Beth Fischer’s love of light, color, and art reach back to her childhood when she spent Saturdays at her beloved Cincinnati Art Museum learning to draw. As a child she loved the feel of chalk on paper as she drew trees. Later, she would be inspired by artists Mary Cassatt, Toulouse Lautrec, Maxfield Parish, William De Kooning, Andrew Wyeth, Kathe Kollwitz, and various artists and schools such as the Impressionists and Abstract Expressionism. Through her mother and the feminist movement, she was sensitized to the world’s oppressed people and would create art reflecting these concerns.
She studied at Gebhardt Art School in Cincinnati under the mentorship of Joe Peter and Jack Meanwell. Beth also studied painting at Columbia College in MO. Since moving to Seattle, then Olympia, she has had the opportunity to study with numerous Northwest, sumi-e, and printmaking artists. Beth has exhibited in solo and group shows both in Ohio and Washington.
While always painting and creating graphic art, she primarily earned her living as an expressive-art psychotherapist, meditation & qigong teacher, and massage therapist. However, since 2010, she has dedicated herself to her career as a painter in her cozy Olympia, WA studio.
The act of mark making, which is the root of painting, is an act of staying present to the unfolding of one mark, followed by another mark. The act of creating with this present tense focus is a reflection of Beth’s lifetime appreciation of Asian cultures. Asian art has greatly influenced her painting. Her sumi landscapes have been inspired by the work of C.C. Wang.
An example of this blend of painting and Buddhism can be seen in her love of flower painting. The lotus flower, one of her favorite subjects, is one of the most ancient and deepest symbols of our planet. The roots of a lotus are in the mud, the stem grows up through the water, and the heavily scented flower lies pristinely above the water, basking in the sunlight. This pattern of growth signifies the progress of the soul from the primeval mud of materialism, through the waters of experience, and into the bright sunshine of enlightenment. It is this enlightened nature that the Buddha was offering when he simply held up a flower in a wordless sermon. Our innate enlightened nature is reflected in the colors, raw grace, and beauty of a flower.
Beth’s work includes watercolors, acrylics, monotypes, collage, multimedia as well as her Spirit Doll Sculptures. She invites commissions. Do you have a favorite mountain range, flower, photo that you would like to see as a painting? Or, would you love to have a Spirit Doll created for you – one that could symbolize a life transition, a personal passage, or a cultural inspiration?