Watercolorist, Betsy Jacaruso, received her BFA with honors from the Pratt Institute of Art and Design in Brooklyn, NY in 1979. Through the years, she has gained the reputation for being not only a talented painter, but also a gifted instructor who teaches drawing and painting techniques as a way of realizing individual vision. Her students find her mastery of watercolor painting invaluable in the process of learning to handle the complexities of the medium.
Her current work explores atmosphere and luminosity in landscape, and has been featured in both regional and international exhibitions, as well as represented in private collections throughout the United States and Europe. In February 2013, her painting, “Edge of Light,” was featured in the print copy of The New York Times. Locally, her work is on display at her Gallery & Studio in The Courtyard in Rhinebeck, NY.
Betsy has also gained the reputation of being incessantly active in promoting the arts in her community. In 2005, she received the Dutchess County Executive Arts Award, and she also co-chaired the Red Hook Community Arts Network from 2010-2012. In 2013, she co-chaired and hosted the 10th Anniversary Art Along the Hudson Annual Kick-off Event and Juried Exhibition in Rhinebeck. She is also a frequent participant in local shows, auctions, and fundraisers.
“I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way – things I had no words for.” – Georgia O’Keeffe
Being an introverted young girl, I found that drawing allowed me to express my thoughts and emotions in ways that words had never sufficed. As I grew older, my relationship with art grew stronger – I found that drawing and painting allowed me the freedom of self-expression, and in those moments of being caught up in the creative process, I felt that I was searching deeper within myself, as well as the subject matter.
I decided to pursue receiving expert guidance in Fine Art at the Pratt Institute, where I discovered that I could hone my love of drawing into a poised skill, encompassing a myriad of subjects and mediums, including watercolors, charcoals, and oil. Through using learned techniques in composition and draftsmanship, I was able to cultivate my natural abilities into creating works that expressed my own unique style and vision.
Though I have been fortunate to have had the incredible opportunity to travel and paint throughout Europe, I have always been transfixed by the natural beauty of the mountains and river that comprise the Hudson Valley, where I was raised, and much of my work has been inspired by the breathtaking vistas to be found throughout the region. Some of my largest collections of watercolor paintings depict the majesty of the views from Olana State Historic Site, the tranquility of Vandenburgh Cove in Rhinecliff, and the vintage charm of the towns and estates along the Hudson.
I believe that the best artwork goes beyond just the composition – it should evoke a feeling, something beyond the visual. In my paintings, I strive to capture the essence of the Valley by using watercolor to bring out the luminosity in the landscape. Whether it be drawing out reflections of trees and light in bodies of water or contrasting the sharp brightness of moonlight with the warm darkness of evening clouds, I endeavor to create an intriguing atmosphere in my paintings, which can connect my viewer with the beauty of nature that has so enchanted and inspired me.