© Copyright 2017.   Original artwork by Betty Grisham.  All rights reserved.


Welcome to my website. Since you came to this page you must be interested in knowing a little bit about me.

I was born and raised in Missouri. I graduated with a B.S. in Art Education from Missouri State University (formerly Southwest Missouri State College). I have lived most of my adult life in northern Virginia. I am very fortunate to be able to work in Studio 17 at The Torpedo Factory Art Center on the Waterfront in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia. The Torpedo Factory Art Center contains 82 studios and 6 galleries. Over 160 artists work in the studios in the TFAC. My "STUDIO HOURS" are explained at the bottom of this page.


My work primarily consists of oil paintings on canvas but I also enjoy working with graphite and colored pencil, pastels, and gouache on paper. Although my art can best be described as contemporary realism, I also sometimes work abstractly in a mixture of media. I enjoy using intricate detail, pattern, reflection and transparencies in my representational work, often incorporating textures and contrasts of enhanced rich color against subtle use of grays, beiges, and whites. Variety is important to me, not only in my choices of media, but in my choices of subject matter. That consists of still life, landscapes, pet portraits, florals, and figures. I often work on larger canvases, using glassware and reflections as subject matter in an attempt to create a fluid, landscape-like abstraction within my realism. In some pieces my work crosses the line beyond realism into abstraction and becomes almost totally non-objective art. All of my work is rooted in the love of drawing and observing what is around me.


I consider commissions, often working with clients using their personal snapshots as references with the understanding that I maintain my "artist's license" to interpret them in my own way. I use what they offer to create a work of art that is unique, personal, and meaningful for them while at the same time also creating something that is challenging and satisfying for me. I consider commissions of pets, people, vehicles, buildings, landscape, still life, and abstracts.  My prices begin at $350.00 for framed graphite drawings of pets. Framed graphite drawings of people begin at $475. Oil portraits of pets begin at $400. Oil portraits of people begin at $900. (See Pet Portraits and Other Commissions .) You may also see more information about my commissions on the TFAC website Commissions Page:




I illustrated a book for children, BLUE LEWIS AND SASHA THE GREAT, written by my friend and author Carol Donsky Newell. It is the story of a little boy who is born with a "hole in his heart" and faces the challenges of his condition, while interacting with his peers with the help of his puppy.  It has a happy ending and teaches a lesson about being understanding of those with special needs.  "Our" book contains twenty-one illustrations. The originals were rendered in gouache and colored pencil. A few of the originals are still available for purchase in my studio. The book is also available in my studio.



"I believe that there is wonder and beauty all around us if we can just pause long enough to 'mindfully see' it — not just 'look' at it. Even when I am not actively drawing and painting, I am absorbing the visual miracles surrounding me. I love to examine what happens as light falls upon objects and atmospheres, creating shadows, bending, showing through transparent or translucent objects, revealing a variety of textures, and evoking emotional responses. First, seeing and then capturing what I have observed, perhaps exaggerating it slightly, and therefore, hopefully lifting it up for others to share, is my way of celebrating what is good about Life. It is also one of my ways of coping when Life is difficult to understand and accept. I hope that my art creates warmth and excitement for others, enriching their lives a bit. I hope it helps others also 'see' ordinary objects around them with new appreciation, and experience the moment a little more fully."

( The last two images of me were photographed by T. Johnson.)


The Torpedo Factory Art Center is open 59 hours a week every day of the year (except for 5 holidays). The Factory hours are 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.* It is also open Thursdays until 9 p.m. The TFAC is free to the public.  Visitors may visit the studios and observe, ask questions, and purchase original art.

* NOTE: The Torpedo Factory will close at 5pm when the building is rented for a private event that evening.
Inquire by calling the TFAC office at 703-838-4565 Ext. #1 or go to

Please email or call to make sure that I am going to be in the studio if you are planning a trip specifically to see me. "I am willing to come in earlier or stay later for your convenience and I am happy to come in on a day that better fits your schedule. Please do not hesitate to call or email me for an appointment." ~ Betty

My regular days and core hours:

Thursdays 1:00 - 9:00 (late hours)
Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday 1:00 - closing (6:00 unless a 5:00 closing due to a rental event)