Betsy Karasik

As a child, I was captivated by the paintings of the French naïve painter, Henri Rousseau. Although I was known as the “class artist” throughout grade school, concerns about social justice and the environment caused me to pursue a legal career. I practiced law until 1998 and learned first hand from litigating insurance unfair claims practices and medical negligence cases how badly this country needs health care reform. I also deeply regret the negative impact humans have had on the environment, and support many causes dedicated to conservation and humane treatment of animals. I have donated dozens of pieces to charity fundraisers and am happy to consider requests.

People often ask me how I would describe my style, and I can only say that the majority of my work does not fit neatly into a single genre. One influence that is quite apparent in some pieces is Asian art; my parents lived in Japan and I grew up surrounded by the glorious screens, woodblock prints and ceramics they had brought back.

I have always felt the pull of nature, and sought to conjure the natural world in my paintings. While my fascination with biodiversity and the minute details of natural forms, such as flowers, insects, reptiles, and seashells, is the starting point for most of my pieces, I do not aspire to be a scientific illustrator. Instead, my interests include expanding the traditional notion of trompe l’oeil (a French term describing a realistic style of painting that creates the optical illusion of three dimensionality), and creating unusual still life compositions informed by trompe l’oeil, fantasy, and surrealism.

I am largely self taught, although I have studied with several very gifted Washington area artists including Annette Polan (portraiture), Patrick Kirwin (realism and illusion), and Mary del Popolo (color). I work in my Dupont Circle studio, and also enjoy spending time in the Blue Ridge Mountains at the farm of my partner of fifteen years, Bob Fener. We have been adopted by eight cats.

I accept commissions, including portraits and pet portraits. For more information please visit www.betsykarasik.com

Products by Betsy Karasik

The following products include artwork and/or writing by Betsy Karasik. Most products are a collaboration of the wonderful artists and writers who have contributed to Acorn Designs over the years.

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Atmospheric Nostalgia Notecard

Atmospheric Nostalgia Journal

$16.00$17.00

Atmospheric Nostalgia Butterflies are powerful symbols in many cultures, often believed to represent material or spiritual transformation. In Greek, the word psyche means both "butterfly" and "soul." Butterflies start life as eggs that hatch into caterpillars (larvae). As the caterpillars grow, they molt (shed their skins) several times until their final molt produces a chrysalis,…

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Atmospheric Nostalgia Notecard

Atmospheric Nostalgia Notecard

$3.00

Atmospheric Nostalgia Butterflies are powerful symbols in many cultures, often believed to represent material or spiritual transformation. In Greek, the word psyche means both "butterfly" and "soul." Butterflies start life as eggs that hatch into caterpillars (larvae). As the caterpillars grow, they molt (shed their skins) several times until their final molt produces a chrysalis,…

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Cover image - Cats Mini Journal

Cats Mini Journal

$6.50

The natural skills of body and mind enable cats to lead lives of peaceful communication, exploration and fearlessness. In common myth, cats are said to have nine lives, to be able to survive risk and to experience enough to satisfy many lifetimes. We see magic and mysticism in cats, in their own abilities and in…

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Cats Notecard

Cats Notecard

$3.00

The natural skills of body and mind enable cats to lead lives of peaceful communication, exploration and fearlessness. In common myth, cats are said to have nine lives, to be able to survive risk and to experience enough to satisfy many lifetimes. Cats have especially keen senses. Visually, cats are sensitive to contrast in light…

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Cats Small Journal

$13.00$14.00

The natural skills of body and mind enable cats to lead lives of peaceful communication, exploration and fearlessness.  In common myth, cats are said to have nine lives, to be able to survive risk and to experience enough to satisfy many lifetimes. We see magic and mysticism in cats, in their own abilities and in…

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Cover image - Crows Mini Journal

Crows Mini Journal

$6.50

As members of the Corvid family which includes the jays, magpies and ravens, crows are considered to be among the most adaptable birds in the world. Because of their coal black plumage, large size, harsh garrulous notes and frequent appearance in the open they are one of our best-known American birds. Unfortunately the crow has…

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King of the Pumpkins Notecard

King of the Pumpkins Journal

$16.00$17.00

King of the Pumpkins There was once a very handsome and intelligent orange tabby cat named Pumpkin. Like all cats, Pumpkin enjoyed wandering the fields, exploring and hunting for mice. And, like all cats, he had excellent nighttime vision; a bit of faint starlight or a ray of moonlight was all he needed to see…

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Still Life Notecard

Still Life Journal

$16.00$17.00

Still Life with Sunflowers, Giant African Land Snails, and Comet Moth The sunflower is not actually a single flower, but a compound flower consisting of a cluster of approximately 2,000 individual flowers growing together. Bees love its pollen and the dried heads provide an excellent source of bird seed. Native Americans used the sunflower for…

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