Beth Sistrunk is a realist artist and teacher who excels in all things feminine–the female form, flowers, landscapes, sea shells, bottles of mysterious potions, fashion, and nature. Her hallmark, the rose petals that encircle and swirl around beautiful women, conveys a sense of timelessness and invites closer scrutiny. If you enjoy beautiful paintings, you will love the work of Beth Sistrunk.
Beth’s art made an impact on Naples Noteworthy. That’s why we’ve named Beth Sistrunk the Best Young Realist Artist in Naples for 2017.
Beth has won numerous awards for her art including the Florida winner of the Figure50.com National Showcase of Figurative Art in 2016, Best in Show in the November 2015 Bold Brush Painting Competition, and the Most Innovative Award in the National Oil & Acrylic Painter’s Society Fall 2015 International Online Exhibition. Her art has appeared in numerous publications, in both print and digital formats, and has been shown in many prestigious galleries. Beth received her training at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and also studied painting and drawing privately with Douglas Flynt.
Naples Noteworthy: When did you first start to paint or know you wanted to be an artist?
Beth Sistrunk: I have painted and created things during my entire life. When I had my first painting class during college I was very excited to pursue it as a profession. Before that I didn’t even know that it was an option and concurrently, other more academic avenues were expected of me by my family, so art was off the table. I continued to pursue art in my spare time. However, it was only during my thirties that art as a full time profession became an option. This is very much to the credit of my wonderfully supportive husband. I couldn’t do it without him.
Naples Noteworthy: How do you feel when you are painting?
Beth Sistrunk: Often times it is enjoyable, but most often frustrating as it is very difficult to paint the images that I am inspired to paint as well as I would like. Perhaps someday I will be able to create the art that is both technically proficient but with the emotional narrative substance that I desire.
Naples Noteworthy: What is your favorite type of medium to use?
Beth Sistrunk: Oil paint is my medium of choice. First, the colors are so alluring and can be layered and manipulated to create wonderful atmospheric effects. Second, I love the way that the different oil painting pigments feel under the brush. The smell of the walnut oil and the amount of time I have to make alterations before it dries also make oil appealing to me. I also love to alter the paint consistency with different viscosities of oil and or marble dust to achieve wonderfully different effects. The possibilities are endless.
Naples Noteworthy: Where do you get your inspiration for your paintings?
Beth Sistrunk: I find that inspiration is something that needs to be nurtured. Writing in a journal, listening to music, spending time thinking about what I want from my work as well as doing things that I enjoy are all important parts of keeping the creative mind in good working order. It is also beneficial to keep a photographic journal of things that I find beautiful. The photographic journal isn’t necessarily to make a painting from but to let the mind mull the images over; something new, beautiful and totally different often develops if the mind is given time.
Naples Noteworthy: What is your philosophy of life?
Beth Sistrunk: Good question; I think that I’m still trying to figure that out.
Naples Noteworthy: If you had to name one or two people who have been most influential in your life and in your art, who would they be, and why?
Beth Sistrunk: My husband Earl is definitely the most influential on both my life and art. He encourages me to follow my passion and dreams, whatever they may be. He is inspirational to me in many ways and is so amazingly supportive of me and my work. I could not do this without him and will forever adore and cherish him.
Naples Noteworthy: Where do you hope to be ten years from now and what do you hope to be doing?
Beth Sistrunk: I would like to be teaching apprentices and students in my new studio that is currently under construction. I hope to bring my students creative freedom through mastery of fundamental skills. I hope to help them on their journey to becoming the artists that they dream of being.
Naples Noteworthy: What brought you to Naples, Florida and what do you think of the city?
Beth Sistrunk: The warm weather and a past job in the financial advisory field originally brought me to Naples. I love it here. It’s beautiful.
Naples Noteworthy: What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
Beth Sistrunk: Find teachers and mentors whose work you admire and study with them. It is so valuable to be able to draw upon their experience and wisdom. Next, take the time to nurture your skills as well as your creative vision. Also, be yourself in your work like only you can. Let your passion and love for your materials and subject matter guide you on your personal path. It is through passion and unyielding desire to do your subject and ideas justice that you will be able to make your best and truest work.
Naples Noteworthy: Do you have any pastimes or activities you enjoy besides art?
Beth Sistrunk: I love to garden. Everything from landscape design, to researching and caring for plants is a wonderful way to spend the day outside. It’s all the more enjoyable when I get to garden with my husband. It’s peaceful and meditative work that I really enjoy. My husband and I also enjoy exploring the outdoors through hiking in places we have never been. It’s wonderfully serendipitous.
