That someone else was RJ Walters. In the midst of his 6,000-mile drive around a healthy chunk of this country, he paid Betty and me a visit. As part of our time together, we gave him a quick tour of our home. He was interested in where I sat to write this blog.
When he entered Betty's office/creative space, his eyes opened wide. She has covered most spaces with her current favorite pursuit: flow art. Dozens of examples cover a corkboard and are displayed on all four walls. I see them every day, RJ really "saw" them.
Later we spent some time on our back porch. RJ's aversion to heat kept that experience short, yet he still had plenty of time to notice, and emphatically point out, the artwork and clever hangings Betty has mounted on the property walls. Much like her office, I have "seen" those examples of her creativity for years, but it took someone new to appreciate them with a fresh eye.
Before he left, RJ made me promise to write a post that features some of Betty's creativity. Regular readers know I have been amazed at her abilities for decades. I have written about her capacity to paint rings around me, though she always is quick to praise my substandard efforts in return. Her photographs could easily sell on a platform like Etsy.
So, to fulfill my promise and give my bride of 46 years (as of two weeks ago!) her proper spotlight, enjoy what I had stopped seeing until I was given a fresh perspective by a friend.
Including the painting at the top of the post, these are examples of her flow art technique:
Using pallets of wood, old barn hinges, crates, and some other add-ons, here are some samples of what Betty designed for our backyard walls:
And, because she has a modesty streak a mile wide, she insisted I add a few of my recent painting attempts:
It's almost as if I were visiting again! You have one very talented and loving wife there. When things and people are around us 24/7 we tend to take them for granted. It is not until they are gone that we often fully appreciate the part they played in our lives. My wife Yvonne passed a year ago next week. I think of her every day and miss her so much. I wish I had told her that more often, like every day.ReplyDelete
I am so sorry about your wife. 🤗Anniversaries can be devastating. I find doing something positive on those dates can bring back warm feelings. Sometimes I work on Ancestry sites while other times I will make something like taking my mother's broken china and make a trivet. You are so good with writing! Maybe a poem or sonnet. Sometimes I just look at some nick knacks of theirs. Just the other day I handled a hammer🔨of my father's. It was so well made! Take one positive thought from this, and then pay it forward. Keep using that positive energy for others! Thank you for your kind words about my flow art. It's a new medium for me and I'm trying to "Go with the flow!"Delete
For someone wirh a full set of physical problems, you can tell from her response Betty keeps focus on the positive aspects of any situation. That contributes to her freedom as an artist.Delete
Wow! You and your wife are very artistically talented. I love the artwork.ReplyDelete
Thanks! I like this new painting style. I tend to be very tight when doing a realistic painting. With flow art you have very little control. ☺️Delete
Beautiful artwork Bob. Betty is clearly a vary talented lady.ReplyDelete
Thanks for the praise! I just need to take the time to do it. With flow art you need a lot of prep and clean up time. I get lazy during the summer! 😄Delete
She has several dozen more canvases that fill her office walls and parts of the rest of the house!Delete
What a treat. Thank you. My favorites of Betty's are the very first one and her fence art.ReplyDelete
I like both of yours but my eye keeps being drawn back to your first one.
Thank you, Anne. The first painting you mention is more abstract than what I have been doing up to this point.Delete
Thank you! That first one is a little different than the rest. You cover the background with paint mixed with Floetrol then mix up different colors in cups where you dip small ball chains (Like the pull chain's on lamps) and you dip them in the paints. Place on the painting in curves then slowly pull off the painting.Delete
The artwork is truly wonderful, Yours, too, Bob. It certainly looks sellable to me. RJ is so true about missing someone/thing when gone. We do need to show appreciation each day.ReplyDelete
Thanks! We'll have to sell or give away before our next move. We have no more space to put everything! 🎨😄Delete
I am very happy this post allows Betty to shine in her own right. Her belief in her own creativity is something I try to enforce as often as possible. These comments are wonderfully supportive.Delete
Very cool. I esp. like Betty's wall art.ReplyDelete
Thank you! The first one is actually half of 10 barn door hinges. The others are old pallet wood pieces painted or stained. I did not make the metalwork but found them at antique or craft stores. The last is old apple crates and Edison lights. 💡🛠️🪚🗜️Delete
Suburban walls are usually functional but not attractive, especially the block walls so common in the Phoenix area.Delete
Betty views them as a large blank canvas to experiment on. The end results are quite pleasing.
