Art of Betty J. Billups
Miniatures: Oil on Porcelain
Oil on Porcelain
The Navajo People stand out from many other tribes, because often times they wear beautiful satin
type dresses that are trimmed out with contrasting rick-rack. Another artist friend of Billups, was
Jim Martin, and his wife, Lucille...who were raising their granddaughter, Kathy (yes, this is the
same young girl, taking the Afternoon Nap)...
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, they are made for circuit boards for computer controlled
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 its 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.
All of the oils on porcelain, are created with both transparent color (all of the flesh is the
porcelain shining thru the oil, which lays on the surface...in person, it is quite handsome, but
with any photography, the “lense sees” the difference between surface color and transparent color
(where light travels thru the color, and comes back to our eye, as refracted light...!??!)
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. Many is
the time she has been asked by other aspiring artists where
these tiles can be obtained...the last time she purchased them,
it took hours of red tape to finally get a good supply. 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”!!!