Hello and welcome! You have landed on the website for Bette J. Kauffman's photography. I hope you enjoy looking as much as I enjoy engaging the world through my camera.

Blog

Black & White Wins

I’ll never get over black and white! Before the days of digital, making black and white prints in a wet darkroom was one of my specialties. I had a bit of a reputation among fellow journalism students at the University of Iowa where I earned my B.A. degree. One day a classmate suggested that I could make a decent print from a cardboard negative! I doubt that, but can’t help but be proud of the sentiment. The earliest digital printers were not good for black & white. Most prints were afflicted with a magenta cast. Over and over, I heard…

Happy Places

For the 3rd year running, the mayor of West Monroe has mounted an art show in the lobby outside her office on the 2nd floor of the West Monroe city hall. And… for the 3rd year running, I am happy to be in the show! This year’s theme is “Your Happy Place.” Before I moved to Louisiana some 20+ years ago, the idea that swamp could be a “happy place” for me was…, well, a non-starter. Period. And I think I have said before in this space that coming to think of Louisiana’s swamps as “beautiful” took a few years….

Michelangelo’s Sisters

Did you know there was a time when women were not allowed to attend the same art schools that men attended? A time when a woman studying how to paint the human figure by painting a nude model was simply unthinkable? In fact, I do not know if Michelangelo had sisters, but I use that for my presentation title because many, many very accomplished women artists of the past were able to become artists only because they were the sisters and daughters of men artists. And some of them did learn to paint nudes! Did you know that one of…

My best?

Well, so far! At least as measured by invitation into juried art shows. I’ve been seriously submitting my photography to competitive art shows since soon after I retired from full-time teaching in summer 2017. Calculating an overall rate of acceptance is impossible because I don’t have complete records for the first couple of years, but I can say that in 2021, my work was invited into a bit under half of the shows to which I applied. More interesting to me: I noticed that whereas some images got invited more than once, others I thought just as good or better…

Off to the Midwest

The Midwest likes my art. Makes sense. I’m a Midwesterner by birth. And still talk like one, according to my Southerner friends! Yesterday I sent Peace Offering II on its way to “Art of Photography 2022,” hosted by the Prairie Village City Council at 7700 Mission Road, Prairie Village, Kansas. This is their 5th annual juried photography competition. It opens May 9 and runs through the end of June. This year’s juror was Angie Jennings. Two pieces made it into the “April Group Art Show” at the Jones Gallery in the Crossroads arts district of Kansas City, Missouri. David Jones’…