Welcome Bienvenidos!

* My new solo show Reflections Of Nature is Jan. 12 - Feb. 13, 2019 at Agua Caliente Park in the Ranch House Gallery.
Bring your family and friends, pack a picnic, your binoculars (critter looking) and come enjoy one of Tucson's little wildlife oasis and Fine Art.
Every Saturday I will be there, painting in the Ranch House Gallery :)
* Classes in Coloring, Painting and Mosaic are available! Contact me here or Facebook or my website SueBetanzos.com to arrange a local class for a fun group activity. Ages 9 to adult, beginner to advanced.







Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year Dear Friends!

May this shiny, wonderful new year bring you lots of opportunities in your personal and professional lives.

Pax, colored pencil portrait inspired from the story by Sarah Pennypacker. SueBetanzos.com
I love the story of Pax. It inspired this colored pencil of Pax, waiting. Prismacolor colored pencils, Faber-Castell polychromes colored pencils, Strathmore Bristol Vellum paper, 9" x 12".

New Years Thoughts:

Please keep in mind Oprah's quote that "luck is preparation meeting opportunity".
Or Chris Guillebeau's; "How do you get to be in the right place at the right time? You plan for it, and you position yourself for the success you want to see".

I have a niece who is an expert at this and so is an academic rockstar with several full ride scholarships, degrees and more. She is the super nova example of hard, smart work.

Monday, December 31, 2018

Rainbow Afternoon

New Year's countdown!

Rainbows have a magical quality, shimmering, winking with amazing colors so briefly. Sometimes in moments, they are gone, leaving a happy memory of a wondrous sight.

Wanting a break from the studio, I decided to get outside, go to a nearby park, take my binoculars and little camera, see what I could see. Cool and blustery weather from rain - perfect.

As I was going to the park I saw this shimmering, iridescent, wonder. I captured what I could, got to the park and took another photo of the rainbow, then a few of the amazing cloud sky. The light made me want to somehow, paint it, even though I am not a landscape artist.

Magic Rainbow in my little neighborhood!


Same magic Rainbow, the other arc side in the park.


The cliche of the rainbow after the storm is usually relevant for me, it's what I choose to believe and feel. How can you truly appreciate good without ever experiencing not so good? There is no contrast to compare with.
Since everyone has had both good and bad times, I want to share this rainbow and remind that:

"Something Good Is Just About To Happen!" 

Optimistic, sure. Beats cranky, pessimistic, depressed for sure, at least for me :)
Better design a 'think print' with this quote to put out there!

Add caption








Saturday, December 29, 2018

St. Francis and Friends is Coming into Being

Almost New Year's Eve!
This St. Francis painting on glass is in the last stages of completion. Bottom darker colors and star trails are left to add before the final stage - the sky. Once layers of the sky are started, there are no corrections. Actually, at this advanced stage of the painting, corrections are not possible because of the 5 - 6 layers of paint for each leaf, animal, branch has been painted many times for depth.


St. Francis painting on glass from the front, before the bottom and sky added.



St. Francis painting on glass from the back. Additional foliage depth has been added.


St. Francis glass painting from the back showing the translucency of the layers in areas. 


The blue paper is inserted behind the painting frequently to evaluate details. It is an important sky preview of darker blue to evaluate light and dark areas, elements (values).

The dogwood flowers are not white, but a light blue to be secondary to the dogs and cats in importance. The white against the blue would have made them come forward too much.
Composition concepts apply to all my paintings: rule of thirds, values, hue, intensity, tone, overall balance.

St. Francis painting on glass, almost finished. Blue paper behind to preview details.
Stay tuned for the last, finishing stages! Then off to the photographer for the professional photos :)





Friday, December 21, 2018

St. Francis Glass Painting Progress


As this sweet painting has evolved, I will keep posting to document the journey of this painting on glass. When finished, the painting is photographed by Wilson Graham, who does the best job, knowing how to capture all of the metallics and color.

A tiny golden Barn Owl in the Pine tree

A happy singing Prothonotary Warbler
St. Francis in East Texas with Gus, Swiffer, Pepper, KC, Sassy. Almost there!

St. Francis and friends with blue paper preview.

St. Francis glass painting, back side. Side that is painted on.


For now, I have almost all the details of the animals finished. On to St. Francis's robe and the leaves above his head!

I fine tune the details with a very sharp Xacto knife and razor blades. Oh, and a large magnifying glass. Very Carefully scraping paint to refine edges. I will go over the painting many times doing this and adding more layers of paint.

