Betty Barss was born in Dallas, Texas. She moved with her family to California in 1957 where she attended public schools and later graduated from San Jose State University with a Bachelors of Arts degree in Education. She taught fourth and sixth grade including art education for 25 years with the Medford School District. Betty and her husband, Don, have lived in Rogue Valley for the past thirty years and have two married children and four grandchildren.
Betty first began painting oils in 1970 and slowly made the transfer into transparent watercolors. She found the challenge and spontaneity to more accurately reflect the feelings she wished to convey. She has taken numerous watercolor classes and attended many workshops. She also tutored under the late Bruce Butte of Jacksonville for the past 20 years. Betty has been a member of the Watercolor Society of Oregon since 1991 and is a member of the Southern Oregon Society of Artists, the Artist's Workshop and the Rogue Gallery. Betty's versatility with a wide range of subjects has contributed to the popularity of her work.