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, December 17, 2015

Sweet Little Arizona Gambel's Quail

These charming beautiful little birds are seen just about everywhere in Tucson.  I love watching them as they softly talk to each other while feeding. The round fluffy babies are adorable.

The call of the male Gambel's Quail is distinctive and pretty cool. To me it kind of sounds like haHA.
In the spring the male can be heard and seen calling.
I put an AZ colored ribbon on this study with a tiny copper star on the front.

A sincere thank you to Rob Boone Photography for letting me use one of his wonderful photos.







Wednesday, December 16, 2015

The Original Tweet

I think I changed my mind about this piece at least three times.  Each time did not feel quite "it" and I held off putting it on the tile.
Instead, it is finally installed in a frame that can be used as decorative functional art with an optional addition of hooks for keys, scarves, leashes etc.

Available at SueBetanzos.com


Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Libraries are the coolest places

Yes! I can spend hours in libraries and bookstores - they have always been some of my favorite hangouts. I buy the really good books to read again, just so I can revisit them, like an old friend. 
Some good book related stuff and quotes can be found on my Pinterest board HERE.

This image is from a recent post on my facebook from another book lover, Kate Titus. Lots of comments from fellow book lovers that are versions of "I love my library!" and "I love books!" Lots of people use libraries - :)
(and I don't know why the type background is weirding out - apologies!).


I love my local library, Pima County Library.
It's nice to cruise the shelves for favorite authors or new finds. Often, a title or cover will catch my eye. Audio books are what I use to paint by - every artwork has a story! (more about that in another post).

There is a book that I came across called The World's Most Beautiful Libraries. 
It was filled with magnificent buildings that housed amazing collections, filled with murals, artworks and more. 


Saturday, December 12, 2015

Happy Clients Make My Heart Glow ♥


It's part of the Why I like to make art. Understanding that art brings positive, happy vibes and happy people attract happiness and love.
Enhancing a person's space and life with art that is meaningful for them brings a smile that stays all day. Makes others smile back too!


Commission your own dog, animal or personal artwork at SueBetanzos.com
You are so very welcome Laurie, Susan W., Susan E., May, Patti, Sue, Nancy, and so many more I can't list. Thank you all for the opportunities to collaborate on your lovely special projects and for the wonderful, Beautiful letters ♥

Friday, November 20, 2015

My little Ruby Gem, sold

The other day a mosaic I especially liked sold at a gallery I have exhibited at since 2006 or so, Tohono Chul.
The partnership has been a nice collaboration. The gallery and I make money, get exposure, so it's a win win for both parties.
Tohono Chul and I have supported each other over the years, it's such a pretty little oasis with a lovely & tasty cafe, nature walks, galleries and classes.

I highly recommend breakfast or early lunch at the outside bistro where birds often come very close. A beautiful cardinal once perched on the chair next to mine and I was so fascinated I couldn't eat. No camera, no sketch pad that day!   Just my eyes and the unforgettable memory.

Ruby Throated Gem is a special mosaic, created with much thought and affection for the subject. The frame is hand made by a friend too - I will miss this piece and have to make another.

Hummingbirds are so charismatic, they capture the fleeting beauty of the natural world. There is a magical quality to their shimmering appearance as they hover near while feeding or sometimes just checking you out. - fearless.





Wednesday, November 11, 2015

How to under paint mosaics






This technique is for glass mosaics.  Stained glass, semi-translucent glass and clear glass. Underpainting gives richness and depth to the glass.
Some are not grouted. The grout can be more disruptive than enhancing unless hand tinted.

I get my glass from local Expressions Art Glass. They have a good selection, nice store and warm glass supplies too. They are the oldest glass suppliers in this area.

The Ruby Throated Gem is at Tohono Chul as part of their Take Flight Birds In Art Exhibit. The show is Nov. 13 - Feb. 14 in Tucson, AZ. There are some amazing artworks to view.



Monday, November 9, 2015

How to paint a Starry Barn Owl

I love star gazing and found a wonderful photo on The Owl Pages that I was kindly given permission to use. It was an instant inspiration for the painting. Barn Owls are so lovely!
A good read is Wesley the Owl . Another is The Bluebird Effect. Great rescue stories that really get into the personalities and intelligence of the wild birds.
Animal stories, fantasy, and folklore were some of my very favorite reads growing up - still are :)












Friday, August 7, 2015

Starry Owl

Getting started on another owl.
Starry owl in a night sky filled with glittering stars!
Away from light pollution, the Milky Way is beautiful to behold and puts life in perspective.





Pre-dawn sky.



Wednesday, July 8, 2015

My Morning Walks

Every dawn is an opportunity for new experiences and choices.
I like finding the little pieces of nature. Feathers are the most common prizes along with sightings of amazing birds or scenes.

Inspiration for the Monarch Butterfly came from the subject of migration. It is truly amazing that these powerful fliers travel from the USA to Mexico for the winter. Now all Mexico has to do is keep the forest from being nibbled away, cut down...

Monarch Butterfly Mosaic on Stone 
On this mosaic I redid the antennae - used epoxy instead for a cleaner look :)

Monday, July 6, 2015

Books, Snacks, Wine, Rainy Day

This little mosaic Ruby Throated Gem is part of a day three of the invitation art challenge.

