Posts Tagged ‘Mark Bettis’

Showtime: “Crazy Love”

Posted on: June 4th, 2015 by Kristie Landing
"Crazy Love" Mark Bettis 60" x 48" Mixed Media on Panel

“Crazy Love”
Mark Bettis
60″ x 48″
Mixed Media on Panel

We have nothing but crazy love for the new works by Mark Bettis at the gallery. I hope this last blog post gets everyone excited for the opening of “Get Lost” tomorrow night from 5-8pm—we sure are and can’t wait to see you. The last work we are featuring is “Crazy Love”…care to take a guess why?

“Crazy Love” is a giant, stunning example of Bettis’ creativity and passion. It is extreme with bright, neon orange and teal patterns and sweeping rings that simultaneously invoke sentiments of unity and frenzy. “Crazy Love” is also subtle, with the under layers oozing through like ghosts from the past.

There is a raw quality in “Crazy Love” that I talked about in the last post that make Bettis’ work urban and uncut. The texture of the works, which stems from his unconventional usage of cold wax gives the works an added layer of sensory stimulation. Bettis’ works are a departure for our gallery, but we thought it was about time to stir things up with a little mixed-media love.

Don’t miss a chance to meet Mark Bettis tomorrow night from 5-8pm at the opening of “Get Lost.”

To view more of his works, please visit our website: http://ellarichardson.com/paintings.php?artID=117

The Countdown Continues: “Past Memories”

Posted on: May 26th, 2015 by Kristie Landing
"Past Memories" Mark Bettis 24" x 24" Mixed Media on Panel

“Past Memories”
Mark Bettis
24″ x 24″ Mixed Media on Panel

 

About 8 years ago, Mark Bettis moved from Florida to the River Arts District in Asheville, where he turned over a new leaf in more ways than one. For starters, he began using cold wax as a medium to paint with, finding that it was “a great medium that thickens to allow endless possibilities of layering color and texture.” His approach to painting transitioned to more of a deliberate peeling process where he builds up a foundation of layers and then scrapes specific parts away. Revealing the wax underneath exposes the journey he took in creating his painting –past to present– a unique process that many Abstract Expressionist painters of the 1940s utilized.

The pentimenti, or remnants of earlier layers that peek through the top layer in “Past Memories” bring the work together visually and add complexity and intrigue. For example, having scraped the ivory layer in the top right, Bettis reveals a haunting maroon layer that echoes other traces of red in the painting. In more ways than one, Bettis is alluding to the past. The thin, scribbled turquoise, red, and black lines recall an unfinished sketch, even though they were almost certainly added last. The overall appearance is raw and uncut, yet the composition pulls the focus towards the center, clearly demonstrating forethought.

 

"Past Memories" Mark Bettis 24" x 24" Mixed Media on Panel

 

For more works by Mark Bettis, visit http://www.ellarichardson.com/paintings.php?artID=117

& don’t forget to check back next Tuesday for another close look at a work premiering in the show!

The Countdown Continues: “Peaceful State”

Posted on: May 19th, 2015 by Kristie Landing
"Peaceful State" Mark Bettis 36" x 36", Mixed Media on Panel

“Peaceful State”
Mark Bettis
36″ x 36″, Mixed Media on Panel

 

Spoleto is about to begin and amidst this and other busy times in Charleston, we seek ways to bring a sense of tranquility to our lives. A Nest candle, white hydrangeas, and soft piano music might do the trick, but art also contributes to our moods. For this reason, we love rare gems like Mark Bettis’ “Peaceful State.” In contrast to his upbeat and joyful works like last week’s “Burst of Spring,” this work is designed to bring viewers peace of mind. Transcending the quiet, “Peaceful State” lifts the spirit, sending viewers into a state of pure visual bliss.

While highly abstract, this mixed-media work is designed to be very approachable. The symmetry involved, from the colors to the shape of the canvas- a perfect 36” square, achieves harmony  and balance. There is no object to focus the gaze on, which lends an air of mystery to the work; yet it is like wondering about the galaxy— baffling, yet strangely soothing. As the misty strokes of color pool together in “Peaceful State,” I’m left with the lasting impression of serenity. Are you?

For more works by Mark Bettis, visit http://www.ellarichardson.com/paintings.php?artID=117

Don’t forget to check back next Tuesday for another close look at a work premiering in the show!

The Countdown Begins: “Burst of Spring”

Posted on: May 12th, 2015 by Kristie Landing
Burst of Spring Mark Bettis 48" x 36", Mixed Media

“Burst of Spring”
Mark Bettis
48″ x 36,” Mixed Media

The weather in Charleston right now is hot, hot, hot…a balmy 92 degrees with high humidity. Even though it is technically still spring, it feels much more like summer. When I first saw the image of the painting “Burst of Spring,” I felt as if I were looking at a visualization of the weather we are having. This is one of the many gifts of our new mixed media artist Mark Bettis—the ability to present concepts and ideas you thought were only a feeling.

While “Burst of Spring” provides a distinct contrast to his other new works like “Homestead” and “Illusions,” it is a perfect example of Bettis’ passion for color and life. It shares the same attention to lines, geometric shapes, and gently shifting planes, but has a vibrancy that is irrepressible. Whereas the other paintings are more harmonious in terms of symmetry and color, “Burst of Spring” is like a flame—wild, but enormously interesting to look at. The brilliant hues of yellow, blue and red stand out as the primary base from which all the other colors are sourced, demonstrating a realm of chromatic possibility.

 

Most notably, there is a flow towards the top of the canvas that suggests progression or growth and the title evokes flowers more so than if Bettis had chosen the title “Burst of Summer.” The simple act of titling the work “Burst of Spring” presents us with an image that brings the painting slightly out of abstraction; whereas in pieces like “Homestead,” it becomes more difficult to grasp representational forms.

Mark Bettis’ debut solo exhibition in Charleston opens June 5. Check back next Tuesday– I’ll be counting down the weeks until his show!