This is part 1 of my interview with Georgetown, Texas artist Mary Beth Martin. Her work has been shown across the southern USA as well as in France. The introduction about Mary Beth is found in this post about her first artistic product done on an iPad.
Mary Beth is an avid artist as well as an Apple devotee. I hope you enjoy getting to know her!
1. Tell me about your experience with Apple products in general. When did you get your first Apple product, and what was it? How did you use it?
I was teaching art to high school seniors in Baton Rouge. I had gotten Adobe Photoshop 5 and taught myself how to use it for my art and photography. I had a ton of photos on my computer. I would alter the photos until I got a design I liked for a painting. It was taking me quite a long time on my pc.
My son had a Mac and kept telling me “Mom you really need a Mac”. He would say, “Once you have a Mac you will never go back!” I got my first iMac about seven years ago and I must agree with him, I will never go back to a pc”.
Apple MacBook Air MD231LL/A 13.3-Inch Laptop (NEWEST VERSION)
Once I learned how to use the Mac it would take me less time to alter the photos. I love the power of my Mac and it was very easy to learn. I have a 21″ screen that really enables me to see what I am working on. It never crashes or freezes up like a PC. The Mac ran much smoother and faster than my pc. Everything just seemed easier to me. I must say that Apple also has the best service department and support available for all their products that I have ever seen in any product I know of. Everything just seemed easier to me.
I then decided the high school kids would love a computer graphics course so I wrote a grant and got eight computers and software to teach the class.
I used the Mac in not only my graphics class but also in my art appreciation class. I would have groups of students pick a painting by one of the old masters. They were to recreate the scene, using a digital camera and posing in the same pose, then use photoshop to make it look more like the original work. The results were amazing. I continued to work with my photos for my paintings.
2. Tell the readers about the art work that you have done and still do. I think that also sets more of the context for your story.
I have drawn ever since I can remember. I have always loved anything relating to art.when I was in elementary school, I can remember taking some art lessons in the park that was near to my house. My Aunt was an artist and I wanted be just like her. I took many classes in high school. And my dream of becoming an artist got closer and closer. When I began LSU I decided I wanted to major in art education. When I saw that my schedule only included one art class per semester, I changed from an education major specializing in art to studio art. After changing majors my semesters were filled with drawing, painting, design and art history classes. At first I was very happy. But later the instructors began pushing me in the direction of abstract painting. I didn’t like abstract paintings but I pushed on and painted the way they wanted me to paint. I thought I would learn by forcing myself into painting that way. By the time I was in my last semester I began to get burned out. I didn’t feel like painting anymore. I graduated LSU with a Bachelors of Fine Arts and didn’t paint again until after my kids were grown.
I began having kids about a year after I graduated from LSU. We had two children spaced five years apart from each other. When my son Michael was in preschool I started teaching at his school. I loved teaching the little ones and I could do all the art I wanted to do. I enjoyed it as much as they did. I taught preschool for 18 years. When my school needed a high school art teacher I told them I could do that. No one knew I was an art major. They asked me if I was qualified and I told them to look at my transcript from LSU. Because it was a private school and I would be teaching in my field of study I could teach as many art classes that they wanted me to teach. Slowly I began getting back into my art by doing the projects that the kids were doing. I loved it! I taught at the high school until we moved to Georgetown nine years ago.
About a year after moving here I was talking to the Principal of Summit Christian Academy. I asked her if they would ever need a part time teacher and she told me yes. I began teaching Pre K – 6th grade until I retired two years ago. I am now able to paint full time and although I am retired from teaching in the school system I teach private and group lessons in my studio. Before moving to Georgetown I was mainly sculpting with clay and drawing pencil portraits. I love almost any medium of art although now my main medium is pastel painting. I didn’t start using Pastels until 2006. Another thing I love do do is make handmade cards and books. I consider this “my hobby”. It takes me a very long time to create the one of a kind cards. I use many layers of materials and often use pop ups on them. I love three dimensional things with a lot of different textures. God has definitely given me a gift of doing anything art related.
3. When did you get your iPad and what was the first thing you did with it?
Mike gave me my iPad for Christmas his year. I was very surprised! The first thing I did was to put all of my paintings on the iPad. After that I started loading on Apps (I love apps!) setting all my settings and getting organized.