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Issue Date: June 2007 Issue

On The Cover

Betty Neubauer is what’sknown in the art world as acolorist. She emphasizes colorrelationships in her work,skillfully combining colorsand shapes into interesting compositions.“Color and texture are important aspectsof my images and are used to provide mywork with a feeling of light, depth, spaceand tranquility,” Neubauer explains.She devotes a lot of time to the developmentof each composition, and does notbegin to paint until she is satisfied with thedesign. Layers of gesso are applied first, oftenfollowed by a color wash of ochre totone the resulting white canvas. Then thefun begins. “This is followed by thickerlayers of paint, adding glazes, scratchingthrough the paint and scraping off,” Neubauersays. “I continue adding and subtractinguntil I’m happy with the painting.”Her paintings are the result of experienceand experimentation, and do nothave an obvious subject matter. She generallydoes not name her abstract pieces,because she doesn’t want to interfere withwhat another person might find on thecanvas. “Sometimes, if you give an abstractpainting a name, people work to try to seehow the name fits the painting,” Neubauersays. She prefers to give patrons the opportunityto discover their own interpretationsand connect with the work on theirown terms.The artist began her art education inChicago and continues to learn throughstudying with her peers, attending workshopsand experimenting on her own. Herprofessional career started with an exhibitionof impasto oils on canvas. These firstpaintings portrayed the surrounding landscapeof northern Illinois. After a move toFlorida, Neubauer developed an affinity forwatercolors and began to paint the brilliant,vivid colors of the tropics. She received acclaimfor her relaxed and fluid techniquewith watercolors, but gradually moved onto explore the arenas of mixed media andprintmaking as well.She began creating compositions withthe torn pieces she hand-colored. She describesthe popular collages that resultedas “canyon pieces” that were “realistic-looking, but not realistic.” Neubauernotes that these collages mark the pointat which her work became a lot less representational.“The medium of collage reallylends itself more to that abstract style,”says the artist.Non-representational subject matterwas also explored through the mediumof printmaking. Using a 22-inch press,she began creating monotype prints usingoil-based inks on cotton paper. Printmakingis still a part of her artistic arsenal, andher prints are featured in a number of artshows and exhibitions each year. She enjoysboth the painting and the printmaking,and feels a measure of freedom in theability to go from one medium to the otherwhile she works.When asked if she has ever done any3-dimensional work like sculpture, Bettylaughs and says no. Then she laughs againand admits that she does play with clayoccasionally, but only for her own benefit.Even though her clay pieces may neverbe brought into the public eye, they likelyfind their way into a thought or themeexpressed in her 2-dimensional works. AsBetty notes in her artist statement: “Everyphase of my career has been challenging,fun, and an important part of what I amdoing today and will be doing tomorrow.”Betty’s monotypes, paintings and collageshave been exhibited and sold at majorcompetitive art shows and galleries aroundthe country and can be seen in private collectionsaround the world. At the 2007Boston Mills Artfest, she may be foundin the West tent during the first weekend:Boston Mills I. t

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