Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Meet the Artist - Mary Beth Shaw

Meet the Artist -  Mary Beth Shaw

We are happy and excited to be hosting Mary Beth this July 20th & 21st at Random Arts in Saluda, NC for her workshop entitled:
Feast on Mixed Media; Explore Nature with Stencils & Thermofax

I asked Mary Beth a few short and sweet questions about her life in Art and here's what she had to say. It's a good way to get to know a little bit about her & her teaching methods.  Not only is she a talented artist, author and instructor,  she is a  business woman with her own line of stencils: Stencil Girl.
There is still time to sign up for this great 2 day workshop but first, read on for more insight on Mary Beth... 

Where are you from and where do you live now? Family?  
I am originally from Cincinnati, Ohio and lived there (even for college) until I was 30 something and my husband whisked me away, to St. Louis , then San Francisco and now back in St. Louis. He has one daughter, who is married with 2 boys.  We are lucky enough to live about 20 minutes from them and I cherish my role as their Yia Yia.  

At what age did you start "playing around with art and getting creative"?  

I have been artistic all my life.  My Mom, who saves everything, gave me a collage I made when I was 4 years old, ha! Incredibly, it is abstract.  In high school and college I dabbled in many art forms including photography.  I have had crafty hobbies all my life, needle work, knitting, hand sewing, that sort of thing. 

What is your teaching method? ie one on one? group session? lecture?  Hands on? Work fast?  
I do demos of techniques and also show my own working style-this is done throughout the day in front of the entire group.  I also work with students one on one (see next question). I format my classes so we can all 'stay loose' and keep our brains from jumping into the process.  I have found this is the way to allow our best art to emerge.  My personal style is pretty energetic and I think this comes through when I teach.  Although I take my art seriously, I don't take my self seriously and students can expect lots of laughs. 

What is the best part of taking a class with you & what, in general, will your students learn? 
What will they take away from one of your workshops? 
I strive to teach  in a way that allows each person to find their own voice.  Students often comment that is is amazing how everyone creates such similar, yet "different" works.  I help each student individually with what I call "consultations" which help the student to learn how to assess and critique their own work.  And although this might sound 'serious', I've been told over and over that my classes are great fun!

How does your day begin when you are planning to go to your studio?

Always with excitement! My studio is my escape, my refuge, and going there (about 3 times a week when I am home) never fails to thrill me.   

What do you do when you get stuck? 

I am lucky I that I rarely get stuck. The downside of this is that my head seldom turns off, ha! However, if I do find myself slightly stuck, I will divert my attention - cleaning the studio will always do it and I invariably get unstuck pretty quickly.  Taking a walk or meditation are also sure fire ways to become unstuck. 
How often do you teach at large venues - small venues and where and do you have a favorite? - other than Saluda?

I taught at Artfest for a number of years and adored that venue. I have also taught at other larger events like Art Unraveled, Art is You and Squam. It is amazing to attend a large event and realize that you are part of something much bigger, a 'tribe' of sorts.  That being said, I also love the intimacy of smaller venues like Valley Ridge.  For me, as a teacher, the experience is quite special and I imagine it is the same for students. 

To whom do you pay gratitude for your creativity and talent? 
I believe that my creativity and talent are gifts from above.  I feel incredibly blessed. 

Do you have a favorite quote, phrase or saying that keeps you motivated to create? I find lots of quotes inspiring however none that sum up my motivation.  

The bottom line, for me, is that I really couldn't live life any other way than creating and making art.  It is who I am.   
You have never been to Random Arts in Saluda to teach, why do you think that this will be a great place to teach?  
North Carolina is one of my very favorite states in the US and I think that the setting often ramps up the teaching experience for everyone.  I have heard such lovely feedback about Random Arts that I feel intuitively it is going to be fab!!

To register for this 2 day workshop on July 20th and 21st   please email me. The cost is $250.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Looking Back....

 Photo transfers on fabric

Dressing up with art supplies...

