Waitsburg welcomes artist Fred Betz
September 30, 2021
WAITSBURG-Waitsburg has attracted another fine artist to town. Fred Betz was born in California and raised on the East Coast. He studied art at the University of California Santa Cruz and Columbia University in New York. Betz is an oil painter who uses his location as inspiration for much of his work. Needless to say, he loves to travel.
He recently spent five months in Cortona, Italy, living in a house that was owned by famous Renaissance artist Luca Signorelli. During his stay, Betz said that he took every chance he could to paint. Under Italy's strict laws limiting activities out of the home, Betz used the time to complete a series of COVID-19 -themed postcards.
Betz is a plein-air landscape artist, meaning that most of his work is done outdoors, painting scenes as he experiences them. While some of the paintings are completed the same day, Betz said he had spent weeks returning to the same spot before the final stroke was made.
"I find a scene I want to paint, I stand in front of it, and I just go after it," Betz shared. "I am looking at the light, I am looking at the forms, thinking of the composition, but I really focus on light and colors."
His work also includes figurative or narrative paintings. These paintings tell unique stories using images of people, animals, and landscapes he creates from his imagination and memory.
"Sometimes, it is playful, like fairytales, sometimes it is political, and sometimes it is personal," Betz said.
Betz was drawn to Waitsburg after visiting his friend (and Times Publisher) Lane Gwinn in the spring, saying he fell in love with the landscape, the people, and the community.
"I was just knocked out by the hills, the colors, the light," Betz said. "I have met some really, really neat people since coming here."
If he doesn't have a paintbrush in hand, Betz can likely be found serving up a beautiful latte at Ten Ton Coffee. He shared that training to be a barista has been a little intense but a lot of fun.
Betz's work can be viewed online at http://www.fredbetzart.com, or on Instagram, @fredbetzart.