Betsy Arvelo Buzbee
Graphic & Web Art Director
I went to school to be an artist. That was my goal at the time. Life had other plans for me and I just rolled with it.I can’t say I am disappointed with the path it led me to.
Although I have worked with oils, acrylics, watercolors, ceramics, wood sculpture, and much more, I define myself as a watercolorist. Watercolor allows me to be much more spontaneous than oils and acrylics and I also love the fact that it is so basic: you work on hand-made papers, with water based paints that are all organic and brushes made of real animal hairs. It keeps it all very close to nature for me. Natural paints and beautiful colors. Easy to travel with and very little preparation. I can walk away from a painting and come back months later and everything is still the same. I can sit and start painting again. Your palette dries out, you add water and your colors are ready to paint.
I start every piece by drawing in the shapes with pencil. This is to block in shapes. Then I do wet on wet to get the paints running into each other to create beautiful textures. After you have those textures in place, you start working areas deciding which areas to keep and accentuate, and where to cover them up. The painting starts emerging. Other than the wet on wet, I never mix colors. If I need to paint a purple, I lay down a blue layer, wait until it dries and then add a red one to achieve the purple. These coats or layers are done very minimally. I use very little color and add one at a time until I get the color I want. Some of the painting areas are made of hundreds of these layers. This is what keeps the colors so brilliant. Otherwise, they get dirty and muted. It is also a very lengthy process. I was very inspired by Maxfield Parrish. He worked this way with oils. Never mixing colors, doing glazes to achieve mixtures. His paintings are as beautiful and vibrant as the day he finished them.