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





Monday, June 30, 2014

Andy's Keepsake Box

Andy was a sweet companion who loved his toys and chasing squirrels :)
This box in progress will hold his ashes and collar.
The front will have his favorite orange ball, the sides with tree branches and the back with a squirrel. Inside will have the faux stone finish. Andy was a Coton de Tulear.

Materials used include a birch box, acrylic paints, variety of artists brushes. Though I always have plenty of brushes, in the end I always select a few favorites for each project.


Friday, June 27, 2014

Custom Mosaic Address Plaque - finished!

Glass and ceramic tile custom mosaic address plaque Finished  :)
Below are the steps for reverse indirect technique used in this project.
Address Plaque by  Sue Betanzos Designs

Layout your design with clear contact paper, sticky side up to prevent pieces from moving when placed.

All laid out according to the design. Vermillion Flycatcher with prickly pear and bee.


Firmly apply/adhere mosaic tile tape to the surface. A heavy grade clear tape for mosaics. 



Carefully flip the mosaic. Now the backside is ready for a thin coat of grout and cement. The grout will fill from the back for an even front surface and prevent cement from seeping through.

Butter the substrate (1/2" Wedi board) and a very thin coat on top of the pre-grout. This ensures complete adhesion of all tiles for a firm bond. Vital for outdoor pieces to withstand weather.

Center and Seat the substrate onto the prepped area. This is already on a heavy cardboard bottom. Put another firm board on top to sandwich and flip so now the right side of the mosaic will be on top.

With a tile float, press the tiles to make sure all is bonded. Then let the cement and tile cure a few hours (depending on air moisture/environment).  Use the container the cement was mixed in to test the hardness of the cement as it cures.
When it has hardened to very firm clay, Carefully test a corner of the mosaic film for tile adhesion. The tiles should remain in place.  Gently begin peeling the film at right angle (Not straight up which can pull pieces off since the cement is not hardened).  


Once tile tape has been removed start cleaning excess grout with toothbrush, brushing off excess. The grout should be at the point where it can still be removed from the surface as it begins to harden more.


Certain areas will need more filing if the mosaic is mixed media, such as this one. Plus the edges and bottom still need finishing.


The sides are finished with tile and a touch of silver chain added to the bottom to complement the mirror accents. Last step, grout the edges and the chain, clean and polish. Let it cure for a few days. Cement and grout will continue hardening for 10 - 15 days depending on moisture environment (especially the cement).

This address plaque is ready to hang. It can also be done without hangers for direct permanent application on a surface.
(hangers were applied onto the Wedi board Before mosaic was assembled)

Monday, June 23, 2014

Animal & Nature Keepsake Boxes

Playing with images on keepsake boxes that combine mixed media with hand painting and faux finishes.  Dogs, words, nature, mermaids and more will be explored.
Birds and boxes - summer studio fun.
The new Keepsake Boxes can be found on my new Etsy store Art Of Sue.

Deals for you! I'm clearing out my studio for new work in the STUDIO SALES section.

Aussie Keepsake Box, Risa StarGazer

Back in my mural painting, faux finishing days, faux/fantasy stone finishes were my specialty. Mostly on furniture.

It took many hours and practice boards to develop the techniques and I LOVE the wabi sabi of the stone finishes.

The boxes will all be different in mixed medias. They are sealed with two coats of clear sealer.


Monday, June 16, 2014

Sing Your Song

New collection of painting with song birds and nature themes.

Paired with the birds will be a selection of copyright free quotes, words, proverbs. 

As a lifetime collector of books, words, literature, quotes and proverbs, this is a project I've really been wanting to do.

Let's see how much I can get done!! 

I Love the days that always start with the singing of birds. 

The meadowlark is known for it's beautiful song.

Song birds sing for identity, territory, mating.
Lucky us that can listen to their song!



Tuesday, June 10, 2014

How I preserve my Artist brushes



This is the method I have used for Many Years to preserve and dry my brushes. Brushes are an investment for many artists. Although they eventually wear out and get downgraded as they wear down, a few simple steps can greatly extend the life of your favorite brushes.

1. Don't let the paint dry on the brush. Clean them whenever you are going to be away for more than an hour.

2. The anatomy of a brush and why you don't want to store them brush up when wet. The glue in the metal part called the ferrel should not be soaked or sit in water. Brush hair will start falling out.
Laying the brush on it's side does not do as well as hanging the brush head down so the moisture drips down and out.

3. Brush Washer. Hobby Lobby 6.00 or get it from Michaels, Dick Blick etc. Super handy - get a couple. I remove the metal screen at the bottom, don't need it.

4. Plastic coated mesh screen to put in your water container. Swishing the brush over this screen gets a lot of paint off and keeps it off while you paint. Don't stand the brush in it though - it separates the hairs too much and bends them.

5. Brush cleaning soap. Wash your brushes in the special soap thouroughly, reshape and hang Hair Side Down from the brush washer so the water drips off the ends of the brush, not back into the ferral.

6. When dry, store brush side up in a container and put a plastic zip over them to keep the dust off. Note: the spring/brush holder on the brush washers from H.L. too thick/stiff. Brushes tend to pop off,  but it can be replaced.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Mosaic Finished and Installed at TWC






 Opening day and Wilber the mascot logo mosaic is installed in Tucson Wildlife Center reception office. Looks nice and Lisa Bates (next to me) president CEO has done an awesome job not only establishing this wildlife rescue center, but also opening the Sam Goldman Wildlife Hospital, the only state of the art wildlife rescue hospital facility in AZ  with ultra modern medical equipment, surgery room and much more.

She is nothing short of amazing. Check out their website, donate anything (they have a wish list of things they always need as well as $$) and tune into their Facebook page for current rescue stories.