Upon visiting Creative Coworking, people are often struck by our impressive collection of local art. Surrealist dreamscapes, whimsical collages, hyper-realistic portraits, and more have all found a temporary home here, making our office space a key player in the Evanston art scene. In this blog feature, we highlight artists whose work is currently on display. Today’s featured artist is Betty Butler.

What sparked your initial interest in creating art?

 I have been drawing and making things since I was young child. Luckily, I had parents that encouraged my creativity.

How would you describe your style?

For each art print, I blend my own painting and photography into a digital collage. In my current series, an imaginary beach is populated by starfish, sand dollars, sea urchins and seashells. In this invented world, vivid color drawn from my acrylic painting, resembling the northern lights, flows across these sea creatures.

Starfish Portrait
Starfish Portrait

Who are your influences?

Early in my college art education, I attended a large exhibit of the paper cut-out collages of French artist Henri Matisse. I was struck by the bright color, movement, and fanciful composition of his dancers, leaves, and sea creatures. I also very much appreciate the close-up, stylized interpretations of nature by painter Georgia O’Keeffe.

What are your opinions on the Evanston/Chicago art community? How do you see your work in relation to this community?

The Evanston/Chicago art community is vibrant and varied. Additionally, I experience the Evanston art community in particular as friendly and welcoming of local talent. I am honored to be part of this community and to be exhibiting at Creative Coworking.

Is there a particular piece of yours that is currently on display that you feel really represents your style/means something personal to you?

Digital collage of painting and photography
Blue Beach

Blue Beach is representative of my current work in that it contains round organic shapes and patterns, and is created by multiple starfish and areas of dramatic color.

Do you have any upcoming exhibitions/plans/projects?

I would love to exhibit in a traditional or alternative health care center. Viewers have observed that my work has a calming and meditative quality.

How did you discover Creative Coworking as a venue for displaying your work?

Creative Coworking artist Sarah Kaiser referred me to Angela. I’m so glad she did!

Are there particular motifs/themes/symbols that you are fond of using in your work?

I am drawn to curvilinear forms found in nature. These can be seashells, waves, botanical forms, or clouds. I often add a patterning motif to create movement and visual excitement.

How do you see your art evolving in the next few years?

I hope to continue creating digital collage art prints, blending scanned painting and photography of natural forms.