PHOTO BY SARAH COLLIER
A monthly column that keeps its finger on the pulse of Forsyth’s artists and their inspiring stories
This month’s featured artist, Beth Glover, pursues unspoken and unseen glimpses of truth, beauty and strength through her abstract expressionist work. Whether on paper and canvas or transformed into fabric and decor items, Beth uses rich colors, organic textures and layers with natural shapes and an overall energy in gesture and momentum.
Beth Glover | Artist and Surface Designer
How would you describe your work?
Most of my original artwork would fall under abstract expressionism with some landscape and floral pieces leaning more into an impressionistic approach. I often use watercolor and mixed media – acrylics, ink, chalk, oil pastels – and I like to explore using media in untraditional ways. My artwork and surface design work often include rich texture, movement (sometimes energetic but often peaceful) as well as colorful and organic shapes.
What influences your art most?
My artwork and creativity is most influenced by my faith and personal relationship with God and Jesus, and flows from an intuitive place. I often start creating with just a feeling or a color in mind and allow my art to take shape from there. I often don’t know what the final product will be, but I love that feeling.
How have you evolved, personally, as an artist?
There was a time that calling myself “an artist” was a conscious effort. Now, I feel confident stating the fact that I’m an artist. It’s not because I have an art degree (I don’t) but I have fully embraced my identity, my creativity and pursued it diligently (and not without difficulty) over the last five years. My artwork holds more meaning and weight for me, too, now that I recognize myself as a lifelong artist.
You teach both private classes and academic classes as an art teacher, what do you enjoy most about teaching?
I’ve always been passionate about creativity and connecting with other people. I believe every human is creative and has the capacity to make art, and that beauty helps us to learn deeper truths from God. I started teaching as a volunteer for Arts for Life NC, a non-profit that serves children’s hospitals in North Carolina and it’s brought me so many opportunities since then. I’ve been able to teach children as young as 5, Alzheimer and dementia patients, all different experience levels of adults, host virtual lessons during the pandemic…Teaching allows me to empower others to discover their creative capacity. I love encouraging and helping others to unlock their unknown creative potential or just helping them reimagine who they thought they were. I’m less concerned with perfect technique, and much more concerned with their belief in themselves as creators and encouraging them to explore and practice from that place of belief.
How do you carve out time to be creative?
When creating art became a business for me, I found the business side of everything took much more time and energy than the creative and fun part. Sometimes I set a small goal for myself, such as “Paint for 15 minutes” every morning – no matter what you paint – just paint. Recently, I decided to take a class in a medium I know nothing about! I took a handbuilding ceramics class and I fell in love with it! I had never done any 3D artwork or sculpture before, and it really brought me so much joy and enabled me to access my creativity in an entirely new and playful way.
What are you working on right now that excites you?
I am prepping for the upcoming Ardmore Artwalk on Saturday, November 5th (11:00am to 4:30pm!) I love doing local shows like this because I get to connect with people about art. Since taking my ceramics class, I am really excited to offer different ceramic handbuilt ornaments this year as well as my signature gold leaf ornaments, which I shared last year!
What is one piece of advice you’d like to share with fellow artists?
I would encourage my fellow artists to take time and be patient as you figure out what makes your art unique. You have to make a lot of bad art so you can find the good art! Keep something of your artmaking for yourself and don’t monetize everything, because it does change if you look at all your creative work as a commodity.
If you are interested in learning more about Beth Glover or where to find her local work or upcoming classes you can follow her on Instagram @bethglover.art, head to her website https://bethgloverart.com or take part in the November 5th Ardmore Artwalk.