Betsy Eby

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Betsy Eby
Born Elizabeth Kerry Eby
April 3, 1967
Seaside, Oregon, US
Nationality American
Education University of Oregon
Known for Encaustic painting
Awards 2001 Artists Trust Gap Grant

Betsy Eby (born April 3, 1967) is an American encaustic painter. She splits her time between Columbus, Georgia and Wheaton Island, Maine.


Nebula by Betsy Eby 2007. Encaustic on panel.

Betsy Eby was born on April 3, 1967 in the small coastal city of Seaside, Oregon.[1] She earned her Bachelor's Degree in art history[2] at the University of Oregon, with an emphasis in ancient Greek, Roman and Asian antiquities. During Betsy's internship at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, her aesthetic was influenced by Asian Landscape painting as well as the work of Pacific Northwest masters that she catalogued. After graduation, she lived briefly in Tokyo and was deeply influenced by Japanese history and culture.[3] She has practiced classical piano since the age of five.[4]

Betsy Eby currently lives on an island off the coast of Maine in the summer, and in Columbus, Georgia through the winter.[5] She is married to artist Bo Bartlett.


Rhythm, balance, lyricism and tone in Betsy Eby’s paintings are influenced by her lifelong devotion to music.[6] Her paintings are informed by the natural world, drawing on forms found on both microscopic and macroscopic scales. Her calligraphic compositions draw on the movement of living things and visual forms echoed throughout nature.[7] Her works resonate with the experience of observing natural phenomena, such as the patterns created by a flock of birds taking flight, the substance of interplanetary nebula, and the whorls of sea grass found in a tide pool. Her subject matter, composition, color and surface luminosity are informed by the wet coastal climate and ecosystem of the Pacific Northwest.[8][9] Her works utilize abstraction and elemental reduction to portray essence and movement, rather than relying solely on observation or pure abstraction.[10]

Betsy Eby works in encaustic, a medium that dates back to the 4th Century BC and was written about in the works of Roman scholar Pliny the Elder.[11] Her paintings are created of pigmented beeswax, in a complex process of layering and torching, with a variety of methods in paint application. She balances compositional concerns with the material properties of the beeswax itself in an organic process of creation.[12] She works within the context of the physical dimension of the wax and the way the it obfuscates color, all the while building to a finished surface with a sculptural surface which glistens like poured resin.[13]

Public collections[edit]

Baroque, Betsy Eby, 2007. Encaustic on Panel.
  • Beverly Hills Hotel, Beverly Hills, CA
  • Providence Hospital, Portland, OR
  • Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, Eugene, OR
  • Tacoma Art Museum, Tacoma, WA
  • Art in Embassies 2004–2006, Banjul, Gambia
  • 2200 Westlake, Seattle, WA
  • Cielo Building, New York, NY
  • Westin New York, Times Square, NY
  • Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA
  • Boeing Corporate Headquarters, Chicago, IL
  • Alston and Bird Law Offices, Atlanta, GA
  • American Cancer Society, National Collection
  • Nordstrom Inc., National Collection
  • Whittier Trust Company, Seattle, WA
  • Seattle University School of Law, Seattle, WA
  • Norwest Venture Capitol Partners, Palo Alto, CA
  • Starfish Restaurant, Seattle, WA
  • Westin Hotel, Bellevue, WA
  • Bellevue Club, Bellevue, WA
  • Olive 8, Seattle, WA


  1. ^ Leo, Heather. "Beauty Is As Beauty Does." Organic Style Mar. 2005. 84.
  2. ^ Mauk, Laura. "Betsy Eby." Western Interiors May-Jun. 2005. 53-59.
  3. ^ Jones, Jeanne Lang. "Off the Wall." Puget Sound Business Journal Oct.-Nov. 2005. 21-22.
  4. ^ Indyke, Dottie. "Artists Are In State Of Transition." Albuquerque Journal North 1 Nov. 2002
  5. ^ Ganglehoff, Bonnie. "Manifest Destiny." Southwest Art May 2007. 116.
  6. ^ Indyke, Dottie. “Artists Are In State Of Transition.” Albuquerque Journal North 1 Nov. 2002
  7. ^ Barbanel, Josh. “In New Buildings, Buying Into Cool.” The New York Times 28 Nov. 2004
  8. ^ Villani, John Carlos. “Beauty of Encaustic Has Its Price.” The Arizona Republic 18 Nov. 2001
  9. ^ Indyke, Dottie. “Artists Are In State Of Transition.” Albuquerque Journal North 1 Nov. 2002
  10. ^ Barbanel, Josh. “In New Buildings, Buying Into Cool.” The New York Times 28 Nov. 2004
  11. ^ “Encaustic.” The Columbia Encyclopedia, sixth edition. New York: Columbia University Press, 2004. 15 April 2008. <>.
  12. ^ Spalding, Jill. “Our Correspondents (Miami): Art Basel Miami 2007 Edition.” WPS1 Radio 5 Dec. 2007
  13. ^ Mauk, Laura. “Betsy Eby.” Western Interiors May-Jun. 2005. 53-59.

External links[edit]