Imaginative, dreamy and vividly bold, the art of Betsy Brown

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Bold brilliant colors are signature in the wide variety of mediums and genres of paintings done by longtime East County artist Betsy Brown. With a lifetime of experience, her work, from ink, oils, pastels and collage, she is a master of her craft and each piece of art is individual in style, texture, and use of color and medium. She draws inspiration from everyday things seen in life, and her diversity of technique and subject matter creates pieces of art that fit any motif of decoration of a home or office. 

Bold brilliant colors are signature in the wide variety of mediums and genres of paintings done by longtime East County artist Betsy Brown. With a lifetime of experience, her work, from ink, oils, pastels and collage, she is a master of her craft and each piece of art is individual in style, texture, and use of color and medium. She draws inspiration from everyday things seen in life, and her diversity of technique and subject matter creates pieces of art that fit any motif of decoration of a home or office. 

Brown’s paintings are displayed in many places throughout the County. Now she has a 16-piece gallery display at the Dr. William C. Herrick Health Community Library Summer Art Exhibit in La Mesa for three weeks.

Her intriguing, meticulous, colorful and whimsical painting “Going in Circles” is actually a painting of her bathroom sink. She said her home is somewhat decorated in a Mexican art theme, with lots of brilliant colors and purchased this sink in Mexico with her husband. 

“There is something about that circular shape that is organized so that it complements each side it is called a circular mandala painting,” she said. “As you’re painting it, you turn it and it is a soothing feeling painting in this circle. It is an amazing experience and very satisfying.”
Painting most of her life, Brown said she still paints every day and is very active in the local art community. One of her newest endeavors is the creation of small note cards, which she said she loves creating. Now, well known for her note cards, where she cuts up old paintings, embellishes the front of the card with these pieces, and adds a collage of different artistic styles to create a mini-masterpiece. 

“I love doing these cards now, I sign each one, because each is an original piece of art,” she said. “And you can go to the 99 cent stores and get a frame and selling these for $3 each, for $4 you can have a little piece of original art.”

Brown said, she has always challenged herself, many times by necessity and the local art influences in her life to try different styles of art.

“I love bold colors and I use a lot of India ink, which is kind of what I am known for,” she said. “I get bored when I do the same thing. It is tiresome to do the same thing over and over.”

Her house, that her husband and she bought 48 years ago, is an ongoing artistic project that she still loves to work on. She said it has turned out to be more in Mexican motif, mainly because of her use of brilliant colors throughout.

“I still think of it as my new house because I am always doing something new with it,” she said.

When it comes to the cost of art, not many people understand the cost in producing a piece, said Brown. Between all the materials needed and the costly price of framing a piece, she said a piece of art could easily run a few hundred dollars in materials alone, depending on size, type of frame and materials used. “You never recoup the cost of the labor you put in your work,” she said.

Brown enters every juried show available to her. Now she has two pieces at a show at Sophie’s Gallery in El Cajon and a few pieces of her works at the Rancho San Diego Library. 

She is a member of the East County Art Association, East County Foothills and Southwestern.

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