For the month of November, I’m excited to share the unique art technique of Bettina Werner, “The Queen of Salt.” One of my favorite aspects of the art world is seeing how different mediums can be used in unexpected ways. Werner’s work with colorized salt is a wonderful example of this. Her creativity and determination have turned her into a true trailblazer. I can’t wait to walk you through a few of my favorite pieces she’s created here on the blog.
About the Artist
Born in Milan, Werner went on to study at the Academy of Fine Arts of Brera. In the ’80s, she invented her textured colorized salt technique. This led her to be the first salt crystal artist. Werner then made the transition to living in New York in 1989, and her first exhibition took place at the Marisa Del Re Gallery in 1990. Since then, her impressive work has been exhibited in different museums and galleries all over the globe.
Angel Signs Finding Feathers
A common theme throughout many of Werner’s artworks is spirituality and angel signs. I love how she took the simple concept of finding a feather and put her own spin on it through her salt technique. The texture of this piece is just incredible, and it serves as a reminder of how she aims to capture the force of the sea.
Angel Number 222
Keeping with the idea of angel signs, repeating numbers are often said to be angel numbers. Many of Werner’s works feature different angel numbers, which are believed to have different meanings. I love the serenity of this shade of blue, and how soft the salt looks here. It’s in great contrast to the texture of the salt in the previous piece.
Enlivening Red Velvet Heart
Surrounded by red velvet museum glass, this red heart is striking. It’s bold, romantic, and beautifully understated at the same time. I feel like this piece points to passion in such a timeless way. There is so much intensity to appreciate here.
Her choice to use violet for this piece is likely directly tied to the color’s high frequency. It is also closely connected to the spiritual energy this shade represents. A mixture of red and blue elements, the Violet Flame is associated with the creation of miracles. I personally love the undeniable vibrance of this work.
From the Arcangel Michael Art Collection, I adore how Werner pays homage to her Italian roots through these butterflies. She frequently features butterflies throughout her work, as they are also recognized as meaningful signs. I love how she once again features a larger, gorgeous salt texture here. It almost seems to reflect the light for a glittering effect.
The Vitality Orange Heart
The warmth of this orange heart makes it one of my favorites. There is so much symbolism in the color orange, and it often has such a positive association. I enjoy taking the time to analyze how Werner uses her own artistic language to make the meaning of each piece come to life.
The Salt Queen Foundation
Werner’s foundation works to support artists who make their own creations with texturized, colored salt. The Salt Queen Foundation is a non-profit educational institution. It aims to preserve the history of salt in humanity and promote further learning of its usage as an art medium. It’s incredible to see the impact Werner has had through pioneering this style.
It’s always fascinating to me to continue learning about various art mediums and their origins. Werner’s commitment to using salt in artwork is something that will continue to make a lasting impression on the art world. I can’t help but admire how she’s become such a force. For more artwork to appreciate, you’ll enjoy my previous posts on Helen Frankenthaler and Nicolas Party.