The FolkArt glass enamel paints are somewhat translucent, depending on the color. This means that each leaf, flower, blade of grass, animals, everything, requires 4 - 5 layers of paint.
It allows for layering of different glazes of color to create depth, shadows.  I love using silver and gold metallic in my glass paintings. The metallics require 1 - 3 layers, depending on the effect I want.

Often, just before adding the final element of the sky I will back some areas with white. So the dark blue of the sky will not shadow through in the lighter colors.

In the cool winter these paints take about two days to cure onto the glass. In the hot summer, about a day. I love the bright colors, ease of use and permanence of the paints. They are fairly UV and fade resistant, but as with any fine art painting, no direct sunlight.

The sky is crucial and is carefully layered in blues, violet blues, white (stars). A large filbert is used to leave softer edges. Star trails are scraped back with a razor blade in areas. Almost impossible to correct, a one time deal.

Blue and white paper is used constantly to gauge where the details are at, depending on the detail.
That is what you see in the photo, blue or white paper slipped behind the painting.


Thursday, December 13, 2018

All you need to know: Geminid meteor shower in 2018

All you need to know: Geminid meteor shower in 2018

Adding to the art cocktail of my posts - something I hope you will get out and see for yourself.




I love stargazing and this is one of the best meteor showers of the year. Tucson winters are so mild all you need is a jacket and a warm hat. I just stand in my back yard and watch until my neck starts to get stiff LOL!

If you can, check out this cool nature moment, puts everything in perspective for me :)








Before photography, life was documented by Artists! Writing and painting about everything from fashion to amazing events like this.
















Sunday, December 9, 2018

St. Francis Pet Painting on Glass

More progress on this latest St. Francis pet painting.
Working on tree leaves and grass now, but wanted to share a study of Gus.
Painting backwards is a different rhythm than traditional painting.

I thought Gus would make a good warm up and did it on a scrap of glass. Since no two paintings are alike, the details might vary slightly on the large painting.

Blue paper is used behind the glass to get a feel for placement and variety of the details. Front and back views. 

The composition is flipped, so when the painting is finished, the view will be a mirror.
I have already asked the photographer Wilson Graham, who has done all the photos for my glass paintings, to reserve time for the photo shoot of the finished painting. 
Glass is tricky to photograph, especially these glass paintings with the gold and silver highlights.

It is gorgeous here in Tucson, looking from my studio window and I try to get out for a break at least once a day. Crystal blue skies, cool weather and a ton of activities every weekend for those that get out and about. I like my cozy studio just fine :)


GusStudy1D.jpg

GusStusdy1.jpg

GusStudy1c.jpg

GusStudy1b.jpg

Sunday, December 2, 2018

St.Francis in Texas painting progress

I have my basic color scheme and am ready to paint.
A baby owl is tucked in the branches above Sassy's perch!
Yesterday I had fun buying paints, playing with colors.

Time for glass buying!





Wednesday, November 28, 2018

St. Francis is in East Texas :)

I love starting new St. Francis paintings. Reverse glass painting requires a lot of planning and designing due to the nature of so much detail painting on glass - backwards, details first. My designs for this series invites repeated viewings with all the little details.

This new painting has Five pet subjects; 3 dogs, two kitties.
Plus the supporting cast of local flora and critters. The main subject of the large white dog will be painted in subtle white tones so he does not come forward too much, dominating the rest of the darker values of the painting.  The smaller dog leaning on St. Francis, black/white will also be painted similarly.
White reflects the surrounding colors, which is why white in any painting is a combination of many colors. It's the surrounding values that can make it come forward :)

Hello Gus, KC, Swiffer, Sassy, Pepper!
A small red fox shyly peeks through the azaleas and foliage.
My favorite part of painting is the research of the subjects, animals and nature. There is always something new to learn about an area, animal/s and then translate that into a drawing that captures the essence in a very different style than my realistic style.
Oh, and the coloring, once the design is finalized!

It's good mental exercise for my brain, to think differently in design. Pare information down to a few lines. The composition may change a few times as I try out different elements.
Subjects and background should blend harmoniously, inviting repeated viewings with the details without being overwhelming.

The details should have a rhythm of repeated patterns and a limited palette. This creates continuity for the eye, mind, so although the details are many, due to the palette and pattern they are not overwhelming.

I like the composition to subtly lead the eye to the main subjects with color value, hue, and surrounding elements. Usually this means half dozen thumbnails to arrive at the initial layout. Then selecting my palette and doing a couple of studies to warm up and decide on the values, colors, highlights.

