We Like: Betsy Walton

Betsy Walton’s paintings walk a fine line between illustration and fine art.

Modern technology and techniques are slowly blurring the lines between design and fine art specialisms, opening the art world up to countless sub-genres and chameleon creatives.

Betsy Walton is a prime example of this and her work is all the better for it. In her paintings, lively marks and free-flowing gestures are juxtaposed with more graphic shapes and illustrative subject matter creating unique, multi-layered artworks which are hard to define but undoubtedly intriguing.

Whether she is feeling more painterly or illustrative on the day of creation has a clear effect on the end result of Betsy’s paintings. On days where illustrative elements take charge, the pieces created have a palpable air of adventure around them – the introduction of characters and the odd plant turning large shapes into abstract scenery and ultimately a detailed setting for a new adventure.

On more painterly days the abstract shapes fend for themselves, swirling around one another and racing to delight their audience.

In all areas of Betsy’s work, process has large impact. The instantaneous nature of applying paint straight onto the surface adds a boldness and confidence to each mark. Countless colours and an overwhelming amount of shape and detail are layered on top of each other but still the artworks never feel over worked. Instead, the multitude of similarly raw and unedited element blend together to create earthy artworks filled with spirit and soul.

Betsy has previously been commissioned by Urban Outfitters, collaborating on a collection of bedding and wall murals. Betsy’s paintings – whether applied to a textile piece or the real thing – are the perfect addition to any interiors as their ability to encapsulate an entire world into a single image opens even the smallest space up to new and exciting possibilities.

And this touches upon perhaps the most important about all of Betsy’s work – the otherworldly atmosphere it creates. The viewer can get lost for days in any given piece of Betsy’s. In fact, it is easy to imagine the figures which appear inside many of her new lands as viewers who have stared too long and gotten sucked in and trapped.



Posted on Dec 3rd, 15 by

Greg McIndoe - also known as Headless Greg - is an illustrator and design writer based in Glasgow, Scotland. He regularly writes for design magazines and online platforms, interviewing fellow illustrators and leading creatives.

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