“I chose to make a career in the painting arts because I love the process of putting forth an original point of view through the beauty of creativity.” – Betsy Stewart.
WAS THERE A PIVOTAL MOMENT WHEN YOU DECIDED TO FOLLOW YOUR PATH AS AN ARTIST?
“I have always been involved in the arts. I was active in modern dance from early childhood through my university years. In my second year in college, I signed up for ‘Painting 101″. As they say, “The rest is history.” The process immediately intrigued me, and I knew it would give me a longer career than dance”.
CAN YOU DESCRIBE YOUR WORK FOR US?
“My paintings meld art and science. I paint the layered interconnectivity in nature that could represent the origins of a drop of water to systems in the vast cosmos”.
WHAT DOES YOUR WORK AIM TO SAY?
“The voice in my work is reminiscent of the philosophical writings of the environmentalist John Muir. He wrote, “when we tug at a single thing in nature we find it is attached to the rest of the world .” Likewise, my work’s philosophy explores nature’s micro to macro worlds”.
HOW DO YOU THINK YOUR WORK FITS WITHIN SOCIETY IN OUR PRESENT TIME?
“I think subjects concerning the natural world will fit into any society”.
WHEN LOOKING BACK, WHAT ARTWORKS COME TO MIND THAT MOST RELATE TO YOUR LIFE STORY?
“Because my works are based on philosophy and biology with images that cannot be seen without a microscope or telescope, I do not relate to any particular works of art. However, there is something to learn from all works of art”.
WHO ARE YOUR BIGGEST INFLUENCES?
“1. Merce Cunningham, one of the well-known creators of modern dance in the United States. My background in dance led me to Cunningham. His favorite quote in class was, “find your voice, be an original.” I remember these words when I chose the path of painting.
2. John Muir, the environmentalist who I mentioned above”.
CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS?
“In my studio, I work on one painting at a time, adding multiple layers of acrylic paint embedded with Sumi ink drawings. Like a composer hearing the overall composition, I have mapped out in my mind’s eye where the key subject matter will be placed, but the rest happens in a very intuitive way, with each paint stroke leading to the next mark”.
WHAT VISUAL REFERENCES DO YOU DRAW UPON IN YOUR WORK?
“I keep biology (and recently astronomy) textbooks in the studio. After so many years, I know the “language,” but sometimes I will look through these periodicals”.
ANY UPCOMING PROJECTS?
–Article and images just published in U. of Notre Dame’s “Virtues/Vocations”.
–I will be in a group exhibit from April to July 2023: “Healing Waters,” Mesquite, NV.
–My works and statement will be published in Studio Visit Magazine, Vol 53, 54, ” Arttour International,” and the upcoming issue of “Circle Spotlight Contemporary Art International.” (France)”.