Betsy DeFusco

Photo credit: Caroline Kraus
Photo credit: Caroline Kraus


River Dance

oil on canvas

36” x 36″




oil on canvas

36” x 72″




Betsy DeFusco is a painter living and working in Columbus, Ohio. In her earlier career as an illustrator she completed house portrait commissions and designed hand colored prints that were marketed widely under the name “Attic Arts.” In 1994 she received her Master of Fine Arts in painting from The Ohio State University and since then has made painting her focus. Her work has appeared in New American Paintings and Studio Visit magazines. Recent solo shows include The Hudson D Walker Gallery in Provincetown Massachusetts, The Ohio State University Faculty Club, Keny Galleries, and the Dayton Visual Arts Center. In 2007 she received the Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award and in 2008 her work was given as the awards at the Governor’s Awards for the Arts in Ohio. Fellowships include Vermont Studio Center in 2009 and The Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown Massachusetts in 2011. She is a founding member and treasurer of CAW, Creative Arts of Women, a women’s art collective in Columbus.




I have never been an artist who makes art from found objects, or anything besides new materials from the art supply store. For this show we were encouraged to make art from something old, so I chose to recycle three 36” x 36” paintings that were destined for the trash heap.

I painted all of the old pieces white and left a “remnant” of the previous image. Then I started to paint, very freely, I might add, not worrying that I would ruin a “new” canvas, since I was going to throw these pieces away anyway. As two of the pieces progressed I had a feeling that they would work well as a pair, so I combined the two into one image. Because of the use of old canvases I was finally able to break away from my very formal grid images that I have created for several years. I am now able to use more fluid organic shapes, still employing my thin layers of several different colors.

I like to paint and then look at the result, and see what the image suggests. Usually my works involve a reference to nature and its mysteries surrounding water or air. These works are no exception. “Palancar” refers to my experience diving the Palancar Reef near Cozumel, with visual delights swimming past in a fluid pattern. “River Dance” was most likely inspired by watching the water in the canal behind our rented house in Siesta Key, Florida this Spring. Hardly ever still, the water’s mesmerizing patterns proved relaxing and hypnotic to this vacationer.