This week, “Betsy Eby: Painting with Fire,” opens at New Orleans’ Ogden Museum of Southern Art, and we couldn’t be more excited. Not only does our staff covet Eby’s lyrical, ethereal paintings that have a restorative, happy-place quality, but the artist herself has a very special, contagious kind of soul.
A classically trained pianist, Eby believes the kinetic experience from her music practice—feeling crescendos and rhythms—is reflected in her painting. She paints in a process called encaustic, an ancient technique where beeswax is melted with fire and layered onto the canvas. Seeing her in action is half the prize; her movements are graceful and organic, but with a sense of intention. She switches from spatulas to knives to brushes to a whooshing blowtorch that leaves glimmering hot wax in its trail. She is an artist who is deeply connected to her work but impressively conscientious of the world around her. She is an artist who is as inspiring as she is inspired.
We’d kill to hang one of her paintings in our living rooms. They are mysterious, dynamic, energizing and beautiful, really, really beautiful.
Her solo exhibition, which features her most recent works, will be showing at the Ogden through October 25, 2015. Can’t make it to NOLA? Enjoy her paintings anytime from your coffee table.