by Patricia Schallert
Betsy Laban, originally from the Duarte area, was born in Los Angeles but lived most of her life in Duarte. She moved to Ventura with her husband Mike, in July 2022 to be closer to the water.
Growing up, Betsy had been obsessed with art and took as many art classes as she could find, including drawing, painting, sketching, ceramics and even paint by numbers. She found many art classes through the Parks and Recreation Programs, art galleries and several community colleges from Duarte to Santa Barbara. She just wanted to study art in all forms and mediums.
Betsy’s was influenced by Van Gogh, her husband’s underwater photography, ceramic art and Impressionism. With Impressionism, she visited galleries and would look closely at the way the artist would use their brushes, create lines and strokes on canvas and then she said she would “stand back to see how those small strokes and lines would come together to create masterpieces.”
Her favorite time of day to paint is in the morning. It’s quiet and the morning sunlight always, is at its best.
Betsy’s favorite medium is acrylic. “I was drawn to working with acrylic paint on canvas when the world took a time out to deal with the pandemic”. Acrylic paints are “more forgiving than water colors or oil painting.” And so during the Covid pandemic, she began to focus more on her painting skills and started with cute “Atomic” cat images, went into silhouettes and her personal art style then began to creep into her work.
Betsy is now painting ocean and sea life. Being an observer of ocean life, she has found it has a “calming effect” she says. From the beach, she watches sea animals, the birds as they dive into the water, and the ocean waves crashing into the shore. She hopes to bring that calming feeling to her underwater paintings. Her husband is passionate about diving and photography and will bring back amazing photos from his deep-sea diving experiences. She uses those photos as her inspiration for her octopus, sea horses and jellyfish.
Her dream project was to have her paintings in an art gallery and currently her work hangs in the Art is Passion Gallery in Portside Ventura Harbor.
Betsy work can also be seen on her web site: