Tom Betts’ exquisitely rendered artworks undoubtedly fit into the tradition of realist painting, but there is far more at work here than meets the eye. Adding deep layers of meaning and metaphor to the containers, cups, landscapes and lights that dominate his oil paintings, the California-based painter takes realism to sophisticated new levels, successfully employing figuration to capture more elusive concepts, such as the nature of existence, in a way more commonly achieved through abstraction.
Betts’ handling of light, color, texture, and composition is as compelling as that of the most accomplished academic painters of the past. Observing his subjects from both life and photographs, he carefully captures nuances of light and shadow, line and form to create atmospheric images that lure the viewer in with their mysterious subjects: string lights, single or multiple porcelain cups and saucers. But these works, of course, are not just vehicles to display his expert handling of paint and well-trained eye.
His work has been featured by Southwest Art Magazine, Artists Network, and Park City Mountain Morning News; and has been seen in exhibitions at Bennington Center for the Arts, Palm Springs Fine Art Fair, and the Museu del Tabac in Andorra.
Betts received his BFA and MFA in Painting and Drawing from the University of Utah. His work is represented by Thomas Anthony Gallery in Park City, Utah; Dawson Cole Fine Art in Carmel, California; and Plus One Gallery in London, England.