My paintings are a spontaneous occurrence, born out of the experience, but maturing reflexively in the process of creation. My technique is controlled improvisation. Gravity is my medium. Images are caught with intent.”
Bette Ridgeway

Celebrated for her large-scale, luminous poured canvases, Bette Ridgeway has devoted five decades to developing her unusual pouring technique; garnering international recognition in the process. Born in Tupper Lake, a small village in the Adirondack Mountains in New York, she has traveled the globe; studying, painting, teaching and exhibiting her work, while simultaneously immersing herself in the customs and colors of the diverse cultures of Africa, Australia, Europe, Asia, Mexico and South America. She studied and taught painting during lengthy stays in Antananarivo, Madagascar; Canberra, Australia; and Santiago, Chile.

Her mentor Paul Jenkins (1923-2012), the acclaimed Abstract Expressionist, encouraged the artist in 1979 to work large, eliminate subject matter, and focus on color, space and time. Ridgeway followed his advice and has developed and refined her signature technique. “Color is my subject and my muse,” says Ridgeway. Located in Santa Fe, NM since the mid-1990s, Ridgeway is represented by numerous galleries and has been shown in over 80 gallery and museum exhibitions, internationally. Her work is included in many public and private collections.

Her recent awards include the 2023 Leonardo DaVinci International Prize, the Caravaggio International Prize 2022, the Michelangelo International Prize 2021, and “Top 60 Contemporary Masters 2017” by Art Tour International Magazine In addition, she won the Oxford University Alumni Prize at the “Art of the Mind” exhibition at the Chianciano Art Museum in Tuscany. She has been published in noteworthy art journals and catalogues such as Artfolio 2022, the Monk Magazine, UK, Escape Art Review Special Edition, London, UK; Women’s Essence: a concomitant juried exhibition at the 58th Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy; the inaugural edition of the London Art Biennale 2013, London, England, United Kingdom.

Today we can consider the artist Bette Ridgeway as the one and only true heir of Paul Jenkins: her mentor and teacher.  Ridgeway’s painting is dynamic and rhythmic; like the most “enlightened” of contemporary composers, Bette traces on canvas what is her ideal score. There is a tacit harmony of color and movement which, through the elegance of the castings, leads the viewer to question the true meaning of art.”

– Dr. Salvatore Russo, art critic, publisher and curator in Rome, Italy
(excerpt from a critical review in 2022)


Bette Ridgeway is best known for her large-scale, luminous poured canvases that push the boundaries of light, color and design. Her youth spent in the beautiful Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York and her extensive global travel filled have informed her colorful palette. For the past two decades, the high desert light of Santa Fe, NM has fueled Ridgeway’s art practice.

Her three decades of mentorship by the acclaimed Abstract Expressionist Paul Jenkins set her on her lifetime journey of non-objective painting on large canvas. She explores the interrelation and change of color in various conditions and on a variety of surfaces. Her artistic foundations in line drawing, watercolor, graphic design, and oils gave way to acrylics, which she found to be more versatile for her layering technique. Ridgeway has spent the last 30 years developing her signature technique, called “layering light,” in which she uses many layers of thin, transparent acrylics on linen and canvas to produce a fluidity and viscosity similar to traditional watercolor. Delving further, Ridgeway expanded her work into 3D, joining paint and resin to aluminum and steel with sculptures of minimal towers.

Ridgeway depicts movement in her work, sometimes kinetic and full of emotion, sometimes bold and masterful, sometimes languid and tentative. She sees herself as the channel, the work coming it comes through her but it is not hers. It goes out into the world – it has a life of its own.


Blue Sun

Acrylic on Canvas 58″ x 97″


Acrylic on Canvas 76″ x 74″


Acrylic on Canvas 60″ x 96″ (diptych)
Surfside | Mixed Media Acrylic on Canvas Fine Art Piece | MAC Art Galleries


Acrylic on Canvas 42″ x 60″



Acrylic on Canvas 52″ x 130″ SOLD
Cosmos | Mixed Media Acrylic on Canvas Fine Art Piece | MAC Art Galleries


Acrylic on Canvas 38″ x 34″ SOLD


Acrylic on Canvas 76″ x 74″ SOLD

Halcyon Days

Acrylic with Gold on Canvas 46″ x 56″ SOLD


Acrylic on Canvas 54″ x 48″ SOLD


Acrylic on Canvas 44″ x 56″ SOLD


Acrylic on Canvas 52″ x 82″ SOLD


Acrylic on Canvas 40″ x 60″ SOLD


Acrylic on Canvas 72″ x 50″ SOLD


Acrylic on Canvas 50″ x 76″ SOLD