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Who is Betsy Eby?


Betsy Eby was born in the small coastal town of Seaside, Oregon. She earned her Bachelor‘s Degree in Art History, with an emphasis in ancient Greek, Roman and Asian antiquities. While interning at the University Museum, her art aesthetic was influenced by Asian landscape paintings as well as the Northwest Masters work she catalogued. After graduation, she lived briefly in Tokyo and was deeply influenced by Japanese history and culture.

She currently lives on a Puget Sound island in Washington state as well as Wheaton Island, Maine.

A Sense of History

Betsy Eby works in encaustic, a painting medium that dates back to the 4th Century BC and was written about in the works of Roman scholar Pliny. The sullied surfaces, lush calligraphic line and expanses of white atmospheric space evoke another time and place while simultaneously upholding properties of abstraction through gesture and elemental reduction.

Often times sweeping and enveloping, the rhythmic qualities of her paintings are clearly influenced by the central roll music plays in her life. Betsy began practicing classical piano at age five and continues to play today.

The Encaustic Process

Her mixed-media material consists of molten beeswax, pigment and damar varnish. She manipulates the viscosity then engages in torching, spattering, dripping and layering her material. She uses broad spreading knives most of the time, preferring a brush at the very end to draw a line or a specific drip onto the foremost layer of the surface. Because of the materials‘ transparency, it is as unforgiving as watercolor.

Not only is Eby addressing the formal structure of composition and color, she must balance this with the dimension of the wax itself, the way the wax obfuscates color, all the while building to a finished surface that glistens like poured resin. It is a process of constant push and pull.

The result is paintings uniquely transparent, with lush and active surfaces which are simultaneously sensual and contemplative.

Betsy Eby‘s work is exhibited and collected nationwide.

Betsy has appeared on Integral Naked:

Betsy Eby1/7/2009

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