Beth Meadows

painting

About "Good Packaging"

Beth MeadowsComment

Good Packaging is the second iteration of the food packaging series, the first influenced by a desire to improve one of my least favorite tasks: grocery shopping. 

When it comes to going to the grocery store, I lack the knack for doing it efficiently. All of the brands and differing price points overwhelm me, so I spend far more time wandering the aisles than I'd like to. 

I also learned at a young age not to be swayed by fancy packaging, which for a visual person, really takes the joy out of looking at all those labels. 

To improve this task that I will spend the rest of my life doing, I decided to turn the grocery store into an art store, allowing myself to buy alluring items that I could use to make art. This shift has made a world of difference, and in my hunting, I do that thing I aspire to do as often as possible in my life: Lose track of time.

I'm also deeply fascinated by the fashion industry and like mixing images I find in magazines and on social media with my life in East Tennessee. 

In Good Packaging I explore:

  • themes of craftsmanship in the greater design world and also in folk art found in the mountainous region where I live. 
  • the inaccessibility of high fashion and the accessible materials I've chosen to work with.
  • the fashion world, a field and craft I greatly admire.
  • the positive and negative effects of food and fashion

About the Painting: Their Sadness Overwhelmed Them

Beth MeadowsComment

Title: Their Sadness Overwhelmed Them

Dimensions: 34 x 28"

Medium: acrylic, varnish, and food packaging collaged on canvas

Artist: (Me!) Beth Meadows

Painted In: I started this painting several years ago (maybe 2010??) and completed it this year, at the beginning of July.

Influences (Below is a window to my often hidden soul. Be warned.) and Process:

  • There was a time I was pretty sad. So most of my 20s, and before then, as a child up until high school... so, a long time. After college, almost every day for at least two years, I'd cry- at home, at work, in my car, and all other places in between. It was exhausting, terrible, addictive, and in moments of clarity, baffling and- not funny haha- but funny how I couldn't find my way out of it when I was in it. A few years out of the worst of it, I decided to make a painting that mocked depression's stupidity, and that painting is this painting. 
  • The space is based on the kitchen in my studio apartment in Maplehurst, the charming neighborhood in Knoxville I lived in right after college. (You could see the Sunsphere from the kitchen window.) It really was a magical place, full of musicians and free-spirited people. We all lived frugally but were creative enough to have a lot of fun adventures. Magical, chaotic, irresponsible- good words to describe that time. (Sidenote: If I had known how badly being irresponsible suited me, I would have known this was such a large part of my discontentment. But it took me ten more years to figure that one out, like only a month ago did I realize this. I bought (and maybe sometimes still buy) into the inaccurate theory that being an artist means living a care-free, chaotic, tethered to nothing life, but I've learned I am much more content being a responsible human being, a twist to my life I didn't expect nor have easily accepted.)
  • The cat: So you may have heard. I have a cat named Juicy, and she came with this very apartment in Maplehurst. No lie. The girl I sublet from left her there so I could have her. While I was not in great mental shape at this time, it was during those two years I started down the long road to recovery, and it was Juicy that first helped me. Well, God, and then Juicy. I have, and seriously had back then, a difficult time accepting love from others into my life, which I believe is the cause of a lot of my pain and searching. My sadness was too unbearable at that time, so I left Juicy for five weeks to go to L'abri in Switzerland to see if my depression could be dealt with there (It was and I love that place for this reason). I don't know if it was God, but what may have been God, told me to return to Knoxville and "Accept All Amounts of Real Love" specifically, let that cat's love into my life. And so it was Juicy's presence that started me down a better path. I was still terribly sad, but when I'd come home to that cat rolling and meowing in dirt at the sight of me, I'd pick up her soft fleshy body and relish in all of her warmth and purring love. It's a vulnerable thing to admit, but it is the reason I painted this, and it's the reason I love that little angel cat dearly.
  • At the not great advice of a peer who critiqued the painting many years ago, I got stuck on how to complete it, so I didn't touch it for several years. I also realized it had a striking and unintentional "Alice in Wonderland" quality, which also caused me to hesitate. In the end, I just embraced that quality. I watched that movie a lot when I was younger, so it was bound to show up sooner or later.
  • 2016 starts. This year has been a little nuts in terms of transition. I cancelled my one art show scheduled. A week later, Sarah, the former manager at Old City Java, asked if I would hang artwork there within two weeks. I said yes because I like OCJ but knew I had to complete some unfinished work in order to have enough to show. So I picked up this panting again.
  • I refined the girl and added in more objects swirling around. I added the food packaging as a shout out to the series I created in 2014 of supermodels with food packaging as their clothing. I am currently making another similar series.
  • I also went ahead with my original plan- the one I previously got stuck on- to tint varnish blue and paint over the acrylic to insinuate water. I wasn't sure how it would work, but it went over pretty smoothly.
  • The tears were the last touch and my favorite thing about this painting! When I was a kid, my family went to the circus. We were pretty far away from the circular stage but still able to see this one clown's tears shooting from his eyes when he'd get hurt. I loved it so much!! I added these in to talk about how ridiculous depression is, like drowning and no one can throw you a life line. Except for maybe the sweetest and most empathetic cat, loving you one day at a time. 

It is for sale, and you can find it by clicking Shop above. 

 

Art For the People

Beth MeadowsComment

My art show began today at Old City Java in Knoxville, and it's a little bit different.

I've been showing artwork in Knoxville for over 10 years. As a way to say thank you to the city (and anyone else) who has encouraged me along the way, I present:

Art for the People!

I will take the best price for these pieces, so don't be shy and make me an offer by emailing me at beth@bethmeadows.com. You may make an offer up to noon on Thursday, October 31.

$5, $10, $50, $1,000,0... anything!

And if you LOVE a piece and have to have it, ask me for the buy It now  price, and it can be yours!

Your support and encouragement mean SO much to me! Thank you!!

If you'd like to see the titles, materials, and sizes for each of these pieces, go here

 Old City Java // 109 S Central Street // Knoxville, TN 37901

 

About the painting: Murphy Farm

Beth MeadowsComment

A couple of weeks ago, I finished a commission for someone who wanted me to make a painting of his family farmhouse that was built circa 1841. He had sent me several photos of the house up close, but we decided on a composition that included the land surrounding his house, to give it, what I call, a more folksy feel. He also asked me to add fall colors and his dog, Koda.

Murphy Farm acrylic on panel 18 x 24"

Murphy Farm acrylic on panel 18 x 24"

I house and dog sat at Kevin's house a few summers ago. It's a beautiful place that he's refurbished, paying attention to the smallest details. I love going there, especially because Koda is super soft and sweet.

I'm so honored to have had the chance to commemorate his home in this way- such a wonderful place that I know will be around for another 100 years. 

 ***

If you like what you see here and want to discuss a potential commission of your historic home, please email me at beth@bethmeadows.com, or go here. I'd love to hear from you!