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.
Betsy is the owner of an art studio and gallery in the heart of Rhinebeck. She has also gained the reputation of being incessantly active in promoting the arts in her community and is a frequent participant in local shows, auctions, and fundraisers. In 2018, Betsy received the Rhinebeck Area Chamber of Commerce Good Egg Award.
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 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.
The natural beauty of the mountains and river that comprise the Hudson Valley—where I was raised, has always transfixed me. 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.
My current work explores atmosphere and luminosity. Reflected light on the river, or the contrast of the bright sliver of moon against the dark warmth of evening clouds inspires a connection. I believe that my best artwork goes beyond the composition—I want to evoke a feeling, have an effect that is beyond ‘visual’. In my luminous landscape series I create a spontaneous response, and through the aqueous process of watercolor I distill what I see to its essence.