Soiree – Wednesday, March 16 at 7 p.m. Fireside Room 

Soiree – Wednesday, March 16 at 7 p.m. Fireside Room 

PictureKuna Matriarch by Betsy Livengood Oil on canvas

​Soiree des Artistes Features Betsy Beall Livengood

The Spring Soiree des Artistes will take place on Wednesday, March 16, 7:00-9:00 at Fireside.  In March, the Rossmoor Art Association (RAA) is honored to present a lifetime retrospective of the drawings and paintings of Betsy Beall Livengood.  

The Soiree is one of the most popular events of the RAA.  It is an evening of a little night music, wine and refreshments, a wonderful display of the work of one artist, and an interview with the artist about his/her work.  Music for the evening will be performed by Meriel Ennick on flute and Rosemarie Krovoza on viola, and there will be a voice solo sung by Barbara Hammond. The welcome will be given by Pat Solari, President of the RAA.  Anna George will sit in conversation with the artist.

Livengood says that she has always been an artist.  Living in a creative family introduced her to the idea that everyone is an artist and that art is something everyone does.  In the 5th grade in Syracuse, NY, she entered and won a portrait competition. This is when she began to think that art would probably be her life’s work.  In high school she took classes in art and sold her first painting to her teacher. Betsy was raised in a family where even her parents were artists.  She, her brother, and their friends set up a figure drawing studio in the family garage, and they would all take turns modeling for their “class”.  In college Betsy was a member of a women’s art collective. She has a degree in Art Therapy and Counseling from Empire State College, New York.

Betsy’s home studio is very magical. She surrounds herself with art and artifacts from various cultures that inspire her to see the beauty everywhere.  The view is breathtaking, the sun pours into the room through chards of colored glass, and one cannot help but see that an artist is at home here.  Paintings, photographs, quotes, and other life memorabilia charge the atmosphere with snatches of moments past.  The ambiance of this space entices one to enter into the creative experience.  

What makes Betsy Livengood unique as an artist is her interest in many media including charcoal, watercolor, acrylics and oils. She is an experimenter, and she loves to play with different styles, strokes, and color themes.  She starts her work with an idea in mind, but after she has begun her painting she communicates with the canvas/paper to create the final image.  This gives the work an incredible freshness.  Many times her paintings are designed with symbolic patterns in the background.  When confronting a still life or portrait, she often does three or four different paintings of the topic creating a variety of renditions.  Interestingly, she works from the complex to the simple, and a very boisterously colored portrait can mute into a stylistic, tonal abstraction that is a lovely replication of the original.
Betsy loves people and nature, and these are generally her subjects. Her first love is drawing and painting portraits and figures that express the essence of the sitter.  When she travels, she captures what she sees with a quick sketch or a photo.  Sometimes she travels just to paint in the out-of-doors, and she has traveled to many parts of the world to do this.  When at home, she occasionally goes with a group of Rossmoor friends to do plein-air painting in local parks and forests.

Although she did not become a professional artist, Betsy continued to paint and make art a real part of her life.  She worked for many years as a Civil Engineering Designer in the SF Bay Area.  Occasionally she had shows at the Vita Gallery in the city where she was a member, and she juried at the International House in Berkeley.  Recently she had a one woman show at the Unitarian Church of Walnut Creek. Betsy’s paintings and drawings can also be seen in the shows at Creekside and Gateway.

At Rossmoor, Betsy has participated in classes with Norm Weiner, Randy Sexton and Kit Knight. Betsy also attends the Orinda figure drawing classes.  Her contributions to the Rossmoor Art Association are many.  She has served on the RAA Board as the Website chair and is on the Program Committee.  Betsy has also taught a series of free portrait demonstrations.  She has worked tirelessly as the videographer for the demonstrations by artists in Art Studio One for many years.  She is a very valued member because of her commitment, her willingness to assist other artists and her friendly and upbeat personality.

The soiree is a gift from the Art Association to the residents of Rossmoor, and it is a free event.  There will be an opportunity to join the Art Association for $10 a year at the door.  Come to the Soiree and celebrate Betsy Beall Livengood as she shares her life and art with us.

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