Mark Bettis

Originally from Chicago, Mark Bettis graduated from Ringling School of Art and Design with a degree in Design/Computer Graphics. After working as a designer in Chicago for many years, Bettis relocated to Sarasota, FL to work for the Sarasota Film Festival. At this time, Bettis realized his passion for the arts and moved to Asheville NC to pursue his career as a full time studio artist. Almost twenty years later, Bettis is a thriving artist in Asheville’s River Arts District and the successful owner of Mark Bettis Gallery, and co-owner of Gallery Melange in Downtown Asheville. 

Bettis finds inspiration in the tapestry of the world around him—buildings, trees, graffiti, clouds, people, billboards, even bears. With a masterful command of color, texture, and physicality, Bettis weaves together these disparate subjects, creating paintings that are at once abstract, figurative, and a harmonious blend of styles. The hallmark of his work is its boldness and uplifting spirit, illuminating any space it graces.


“I am not a gentle painter,” remarks Bettis, elucidating his preference for working on wood panels, where he can fully unleash his artistic intensity. Employing oils and cold wax medium to his panels, Bettis meticulously builds up thick layers constructing fields of texture. Additives such as marble dust and sand enrich the background, allowing him to intricately work back into the layers to unveil different color and textural combinations beneath.


With an intuitive approach of scratching, cutting, and smoothing the surface, Bettis lets his paintings evolve organically. He observes, “Inspiration comes when I least expect it. But when it hits me, I can’t wait to start painting!” 

Photo by: Matt Rose