Welcome Bienvenidos!


Beginners Colored Pencil Class at Kirk Bear Canyon Library
March 6 5:30 - 7:30

Mixed Media Colored pencil class at Kirk Bear Canyon Library
March 20 5:30 - 7:30

Beginners Watercolor Class at Kirk Bear Canyon Library
March 27 5:30 - 7:30

Mixed Media Watercolor Class at Kirk Bear Canyon Library
April 3 5:30 - 7:30

* Individual and group tutoring is available too :) Contact me here or Facebook or my website SueBetanzos.com





Thursday, August 27, 2009

La Sirena Progess


More mermaid painting. Have a few corrections to make, then a bit more coral life and finally the magical waters. This will be a companion piece for the sea turtle in the Sea of Cortez series. They will be in the glass painting exhibit at the Tucson International Airport Sept.7  - Nov. 30.
I will also be doing my very first art show Nov. 14 - 15 and I am working on my display design. I am excited and nervous, working hard to prepare for both shows!
Everyone has been so supportive and I feel lucky, grateful that I will not be doing my first show solo.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Voluteer

A few weeks ago I finally acted on an intention I have had for a year - I joined a literacy group that mentors one child for the school year that is below grade level reading. Books and reading have always been a passion for me - they engage my mind and let me use MY  imagination to visually create the characters. I am the movie director, sound, set, stage, graphics director etc. Pretty cool. 
So it will be great when the student I am mentoring looks forward to going to a library or book store and is excited about books and stories that they comprehend and get meaning from. Literacy is a gift that opens the doors of the mind to so much including success in learning, scholastic endeavors and life. 
Will see how it goes! Check out the link  below :~)   Speaking of books and reading, quote for today:  
"To the world you may be one person,  
but to one person you are the world".  -  Heather Cortez

Thursday, August 20, 2009

La Sirena Progess



The painting in progress. Glass painting is a mindset of thinking in reverse. Once in the 'zone' it's best to keep painting until finished. So I will paint until completed. That is my best work mode anyway - all at once. Saving the best til' last - the mermaid. I have several colors in mind - golden yellow and blue like Clarion Angelfish, red with blue dots like grouper, or shading from red at bottom to golden yellow. All inspired by actual reef life. Nature is amazing in it's colors and I will use that for color/pattern guidance. As shown, the back is Very Different from the front of the painting because of the reverse process. I love to watch it magically appear as I finish each section.

Monday, August 17, 2009

More postcards




These are some of the samples I have made for my Big Idea on the fabric postcards. I love the idea of sending these to our soldiers in Iraq, those who have returned and are in the VA hospitals and those who simply really need a moral boost or praise. Will be working on a proposal to submit and this is where I will look to Crafty Chica for inspiration.  
It has been suggested that I put  together kits and I need to put a very simple one together for cost purposes. O.K., time to ask others for advice. My original idea seemed pretty simple - get people together and make some cool 4' x 6" postcards. I would supply materials for one card to make and send and my fee would cover materials and my time. So now I need to par it down and put together my proposal. So it's off to Michaels & JoAnn Fabrics! These are pretty fun to make since I get to play with glitter, sequines, paint etc. I have chosen to use images from my paintings that are printed on special fabric and ironed onto 4 x 6 inch fabric.  As long as it stays about 1/8" by U S Postal standards. They do require the .44 stamp because they are different that average postcard- even though they conform in size.


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Madonna del Desierto - Finished!



At last! This piece took a couple of starts to get the right feel. I wanted a wild, white rose with the little Madonna in the center. Choosing the correct glass for the white was a nice exercise and instead of cutting the glass it was broken and the shards picked out for a more random look. Mirror and iridescent glass adds sparkle for a magical touch. 
It is my belief that everything is made up of energy and therefor has spirit. It's fun to think of elves, sprites,

 fairies, etc. which is why Tolkien, Harry Potter and other fantasy genre is so appealing. Charles de Lint is wonderful at weaving urban fantasy stories where the characters are so authentic and I actually met him at the Book Festival earlier this year. Mr. De Lint other favorite authors inspire my fantasy True Blue series filled with mermaids, Madonna's, winged kitchen kitties, magical birds etc. On to my mermaid painting...

