Why did you start painting?
As a kid, I had an overactive imagination and could play for hours in my backyard or attic without getting bored. I was also extremely shy. When I drew, I made up things I wished existed, underground worlds, even food packaging logos. It all may have been a way for me to express things I couldn’t verbally. I can’t remember a time I didn’t draw.
What kind of ideas inspire you to paint them?
Driving at night, good music, beautiful old buildings, Super Mario Brothers 3, and humorous things people say. These things combined with faint memories of childhood inspire most of my work.
How much does folk art play into your work?
I think about folk art only as much as people tell me my work reminds them of folk art. My style of painting is mostly influenced by children’s books, to be honest. In the end, both have a simplicity of color and shape to which I’m drawn.
On your website (bethmeadows.com) you can really see you growing more confident with what you’re doing year by year. What do you think you’ll be making next year?
There’s a series of paintings I am about to work on that may take me until next year to complete. Most will be set at night, somber, funny, and full of particular colors set against black and dark blue. I also want to paint people again, and for some reason, white animals.
I’ll Kill You With My Bear Hands is one of my favorites. What’s the story on that one?
I’m fascinated by the dynamic nature of words and how changing one word of such a harsh phrase completely changes it. I suppose the painting is funny, but what makes it for me is its title.
The MetroGnome painting you made, of him riding on a sleigh, is pretty great. Don’t you just love Metro Pulse?
Yes, almost as much as I do the MetroGnome.