One of my favorite shops this year is Besty, so I've asked the artist behind the shop to give us a little write up. Her stuff is what I'd plaster all over my son's walls, crib and and body if I could. I cherish her work and explanation as to why it is she uses animals as her subject matter -- refreshing, considering how trendy the animal kingdom has become! I love and believe how honestly she comes by it. I'm so thrilled to have her here!
My name is Betsy Dorman and I opened Besty in September 2010.
I've always loved photography and different manifestations of the portrait through history. While I did get my degree in photo, I have always been drawn to drawing and making things with my hands (it was always a nasty joke at art school that the photo kids were photo kids because they couldn't draw!) So the animal silhouettes seem to be a great unifier of so many interests I have. I loved reading about the nature and habits of the individual animals and trying to integrate those characteristics into their physical portraits. I think that is my favorite thing about making art... that I always have a fantastic excuse and lens through which to explore and dive into any world that interests me. I am also an art educator and working with students has helped me rekindle my appreciation of the basic elements of art. I've always loved artwork that toes the line between representational and abstract, and silhouettes are essentially just that - a complex, abstract shape that is somehow instantly recognizable. But when you break it down, it's just a shape that derives from an outer line that dips, curves and juts out in exactly the right places. While you may not want to look at a portrait of a stranger, there is something universal about animals. Kids, grownups, city slickers, country folk ... animals just have a certain appeal that is relatable. Maybe it is the endless opportunity for personification. Maybe it is the vast variation in the basic facial elements that we see across species. I don't know. I just love them.
I always have. Making these things brings me such joy and I only hope they do the same for the people who buy them and make them a part of their lives. I've been very lucky since my shop opened up. I have found Etsy to be such a wonderful, creative environment of both artists and buyers. I am so grateful for people like Molly who support and encourage my work through blog features like this!
In addition to the silhouettes, I also feature drawings, cards, linoprints, baby onesies, custom designs, handmade upcycled wool/linen stuffed animals & the spoils of any successful crafty adventures I happen to embark on.
All words written not in italics were written and submitted by Betsy Dorman; all photographs taken from her shop, featuring her awesome work for sale. Please visit her shop and leave comments here for Betsy