Featured Artist Bettina

Artist Bettina shares a colorful portfolio of narrative paintings influenced by animation and folk art. Visit her website to see more of her joyful work.


painting of three women by Bettina

“The Three Graces of PDX: Berries, Brews and Bong” acrylic on board, 12” x 12”


I have always lived in two worlds—one of nature and one of making pictures.


painting of a woman with snapper fish in her hair by Bettina

“Blue Line Snapper Salon” acrylic on canvas, 40” x 24”


I started painting professionally at age sixteen when my works were picked up by an art gallery in Nantucket, Massachusetts. I attended Syracuse University and majored in illustration and advertising design, thinking I could not make a living as a painter. Working in advertising was a gift in that it refined my way of thinking. It gave me an edge when coming up with clever titles and themes for my images. Working as an illustrator gave me the structure I needed to think through the eyes of words and bring them to a visual life.


painting of a woman and a fishing net that caught men by Bettina

“Fishing for the Elusive Mr. Right” acrylic on canvas, 22” x 18”


I left New York City and the world of advertising and moved to Hawaii where I spent forty years experiencing a wonderful new culture. “Mana” is the Hawaiian word for the spirit that is in all things. This was music to my soul—I felt as though we spoke the same language.


painting of a dream with cacti and lizards by Bettina

“While You were Sleeping” acrylic on canvas, 18” x 24”


It’s alive! That is the way I sum up my feelings for the world around me. Everything is alive and has a personality, from plants and animals to inanimate objects.


painting of a woman tangled in floral garlands by Bettina

“A Prisoner of One’s Own Beauty” acrylic on canvas 14” x 18”


I have always loved animation and cartoons. This is reflected in my work along with the unrestrained spirit that I find in folk art. Both have been a huge influence on me.


painting of a woman with diamonds and a pink dress among cacti by Bettina

“Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” acrylic on canvas, 20” x 24”


A picture is worth a thousand words. I tell stories with paint. I am influenced by nature, cultures and the media in all forms. Most of my stories are tied to man and his relationship with the natural world as well as our relationships with our fellow human beings.


painting of a woman carrying a fish on her head by Bettina

“The Fishmonger’s Wife” acrylic on canvas, 20” x 24”


Working full time as a painter has been challenging and a joy. My work is not in the mainstream yet; however, I stay true to myself. I believe in my work. Living in Hawaii put me in the crossroads of the Pacific, so I had the opportunity to have my works seen by an international clientele.


painting of female musicians sitting on flamingos by Bettina

“Flamingo Philharmonic” acrylic on canvas, 28” x 22”


I have been represented in galleries, and have participated in art fairs, and in hotel residency programs. My works are owned by clients all over the United States, Europe and Asia. Two of my works are in museum collections.


painting of the goddess of sugar cane by Bettina

“The Goddess of Cane” acrylic on canvas, 15” x 30”


As I paint in a one-dimensional detailed style, I find that painting in acrylic allows me to paint multiple layers to get the opacity I’m looking for along with the advantage of a quick drying time.


painting of cactus housewives of Pima County by Bettina

“The Real Saguaro’s of Pima County” acrylic on canvas, 18” x 24” *


I left Hawaii in 2015 and moved to Tucson, Arizona, via Portland, Oregon. The desert speaks to me with all its wonderful creatures and alien plants. I am looking forward to living in a new environment and experiencing a new culture as well as seeing what influences they will bring to my art.


Artist Bettina invites you to follow her on Instagram.


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  1. Maui Misses You, Bettina! I love your new world view among the desert critters. Your voice is so clear. Your level of messaging is supremely important.

    It’s nice to see you included in the Artsy Shark collections. I remember fondly our time together in the Four Seasons Art Program.

    Aloha Pumehana & Mahalo Nui for your contributions.


  2. Charlotte Kelen says

    I am fascinated by your work! Your concept is original, and I love the sense of fun that you show in your paintings.

    • Aloha Charlotte – Thank you for your kind words. I so appreciate hearing from people who enjoy what I create

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