Artist Profile: Mary Beth Shaw

Mary Beth Shaw is a mixed media artist, instructor and the author of Flavor for Mixed Media. She has also created her own line of stencils for creating textures and backgrounds.

Q: What are you working on right now?
A: A series about geological stratum

Q: What’s your current favorite junkyard find?
A: I have this piece of plastic fence from a child’s game. I got it at an estate sale in a bag of odd assorted junk. I use it to make texture and especially love that it is missing a few fence rails because I hate for things to look too perfect.

Q: What’s the best book you’ve read lately?
A: Little Bee is the stack by the bed.

Q: What’s the most inspiring trip you’ve ever taken or adventure you’ve ever had?
A: My husband and I visited the UK many years ago and traveled down to the very tip of Cornwall, where we stayed in a B+B near Lands End. We had been driving most of the day in rain, the kind that penetrates your bones. The B+B had a lovely fire in the fireplace, friendly dog alongside and it was so welcoming. I took a hot bath and felt restored. After dinner, the rain stopped and the fog lifted. I wanted so badly to go out of doors, to take a walk in the moonlight and to see the ocean. Our host advised against it, saying there was a lot of dense brush and the trail had grown over. I persisted, and he finally gave us directions. John and I suited up in Gortex and boots and headed out. To say the trail was overgrown was an understatement. The brush was very tall, and I am very short. We finally navigated through and emerged at the edge of a cliff, raging waters below, full moon above. I will forever remember that magical moment; I felt as though I had walked into a Jane Eyre novel, and I was bubbling over with emotion at the beauty of the land, the water, the moon.

Q: What’s the last thing you cooked?
A: Crab cakes on top of a bed of mixed greens

Q: If you could surround yourself with only one color, what would it be?
A: Shades of subtle blue, like my chair—colors from the water and sky.

Q: What one thing do you want to do that you haven’t done yet?
A: Hike the Grand Canyon

Q: What’s the best day you’ve ever had?
A: So many it is impossible to mention as I really try to spend my time with good thoughts. Thus I love every day, and right now I think yesterday was the best; tomorrow I will probably think that today was the best.

Q: What’s today’s Word to Live By?
A: Focus

Q: What is your guilty pleasure?
A: The Real Housewives shows

Q: What do you listen to when you create?
A: It depends; sometimes music, sometimes silence, but lately I have listened to the novel Freedom by Jonathan Franzen. I am finding that to distract my brain (by listening to something like a novel) helps me to be more loose with my work.

Q: With whom would you love to spend one day making art?
A: Nick Bantock

Q: When is your favorite time of day?
A: I love working late at night when the rest of the world sleeps.

Q: Why do you make art?
A: It is a physical and mental requirement for me. I simply must make art in order to thrive as a human being.

Q: What is on your workspace right now?
A: I am working on new stencil designs, so I have pencils, markers, doodles and copies of doodles, my light box, ruler, etc.

Q: What’s your best piece of advice for artists?
A: Do it do it do it. Then keep doing it.

Follow Mary Beth Shaw on her web site or blog.

To learn more about or to purchase Mary Beth’s book Flavor for Mixed Media, click here.

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One Response to Artist Profile: Mary Beth Shaw

  1. tatterededge says:

    Well hello there MB! *waves* Look at you! Gorgeous!

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