Positively Upstate: It's the art of the bean


Coffee beans play a big part in many people's morning routines. For one Capital Region woman, they are literally an art form. Betsi Shelffo of Clifton Park creates pictures bean by bean.

“Every single bean goes on with tweezers.” Betsi says. “The further you get away from them (canvas) the clearer they are.”

‘Beans by Betsi’ came about a couple of years ago when Betsi was asked to do some artwork for a coffee shop in Saratoga. After spending some time with the roasters, her creativity juices started flowing.

“It was inspiring for me to come up with a way to showcase the beans themselves and kind of make them stand out!”

A big fan of music and pop culture, most of Betsi’s subjects are celebrities. From Justin Timberlake, to Al Pacino, to Kim Kardashian. The resemblance is remarkable – and Betsi says the key to it all (and hardest part) is capturing the individual’s expression.

“You have to always get the expression. If you don’t get the expression … (laughs) there have been many that’ve made it to the trash because I didn’t quite get it. But you learn as you go.”

It’s not just celebrities. Betsi does coffee bean portraits of friends and animals too. She says these are actually her favorite.

“My friend lost her dog last year and I was able to recreate the image of him so they could keep it and have it for a long time.” She explains. “It’s just really special and bittersweet when I get to do a project like that.”

If you want to check out some of Betsi’s work, check out her Facebook page! Just search ‘Beans by Betsi.’

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