~*~ Mixed Media May ~*~ Mary Beth Shaw ~*~

What does mixed-media mean to you?

Mixed Media means freedom. I don’t think I could ever choose just one medium and thankfully I don’t have to. With Mixed Media, there are no limitations. I feel a bit like a mad scientist at times. And that simply rocks my world.

Shaw art 7

How long have you been a mixed-media artist?

I have been working full time as an artist since 2003. I quit the ‘day job’ in 2000 but didn’t really get onto a solid professional art path for a few years. Mixed Media has always been my passion.

Shaw art 6

How has art impacted or enhanced your life?

Art sustains me, it heals me, it fuels me. I can’t imagine life without my art. If I am away from art making, I get really grumpy. Luckily my husband understands that and fully supports my needs.

Shaw art 5

What are a few of the mixed-media supplies that you find yourself using the most?

Acrylic paint is number one in my book, I am not particularly brand loyal, whatever is in front of me will work. I do enjoy high end paint though, it makes me swoon. And a good black pencil like the Derwent Inktense, lovelovelove that pencil. Plus a spray bottle, I have one that sprays just right and I have had it forever. It is covered in paint and always gets some laughs when I carry it to teaching gigs. My hands are my best tool, I use them for so much, instead of brushes in many cases. I collect all sorts of skewers and enjoy scratching and writing into wet paint and texture. Speaking of texture, Wood Icing is my fave. I enjoy its porous nature plus it dries fast and holds a really nice stencil line.

Shaw art 4

Who are some of your favorite mixed-media artists?

Picasso, Kurt Schwitters, Jim Dine, Paul Klee, Nick Bantock. Studying art history is fascinating to me. I like to visit museums and look at fine art and try to put myself in the artist’s shoes.

Shaw art 2

Tell us about your creative process.

I consider my process a mixture of spontaneity and intent. I used to think that I was so wild and free until I noticed that I have definite moments when I am really quite specific about my gestures and mark making. That being said, I think the beginning of my process tends to be more random and spontaneous. I try to work fast and furious so I don’t over-think my process. I like making all my own elements, painted paper, 3D parts, etc. If I am able to keep busy with these things, it keeps my brain from getting in the way. My paintings involve lots of layers. Ideally I release INTO the process and the painting takes my on a journey.

Shaw art 3

What inspires you?

Absolutely everything. From the way fog hovers around tree silhouettes to the variety of colors in my cat’s fur. I like rust and dirt and decay but could stare at the sunset for an inordinate amount of time. I am inspired by LIFE.

Shaw art 1

Where can we find you?



http://stencilgirlproducts.com/ (this is my company)

300pixelheadshot Mary Beth Shaw worked in the insurance industry for 18 years before she quit her job in 2000 to re-ignite a childhood love of art. She is now fulfilled working as a full time painter and internationally known workshop instructor. Her creative process is largely self taught, spontaneous and joyful. She is author of Flavor for Mixed Media published by F&W and is also a columnist for Somerset Studios Magazine. Her second book — Stencil Girl — will be published this fall; it’s available for pre-order now! Living with her husband and three cats, Mary Beth is passionate about every moment of life. 
Mary Beth has donated a copy of her book to our giveaway — including a some stencils. Be sure to come back on 31 May for details on the prizes and how to enter!  M_Shaw_FlavorforMixedMedia_SDA2013

15 Responses to ~*~ Mixed Media May ~*~ Mary Beth Shaw ~*~

  1. jill metz says:

    Love Mary Beth and her talent! Thank you for sharing this interview with us.

  2. I could get lost looking at these paintings all day 🙂 The first one gives the feeling of just melting into the ocean.

  3. F. Laura Coelho says:

    LOve you work and also Love art. Just I dont have time for it! That’s way I’m always grumpy all the time. I know how you fell about Art. It’s like …part of us. I take your words again its sustains, heals me and again thats way I’ve been depressed al the time. But thats life I just have to get some time aroud to do my artwork one day. I this when I was a teen I use to do more Artwork than now. Anyway…Love work. Love your stencils. I have same Ideas also but time…I think I have to buy your book to inspire me. Love and peace…xo

  4. I’m a big fan of Mary Beth’s work! I also love the way she integrates her stencils into the layers.
    Her book is absolutely awesome – packed full of great projects to try out. x

  5. Robyn C. says:

    Mary Beth Shaw is a constant source of inspiration for me. I have been poking around mixed media for a couple years and was starting to feel like my more abstract leanings just didn’t fit in. Then I discovered Mary Beth Shaw and WOW! Amazing talent. Incredible book (yes I already own it – signed and everything!) I am really looking forward to Create Chicago 2013 – Mary Beth Shaw is why I am attending. Thank you for the interview!

  6. Jo Murray says:

    Great work…fabulous book. It’s good to have some more insight into Mary Beth’s thought processes…thanks.

  7. loey says:

    Mixed media abounds! Thanks for sharing those fab works of art & inspiration!

  8. Vanessa KiKi says:

    GREAT INTERVIEW!! I would love to see your book! Your art work is very peaceful to me! AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!

    ~Vanessa KiKi

  9. I love the textures and colors.

  10. Sandra Mccabe says:

    I love your work! It is so very inspiring. I am heading to my studio as I speak.

  11. Mariel says:

    Wonderful paintings; great book; and I was very impressed with your little herd of lambs!!!

  12. mike taylor says:

    I’m enjoying looking over these inspiring pieces. Great job folks.

  13. Lura Brown says:

    love your art and your company. great stuff. xoxo

  14. Bev says:

    Such gorgeous pieces of art!

  15. Jean Marmo says:

    I am always inspired by Mary Beth’s work!

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