I am speechless. The paintings and the yard art are magnificent. Betty's creativity outside is so fun! Any chance ya'll are coming north by 925 miles? I'd buy some pieces :-)ReplyDelete
Thank you so much! We have a lot of things that are "whimsical" in the backyard. If we ever get up your way we'll bring some! We'll have to do something with everything in the next 5 or 6 years. Won't fit in an apartment!Delete
Wow, I really love the artwork, especially the abstract ones. Thank you for sharing.ReplyDelete
Thanks Tivon! Bob and I both are beginners in abstract art. Bob is trying brush and pallet knife and I'm trying flow art.Delete
Flow art is certainly eye-catching, and now I am experimenting with a more abstract approach, too. I think we feed off each other's attempts.ReplyDelete
HI Bob! I completely agree with RJ. Betty's art is amazing. I particularly like the one that looks like a wave and the other that looks like flowers. And the wood pallet art is also VERY nice. I agree she should offer them on Esty. I also agree it is easy for us to take the talents of our longtime loved ones for granted but again, like RJ says, remembering to acknowledge them as frequently as possible is so very important. ~KathyReplyDelete
Thank you Kathy for your kind words. The wave is a swipe technique. You flood the canvas with a color then put ribbons of other colors on top. (These paints are mixed with something called Floetrol) Then you drag a damp paper towel across the paints. That's what causes those bubbles. (Cells)Delete
Wow! Betty's artwork is beautiful. So many variations and so much talent! And your painting has come a long way, Bob. I particularly love the top painting. Very nice. Thanks for sharing these.ReplyDelete
Your words make me want to skip my chores and get right to the good stuff! Ha! My father's work ethic always held me back. You are right about Bob! He has grown SO much since he started! He is also trying different media and styles. He paints almost every day sometimes twice a day, plus he practices the guitar, meditates, reads the Times, and reads books, AND does his chores! I don't know how he does it. He is truly a Renaissance Man!Delete
What a treat to get to see Betty’s artwork and yours too!! Please share more in the future!! I love all of it, but especially the one of Betty’s that looks like a big ocean wave, and your piece that has a dark sky.. beautiful work all the way around! Summer is a great time to delve into our hobbies, here in Arizona!!ReplyDelete
Your comments are always so upbeat Madeline! The wave is one of my first swiped flow art creations. I want to try them on circle disks and larger canvases. I so want Bob to display more paintings! He has come so far from his beginning work! Unlike me, (who sometimes goes 10 years between painting) he will try and paint every day! I wish I knew how he manages his day between volunteering, doing chores, practicing music and painting! I get tired just watching him! I would love to see some of YOUR creations! You have such a free spirited style! You are right. Everyone should get out and create in the summer whether it be painting, drawing, writing, gardening, even cooking. As Bob does, take a little time and CREATE!Delete
Betty's paintings are great! I really like the blue wave painting. It really caught my eye.ReplyDelete
That is one of my favorites, too. It reminds me of Kauai.Delete
It's a small painting. I want to try for a bigger one at some point with more colors.Delete
Wow! You are both so talented and creative!ReplyDelete
Thanks! We are having fun.Delete
Betty, your "pallet art" is absolutely striking and, Bob, the effort you've dedicated to improving your painting skills has certainly paid off. What impresses me even more than the artwork in this post is the unwavering respect and support each of you extends to the other. It's no wonder that the community you've built up among your readers is such a warm and welcoming one - it's a reflection of the life you live at home.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Mary. Respect is a key part of our 46 years and counting relationship. Unfortunately, that has not always been true, particularly when I was traveling all the timeDelete
Retirement has given us the opportunity to put the same effort into our relationship as I did in earning a living. Realizing what we have together has made all the difference.
Thank you Mary for your praise for my pallet art. I'm afraid that will be the last of it because of issues with my hand. I will work with less strenuous stuff in the future. Bob has been so supportive with this unfortunate phase of my artistic life.ReplyDelete
Definitely want to try that flow art when you visit this fall. Do you think Betty will give me a lesson? Loved all the photos, including your paintings!ReplyDelete
Hey Galen! There is nothing I would rather do, than have a couple of days doing flow art with you! This will be a good time to get Bob in the game also! You're going to LOVE it! ❤️Delete
Well, I might give it a try. Betty will be a good teacher.Delete
Beautiful!! I love it all.ReplyDelete
Thanks! We are enjoying ourselves.Delete
Betty, you are an outstanding artist. I love your flow art. I especially like the top painting, and the more abstract ones fourth, seventh, and eighth from the top. Those ones, in particular, combine beautiful colours with really harmonious shapes. The outdoor art is also very pleasing. I especially like the pallet arrangement at the bottom, and the one four above it that layers vertical and horizontal coloured slats. It has a really nice composition.ReplyDelete
When it comes time to find homes for it, you definitely ought to sell your pieces. Or, donate some of them to places that lack beautiful things, like hospitals, women’s shelters, care homes, and so on.
What a great idea for some of these pieces to go to hospitals, care homes or women's shelters! Thank you for your kind words. The ones you picked as favorites are mine too! ☺️Delete