Betsy Dillard Stroud Biography

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Betsy Dillard Stroud, AWS, D.F. NWS (Contemporary) Artist, Writer, Lecturer, Betsy Dillard Stroud grew up in Rocky Mount, Virginia, born into a family straight from the pages and a mixture of Tennesee Williams and Noel Coward. She began painting at the age of eight when an insightful uncle gave her a set of oils and suggested a tutor. As a student at Stuart Hall Episcopal Girl’s School in Staunton, Virginia, she was fortunate to study with Nancy Jo Ferguson as her sole pupil for the two years she went there. Stroud is a signature member and Dolphin Fellow of the American Watercolor Society in New York and a signature member of the National Watercolor Society in California, the Rocky Mountain Watermedia Honor Society in Colorado, The Western Federation of Watercolor Society, a Royal Scorpion and life Member of the and a former president of the Southwestern Watercolor Society headquartered in Dallas, Texas. A nationally acclaimed and award winning artist, Stroud is also a former art historian who received her M. A. in art history from the University of Virginia. While at the University of Virginia, she continued her study of art by painting with two local artists, Morton Traylor, a former student of Rico Le Brun and Irmgard Arvin, who was the assistant of Maroger. She had completed all her course work for the doctorate and passed the orals when she wrote her first book which changed her life. The book titled Coming Hither—Going Hence is amemoir of her uncle, Colonel Herbert Nash Dillard, Jr. who was a beloved professor at the Virginia Military Institute. Through circumstances associated with the publication of that book, she met and married her last husband and moved to Dallas, Texas and began painting full time. Though the marriage did not survive, her painting career thrived. Now, Stroud resides in Phoenix, Arizona where her paintings continue to reflect her love of the west and southwest, her passion for certain subject matter, the symbolism from her life and her study of art history.

Betsy Dillard Stroud was one of only 28 American artists from the entire United States who was invited to exhibit in Nanjing, China in the First International Exhibition of Watermedia Masters in November, 2007. Her paintings are in hundreds of collections all over the United States and are in international collections in Japan, England, Canada, Australia, and the Bahamas. She is the author of Painting from the Inside Out (North Light, 2002) and a Dutch edition of her book was published in Holland in 2005. Her most recent book on creativity: The Artist’s Muse: Unlock the Door for Your Creativity (also published by North Light) was released in December, 2006. She is also a professional magazine writer, and has written for major art magazines since 1987. Stroud served as the former Associate Editor of International Artist Magazine from 1998-2003 and was a contributing editor to Watercolor Magic Magazine, (now Watercolor Artist Magazine) for which she wrote a continuing article on creativity for five years.

Since 1987, she has judged over sixty four International, National, Regional, and State Shows including the American Watercolor Society in New York, the National Watercolor Society in California, and the Juror of Awards for the International Competitions of both The Artist Magazine and Watercolor Magic (now Watercolor Artist) Magazine. She will judge the abstract/experimental contest for the annual Artists Magazine international competition in 2015. Most recently in 2014, she was the Juror of Selection and Awards for the First Arts Festival in Steamboat Springs, Colorado and was one of the jurors of selection for the International Watercolor Exhibition in Thessaloniki, Greece, where she is an invited exhibitor.   At present, she is writing her third book for North Light due out in 2015, celebrating watercolor and watermedia artist-- past and present. and she is also wrote a third of a book on the world renowned painter Joseph Raffael in which they discuss his paintings and his philosophy.  Its publication date is set for October, 2015. She has won many awards all across the United States, including the High Winds Medal in the American Watercolor Society, the Edgar A. Whitney Award in the Southwestern Watercolor Society, and her most recent award is the 2014 Dr. David Gale Award in the Western Federation of Watercolor Societies Exhibition. She also served on the Board of Directors for the American Watercolor Society from 2005-2006.

Betsy Dillard Stroud is an accomplished lecturer and has achieved the International Toastmasters Silver and Competent Leader status. She is a member and former President of Park Central Toastmasters in Phoenix.

Biographical Information:

Interview with Betsy Dillard Stroud, 2014

California Watercolor