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Master of Fine Arts Illustration Thesis by Ms. Bethany Vanderputten BDes MFA
Created in 2009 at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, California

The following includes written excerpts from my Final Thesis Project Summary.


My thesis is a series of paintings aimed at three markets to inspire pursuit of your dreams. I have chosen this direction for a couple of different reasons. Although I especially want to create artwork for the book publishing market, I realize that creating a wider portfolio will help me succeed in this competitive field. Also, I want to build upon my portfolio after I graduate, painting subjects like these that I am inspired by, akin to creating a strong foundation for a skyscraper.

My thesis is called "Faithful" because I am greatly inspired by stories of people who live their dreams, knowing that it takes guts to step out and accomplish them while overcoming adversity. This kind of faithfulness takes great focus. Through these paintings I am daring people to live their dreams and to be faithful to them along the way.

I chose to spread my thesis across the three semesters of 2009 and focused on each intended market seperately: my book in Spring, my line of greeting cards in Summer, and illustrations for music packaging in Fall. I worked solely in acrylic so I studied mainly with Kazuhiko Sano, a master and mentor from who I learned much more than just painting techniques.


The first part of my thesis is a book that is an inspirational retelling of a biblical passage - Hebrews 11 from the New Living Translation...

In Rahab's Window ©2009 Bethany Vanderputten, 16"x20", Acrylic on Hardboard.

"It was by faith that Rahab the prostitute was not destroyed with the people in her city who refused to obey God. For she had given a friendly welcome to the spies." (Hebrews 11:31 NLT)

Moses Towards Midian ©2009 Bethany Vanderputten, 16"x20", Acrylic on Hardboard.

"It was by faith that Moses left the land of Egypt, not fearing the king's anger. He kept right on going because he kept his eyes on the one who is invisible." (Hebrews 11:27 NLT)

Sarah Laughs ©2009 Bethany Vanderputten, 16"x20", Acrylic on Hardboard.

"It was by faith that even Sarah was able to have a child, though she was barren and too old. She believed that God would keep his promise. And so a whole nation came from this one man who was as good as dead - a nation with so many people that, like the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore, there is no way to count them." (Hebrews 11:11 NLT)

Noah's Reckoning ©2009 Bethany Vanderputten, 16"x20", Acrylic on Hardboard.

"It was by faith Noah built a large boat to save his family from the flood. He obeyed God, who warned him about things that had never happened before. By his faith Noah condemned the rest of the world, and he recieved the righteousness that comes by faith." (Hebrews 11:7 NLT)

Red Sea ©2009 Bethany Vanderputten, 16"x40", Acrylic on Plywood.

"It was by faith that the people of Israel went right through the Red Sea as though they were on dry ground. But when the Egyptians tried to follow, they were all drowned." (Hebrews 11:29 NLT)


The second section of my thesis is a line of greeting cards based on inspirational quotes...

Tiger Lily ©2009 Bethany Vanderputten, 16"x20", Acrylic on Hardboard.

"I know God will not give me anything I cannot handle. I just wish he didn't trust me so much." Mother Teresa

The Great Leap ©2009 Bethany Vanderputten, 16"x20", Acrylic on Hardboard.

"Anything can be achieved in small, deliberate steps. But there are times you need the courage to take a great leap; you can't cross a chasm with two small jumps." David Lloyd George

A Butterfly's Adventure ©2009 Bethany Vanderputten, 16"x20", Acrylic on Hardboard.

"Those who turn back know only the ordeal but they who persevere remember the adventure." Milo L. Arnold

Candle Dreams ©2009 Bethany Vanderputten, 16"x20", Acrylic on Hardboard.

"It is pleasant to see dreams come true but fools won't turn from evil to attain them." Proverbs 13:19

Turtle's Perseverance ©2009 Bethany Vanderputten, 16"x20", Acrylic on Hardboard.

"Let us run with endurance the race God has set for us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from start to finish." Apostle Paul


The third and final part of my thesis is a set of paintings for an album I find inspirational - "Taking Chances" by Céline Dion.

Céline Dion ©2009 Bethany Vanderputten, 12"x12", Acrylic on Hardboard.

"I am woman, a mountain I will climb. I've been beaten down, I've been broken, but each day I give it another try." Céline Dion

Back Home ©2009 Bethany Vanderputten, 12"x12", Acrylic on Hardboard.

"And yet through this darkness, there's a light that shines through and brings me back home, brings me back home." Céline Dion

Inside ©2009 Bethany Vanderputten, 12"x12", Acrylic on Hardboard.

"I know that once in love you don't think of the devil that's inside." Céline Dion

Pitch Dark ©2009 Bethany Vanderputten, 12"x24", Acrylic on Hardboard.

"I hear the ticking of the clock, I'm lying here the room's pitch dark. I wonder where you are tonight..." Céline Dion

Taking Chances ©2009 Bethany Vanderputten, 12"x12", Acrylic on Hardboard.

"What do you say to taking chances? What do you say to jumping off the edge? Never knowing if there's solid ground below, or a hand to hold, or hell to pay." Céline Dion


After graduation, Bethany pursued these three art markets, and then chose one to focus on: the major music industry.

Please visit her Artwork section to see her full portfolio of paintings created since 2010...


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