AREtsy Featured Member: bmacre

I'm very excited to be introducing Beth Macre of bmacre on etsy as this week's featured AREtsy team member. Beth's shop is full of beautiful art, everything from colorful custom order clay tiles to her mini works of art, original ACEO drawings. Please read her interview then stop by her shop. You can also keep up with all Beth's up to on her blog.

Tell us a bit about yourself name, location, affiliations, personal stuff.

Hello! My name is Beth Macre and I live in Blytheville, Arkansas. Before I moved to Blytheville for my first teaching job 26 years ago, I attended Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, where I received a Bachelor of Science in Education with Art Education certification. Before that, I lived most of my childhood in south Arkansas in Pine Bluff.

After I started teaching in Blytheville, I met and married my husband of 25 years. We have two college age children, a daughter 22, and a son 19. I’ve been teaching art in the same classroom now for 22 years! I’ve been in the same school district for all of my 26 years of teaching.

A couple of years ago, I decided that I would try to sell a few little things online. So I tried Ebay and was very surprised to find that I could sell some of my art online. I kept hearing about Etsy, so I decided to give that a try last year. I opened an account in January but didn’t put anything in the shop for several months. I had to decide what kind of things to include in the shop. I love to try out new materials, but needed to focus on just 2 or 3 products, so I decided to sell ACEOs, acrylic paintings, and handmade items of clay.

Apart from creating things, what do you do?

My teaching job takes up the majority of my time, but the good thing is that I get to be creative everyday with my students. Outside of school, I enjoy spending time with family. Since we are empty nesters, we both enjoy watching television, playing on the internet, and taking care of our 8 year old Maltese, Lexie. When the kids come home, we spend time with them.

What first made you want to become an artist?

I have always enjoyed drawing. I remember in school, when I wrote notes to friends, they always included doodles and drawings, some of them quite elaborate. I really wish I had kept some of them! But when I went to college and had to decide on a major, there was no question that it would involve art in some way.

Please describe your creative process how, when, materials, etc.

My mind is always thinking of what to create next. I keep a list of ideas on paper and when I’m stumped for an idea, I will get out that paper and choose one. I work in pencil, colored pencils, pen and ink, and sometimes clay. So depending on what medium I plan to use, I will go to my sketchbook and either choose one that I’ve already drawn, or sketch a new idea. I love the creative process, from coming up with the idea to creating it. Sometimes I hate to get finished with a piece if it has been really fun to create.

In the spring, I do a unit of study with clay for my students. Over the years I have become more and more interested in creating hand built items of clay. One of my favorite items to create are decorative tiles. I build layers of clay to create three dimensional pictures on the tiles. These tiles are whimsical in style and can be custom ordered on request through my Etsy shop. They are fun to create!

What handmade possession do you most cherish?

The quilts that my mother made out of my children's t-shirts of the activities that they participated when growing up. I kept all of the t-shirts and sweatshirts from the kids’ activities and the shirts that my mother painted for them when they were little. My son had so many from playing baseball, that she made an extra quilt out of his team shirts, so I have a quilt, and both of my children have theirs to keep. It is special because my Mother made it and because of the memories of when my children were little that it brings back. My Mother is very creative and an excellent seamstress. I can’t sew, but I believe she passed on her creative gene to me.

Name your top five books, movies, songs/musical groups, and web sites besides Etsy.

I don’t spend a lot of time reading or watching movies, besides Art Books and school lesson plan materials. I try to use my spare time to create, read artist blogs, and I am a moderator on ScribbleTalk.com. That is a Forum for artists who use colored pencils and other drawing materials. So I have made several artist friends through that website.

How do you promote your work?

That is one thing that I have not done a lot of. I belong to an artist group in Memphis, I belong to AREtsy, of course, and I do have a blog (http://bethmacre.blogspot.com/) where I talk about my art, but beyond that I really haven’t taken that much time to promote yet. Hopefully by the time I retire from teaching, I will have learned better how to promote my work. Right now I don’t have time for much more than what I do.

What are your favorite things about belonging to AREtsy?

I like how the group is so supportive and helpful to each other. I am from a pretty small town, so there are very few artists around here to get together with and exchange ideas and help each other out.

In ten years I'd like to be...

…retired from teaching and creating full time. I’ve always wanted to be a full time artist, but with a family to raise, that is very difficult, so hopefully that dream will come true soon!


kellyvanhook said...

Oh, I am so glad to see Beth featured! She is such a great AREtsy member and a fabulous artist!

idyll hands said...

Love getting to know a bit more about Beth! :)

Beth said...

Thank you Kelly!
Thanks Idyll.
Thanks for featuring me this week! I can't wait to see the next featured artist!