Took the weekend off from cyber and studio. Had the guilty pleasure of just reading - hanging out with a new author/read and taking a micro vacay into the urban fantasy world of Patricia Briggs :)

I'm sure my version of heaven will include a giant library loaded with my favorite authors, genres, snack/wine/coffee bar and BFF Risa (of course)!
All in a nature type environment filled with birds, running stream, waterfall etc. - why not?

Except the wood frame, the hummingbird mosaic is suitable for outdoor or moisture.
Stained glass, mirror, chain -  un-grouted, adhered with Lexel silicon on wedi board.







Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Gila Welcome Mosaic

Finished ♥
This mosaic brings in the natural world with rich glass mosaics to create moments of visual delight. Home is your very own Oasis where rest and renewal await when surrounded by that which inspires you.

Gila Welcome Mosaic - 10" x 14" glass, porcelain, mirror. Interior/exterior.  Available HERE.

Gila Monsters - beautiful, unique to the southwest.  Metal frame option is available for this mosaic.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

My Saguaro

My backyard isn't much to look at - a sand pit, a large rose bush, some brick, a palm.
The star of the yard is a giant Saguaro where Gila Woodpeckers nest every year. House finches and other birds like to perch at the top. They eat the saguaro flowers when in bloom and announce sunrise with sweet song.

Tall and super healthy, the Saguaro has a variety holes that have pecked out. I like to think it's the same pair of Gila Woodpeckers that nest each year. Every morning from early spring, they call to each other and start building the nest, making new holes.

Then the babies can be heard all day as the woodpeckers take turns feeding.  I've seen the male chase off other birds and a even little dust up with an aggressive Western Kingbird (the woodpecker won :) who tried to take over the site.

My saguaro with Gila Woodpecker pair.


Oh, and lately on my morning walks I've been treated to close (like, 10 feet) viewings of Coopers Hawks. So close I can see their red eyes and feather details. Of course when I stop to stare, they take off in a few seconds to nearby trees!







Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Gila Welcome

My series of welcome pieces. This mosaic is almost done. Face taped, ready for mounting.
The Gila art has been popular because these are such interesting creatures that are becoming rare due to urban encroachment.
The Gila Monster is a large beautiful lizard and the artwork is about life size.


As with all handmade work, each piece is unique ensuring one of a kind art. They can be custom ordered thru my website, or contact me here :)
At least one Gila artwork will be available at the Tucson Bird and Wildlife Festival Aug. 14 - 16 where I will have work at the Riverside Park Inn along with wonderful animal lectures, displays for nature lovers.

Gila Welcome mosaic in progress

Gila Welcome Mosaic, Sold

Gila Dream Mosaic, AZ BiCentennial piece, Sold

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Spotted Owl Ink

Playing with ink washes on a Spotted Owl. I'm drawn the the owls with the dark eyes. North american  Barn Owls and Barred Owls also have dark eyes.

There is the Mexican Spotted Owl and the northwest Spotted Owl. Shy, secretive, beautiful birds.

India ink is Dr. Ph. Martin's Black Star Matt. Cotman round brush number 01, 02 and Micron 01 pen. 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Has this ever happened to you?

You have a project you've been working on Way too many hours, trying a new technique.
It's about 11 pm, 95% finished and you're saying to yourself "at last - I'm almost finished - Yay!"
The anticipation, excitement of seeing it completed.

Then a small big setback ...
My studio day is off to a fine start.
Funny thing is last night I was moving this project board to make more room for glass cutting - red glass to finish the border.
This morning the board was bumped and fell over - face first of course.
Cleaning up now and deciding how to make the best of this.  At least the dog glass stayed put :)
Too bad no pics were taken last night to review the "almost" and "so close" Ha ha!







Monday, April 13, 2015

Practice Shots - Bird Inks

These are "practice shots" to warm up drawing my skills. With all the spring activity I've been doing more birding to sharpen observation and memory.
Really fun and challenging plus the neighbors have bird feeders - how convenient! 
This practice ink was done from observation and photo reference. 

Brilliant yellow birds, bright rose finches and reds (cardinals & vermilion flycatchers). 

American Goldfinch
 With my binoculars I have spotted:

house finches, goldfinch (many), anna's hummingbirds, broad billed hummingbird, vermilion flycatcher, oriole (hooded), verdin, raven, dove, cooper's hawk, 1 owl, sparrow, woodpecker, phainopepla, cardinal.











Monday, April 6, 2015

Hello Goldie

This is Still in progress. It seems like it's taking forever to finish just because something always comes up and it's been through a few revisions.
There is always one piece that is a struggle to get right for most artists. The problem child :)


Latest and Last version!

Two Paws

Two paws, blue outline

Friday, January 23, 2015

Goldfinch Mosaic

New bird mosaics. A little Goldfinch (siskin) tweeting in the breeze. Some of my neighbors have feeders and I can hear their distinctive calls all day. The males have the dull winter plumage now, but in a couple of months they will start to have their bright yellow breeding colors.