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                 the brush stroke fall 2022






                                                       Swimming with Wasps 

As someone who has defined myself as a water rat, being in water is vital and a pure joy for me. I grew up on the east coast with access to swimming pools, lakes, rivers and most important - the ocean. Summer was and is always my favorite time of year. Later, I spent 40 years living in Hawaii so the ocean was my year round playground. From all forms of surfing, outrigger canoe racing, scuba diving, the ocean was my recreation and a major inspiration for my artwork.

Upon relocating to the desert, the swimming pool has become my sanctuary. I swim regularly in our apartment pool. One thing that was new to me was the prevalence of numerous Yellow Paper wasps (Polistes) joining me in the pool during the summer months. They are beautiful creatures with an amazing skill of landing on the water without sinking. They collect water for drinking, nest building and cooling the nest. I do my swims with my friends and yes, they are my friends. I have rarely been stung and that usually happens when rescuing a drowning wasp. The others do their thing and fly off when I get close. We happily share the pool. In the desert, everything needs water. Most people find them a nuisance as I see how they are mentioned in the local news when they start to appear. As I had never seen this phenomena anywhere else, I decided they deserved to be the subject of a painting.

I am excited to announce that I am one of the 40 accepted artists in the 2022 West edition #162 of New American Paintings. The publication will come out in mid January 2023. Will be available in bookstores and through New American Paintings website. Will post more here once I have my copy.

Participated in two nice fall shows - La Encantada Art fair in October and the Tucson Museum of Art Artist Fair in November.  Am applying for some winter shows and will post information on those at a later date.

Check this page for regular updates  highlighting new paintings, specials, creative tips and news from bettina. 


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