A spring art exhibit featuring paintings by Baton Rouge artist Betty Efferson is slated to kick off Thursday at Backwoods Gallery in St. Francisville.

Efferson, 60, of Baton Rouge, is a self-taught artist who has taken many workshops with prominent artists.

After reading an article in the The Advocate about a plein air workshop at the Rural Life Museum, Efferson said she signed up.

“The workshop featured seasoned artists, and me being a novice, I was extremely nervous. Yet there I was with my new art supplies, so I picked up a brush and started painting,” recalled Efferson. “I was quickly drawn to the effect that light and color have on their surroundings. I guess you could say my passion is chasing the light and painting.” Efferson’s favored mediums are oils and pastels. She is a member of the Degas Pastel Society of America, Plein Air Painters of New Mexico, Associated Women of the Arts and Oil Painters of America.

“Energy, spontaneity and originality are the three words that describe Efferson’s paintings,” Backwoods Gallery owner and artist Joe Savell said. “Her quick, colorful brush strokes form her impressionist style of painting, and the bright, bold colors, strong brush strokes and use of the palette knife add texture and excitement to her work.”

Efferson said her style of painting is from the heart has never wavered over the years. “I have always been creative and spontaneous with a desire to make things colorful. Color makes me happy,” Efferson said.

Backwoods Gallery, 11931 Ferdinand St., St. Francisville, will host an artist reception for Efferson from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday. The event kicks off an exhibit featuring her paintings through May 28.

Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Call (225) 721-1736 for information.