Art of Betty J. Billups
Miniatures: Oil on Porcelain
Oil on Porcelain
Billups was commissioned years ago by the U.S. Army to do a painting of the Lewis and Clark
Expedition. She hired a Native American friend, to model for her, and her baby, and did a photo
session. All of the mothers and babies in this series were created from this photo shoot.
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 lens sees the difference between surface color and transparent color
(where light travels thru the color, and comes back to our eye, as refracted light...!??!)