Betty Grothe

Betty has been china painting for about ten years, strictly as a hobby. Her last teacher was Leila Rutherford in Tonopah, Arizona, where her and her husband, Paul, wintered until two years ago. Betty says that her teacher got her interested in lusters, but she has not been able to further her knowledge in that area because of a lack of teachers where she lives (a suburb of Montreal, Canada).

Paul very much admires Betty's work. But Betty protests that she is an amateur porcelain painter and that every thing she paints is for her own pleasure, which she keeps or gives away to friends or children who admire them. She says her husband is an admirer of everything she does, whether it be painting, cooking, dressing and anything anyone can think of. (lucky girl) Paul was a photographer and has 70 years experience in this field. He has photographed some of Betty's paintings and sent them to me. I think you will agree that Betty does do beautiful work.

If you would like to email Betty to let her know how you like her paintings, her email address is   You can click on the hyperlink below to send her email now.

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Here are some of Betty Grothe's Paintings.

Betty Grothe's Paintings

Cup and Saucer
Image Size: 28K

My very first effort on my own, after lessons, done free hand, and claimed by Paul to be his exclusively.

Tea Set
Image Size: 33K

I pounced this on with "Pompadour, fired, then free handed the flowers, with darker Pompadour and fired. Then filled in the design with lighter Pompadour, fired again. Not satisfied I covered the whole works with "Warm golden glow metallic", fired again finished it off by edging the design with gold and giving the final firing.

Jam or condiment jar and a "whatever plate"
Image Size: 25K

Penned free hand and fired. I liked doing this one as I love anything even vaguely oriental. Used Copenhagen Blue and transparent Grape, fired. Then the greens (can't remember which ones) added the butterflies (yellow) outlined everything in Gold before the final firing.

Chop Plate
Image Size: 70K

This chop plate(12") took me a year and about 40 firings. I worked at it when I felt like it (as I was probably doing other things) and kept hidden until completely finished. I shall always remember daughter Sally's remark, when I finally unveiled it. "Oh Mum can I inherit it? but not tomorrow!"
Oriental Lady
Image Size: 43K

At the end of our first winter in Arizona, I picked up some bottles of lusters, which I knew absolutely nothing about. I found very little info in my various books. So I proceeded to "play" on my own. Having no idea how they fired, but I was delighted with the results. I went over each colour (Canadian spelling) twice and probably three times. Hence "Oriental Lady" (ten inches) was my first "trial and error" with lusters. Paul and I like her, and she reminds me of the glorious trips I have taken to the Orient.
Image Size: 67K

This 10" vase is my favourite luster project. I did it in Sun City AZ with the guidance of my teacher, Leila Rutherford. I first applied wide bands of black, then wide bands of orange, leaving lots of white background in between. Then quickly before they could dry, I sprayed dispersing agent all over, then rotating it in all directions, up and down and sideways. Then fired and the vase came out looking as it does. Then with a palette knife, smeared raised paste top and bottom, then fired again. After which I painted the raised paste twice with gold, including the inside rim, and a last firing. I have since experimented using the same technique, and getting fascinating, and beautiful results. Silver with dark blue, halo copper with turquoise.
Candle Holders
Image Size: 46K

I did this pair of Greek style candle holders in lusters, using deep blue green copper and pearl. Using the stretchy narrow tape, to section off the colours, then peeling off before firing, I then flecked gold over the pearl parts. I like these and the effects.

Image Size: 57K

I think I goofed on this Cardinal, and sort of got fed up, so I decided it was a female, and did my own thing really playing around with the colours, using ordinary china paints and finally finishing it up by applying "golden yellow metallic" Actually it looks better than the picture
Second Oriental Lady
Image Size: 60K

This Oriental Lady (14") really drove me nuts as my eyesight was failing rapidly (Betty recently underwent cataract surgery) but I was determined to do it as a house gift for our hostess in Delray Beach, Forida, who has an oriental living room. It was all done in lusters using many colours as you can see, going over each colour three times. I guess I must have fired a total of 20 times. The only ordinary paint that I used was on her skin (flesh), hair (shiny black) and jewelry (gold). I was so glad to finish it, that I told myself "never again will I do figurines". Of course my two main critics, Paul and daughter Sally, thought it looked great and my friend in Delray just about cried over it, and practically sent out announcements. But then what do they know! Methinks that it is "tres Ordinaire".

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