Artist Spotlights Series:
Beth Hetrick, Painter

Welcome to the Artist Spotlights Series, a collection of interviews with local artists. I am pleased to introduce you to Beth Hetrick, an artist currently living and working on San Juan Island Washington. Read on to learn about Beth's thoughts on making artwork, creativity, and artists she admires. Thanks for visiting!

If you like this page, read more interviews at Artist Spotlights.

Beth Hetrick, Madrona Night, San Juan Islands Washington.
Madrona Night

Please share a brief biography, including where you’re from and how you got started as an artist.

I have been creating artwork for my entire life, from the time I was a little girl painting on the beach in Laguna, Ca with my mom and sis, our oils in our small compact wooden boxes, propped up in the sand, waves and sandcrabs at our toes. Moving to teach here on SJ Island, and also raising our 7 year old son here 23 years ago was a great step, and we have never looked back. Evan is an artist as well, and to this day we all find that painting is a gift that is one to be highly cherished, a place where time truly does "stand still". My husband is a carpenter, and he also plays guitar, so we find our interests combine very well.

Beth Hetrick, Swan Pair, San Juan Islands Washington.
Swan Pair

Why do you do what you do?
This is an outlet, a pressure valve, an expression of that change.

What motivates you to begin a new project, and what keeps you going?
The best motivation is the fun and the enjoyment of finding out where the latest idea will take me. It is a mystery, and one that never gets boring or old.

Beth Hetrick, A Big Catch, San Juan Islands Washington.
A Big Catch

How much time do you spend doing your work every week?
I work about five to ten hours a week, now that I have the time, but I am a procrastinator, so I work best, sadly, under pressure. I get myself painting in my sleep, and then I just have to go down to the studio and see where that takes me.

How do you describe your style?
I am introspective, love humor, and love beauty in all forms.

Beth Hetrick, Spring Time, San Juan Islands Washington.
Spring Time

Describe yourself in 3 words.
I am introspective,highly socially oriented, and love humor--to my own demise--and would not change any one of these three.

Beth Hetrick, A Full Load, San Juan Islands Washington.
A Full Load

Has your work changed over time? How?
My work is changing a LOT lately, and truly, I can not define why. I think we all go through big changes, emotionally and spiritually, in our lives.

What is “creativity”?
Creativity is the art of expression--in any and all forms.

Beth Hetrick, Alpaca Winter, San Juan Islands Washington.
Alpaca Winter

What artist(s) would you most like to be compared to?
I have enjoyed the French Impressionists and love Mary Cassatt, Van Gogh, and Gauguin. I also enjoy Marc Chagall. The Dreamscapes this winter came from exploring his work. The American artist, Richard Diebenkorn, is a present favorite and I am starting a series of abstract landscapes right now.

Beth Hetrick, Cattle Point, San Juan Islands Washington.
Cattle Point

If there was no chance of ever being paid, would you still do your work?
I would and often do work without any payment--that is the frosting on the cake--not the cake itself--probably true of all creatives.

What jobs have you done, other than being an artist?
I taught all grades K-12 for thirty years, and the last 8 years of my career I had the extreme pleasure of teaching art to MS and HS students at SSIS.

What do you like/dislike about the art world?
I think my favorite thing about the art world is that it never stays the same, it is always new, in flux, changing, growing, moving, evolving--just like the planet!!

Beth Hetrick, Flamingoes, San Juan Islands Washington.

What role, if any, does an artist play in society?
I believe the artist is vital to any healthy society, where the soul of the culture truly resides. When students are stuck, and we all get there, often, art proved to be the transport, the key to finding oneself again, once more.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I see myself here, painting away, but traveling again, at least one big trip a year, and assisting in community development projects yearly.

Beth Hetrick, Dusk Island Light, San Juan Islands Washington.
Dusk Island Light

Any advice for aspiring artists?
I would advise aspiring artists to put the old judge that sits right above our shoulders, waiting for us to create and grow, to REST. We all have one. It is the ego, the five year old, telling us to behave.

Beth Hetrick, Clark Farm, San Juan Islands Washington.
Clark Farm

Beth Hetrick, Field of Poppies, San Juan Islands Washington.
Field of Poppies

Beth Hetrick, Snowberries, San Juan Islands Washington.

Beth Hetrick, Lavender Farm, San Juan Islands Washington.
Lavender Farm

This interview with Beth Hetrick for the Artist Spotlights Series was completed on May 11, 2012. For more information about Beth and her work, please visit her website.

Read more Artist Spotlights:
Robin Atkins, Patti Barker, Yvonne Buijs-Mancuso, Cinda Sue Dow, Peggy Sue McRae, Jan Murphy, Kevin Roth, Tom Small, Lewis Spaulding, Nancy Spaulding, Margaret Thorson, Virginia Van Camp, Paula West.

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