Betty Merken

About the Artist

Artist Statement

The nature of painting drives the meaning of my work. The interplay between the physical, sensual activity of painting and the necessary intellectual and formal decisions which present themselves creates an ongoing dialogue within each work and among the works themselves.

My newest work explores the effect of a single color and its illumination. It is inspired by observations of the manner in which light affects color, with its passing movement and changes.

I am fascinated by the power of color to convey feelings and my intention as an artist is to reflect how color can evoke emotion and contemplation, allowing the viewer to become the subject of the work.

As a non-serial abstract painter, my work can result in strikingly different moods and meanings, with each painting becoming an entire story, or world unto itself.

I am attempting to coax poetry from paint, to transform my materials into metaphor.

Selected Collections

Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco CA
Alza Pharmaceuticals US Corporate Headquarters, Mt. View, CA
Ana Hotel Tokyo, Japan
Apax Partners San Francisco, CA
Bain and Co., Boston, MA
Bain and Co., San Francisco, CA
Barbara and Jan Muller, Naples, FL
Barclay’s Global Investors, San Francisco, CA
Bear Stearns & Co. New York, NY
Boeing Company Chicago, IL
Bon Marche Seattle, WA
Bullock’s Los Angeles, CA
Michael Casey Collection San Francisco, CA
Jackie and Peter Caswell Hillsbough, CA
Charles Schwab, Boston
Charles Schwab Corporation, San Francisco, CA (Charles Schwab, Chair,
Board of Trustees, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art)
Charles Schwab, NYC
Charles Schwab, Seattle, WA
Chicago Conrad Hilton Chicago, IL
Chubb, San Francisco, CA
Crain Communications Detroit, MI
Davison Art Center at Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT
Genentech, Inc., San Francisco, CA
General Electric Brussels, Belgium
Georgina Rice and Co., San Francisco, CA
Grand Hyatt Hotel Tokyo, Japan
Henry Ford III Collection MI
The Vivian and Gordon Gilkey Center for Graphic Arts Portland Art Museum
Ruth and Jerry Gottlieb Menlo Park, CA
Mr. and Mrs. E.G. Hamilton Dallas, TX
John Green and Martin Fox San Jose, CA
Goldman Sachs & Co. San Francisco, CA
Grunwald Center for the Graphic Arts, UCLA Hammer Museum Los Angeles, CA
Hallmark Cards, Inc. Kansas City, MO
Harbor Benedetti Los Angeles, CA
Harbor Court Hotel San Francisco, CA
Hewlett Packard Foundation San Francisco, CA
Industry Club Tokyo, Japan
Intercontinental Hotel Houston, TX
Kell Capitol Stamford, CN
Long Beach Museum of Art Long Beach, CA
Marcus and Millichap Palo Alto, CA
Jonathan Morgan Collection San Francisco, CA
Neiman Marcus Corp. Dallas, TX
James Niven San Francisco, CA
Nokia Mt. View, CA
Nordstrom Seattle, WA / Scottsdale, AZ / Costa Mesa, CA / Palo Alto, CA
Northwest Venture Partners Palo Alto, CA
Oregon Health Sciences University Art Collection Portland, OR
Palazzo Resort, Las Vegas, NV Paramount Studios Los Angeles, CA
Pfizer, Inc. New York, NY
Redwood Trust, Inc. Mill Valley, CA
Schwab, International
Scios, Inc. Fremont, CA
Sebastian and Sons Napa Valley, CA
Sheraton Singapore Hotel Presidential Suite Singapore
Spear Street Capitol San Francisco, CA
UCLA Medical Center Neuroscience Center, Westwood, CA
URS Corporation San Francisco, CA
VeriSign, Inc. Palo Alto, CA
Venetian Resort, Macau, China
Wentworth Hauser and Violich, LLP, San Francisco, CA
Westin Kauai Surf Hotel Kauai
Westin Maui Hotel Maui
Westin Peachtree Plaza Atlanta, GA
Westin Times Square Hotel New York, NY
Wolfgang Puck Cafe Tokyo, Japan
ZAK Architecture San Francisco, CA
Numerous additional private and public collections


Workshop in Printmaking, Crown Point Press, San Francisco, CA
Bachelor of Arts, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Graduate work in Art, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA
Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, Deer Isle, ME
Penland School of Crafts, Penland, NC


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