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





Saturday, November 17, 2012

Miniature Portraits

What is a Limner?
I had never heard of the word until I read the second book in the Deborah Harkness All Souls trilogy, Shadow of Night (the first is A Discovery of Witches). Both of these books are excellent reads and I especially enjoyed the audio versions. The second has colorful, realistic descriptions of life in the Queen Victoria era.
In this story which is mostly set in 15th century England during the reign of Queen Victoria, there is mention of a Limner. A Limner is a freelance artist, a decorative painter, and in this story, who specializes in tiny, miniature portraits of the royal court that were often done to fit lockets or worn as brooches.
There are some very famous limners and the one mentioned in the book is Nicholas Hilliard.
As I fell down the rabbit hole of information regarding this genre, I am fascinated by the detail of these tiny portraits. I also found pets and animals painted in reverse on the backside of glass and rock crystal. How I would love to have one of these miniature gems or at least see how they were done to such perfection. Most are 1 1/2" to 3".

What does this subject have to do with my paintings? Currently I will be painting another 5"x7' miniature and also a reverse glass painting with many very fine miniature details. Both are very entailed and require a magnifying glass to paint them. Oh, and very tiny brushes and liners! I am assuming that is what the limners of the past used for painting the tiny portraits - magnifying glass.

I love the fact that it is thanks to artists visual recordings that we know the history of fashion, lifestyle, and so much more about different eras in human history. Enjoy these exquisite little masterpieces by Nicholas Hilliard that you can hold in the palm of your hand, 1 1/2" - 3". Notice the tiny dog in the full length portrait "~)  All are 3/4 views with jewel like colors and details. Click on the image for the full size.





Friday, November 9, 2012

Sprinkle Bakes: Blue Velvet Cupcakes and Finding the Perfect Hue

Sprinkle Bakes: Blue Velvet Cupcakes and Finding the Perfect Hue

Did I say how much I enjoy playing in my kitchen when not in the studio? Well, actually it IS like another studio for me. Only my palette is food and my canvas is whatever comes out of the oven.

One activity I am addicted to is cruising food blogs. Just looking at the gorgeous photos as I read the recipes already has my tummy growling and my pen scratching out the ingredients list. Now that winter has finally come to Tucson I am motivated to turn on my oven to unwind from the day. Summer it's just not happening - I mean seriously, who feels like baking when it't 90ยบ outside? Obviously, not me...



I am sharing this beautiful recipe from a favorite food blogger Sprinklebakes because I LOVE the color and it's actually pretty easy. Like making Red Velvet cake, but in blue. Adding few teaspoons of water to the color paste makes for smoother mixing into the batter though.
Check out Heather's blog for more tasty treats!





Saturday, November 3, 2012

Millie Finished

 I know I was supposed to show the in-between stages of the painting but it has gotten pretty busy and no time! So here is little Millie a sweet little dog who is so endearing that it's easy to overlook her little habit of stealing and hiding things.

Owner Laura was telling me the story of Millie stealing and chewing up some pretty expensive hearing aids and as I sat looking and Millie's sweet, innocent, bright eyed little face I could not help but laugh.
We all have met people and dogs who can get away with almost Anything! It's hard to stay annoyed with them and we end up laughing instead knowing we should be upset, but finding it easier to laugh.  O.k.  - lesson there - don't hang on to your anger and hold grudges! It takes more effort to stay mad and gives you frown lines - Very unattractive.
Plus, everyone wants to be around Happy people who are easy to hang out with instead of those heavy personalites - yeek!
Dogs have an lot to teach us, just pay attention and Go Play "~)
Because Millie is so cheerful and bright, that stupid OLD rhyme tune goes thru my head "Millie, Millie, mo Millie, banana fana fo fillie me mi mo Millie - Millie!" It's great that our dogs like our silly song and dances - knowing it's just for them LOL  :~D

 Hi Millie, Hi Laura!