Artist, Author, Workshop Instructor……..Seeker
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 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 and Stencil Girl , both published by F&W and is also a columnist for Somerset Studios Magazine. In 2010, Mary Beth recognized a need for ‘artist designed’ stencils and created StencilGirl Products, which has quickly grown into a respected supplier of high quality stencils for all media.
Living with her husband and three cats, Mary Beth is passionate about every moment of life.
I love the way you teach, Mary Beth! Your style is very organic and inspirational. I am always mesmerized by your process. You include so many details about the supplies and your process that are bound to have me saying, “I never knew that before! I have to try it”. Thank you so much!
Mary Beth Shaw with her Art Walk group in Greece
Mary Beth Shaw Mixed Media Gallery
Below is a selection of Mary Beth Shaw’s travel photography from around the world. Mary Beth’s journals incorporate elements and materials from the places we visit. They are inspired by the environment, people, and experiences along the way. Each travel journal is a unique synthesis of the journey.
This class was SO MUCH FUN, and filled with such a great variety of IDEAS… Mary Beth’s instruction was great, she was clear with directions and examples, gave great ideas and such cool techniques and tips!! I couldn’t get enough of it, just wanted to go for days! 😄 She also was so encouraging to be free with what you do, and just do your own thing… don’t sweat the mistakes, just turn them into something else… don’t try to make yours look like anyone else’s, just BE YOU!!! THANK YOU MARY BETH, SOOO MUCH, FOR THIS OPPORTUNITY TO LEARN.
Art Walk Interview with Mary Beth Shaw
Why do you do what you do?
I love Mixed Media. For me, it seems like art for people who want to try it all. I started out making collage paintings many years ago. These days I work mainly in my journal but utilize a variety of supplies, such as paint, markers, pencils, collage and found objects. A collection of disparate items thrills me as I decipher and interpret their presence in my life.
How do you work? What is your teaching style?
I fly by the seat of my pants and that is the way I like it. Doing an Art Walk is perfect for me because my surroundings tend to influence me quite a bit. When exploring new places, it is fun to wander and then wonder with words and art in the pages of our journals. Being on an art vacation is an adventure that we can preserve to live over and over again.
What is your background?
I was in corporate America for 18 years until I intuitively felt life had more to offer. As a result, I started making visual art, then exhibiting, and finally teaching. I started a stencil company along the way. I delight in turning my brain off so I can allow the muse to guide me.
What inspires you?
Basically I am inspired by the beauty and wonder I see in the world. That and the desire to capture it and share it with others. Then they too might experience some of that same wonder in their own hearts and minds.
What attracts you about travel journaling?
Absolutely everything. I am an extremely sensory person. Because of this, all of my senses are on high alert when I travel. I can be distracted (in a very good way) by something as simple as the shape of a tree root or the sound of the waves. I like the terrain of land, looking at maps, people watching, listening to music and being moved to dance. Life is my inspiration.
Why do students attend a Mary Beth Shaw art course?
My art vacation students tell me I have helped them develop their own voice. That makes me very happy because it is always my top priority. I give enough instruction that a student knows what to do, to be there for guidance, but also to facilitate originality. In my art classes we laugh, we learn, we love and we live experiences through art. Plus it is always fun.
What have you learned from creating while you travel?
So very much, but primarily to live in the moment. The ability to preserve the moments in art is a gift. Travel gives that to us.
Create a Mixed Media Travel Journal in Italy
Join Mary Beth Shaw for 11 days touring through Northern Italy September 20-30, 2021.
Take (another) Art Walk Vacation
Our Art Walk programs pair unique travel in beautiful destinations with talented teaching artists. We bring you to the most inspiring places to cultivate your creative side. Explore our other programs...
June 21-27, 2021 join Jennifer Orkin Lewis for a sketchbook art vacation in France. Play on the French Riviera!
September 20-30, 2021 Mary Beth Shaw invites you to this very special mixed media, art journal workshop in Italy. Visit Northern Italy’s most loved destinations and lesser-known treasures.
March 7-13, 2021 Kath Macaulay teaches her pocket sketchbook and watercolor workshop in Santa Barbara, CA.