"Capturing the inner feeling, a moment so quickly passing, a moment that is beyond words, almost beyond thought, the nuances that dance between a mountain and the sky that embraces her, creating a symphony that the eyes perceive, but only the soul can remember.
“This celebration of light upon the physical and ethereal worlds, that creates a love affair, not only between these two worlds, but also for the viewer. It is this special moment in time that excites me, that drives me to even risk failure, if I but have the chance to capture only a fraction of what I see, of what I feel, of what I know, from this wonderful experience we call Life!" Betty Jean Billups
“The power and sweep of this unique style of B.J. Billups is comparable with the leading painters of our century and before. The strength of her painting strokes combine masterfully with her extraordinary command of the artist's color palette. Bold and yet thoughtful use of composition yields a freshness and depth to these works that is seldom seen in many of today's works of art.
“A dynamic and electrically charged must see exhibit combining a dazzling explosion of artistic energy and sparkling creativity. Tom Battles re: Clymer & Hockaday Museum Exhibitions 2001
MAJOR ART EVENTS
Summer of 1977, Elizabeth Jean Billups (AKA Betty) had her first one artist museum show at the Montana Historical Society in Helena. This exhibit was the direct results of doing research for a U.S. Army commission that she received, to create a painting of Sacajawea. And this commission came about because the Army had seen a painting Billups had in the U.S. Air Force Art Collection. The painting was called "The Nightingale", & depicted the C-9, their medical plane.
The exhibit at the museum was titled "Inner Feelings" was the sole reason Betty returned to a fine art career, with the heaviest amount of work being created "en plein air". Plein air painting is created on location, with all the elements: sun, wind, tides, and time, affecting that which is being depicted in a painting...thus forcing the artist to work quickly and observantly...in order to capture the essence of a scene, before, and even while, it changes!
The trip into Idaho and Montana at that time, also brought her back years later, to live on a 200 + acre ranch, and eventually move into the mountains, to a tutor style cabin on 10 acres in the wilderness. Being surrounded by nature at every view, plein air painting became almost as easy as breathing!
From 1985 thru mid 1996, Billups participated in the Plein Air Painters of America (PAPA) week on Catalina Island, and exhibiting at the Casino Ballroom. Billups was PAPA's only ad chairman, during those years, placing national ads in up to 5 magazines per month, which created the national movement known as Plein Air Painting!
1996 saw Billups as one of a dozen artists invited to work on the world renown Murals in Toppenish Washington. She also was commissioned to create 17 windows depicting a turn of the century bordello, viewed in a second story historic brick building in Toppenish.
Benefit the C.M.Russell Museum, her creation of a Louis & Clark buck skinner sold for $1600 created during the 40 minute “Quick Draw”.
1969 (AA) EL CAMINO JUNIOR COLLEGE Torrance, California
1972 (BA) LOS ANGELES ART CENTER COLLEGE OF DESIGN Illustration
Joseph Morgan Henninger: One of her most beloved instructors from the Los Angeles Art Center College of Design. He & his beloved wife, Danica, became Betty's life time personal friends & supporters.
Reynold Brown: Instructor at LAACCD, deeply caring, Reynold did many of the old Movie Posters of renown, like Ben Hur. He greatly influenced Billups with his passion & concern for his students ... giving them the "burn" to go beyond what they believed they possibly could!
Dan Mc Caw: 1982-1984 ten years after her studies at the Art Center, at his studio (Don Putt Putman's old studio), greatly enhancing her style.
Billups, the winner of Grand Purchase Awards and blue ribbons in national and international shows, has been featured in many art magazines throughout her career, including Southwest Art, U.S. Art, Art talk, Sun Storm Publications, Art West, InformArt, to name a few.
