By Kathy Collins

Betty Fairbanks of Thonotosassa is a fantastic artist and teacher. Fairbanks is experienced and creative, and she imparts her knowledge of art to her students in art classes she offers, and in demos she performs for area arts organizations. Fairbanks does not just give a class where art is reproduced; she educates her students in the fundamentals of art.

“I love teaching art. I tell my students why they are doing something so that they can apply that knowledge to future projects and to any medium,” explained Fairbanks.

Fairbanks educates her students about art. She teaches them about the color wheel and how to use a value scale. A color wheel is a circle which shows the relationship of the primary colors (red, yellow and blue) and secondary colors (green, orange and purple). A value scale is a strip that ranges from white to black with shades of gray in between. The shades of gray make up the “meat” of a painting or drawing and help create the illusion of three dimension.

This is the kind of theory that students in art schools and university are learning, but Fairbanks is teaching it to children, teens and adults. Her classes are only $15 for one and a half hours, and they are taught in her home, which is situated on beautiful Lake Thonotosassa.

Fairbanks has been an artist all her life. She has taken classes at the University of South Florida. In addition to teaching art, she does commissions and is a long time member of the Brandon League of Fine Arts. She is also a member of Studio Friday, a group of talented artists who meet every Friday to create art together. Fairbanks said, “Art is important. It is a form of self-expression. There is value to it.”

The Seffner-Mango Public Library displays some of Fairbanks works. Her subject matter is Florida nature. While her favorite medium is watercolor, she is quite adept at many media.

To contact Fairbanks and inquire about taking her instructive art classes or having a commission done or inviting her to do a demo for your organization, call 986-3632.

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