Beth Foley

b. 1951


Beth Foley is often described as a narrative painter because every painting she creates includes people almost always put in some sort of strange, awkward, or ominous situation. Most of the time the artist captures a moment that occurs somewhere between the onset of a problem and its resolution. In fact, while the literary quality of her work can't be missed, the things she depicts will lead as much of a mystery to the artist as to anyone else.
Each painting takes a great deal of time to complete. Working on panels, Foley begins with a pencil drawing, over which she applies very thin successive coats of paint, from a dark initial shade through progressively lighter ones. It takes a long time and a great deal of attention, but in the end this approach gives her great control of nuance and allows the artist to bring each image to crystal clarity. Beth Foley likes to be classified as a realist but not a photorealist. It is her intention to depict the character, object or person to reveal what makes them unique, which is much different from reproducing images only as they appear.