2004 "I Am the Sunlight" 3rd Place Award International Competition
2003 M/A Spokane & Coeur d'Alene Living
2002 Spring InformArt: Landscape Painting & It's emotional Connection
2002 Sept./Oct. Wildlife Art Collector's Corner
2000 CLYMER MUSEUM 200 FOR 2000 Publication with 24 paintings
2000 Bonner County Millennium Cover
2000 Jan Smoke Signals
1997 J/J/A Sun Storm Fine Art Publications
1996 Nov. Southwest Art
1992 Tapestry Cover art
1990 Summer Festival at Sandpoint
1986 M/J Midwest Art
1985 May American Artist
1982 Aug Southwest Art
1980 Contemporary Western Artists by Samuels
2004 "How did you paint that?” 100 ways to paint Flowers & Gardens"
OIL PAINTING: "Oranges & Peonies" 20x16
2004 "How did you paint that? 100 ways to paint Seascapes, Rivers & Lakes" OIL PAINTING:
"I am the Sunlight" 18x36
2005 Aug. “10 Projects: En Plein Air / Oils / Impressionism” Author & Artist 96 page book
SOLO MUSEUM EXHIBITIONS
Clymer Museum: 200 for 2000
The year 2002 also found her work in a museum publication, coinciding with her one artist exhibition: Clymer Museum: 200 for 2000, a 24 page, full color catalogue of some of her plein air paintings, that were created in the year 2000.
2002 Hockaday Museum of Art, Kalispell MT. Her plein air paintings created while she had an
Artist in Residency at Glacier National Park.
In addition to the Marriott Hotels, some of her clients include Bank of America, Fluor Corporation, Max Factor, Knotts Berry Farm, Genstar Mortgage and St. Johns Hospital of Santa Monica, California.
Her work hangs in collections throughout the U.S., Canada, Israel, Africa, and Japan. Some are also the home of Picassos, Henry Sharps, and other leading contemporary artists of the U.S. Public collections include: The Royal Palms Hotel of Phoenix AZ (4 of her plein air paintings); the United States Air Force (3 original oils and water colors); Alamita Corporation of Tucson AZ (Native American painting), to name a few.
2007 6x16 foot Mural for Mount San Antonio College of S. California
1996-2003 Mural-In-A-Day, Toppenish WA
1996-2002 C.M. Russell Auction Quick Draw Artist
1998-1999 17 Bordello Murals Toppenish WA
1996 10x8 foot Mural for Plastic Model Engineering, Post Falls ID
In the mid 90s she helped jury the annual prestigious California Art Club Exhibit, with her friend, Neil Boyle and her beloved instructor, Joseph Henninger.
Billups juried many California exhibitions, giving awards to abstracts & sculptures, since she juries based on principles, not her person style.
1972-1976 SILA SOCIETY OF ILLUSTRATORS OF LOS ANGELES (SILA)
1972-1973 VICE PRESIDENT OF SILA
1979 to 1983 WOMEN ARTISTS OF THE AMERICAN WEST
1985 to 1995 PLEIN AIR PAINTERS OF AMERICA (PAPA)
1985-1996 PAPA's sole Ad Chairman (which helped re-introduce plein air painting to the USA)
1996 to 2001 AMERICAN ACADEMY OF WOMEN ARTISTS
1996 THE CALIFORNIA ART CLUB
Her colorful creations have been in prestigious galleries over the past 40+ years: Schaar Gallery Laguna Beach CA; El Presidio Gallery Riodoso NM; Tucson AZ; Sacred Dancing Gallery Bigfork MT; Aspen CO; Gallery at Schwitzer Sandpoint ID; Galleria DeFelice The Davenport Hotel, Spokane WA; South Street Fine Arts Easton MD
Sept. 2005 Old Lyme CT Instructors Exhibit
1986-2005 Plein Air Painters of America, Avalon Catalina Island, CA
Sedona Art Center, Sedona AZ;
Canyon Side Gallery, Wickenburg AZ
2002 Schaar Gallery, Laguna Beach CA
Bennington Art Center, Bennington VT
1996 O'Brian Emporium, Scottsdale AZ
B&R Galleries, Canyon Country CA
1979-1982 Driscol Gallery Denver, CO; Cody Art Center, WY;
Wild Wings Gallery, CA; Sander Gallery, Tucson AZ; Saddleback, Tustin CA
SOLO MUSEUM & GALLERY EXHIBITIONS
2003 Main Stoppe Gallery, Paintings from SW Ireland
Eclectic Collection, POAC Art Walk, Sandpoint ID
2002 Kalispel Museum of Art
2001 Clymer Museum, Ellensburg WA
1988 Gallery at the Vintage Wheel Museum, Sandpoint ID
1977 Montana Historical Society, Helena MT
PLEIN AIR PAINTING WORKSHOPS
Teaches between several workshops per year, from coast to coast.
2005 Old Lyme Art Association, CT
2004 Easton MD, Mathews VA
2003 Independent workshops in Butte MT