Tag Archives: digital painting

What’s Black and White and Blue All Over?          

whats black and white and blue all over
© Betty Butler, Abstract Vases, Digital Collage, 2024

What’s black and white and blue all over? Well, my new digital collage, Abstract Vases, is just that. This piece is devoid of my usual bright colors but explores the dramatic shape of a photographed vase displaying a single chrysanthemum. This vase is then repeated. The original vase and flower are white, while I added black and teal blue to the others in Photo Shop. Finally, I layered these forms over an expressionist digital painting, subtle in color but rich in pattern.

Black, White, Blue and More in Pastel

I have been observing these vases for a while through my work in pastels. The work above left, Three Ceramic Orbs, reflects the white vessels on a black towel with a background of subtle blue violet.

The upper right pastel, Plant sans Flowers, is a more colorful work. It is a portrait of an African violet plant. Even without the lovely purple flowers, the plant’s leaves are rich in various sizes and patterns. They have a slight sheen, which calls for highlights in places. Their undulating pattern invited me to draw with multiple shades of greens. Lastly, I added blues and purples for a harmonic color pallet.

Two crises collide, “I Can’t Breathe”

I can't breathe
(c) Betty Butler, I Can’t Breath, Digital Painting, 2020

Ideas for I Can’t Breathe (above) came to me as I heard George Floyd’s last words, which echoed the words of seriously ill and dying COVID-19 patients. Visually, I envisioned unwarranted police violence, multiplying virus particles, facial masks, and a general sense of chaos.

In Minneapolis, MN, Memorial Day, May 25, 2020, four police officers snuffed out a black man’s life. Two days later, on May 27, the US reached a death toll of 100,000 persons from COVID-19. Concurrently, young people, black, white, and brown (mostly wearing masks), took to the streets protesting for justice. Finally, protests continued, until one, then the other three officers were charged with some degree of murder. The President could not help himself but make things worse. He ordered the United States military to tear gas a peaceful crowd of protesters in DC, so he could walk to a nearby church and hold up a bible (upside down) for a photo-op. The nation-wide and world-wide protests continue.

COVID-19 continues to spread

US states have reopened their businesses at different rates. Meanwhile, since Memorial Day, there has been a spike in virus spread and hospitalizations in some states. Let’s hope for a more unified approach to social distancing, mask-wearing, and testing in the future.

Exhibition in the Canary Islands, Spain

I was honored to have three of my prints juried into an international exhibition entitled Lost at Lacuna Festivals, Canary Islands, Spain. The theme could include lost culture, language, and traditions. My three chosen works referenced the Australian fires of 2019-2020, and the loss of life and environment. Then the curators informed the artists that the exhibition Lost was almost lost because of the pandemic. Soon, they found a solution and asked the artists for permission to show their work in an online festival.

The Lacuna Festivals will take place online from June 26 – July 31, 2020.

I can't breathe
(c) Betty Butler, Australian Fires, Digital Collage, 2020
(c) Betty Butler, Kangaroo Escape, Digital Collage, 2020
I can't breathe
(c) Betty Butler, Escaping the Fire, Digital Collage, 2020