Lifelong artist shares her creations with others
Ever since she was a child, Beti Kristof knew she would be creative. Today, Kristof has made her dreams come true by becoming a celebrated artist and published author. She has also just accomplished another goal, finishing her screenplay.
Born and raised in Los Angeles as an only child, Kristof used art to entertain herself. Her life was enveloped in a creative world, which began by drawing using pencils. She continued to work on her natural abilities through high school and discovered the great power of art in her life.
After graduating, Kristof studied art at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, focusing on illustration. She would then move to Hawaii to study painting with two mentors, Eva and Americo Makk. “It’s because of them and their influence that I wanted to study art in Italy,” Kristof said.
Young and adventurous, she moved to Florence, Italy, to expand her education at the Studio Arts Center International. She would also look up to master artists in Italy and was fortunate to find them. One was Joseph Sheppard, who is also an author of 17 books including “Learning from the Old Masters.” Kristof was honored to be able to study with him in his studio.
The other artist was Madam Simi, who was 90 years old at the time and teaching from her bed. “We had to bring our drawings to her for her to critique them,” Kristoff explained. “But she is an amazing artist, and I learned so much.”
Also while in Italy, Kristof was able to use sketchbooks and documents that were archived in basements of some of its museums. She was able to explore the various famous works that Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci had done. As a growing artist, being able to physically touch these pieces was a truly remarkable experience for her. Her time in Italy truly enhanced and elevated her own work.
Now based in Las Vegas, Kristof’s works are shared and shown by collectors and galleries from all over the world. Working in oils, her art is mainly figurative, floral and animal portraits.
Her coffee table book, “Persephone and Polka Dot Shoes,” features 80 original artworks and accompanying words of inspiration. Kristof wants her book to provide encouragement for those who read it and view her art as another way to express hope. Art has also always been a way of escape and relaxation for Kristof, and she wants to share that with others.
Kristof is also venturing toward art therapy and believes it aids people with healing and relaxation. According to Kristof, art therapy is a very healthy way to express emotions and deal with difficult situations for children and adults. During painting classes, she enjoys seeing her students relax because of the focus that they put into their work. She witnesses how participants are amazed and proud of their personal artwork. With the intrusions of life, taking time to create something beautiful is a rare experience for most people.
Art centers Kristof and lets her reveal her heart and soul through her creations. There has never been a time that she was without art or could be away from it. Benefitting others also encourages her to keep working.
In the Southern Nevada community, artists were invited to paint on sculptures, and she was selected. Kristof also participates in the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital annual gala held in Memphis. “I am honored to represent the community of Las Vegas and have my work be a part of this great organization.” She painted the sculpture for the 50th anniversary for St. Jude and will be participating in 2016.
Kristof has partnered with the Susan G. Komen for the Cure (komen.org), offering her giclees on its website with a portion of the sale benefitting the foundation. She will be teaching at Eccoci Boca Park on Dec. 10 and will offer a drawing class at Desert Art Supply on Dec. 19.
To get updates on Kristof’s workshops, showings and work as well as more information on her book “Persephone and Polka Dot Shoes,” visit betikristofart.com, like on Facebook and follow on Twitter.