Due to the complexity and nature of the glass paintings, I make several color references before painting to get the values and color intensity right.
But the foundation of all my artwork is the initial composition. When I get that right, everything else will follow :)




Sunday, November 25, 2018

Hello Florida! Magical Sun Glass Mosaic

Happy Sunday!
I wanted to share photos of a glass mosaic art piece that sold last week. The Magical Sun was purchased by a dear friend and collector of my glass painting.
She has supported my work with kind words and more - her friendship means the world to me!

Here is the mosaic art and where it now lives, in a sweet guest house in Florida. I love the way the light dances on it, catching the beads, mirror and gold highlights in the painted face.
The Magical Sun cheerfully greets everyone in the state of sun and palm trees -
Hello Florida :)











Thursday, November 22, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving!




I like to refer to this as Gratitude Day. Reflecting on all I have to be grateful for. Writing it down. This has been such a good year for me. Yay!!

Has anyone accomplished, done anything that they wouldn't have thought of this year?
I know I have and it feels Amazing! Why?

Well here's a few things I want to share about my upcoming Reflections Of Nature Show:

1. All of the art that is being created for this show is of Arizona wildlife   Some of the paintings are my signature Reverse Glass Paintings. Other paintings are traditional acrylic paintings on canvas or board. The glass mosaics are made with hundreds of hand cut stained glass pieces.

2. I learned how to draw with my left hand.  I got a lot done, despite a recent wrist injury. I learned how to draw with my left hand. Teaching my brain to work with my left hand was a lot of work, but it makes me so very grateful to have my right hand back for the mosaics. Gratitude x ∞.

3. My scholarship awards this year from Skillshare and LinkedIn allowed me to upgrade my design skills. Thanks to the awards from these online class platform sites, I was able to learn new techniques in digital design, stay motivated with classes in social media tips (@ohn_mar_win).
Try new looser drawing and painting styles while my wrist healed :)  Some of this new artwork will be in my show this January.

Keeping frustration away, learning empowering skills, making my dreams come true - what an exciting way to enter the holiday season!

I'm really working to get more paintings finished and will post them here and on my:
 Facebook,   Instagram,   Pinterest.
There will be a pre-show sale for paintings I'll announce right before the installation Jan. 12.
Happy Holidays!










Monday, October 29, 2018

Reflections Of Nature Solo Exhibit

A very nice solo show was awarded to me this year at the Ranch House Gallery in Agua Caliente Park, Tucson AZ.   Yay!! I am so excited!

Available artwork will be added HERE.
Set in the northeast part of Tucson, Agua Caliente Park is a little water oasis that draws a variety of animals, a nature habitat.
It's great for picnics and birding. Inside this park is a gallery that hosts 11 artists per year for solo exhibits.

I feel so fortunate that I was one of the artists selected for the date of Jan. 12 - Feb. 13, 2019.
It's been super busy in my studio between the show artwork and new commissions for the holidays.
Plus a bit of teaching.

Reflections of Nature is just that; reflections of my views of the natural world in this area. It's hard to whittle down the subjects because there are so many!

The show is a month long so as items sell, I will replace them with new artwork. A portfolio of the artwork available will be in the gallery to view as well as a separate gallery on my website titled Agua Caliente show HERE.

My artwork updates can also be found  on:

Instagram @artgirlsue
Facebook SueBetanzosDesigns
Pintrest SueBetanzosDesign


More work will be posted in the coming 8 weeks. Yep, 8 short weeks until Christmas, 9 weeks until installation for this show - counting down the days!





Saturday, September 22, 2018

Magic Bird Series Paintings, St. Francis

I will keep posting that the Feast Of St. Francis is October 4.
Most events for the Blessing Of The Animals will happen before or after this date on a weekend for all to enjoy.

More work on my little series that I feel inspired to make.
A 3-D box I am fiddling with. And mini bird and animal acrylic paintings.





Magical Ruby Pink Bird, 5"x7. Available HERE 



Metallic gold and silver is used on all of the paintings in the St. Francis Collection. I love the Golden fine gold and fine silver paints!  The little 1 oz liquid bottles are a perfect size

With an online coupon from Michaels or Hobby Lobby the irridescent gold and silver 1 oz  are very reasonable and last a long time, since the paint is very concentrated. Great, smooth coverage. A wonderful quick alternative to gold leaf. I should be a sales rep for them HaHa!




The challenging part is capturing the gleam of the gold and silver in a photo. It always looks better in person. The rest of the painting is matt, to contrast with the gleam of the stars and accents.

The painting is available and the jewel box - maybe. Really enjoying the process.