Betty Bea Washburn is a Michigan artist who received her art training at the College of Wooster in Ohio. For 30 years she taught studio art in a public school system. In 1979, she began her own professional career as a watercolor artist.
Washburn likes watercolor because she thinks it is “seductive and somewhat elusive,” which gives spectacular results. Her style invites the viewer to also use imagination. Sometimes, by letting the water create many of the special effects, she gets results that surprise even her.
Washburn gets inspiration for her subject matter from northern Michigan. She can get inspired just on a trip to the grocery store when she sees woods, waterways or even gardens.
Washburn is intrigued by watercolor relationships: the harmony between the physical properties of the medium, the effect of atmosphere on the subject matter, and the use of color to create an internal glow.
Her watercolor journey which included study under Nita Engle, has led to an intuitive style of painting achieved by floating color on paper surface and pouring atmospheric colors to achieve glowing light effects.
Her work is included in numerous private collections as well as at Oaklawn Hospital in Marshall, Mich.; Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit; the University of Michigan; Shanty Creek Resort in Bellaire, Mich.; and Pfizer Pharmaceuticals in Kalamazoo.