Monday, May 30, 2011

adding and subtracting

copyright 2011 BVF Betker

This accidental monoprint is just a tonking of a small piece I'm painting on copper sheet. So far I like this better than the painting, but I plan to change that!

Monday, May 23, 2011

portraits of friendship

acrylic on canvas, 10 x 10

acrylic on canvas, 8 x 8 (tonked)

watercolor on paper, 20 x 14

My dear friend Teresa has been sitting for me every week. She is a forgiving sort and lets me manipulate and distort her features every which way. At some point I will settle down and get closer to what I actually see of her! But here are a few of the latest efforts.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

plein beginnings

untitled, copyright BVF Betker 2011, w/c and ink on resin-infused paper

This began when Leigh took Seattle Plein Air folks to the new footbridge across the creek up in Lake Forest Park several weeks ago. Out there in the trees, I used gouache on black multimedia artboard to create a value study. But pretty soon the rain sent us all running for cover (of course).
Later I added pale watercolor washes for moody stage 2 (immediately above), and then just kept working and adding layers till my desired image emerged (top). I think paint is some kind of magic!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

riparian value

A sail glows 2, copyright 2011 BVF Betker, 8 x 10 inches

A sail glows 1, copyright 2011 BVF Betker, 8 x 10 inches

Here are a couple different views of one scene. These are painted from a single (morning!) photo reference taken on a Seattle Plein Air outing to Lake Forest Park -- created in an attempt to study value. One is painted in gouache and watercolor on black multimedia artboard; one on white.

Monday, March 7, 2011

chickens al fresco

Fellow Wallingford artist Nancy Merrill keeps chickens, and her studio's picture window overlooks their quarters. I was privileged one day last year to spend a rainy afternoon with her, snug in her studio, drinking tea and sketching her chickens in ink on canvas. Added final watercolor and an acrylic fixative to the top one just recently!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

landscape party

ink and watercolor stick on paper, 13 x 10, copyright 2011
flickr has a new group which shares reference photos for mutual 2D experimentation. Here is my rendition of a photo reference titled Minster Lovell by Martin Beek of the UK.

Friday, February 11, 2011

it's good to be queen

Forever and a day since I posted. have gotten into the studio a little, trying to get out plein air more often too. Here is a sample of what I've managed to get done lately!
Got into a little jazz again. New nature vivant series in progress, it's good to be queen.

floodplain study, 4.5 x 4.5", ink and watercolor on canvas, copyright 2010
Varnished this little watercolor and now it's permanently fixed to the canvas with mineral spirits varnish. Had to gas-mask up for this but it was worth it as I did several pieces at once. This stuff can be used over oil, watercolor, probably pastel although I haven't tried that, still afraid of what it might do. Guess I should test it! Have not used it on paper at all yet.

Sunday, January 16, 2011


4" x 4", watercolor on canvas, copyright 2010
Visited NYC for September 11 weekend and came away with the same ache of longing I always have for this magnificent city, beating like a heart and like a drum, singing and breathing, at all hours of every day.