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In November, 2006, Betsy Ashton returned to the portrait artist career that she abandoned in 1971, when she took a long detour into television news. Three credits shy of a master of fine arts degree in painting from The American University in Washington, DC, she was an illustrator, artist and art teacher, who sold many pen and ink, charcoal, and acrylic portraits before creating a program in which she taught art on WTTG-TV's Panorama television program. This quickly led to her reporting and anchoring radio and television news for nearly two decades, first in Washington, D.C., and later at WCBS-TV and CBS News in New York City. While covering the courts for WJLA-TV News in Washington, she became the first and only TV news reporter ever to draw her own courtroom sketches while covering trials – a feat possible only because lawyers are so redundant! Her sketches were shown daily on television and later exhibited and sold by the Jane Haslem Gallery in Washington.

Ashton resumed painting portraits at the urging of renowned painter Everett Raymond Kinstler, NA, whose workshops she attended at the National Academy School of Fine Arts and the Art Students' League in New York. At Kinstler's recommendation, she also took Michael Shane Neal's portrait painting workshops in Nashville, Tennessee, and studied painting full time for two years with Mary Beth McKenzie and Sharon Sprung at the National Academy School of Fine Arts. She has also taken workshops with Wolf Kahn, Peter Cox and Morton Kaisch at the National Academy School, and painted in Florence, Italy, with McKenzie and the Art Students' League. In the mid and late 1960s, she studied with Ben Summerford, Helene Herzbrun, Robert D'Arista, Robert Gates and Gene Davis at The American University and the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, DC. In 2007-20088, Ashton won four successive scholarships to The National Academy School of Fine Arts.

Ashton’s official portrait of former Ambassador Philip Lader hangs in the collection of the U.S. Embassy in London, United Kingdom. She has served on the jury panel of the Salmagundi Club in New York City and is an Exhibiting Artist member of The National Arts Club. Her portrait of actor Hal Holbrook is in the Hall of Fame collection of the The Players in New York City, and her portrait of author Louise Erdrich is in the collection of the Kenyon Review at Kenyon College.
  Recent Exhibitions
2017 Small Works - National Association of Women Artists, New York, NY
  Over the Bridge - Long Island City Artists, New York, NY
  National Arts Club, Exhibiting Artist Show, New York, NY
2016 National Arts Club, Exhibiting Artist Show, New York, NY
2015 Open Studios Exhibit, Reis Studios, Long Island City, NY
  National Arts Club, Exhibiting Artist Show, New York, NY
2014 Group Show, The Painting Group, Soho, New York, NY
  Open Studios Exhibit, Reis Studios, Long Island City, NY
  National Arts Club, Exhibiting Artist Show, New York, NY
2013 National Arts Club, Exhibiting Artist Show, New York, NY
2012 Salmagundi Club Summer Exhibition, New York, NY
  Open Studios Exhibit, Reis Studios, Long Island City, NY
  Faces of Winter - Connecticut Society of Portrait Artists, Stamford, CT
2011 Group Show, The Painting Group, Soho, New York, NY
  Long Island City Arts Open - Long Island City, NY
  Faces of Winter - Connecticut Society of Portrait Artists, Old Lyme, CT
Autumn 2010 RE-VISION Exhibition, Katzen Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
2010 Online Exhibit, The National Arts Club
  Open Studios Exhibit, Juvenal Reis Studios, Long Island City, NY
2009 Online Exhibit, The National Arts Club
  Open Studios Exhibit, Juvenal Reis Studios, Long Island City, NY
2008 Open Studios Exhibit, Juvenal Reis Studios, Long Island City, NY
Jul 2007 10th Annual Juried Student Exhibition, National Academy Museum, Fifth Avenue, New York City
Autumn 2007 All in the Family Exhibition, Katzen Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
   
  Membership in Arts Organizations
 

Portrait Society of America
Catherine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club, Inc.
National Arts Club
Dutch Treat Club
Cecelia Beaux Forum
Long Island City Artists
Connecticut Society of Portrait Artists
Artists' Fellowship, Inc.
Salmagundi Club



 
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