Art of Betty J. Billups
Miniatures: Oil on Porcelain
Her First Ride
Oil on Porcelain
Around 1974 or '75 Billups was contacted by the U.S. Army to create a painting celebrating the 200th
birthday of our country. So she chose the Lewis and Clark Expedition...with Sacajawea being a "peace
symbol" as the expedition ventured into the western "states".
She chose to visit the area in
which Lewis and Clark traveled, around Southeastern Montana...and rendezvoused with the Crow Nation,
as they celebrated each summer. This little girl was photographed around 1975...so, guess she must
be near her 50s now!
Always, and with many of the images Billups captured on film, and then put into
paintings, she attempted to find the people she photographed, to give them some sort of gift...as a
thank you, for their beautiful spirit.
This was created in oils on a fine porcelain sheet, by the same company that creates the extremely
large and thick tiles that NASA uses on the outside of the Space Shuttle, for heat protection. These
small, fine quality porcelains, however, are made for circuit boards for computer controlled
products (well, they use to, back in the '80s...pretty sure they no longer do.
What she has in stock will probably be the end of these creations, thus making
them an excellent investment...if rarity is one of the points in qualifying something as valuable!!!
They are extremely fine quality, and very durable. The oil that the images
are created with, is very stable, since the tiles are porous, thus accepting the pigment into it's surface, making a permanent binding.
The rich and intense quality of the colors in these creations have little to do
with the porcelain itself, but solely to the artist’s ability and vision.
It does take special handling of the pigment, for once a color is placed on the porcelain, it is
very likely to stain the surface, and thus damage the final outcome.
As far as the artist's knowledge, there is no one else in the country that is creating images of
this caliper and design, on these fine quality porcelain plates.