Cuff bracelets...

 Woven Book workshop...

Patina on brass...collage
 Random Arts Booth
 Barnful of Quilts in Waxhaw, NC...
and so much more

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Meet The Artist -

Coming this weekend to Random Arts... Christy Hawkins for 2 great book arts workshops!
Sat. April 6th and Sun. April 7th

Each class is $75 and includes most materials. 

 Even though I have known Christy Hawkins for over 10 years I started to think that there might be some Random Arts followers who don't. So my first instinct, since she is coming here to teach in March, I might want to tell  the world a little bit about her.

• What is your favorite part of the day?

That is a tough question because I’m basically a happy, busy person who likes almost everything I do in my day.  I think if I had to pick a favorite time, it would be the late afternoon when my husband, David and I slow down and sit on our back porch or living room and catch up on what we did all day. Since we live in Florida, we can go outside to the porch almost year round so this is a routine we love.

• How did you get started teaching?

My first teaching exploits were years ago in the scrapbooking realm. I taught techniques and did make and takes for a scrapbook store.  Later, I found a great, happy place called A Small Cleverness in Orange Park, FL. There I discovered a group of like-minded art dabblers who like many of the same things I do so I began to teach all kinds of things there, including my deep love of book binding.

• What is your most favorite thing about what you do?

Sharing my enthusiasm and my skills with people who want to learn new mediums, new arts areas and  new techniques.

• Who do you credit for inspiring you to "make art & be creative"

I don’t know how to credit someone for a drive that has always been in me.  Even as a child, I loved to make things, draw, and do arty things. I learned to sew when I was very young and used to sew “books” of together on my grandmother’s pedal powered sewing machine.  Several of the adults in my family, including both my parents had artistic talent so I guess my genes get the credit!

• What do you do in your spare time?

In my “spare” time, I volunteer at the Jacksonville Humane Society. I do a wide variety of jobs there, but my favorite is my weekly Feline Fotoshoot for all the new adoptable cats at the shelter. Those photos go to the shelter’s website and to Facebook. The JHS saved about 4000 animals last year and is spearheading the effort to make Jacksonville a no-kill community.  I love animals so it makes me very happy to play a small role in making them more comfortable and in promoting animal welfare in our community.

• What's the best thing about teaching art?

When I teach book binding, I love the happy faces on the people who finish a handmade book.  It gives both me and the students a great sense of accomplishment.  I also enjoy meeting and getting to know the people who come to my classes.  I teach other things in the mixed media realm, and I just love seeing others get “hooked” on the things I love so much! The whole process of teaching gives me access to my inner ham too.  If you attend my classes, you’ll see that I’m a frustrated stand up comic.

• Where do you teach now and how long have you been doing this?

I currently teach regularly at A Small Cleverness in Orange Park, FL.  I’ve been teaching there for several years so I’ve lost track of exactly when I began.  I love the customer base there and have made so many good friends there that it goes far beyond just teaching for me.

In addition, in 2012 I was honored to teach two workshops in book binding for the Society of Mixed Media Artists in Jacksonville.  I have a program presentation and a mono print workshop coming up for them in 2013.

• What do you like best  about making and creating art books?

I totally love the whole process of making a book. I enjoy deciding what I want the covers to look like. I like deciding what will be bound into them…it doesn’t have to be limited to plain paper! I like to touch books and see them on the shelf. I am a big fan of exposed spine bindings, such as the two variations on the Coptic stitch I’m offering at Random Arts.  Since I’m now doing mono printing and focused doodling (aka Zentangling), I see my books as a great place to gather the pieces I like from my work.  What’s not to like?!!

With all said and done, Christy loves to teach and we are happy to have her here on April 6th and 7th.  As you can see by  all the books that she creates... she is an expert and we are lucky to have her here.  If you sign up for 2 classes she will give you a FREE mini coptic stitch book kit to do on your own. Cost. $75. per class.
Some supplies are required.

Register by email: