Shoebox Conversations: Betzi Stein
Welcome to Shoebox Conversations. Our Shoebox PR team, Kristine Schomaker, Sheli Silverio and S. Vollie Osborn, are meeting up with artists via Zoom to discuss their art practice, new work, upcoming exhibitions, and more.
Please meet Betzi Stein:
People are my muse. My contemporary portrait paintings, sourced from photos I take myself, celebrate the ordinary and extraordinary people who capture my imagination. The spark that begins my creative process is what I find humorous in the people I choose as subjects. Once committed, I combine the formal elements that go into creating a work of art with a spiritual connection that breathes life into the people I paint.
My interest in figurative realism began in college majoring in sculpture and then in my profession as a massage therapist sculpting living bodies rather than clay. When I began to paint, hands–the essential tools of massage–were my first subjects.
Having decided to forgo college for a time, I spent two years traveling and studying art and culture in Britain, Western Europe and Morocco.
I attended college at California State University, Long Beach earning a B.F.A. in Sculpture and Jewelry Design, after which I spent five years as a professional jeweler.
My involvement in art making took a back seat while I built and sustained my massage therapy practice, Betzi Stein Massage Therapy. Being drawn to the massage profession has always felt like a natural extension of my love of sculpting the body.
In recent years, I returned seriously to painting the figure, and expanded my oeuvre by welcoming portrait commissions of adults, children and pets. I work in my home studio in the Palms section of Los Angeles, California.
I’m an active member of TAG Gallery, the International Society of Acrylic Painters, Los Angeles Art Association and Women Painters West. My art has received numerous awards, and has been shown and collected throughout the United States.