Fluid – Review by Pamela L. Thiel, Michigan USA

As the Earth and sky move and evolve seasonally, daily, and even moment by moment, Annette van Betlehem captures these changes first with her keen eye for each new development, and then reproduces them in her captivating works of art with oil paint, her fluid in flux, and canvas, her landscape. Air, clouds, soil, rocks, foliage and water are elements which comprise her latest series of West Coast paintings, eliciting beauty seen in such natural arrays as the vitality of water in the rainforest or the magnificent geological landscape.

Ms. van Betlehem observes the wonders of our world with visual reception unique to her artistic calling: changing colours of mist, snow on a frigid mountaintop melting as it travels through warmer air in the dense forest, frost evaporating from gusts of southwest winds, and many other forms of water…teeming with minute life forms as it creates its own path over the earth, frozen solid into fascinating shapes and sizes, dripping with its own temporal rhythm, or saturating the earth with its heavy flow from the heavens.

Reflections such as these, seen in van Betlehem’s inventive creations displayed through her paint brushes and colourful oils, allows the observers of her paintings to join her in noting the delicate life, mortality and wondrous rebirth of each earthly element. While these works of art depict life as she sees it, those witnessing her work can possibly capture inspiration gained from their own interpretations as well as a new appreciation of their environment.

There will be 18 paintings in the Sidespace exhibition (van Betlehem’s 10th solo show), ranging in size from 120 x 120 cm to 45 x 45 cm.

Pamela L. Thiel


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