We had the good fortune of connecting with Betsy Cole and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Betsy, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Do You Like to Take Risks? Risk-taking is a challenge that makes me anxious and brings up certain fears, yet it has created many wonderful changes in my life. In spite of the difficulties brought on by life’s events, it has been important to move forward to find inner happiness. After my divorce I had an avocation as a decorator but no real career so I had to jump in and create a real business. I was unable to go to school due to repercussions from an accident so I hired a designer to teach me what I needed to know. I also hung around job sites pestering the tradesmen who were happy to share their information. This process of learning certainly wasn’t the norm but it was amazing and it worked. Although my business grew I needed to face the inner demons that had led to difficulties in my life and my divorce. This was all very demanding, tough and time consuming work but needed to happen in order to find happiness. Years after my business was in full swing, I was travelling in the US for work but had an itch to travel abroad. Heading to the desired destinations brought up feelings of fear and being anxious about all that could go wrong along the way. The risks were worth the rewards. All my life I had wanted to paint and finally decided I had better give it a try or I would pass on without ever attempting my passion. This was no small task, since with any art form one feels extremely vulnerable. I would not share my work and it was difficult to find classes that inspired me. Overall is was extremely frustrating. Finally on my first trip to Bali, I met an abstract artist who instilled in me the self-confidence and courage necessary to pursue what I had always wanted to do. Three trips back led to amazing introspection and transformation in my painting which totally changed my life. After traveling alone to Bali and other Asian countries and creating two new businesses, I look back and wonder where I found the courage to take all these risks. In spite of all the fears and misgivings I had about moving on in my life, every experience had its unique value for growth and change. It is often hard to believe a risk can be an opportunity. I wouldn’t have it any other way. How my life changed.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Most of this question was answered in my first writing. I didn’t know questions were to follow and couldn’t move forward. I am an abstract oil painting who paints my feelings. I meditate before I paint, then select colors reflecting my feelings of the moment and begin. There is no planning, thinking, judgment or expectations. What comes is in me that day and I accept what comes as what is meant to be. I have recently been experimenting a lot and trying cold wax medium. I love this as the oil paint is even more like butter and delicious to work with. I prefer to paint wet on wet which means there is no drying time between layers and I keep adding paint and mixing on the canvas or palette. This keeps me in centered in the moment even though some paintings can take many days.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
This is a difficult time since we have been isolated for so long and many things have changed. I would check out restaurants suiting her tastes but today many unfortunately have closed. This is hard to state at this time but a few restaurants would be Santos, Bacco in North Boulder, and Murphys on Iris for just casual. We would head to the Denver Art Museum and the Van Gogh exhibition that is coming (timed accordingly). This will be amazing. A trip to the mountains is a must which I would prefer in the summer rather than the winter and head to Vail as it offers wonderful food, shopping and hiking. It is always special to have quiet time to talk and catch up on our lives.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I owe credit to Wayan Kaja, an abstract artist in Bali. He not only encouraged me to paint and pursue my passion but helped me dispel all my fears.. Credit also goes to the designer I hired so many years ago and all the tradesmen who were willing to share their knowledge with me while working on the job.
Linkedin: Betsy Cole