Tag Archives: abstract

Watercolor Painting: Cosmos Dance

Cosmos Dance Abstract Floral Watercolor Painting by Betsyness Art Studio
Cosmos Dance Abstract Floral Watercolor Painting by Betsyness Art Studio

Cosmos Dance, 2017, Watercolor,  12×16

So there are things I really like about this painting. I love the purple to blue wash and the orange to purple wash. In fact I think I should have just stopped painting right then. That’s what’s always challenging…knowing when you’re done painting.

Work in Progress: Oil Painting of Cosmos

I was experimenting with trying to create washes on canvas (here canvas board). It was less than successful so I painted over with white acrylic and am now trying to paint the cosmos in oils. I kept the big blue wash on the top exposed.

work in progress cosmos floral abstract oil painting
work in progress cosmos abstract floral oil painting

Studio Kitty with Lilies

Studio orange kitty with lilies
Studio kitty with lilies

Here’s Matisse the kitty posing with some white lilies. Is it me or is he looking a little chubby? :/ I am guilty of giving into his pleas for more food. I need to cut back on the kibble.

I entered the Minted Design Challenge: Make A Statement Large Format Art Challenge

I am planning on painting several large paintings for my mother’s newly remodeled home. It’s a challenge for me since most of my work up until now has been 16 x 20 or less. I’m still debating on painting something really big or splitting the space up into diptychs or triptychs. Added to my headache is the cost of shipping.

While I was wasting time on the internet I came across this appropriate online art contest with Minted.com.  They are asking for large pieces of art to print and I figured it would be a good exercise for me to go through my past artwork to see what would actually work at a larger scale. One thing that I thought was a little strange was their proposed new format is 48″ x 70″…it doesn’t seem to meet any of the standard aspect ratios (unless my math is way off) .

Anyway here are my submissions:
art prints - Bougainvillea Kisses
art prints – Bougainvillea Kisses


art prints - Winter Solstice Abstract
art prints – Winter Solstice Abstract

art prints - Greyed Out
art prints – Greyed Out


art prints - Macheros Sunrise
art prints – Macheros Sunrise


art prints - Wilted Tulip
art prints – Wilted Tulip


art prints - Low tide ripples
art prints – Low tide ripples


art prints - Candy Bougainvillea
art prints – Candy Bougainvillea


Art I Like: Henri Matisse

I already blogged about Matisse, after my trip to the Met Museum a few months ago. I’ve been pinning his work over and over again.

Matisse pinned from ArtStack
Matisse pinned from nevsepic.com.ua
Matisse pinned from plus.google.com

I really like how he is able to abstract his work and ‘flatten’ form into shapes that are reminiscent of pattern. In this book I got from Le Souk Le Souk, it describes how inspired he was from his trip to Morocco– and it shows!

He flattens space but it still makes sense as a cohesive space because the color and the line weight guide you from foreground to background. It’s very skillfully done.  It reminds me of when Web 2.0 came out and everything had a drop shadow on it. There is dimensionality while still being flat….it’s 2.5 D.

He said, “It is the beginning of my expression with color, with blacks and their contrasts.” The painting’s black ground separates the three parts, but black unites them, too, by working its way into various areas of each part. The black, though it serves to depict deep shadow, also refers to light. Matisse wrote of a contemporaneous painting, “I began to use black as a color of light and not as a color of darkness.”

I’m inspired by his skill and am going to explore color, line, and pattern in my work in an abstracted but flattened space…particularly in watercolor.

#crocosmia #lily #watercolor #art #artistsoninstagram

A photo posted by Betsyness Art Studio (@betsynessartstudiocollection) on


Fall foliage mixed media on paper 12x16


Inspiration From the new Whitney: Willem de Kooning

Willem de Kooning, Woman and Bicycle @ The Whitney

The new Whitney Museum looks like Boston’s ICA and is similarly situated near the water on Manhattan’s west side near the High Line. I was kind of disappointed by the lack of exhibits for the amount that I paid, but their permanent collection was quite good. It rained when I went but they also have a very nice observation deck and cafe on the top floor.

I really liked this information provided by the Whitney curators:

Willem de Kooning never believed that abstraction and representation were mutually exclusive. As he stated: “I’m not interested in ‘abstracting’ or taking things out or reducing painting to design, form, line, and color. I paint this way because I can keep putting more things in it–drama, anger, pain, love, a figure, a horse, my ideas about space. Through your eyes it again becomes an emotion or idea.”

This de Kooning painting was large at 76 1/2 × 49 1/8 in. Some questions that I ask myself are: how do I know when I’m done, and is this piece professional, museum quality. It’s interesting to see the bare linen exposed at the edges with the staples showing and no frame or glass.

A lot of paintings now will have a solid color painted on the edges to provide a more polished look. I usually think of linen as suitable for fine glazing techniques but de Kooning had no problem with applying his oil paint thick in many locations.

Close snapshots of various parts of the painting look like they could be their own abstract painting.

He also used vivid, saturated pastel colors but the painting is balanced by the black and the grey of the raw linen. I wonder how he  treated his linen. It doesn’t look like used any white gesso, which is normally used to protect the supporting material of canvas or linen from the oil paint. I too like the color of raw linen better than  the very white gesso.