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Madonna del Desierto



Little Madonna with her friends set in a wild white rose. Iridescent glass, mirror, tumbled stones, and turquoise with reverse glass painted center.  It will be cut out in the shape of the rose and leaves. Almost done - just needs the grouting and cutting! 

Saturday, August 8, 2009

La Sirena


Another reverse glass painting in progress from the Sea of Cortez series. Urban fantasy is a favorite genre where reality and possibilities dwell. 
In reverse glass painting, everything is painted on the back side of the glass, from front to back - literally backwards.  A tricky technique and a challenge I enjoy, which is why I find myself returning to it often. More than my standard acrylic and illustration techniques. 
Every so often I have this dream where I am underwater, swimming effortlessly - slipstream, quicksilver graceful - seal, otter like. It feels so wonderful gliding, playing and observing life under water. Then I wake up - wondering what the hell I'm doing on dry land in bed - "oh yeah, it was just a dream..."

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Summer Goals

This summer I am working extra hard to reach out, make new connections, and create new opportunities. Really get out of my comfort zone and try new things. I didn't realize how isolated I had become in my studio, even though I love my work. 
One activity I am going to do is an art fair. I have done one ages ago and it was o.k., but I did not pursue it again. Yesterday it took willpower and self discipline of a different kind to make the calls and ask for information about venues. My biggest challenge is generating enough work to fill a booth and the storage of the finished pieces. Yet I find myself excited  when I think of the work I want to  put out there. 
Also, when I commit to big deadlines and challenges I'm forced to rise to the evolution and create something I have not done before, learn something I don't understand. I find I enjoy the thrill of discovering the process as I go. Stressful - of course! That's part of the growing process and the incredible satisfaction gained when the summit has been attained - like I want to plant my flag that says "I did it!" at the top. (picture of me in mountain climbing gear standing by my flag blowing in wind on top of mountain and Rocky music playing in background - cheesy but true!)



My Big Idea

Monday I was still thinking of the fabric postcard I had sent Friday when My Big Idea came to me and I could not wait to share it. I thought of my friend Leyla, who is in the army and has been to the desert many times. Then as I was driving past a retirement home I had this idea: Wouldn't it be great if the guys that are still over in Iraq could receive one of these little works of art from those here to let them know that they are being thought of and they are not alone. The soldiers could have these keepsakes to touch and feel good vibes. Then I knew it would be great to have an activity with a very positive outcome for retirees in the homes. It would be an activity that would be a win - win situation for all involved. Creativity with/for a cause has always been a wonderful way to stay connected and give of ourselves to others.
I was so jazzed by the concept that I stopped at three retirement homes on pure impulse and found myself almost too excited to articulate my idea. The activities director at the first home was so very gracious and patient as I stood there and blurted "I have this great idea to tell you about!" I was in my gym clothes, no make up,  yet so enthusiastic I felt like I could light up a whole stadium with energy. The director told me to "slow down, start at the beginning - who are you etc." Though her budget had just been cut, she liked the idea and gave me a referral not far from their  home and I quickly drove over and left my name and number. 
The third place I stopped at was on my way home and I simply pulled in, asked for the activities director and went to her office. This time I introduced myself before I said "I have this great idea." She graciously listened to my idea about the fabric postcards and the connection with retirees as a creative activity. This  director also liked the idea and suggested I email details and we exchanged cards. 
So now I am figuring out the middle part - the details.  (I even asked for and got a brief tour of the artwork in the building from an equally kind person who as it turned out is the partner of a well known artist in this area and that I was acquainted with - small world!)
When I  spoke to Leyla, she said it's wonderful to get 'fan mail' when you are in the desert.  She said I will be surprised at how many responses I get. (Leyla has been stationed in the desert several times). I can't wait to start this program! I get this euphoric happy high just knowing it will make a difference.
And I am sending a very big thank you to those who are so kind and gracious to a total stranger who walks thru their doors dressed in scruffy gym cloths blasting all this enthusiasm stating "I have this great idea!"
Thank you for your patience and for listening!!