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.
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.
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.
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.
Who are some of your favorite mixed-media artists?
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.
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.
Where can we find you?
http://stencilgirlproducts.com/ (this is my company)
|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!|