Betsy Payne Cook paints exclusively with pastels, & is acknowledged as a Juried Master Artist at the Cape Cod Art Association. Betsy's paintings depict her impressions of the landscape & its abundance of colors. She paints both en plein air & in her studio; & conveys her love of the outdoors n each painting.
"Winding Down" , a necessity to regenerate my energy and my soul. Sometimes a special spot can give me a boost and set me back on track. Sometimes it's a quiet moment when I can escape into my thoughts. It took many years to realize the value of mindfulness, an awakening of moments in my day. This painting was done as an escape when life's end was calling my cousin.
Selected for "The Works", a juried exhibit at the Cultural Center of Cape Cod, Yarmouth MA - February 2019.
Put on my comfy wool socks and sandals , pour a cup of coffee, turn on the music and I am ready to get to work in my art studio!
I am at my easel at least 5 days a week , standing between 2-5 hours depending upon the project I am working on and the time I have any given day. For awhile, I needed to stand /sit on a high stool due to peripheral neuropathy in my feet. I worked on ways lessen the pain and have returned to a free standing position. Yeah!
Before getting my new AnthroDesk : ErgoSlant Anti-Fatigue Mat , I layered multiple rugs to create a cushioned surface on the floor. This worked out fine but I had to keep track of how long I stood to avoid fatigue and tingling pain. The ErgoSlant mat has a slight incline, which is designed to decrease fatigue and encourage good posture. I am so happy with how I feel after standing on my new mat! The size if ideal for me, it fits easily into the standing space at my easel. The slope is very gradual, not noticeable once I got used to it. I did need to place a anti-slip rug pad underneath it to avoid any slippage as I tend to move around quite a bit as I paint. This has worked out perfectly. Being a pastel painter, there are time when a pastel stick goes astray and hits the floor. Two important things with the ErgoSlant mat: one-pastels don't break when they hit the cushioned surface( that's a big deal!) and two- the mat cleans easily with a damp cloth .
I have included links to the AnthroDesk website and to the ErgoSlant Anti-Fatigue mat, definitely worth a look if you are standing at the easel, worktable or a desk!
On the Cape we have sunsets that are so intense they used to defy my sense of reality. The particles of light floating in the atmosphere grabbing the colors and my desire to stop , take pause for the "The Gift of Another Day". I began this current series of nocturnes as a source of comfort and a way to release, or to hold tight to emotions hard to express in words. The celebration of its departure from sight but not from my memories.
Painted on merlot Pastelmat, the medium dark value of the surface established a dramatic contrast with the first strokes of light. The preliminary drawing was done with black permanent marker that disappears under the pastel marks.
I couldn't hide from the mess I had created in my workroom. It was really apparent that I was running out of space, so off I went to buy another shelving unit. It provided me with lots more storage space but I had to do a major reorganization. This room fills quickly with all sorts of things that I use for painting, framing and teaching. Truthfully, a lot of these items are space wasters but I really might need them one day! So my new year began with a much needed clean-up!
For photos and details please visit my website for the January 2019 e-newsletter "Painting In and Out"
The"First Snowfall' is a welcoming sign of winter. I look forward to the crisp fresh air and the softened sounds of the outdoors. I love the way the lights dance off the snow, creating colors on a fresh white canvas!
"Passing Through" began as a demonstration on the use of toned surfaces and its affect on the color palette to create a mood. This scene spoke to a calm, tranquil mood. I ignored the dark mass in the foreground of the photo, and reduced the dark values to mid-range value of colors. By narrowing the range of values, I softened the mood of the landscape. I chose a light mid-range value surface with a muted color , Pastelmat sienna. Never hesitate to alter a photo reference, now my finished painting really does reflect that autumn day as we drove along this quiet country road.
"Jarvis Street Crossing" 8 x 10 pastel How could I pass by this building and not paint it! I bet there are stories about its history in Sandwich, it exudes the character a story teller ( or painter) would embrace. I wonder how many people sat at the train station opposite and looked at that building as they anticipated a departing or arriving train. No longer a stop on the route, this view is relegated to those that take the time to pause. Painted on location at the Jarvis Street crossing on the Cape Cod railroad for the Plein Air Sandwich event organized by the Sandwich Arts Alliance on 8/3/18. Received 2nd place award in the People Choice vote.
"This Day Belongs to Me" and I find myself in a quiet alley that leads to the open sea. The clouds hold the colors of the sky, and light dances in the reflections of the puddles and windows. A rain storm has passed by, and the day is coming to an end leaving that wonderful bridge of dusk before the darkness engulfs me. A reminder to make the most of what is left of my day.
"This Day Belongs to Me" was accepted into the 2018 Adirondack Pastel Society's National Juried Exhibition held at the Shirt Factory Gallery in Glens Fall. I am happy to share that it received the Dick Blick award from judge Alain Picard. The exhibit is on view until August 11, 2018.