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Betty Slade to exhibit her soul paintings at Art in the Garden 2009

Early in her career, Betty Slade, artist and teacher, wanted to paint the human spirit. However, she explains, she didn’t have the ability nor did she have the training to paint the soul as a subject.

The good news is she now possesses that skill. Betty will be one of the 15 featured artists who will be painting and sculpting plein air at Art in the Garden Festival 2009, Saturday, Aug. 15.

The location for this year’s festival is at El Rancho Pinoso, one of the most beautiful mountain ranches in Colorado and possibly in the entire Southwest.

Many of Betty’s artist friends have the same desire she does — to  extend a helping hand to her fellow residents in Archuleta County. Thirty percent of all art sales at the festival will go into the Community  Assistance Fund, which is part of the Community United Methodist  Church outreach program in Archuleta County. The church  assists  those in our community who need a helping hand,  regardless of their religious affiliation.

The public is encouraged to be part of this effort by purchasing tickets to Art in the Garden   Festival . Net proceeds from Art in the Garden Festival will go into the Community Assistance program.

 Betty, who possesses a wealth of knowledge from 40 years of studying the Bible along with 40 years of experience in every facet in the art field, has acquired the secret of painting the soul. It is evident in her ability to combine the use of rich colors and bold strokes to capture the human spirit embodied in the beauty of women. Betty’s efforts are usually focused on women with strong emotions. She clearly reveals her models, who demand to be noticed, in oils on canvas which disclose Betty’s exceptional artistic talent.  Although the viewer must be willing to delve into the images in order to identify with the emotions portrayed, Betty’s goal is to encourage the viewer to acknowledge the soul in every human being. At times, when that does happen, she has succeeded through the expression of art to have mastered her craft.

Betty believes her ability has partially surfaced from researching Rembrandt’s work where Betty was able to detect his intense feeling for his subjects. Feelings revealed in each brush stroke, according to Betty, must come out of the lifeblood of the model. Betty’s keen insight enabled her to unravel some of Rembrandt’s techniques. The most important fact in art is that the artist must be able to paint from the heart then reach into the subject and pull out important unique details. Those individual details are revealed by the subject because the artist is able to convey an uncompromising respect for his model.

Betty confesses she has two loves in her life, along with family and friends, a love and commitment to her Lord Jesus Christ and a love and a desire to accomplish  her maximum ability in her art. She personally keeps stretching to experiment with color and design. She also offers workshops for groups which are fun but also gives depth for all of her students. Betty has evolved, over the years, as a person and as an artist, and her art reflects those changes. Her 4,000 square foot studio and gallery displays the span of her work. She uses the location to host artist and writer retreats and also to teach painting.

Betty’s abilities and accomplishments include managing her own gallery, a TV program series, and a publishing company. She has written and self published poetry books and study books on the Bible. She has been employed by a national e-magazine and, in the past ten years, her art prints have been carried by the Princess Cruise Line. In Santa Fe, NM the Santa Fe Art Brokerage carries her work. Betty’s most recent work, “The Human Spirit Speaks,” reveals her insightful views.

Another outlet that enables her to share her opinion is in The PREVIEW, where she writes a weekly column — “Artist’s Lane.”

Betty, along with the 14 other featured artist and sculptors, will be available to share her work and belief about art on Saturday, Aug. 15, from 3 to 7 p.m. The Second Annual Art in the Garden Festival, complete with wonderful art work, live music by local talented musicians, and samplings of delicious gourmet food, will provide a serene and relaxing afternoon to all who participate, while helping provide aid to residents in Archuleta County regardless of their religion or race.

Tickets can be purchased for $30 at Pagosa Springs Chamber of Commerce, The Plaid Pony and Community United Methodist Church. For more information about Art in the Garden, please go to Web site,