Naples Noteworthy: Who are some of your favorite artists?
Beth Sistrunk: There are so many, so I will be brief: John William Waterhouse, William Bouguereau, Abbott Handerson Thayer, Ingres, Pierre Auguste Cot, Elizabeth Vigée LeBrun, and Elizabeth Gardner to name but a few of my favorite artists.
Naples Noteworthy: If you could have one wish granted, what would it be?
Beth Sistrunk: That we all had the power to disapparate, a form of teleportation, used by the magically imbued characters in Harry Potter. When we needed a break from work, or to find a beautiful landscape for a painting, we could just imagine ourselves being at any destination of our choosing and we would be there in a blink of an eye.
– Finalist, Figurative Category, Art Renewal Center Annual International Salon
– Florida winner of the Figure 50, www.figure50.com
– Best in Show – November 2015 Bold Brush Painting Competition
– Most Innovative Award – National Oil & Acrylic Painter’s Society Fall 2015 International Online Exhibition
– The Creative Achievement Award, International Guild of Realism’s 10th Annual Exhibition, Principle Gallery, Alexandria, VA
– Top 150, top 10%, National Oil & Acrylic Painter’s Society Spring 2015 International Online Exhibition
– The Ganem Jewelry Creative Achievement Award, International Guild of Realism’s 8th Annual Exhibition, Tempe Center for the Arts, Tempe, AZ
– Finalist in the Art Renewal Center’s Annual Salon in Drawing
– Finalist in the Art Renewal Center’s Annual Salon in Still Life Painting
– Award of Merit in the National Oil & Acrylic Painters’ Society On-line International Exhibition
Selected Exhibition History
– Abend Gallery, 26th Annual Holiday Miniatures Group Show, Denver, CO
– Principle Gallery, Root to Bloom, Alexandria, VA
– The Lodge Gallery, Point of Origin, New York, NY
– Gallery 1261, International Guild of Realism 11th Annual International Juried Exhibition, Denver, CO
– Linus Galleries, All in Due Time Online Juried Exhibition, Los Angeles, CA
– Figure50, The National Online Juried Exhibition of Figurative Art, www.figure50.com
– Linus Galleries, Monochrome, Online Juried Exhibition, Los Angeles, CA
– Albany Museum of Art, Masterworks from the International Guild of Realism Museum Tour, Albany, GA
– Dacia Gallery, Five Year Anniversary Group Exhibition, New York, NY
– Richard J. Demato Gallery, Women Painting Women, Sag Harbor, NY
– Principle Gallery, International Guild of Realism: 10th Annual International Juried Exhibition, Alexandria, VA
– The R.W. Norton Art Gallery, International Guild of Realism Museum Tour, Shreveport, LA
– Appleton Museum of Art, International Guild of Realism Museum Tour, Ocala, FL
– Albany Museum of Art, International Guild of Realism Museum Tour, Albany, GA
– Bennington Center for the Arts, Winter Small Works, Bennington, VT
– Robert Lange Studios, International Guild of Realism: 9th Annual International Juried Exhibition, Charleston, NC
– Eisele Gallery of Fine Art, Oil Painters of America Eastern Regional Exhibition, Cincinnati, OH
– The Bennington Center for the Arts, Small Works, Bennington, VT
– The Baker Museum– Hayes Hall Galleries, Florida Contemporary Exhibition, Naples, FL
– Art Alliance Naples, Gallery Openings, Naples, FL
– Greenhouse Gallery, Salon International 2013: A Project of the Internat’l Museum of Contemporary Masters of Fine Art, San Antonio, TX
– Tempe Center for the Arts, International Guild of Realism: 8th Annual Juried Exhibition, Tempe, AZ
– The Richeson Gallery, Richeson 75 International Small Works Exhibition, Kimberly, WI
– Dunnegan Gallery of Fine Art, National Oil & Acrylic Painters’ Society: Best of America Exhibition, Bolivar, MO &
– The Vine Wine Bar & Gallery, National Oil & Acrylic Painters’ Society: Best of America Exhibition, Osage Beach/ Lake of the Ozarks, MO
– National Oil & Acrylic Painters’ Society, On-line International Exhibition
– Bennington Center for the Arts, Small Works, Bennington, VT
– Shirley Street Galleries & Studios, Gallery Openings, Naples, FL
– The Bennington Center for the Arts, Oil Painters of America Eastern Regional Exhibition, Bennington, VT
– Shirley Street Galleries & Studios, Gallery Openings, Naples, FL