bettina barbara jones was born in Washington, D.C. in 1952. She grew up on the East Coast and began her professional painting career at age sixteen, when her works were picked up by James Hunt Barker Galleries in Nantucket, MA
Her mother, a painter and collector of folk art allowed bettina to have an early contact with this type of art. At the advice of her godmother, bettina dropped her middle and last name when dealing with her art. bettina remembers, "as a rebellious teenager, this was probably the only time I instantly took the advice of an adult. After receiving her BFA in illustration from Syracuse University, bettina worked as an art director and illustrator in New York City.
From her teens to her relocation to Hawaii in 1978, she spent time in the Caribbean and was influenced by the islands' folk artists. While bettina's work is viewed as unique and out of the mainstream art circles, her paintings are found in private collections in the United States, Central and South America, Canada, Europe and Asia.
In January 2016 bettina reluctantly left her island home for the mainland. She spent a year in Portland Oregon. As of May 2017, bettina relocated to Tucson Arizona. " I am creatively inspired here in the desert, much more than in the Pacific Northwest. While it was beautiful there, it did not engage me the way isolated or alien environments do. I look forward to painting here in Tucson."
"I have always painted with a whimsical animated view. I love animation and cartoons. When I first saw the work of folk artists, I instantly connected with the spirit of their art. Like my own work, it is honest, unrestricted and comes from the heart. Most of my works make people smile and humor definitely has a place in the art world. Other paintings are meant to teach or give pause to reflect on our status as human beings and how we relate to others - man as well as nature - in this world."
Painting in Lahaina at the Banyan Tree Art Fair 1999