Photo by Dave Anderson

Share This

Betsy Eby

Eby embraces big themes, and her work is pervaded by spirituality and sublimity, as are the paintings of Anselm Kiefer and Cy Twombly, two artists she much admires. Metaphysically inclined, Eby’s art attempts to transubstantiate paint, to make paint capture the sensory, sensual experience of meditation and be a vehicle for contemplation. Eby expressed a hope that her paintings might provide an entry into an alternate state of consciousness—and through the passionate conviction of subjective vision the universal might be breached. A gifted classical pianist, she often cites music as a source of inspiration. It is the pulse of the music and the immediacy of its effect—like the alternating surges of the sea and the rhythms of the world and the universe—that most informs her work, and she eloquently compares a rubato to a “quiet like the Sufi dervish who finds stillness in motion.” Her marks, too, are notational and seem to be marking time, each mark a trace, a remnant, signifying a moment in time’s unstoppable passage, like a musical composition. Eby’s point of view has much in common with the mystics and the romantics, where life—with all its joys and tragedies—is in thrall to nature and nature is triumphant, grandly summarized in the sonorously cadenced, biblical last lines of Melville’s Moby Dick:

Now small fowls flew screaming over the yet yawning gulf; a sullen white surf beat against its steep sides; then all collapsed, and the great shroud of the sea rolled on as it rolled five thousand years ago.

–Excerpt from Lily Wei’s Metaphysics and Metamorphoses: The Paintings of Betsy Eby

Ten Things I Can’t Do Without

  1. My talented, romantic, mischievous, husband, Bo
  2. My painting practice
  3. My Steinway B and most late 19th and early 20th century music
  4. Green tea
  5. Yoga
  6. My amazing girlfriends
  7. My stable family
  8. Beauty
  9. Nature and vistas
  10. Adventure

Betsy Eby's contributions: