My first art-related memory is of a project in Kindergarten. We were in small groups and we traced the contour of one of the children lying down on a long sheet of banner paper. We were making angels. Whether we were helped with drawing the outline of the wings or did that ourselves I don’t remember, but I do remember the feeling of shock and outrage when one of my fellow students started to colour in one of the wings with brown. This was wrong, and I said so.
This memory stands out because I’ve always been very particular and felt sure about the way things should look. For myself, obviously—since Kindergarten I have learned that other people have their own ideas. I know when a collage or painting is right and I know when what I’ve done doesn’t cut it, though I might be hard pressed to explain the distinction.
But that’s only one small aspect to art making.
An artist statement is supposed to explain why the artist makes art, but in my case I don't have a clear answer. Because that’s who I am? Because I was born that way? Because it calms me, and other things don’t. Because when I'm producing art the irritating, pestering functions of my brain shut down and something much more mysterious and elemental takes over. Because, according to my Grandmother, I was “drawing from the time I could hold a pencil” (but who wasn’t at that stage?).
I have a degree in Fine Art, with Distinction, from Concordia University in Montréal (1989). I was going to study languages, and/or psychology and world religions, but in a moment of madness I switched to Fine Arts. After graduating I eventually settled in Victoria, BC where my husband and I raised a stellar daughter. Lack of time and space compelled me to explore collage, and I did that for years. In 2015 I returned to painting with a vengeance. I also like taking photos, singing, writing, and reading.
Thanks for being here.
I was already a captive audience member of B.A.'s ink paintings as her "100 Days of The Artist is Present" was wrapping up. Then, keeping with a similar tone and style, these musicians started surfacing in the "Loved Ones" series. When one of my dearest musical loves growing up, Nina Simone, was posted, I had a sudden physical reaction and seconds after seeing it sent a private message asking if it was still available for sale. It was. I was as relieved as I was excited. She has been on my wall now for nearly two years, and still, every time I lock eyes with her, I'm flooded with that same breathtaking feeling I had when I first saw her. I am lit up by her fierceness, her passion- in music and in human rights. Nina lives!
Betty-Ann is my favourite artist. Her collages are beautiful. Beautiful and confusing as hell... I wish I had all of them. Her portraits are startling and capture the essence of her subject in a way that's so compelling it's impossible to describe. I don't know a lot about art, but I know what makes me feel stuff. Betty-Ann's art makes me feel stuff right down to my bones, and that's why it's on my wall. The Joni Mitchell portrait is the first piece of original art I've ever owned, and I feel so lucky to have it.
B.A.'s works vary from whimsical and funny to beautiful and inspirational. As a musician I love the Iggy Pop portrait we purchased from B.A. He hangs on the wall and gives me that "Iggy" look to remind me to be creative and daring, and maintain a lust for life. Consumer products and fashions come and go, but original art lasts forever and with the timeless quality of B.A.'s pieces I feel sure that they'll be prized within our family for many, many years to come. Betty-Ann's pieces are always fairly priced considering the time and incredible talent put into each and every one- keeping her work affordable allows us to build our collection of original art, which we cherish deeply.
Stephen Bailey and Nadine Lucas
I bought two high-quality prints at a Victoria show, a Joni Mitchell for me and a Jimi Hendrix for my son. We're in love with them. I'm really astonished by Lampman's recent portraits of famous people. Authentic, not canned. Personal yet iconic. Interacting with Betty-Ann at the show was a humble honouring. She respected our joy in the purchase and we respected her work.
I am so thrilled to have a portrait from Betty-Ann's "Loved Ones" series of one of my icons, Nina Simone, up in my home. Betty-Ann has a talent for capturing the spirit and composure of her subjects. While her likenesses are arresting and accurate, I can't help but also see the grace and style of the artist herself in the images.
B.A. Lampman's work holds my gaze each time I pass it hanging in our home. I find myself both comforted by the familiarity of the iconic image and delighted by the exquisite quality of the portraiture. Perhaps what I like the most is how I am pushed by the edge created in the way the ink moves about the paper. It is that edge that consistently draws me to B.A.'s work; taking what we know well and making a place below the surface for questions.
I am the proud owner of B.A. Lampman's portrait of Toshiro Mifune from her "Certain People" series. It comes as no surprise to me that most people who walk into my living room for the first time ask about the painting- he's striking and he's got attitude; he watches over the room without overpowering it.
My husband and I went to one of Betty-Ann’s shows at Polychrome a few years back. We wandered around separately having a good look at the her pieces displayed on the wall. When we met back up we realized we both loved the mixed media collage "Losing Game" best. For me, it resonated for a few reasons - one being that I love dogs and I’m always drawn to artists’ renderings of them; two is that I took an on-line ‘what kind of dog would you be’ survey not long before the show and I was apparently a Sheltie; and three, because it’s beautiful. It hangs in our bedroom and in the daytime I can see all of its detail and colour and texture and at night when the light is low, I get to appreciate its delicate lightness and outlines. We bring people into our bedroom just to show them the art in there.