggebruch Baldwin's BUBBLES would be amazing........and just think, you could paint the design too.
Ohohoh!!! I just remembered, has anyone else seen the new Martha Stewart paints at Michael's? The display said they would work on glass, ceramic, fabric, metal.....hmmmm, don't tell me I need to try yet another product?? Has anyone tried them yet?