The ancient Greeks drew inspiration from nine Muses in total, but resourceful artist Mike Denison seemingly needs only four: the quartet of mutually supportive and sassy Florida seniors on TV’s The Golden Girls. (Okay, full disclosure: he also has a thing for Chris Hardwick.) Denison previously ignited the collective imagination of the Internet in 2014 with his whimsical Bea A Day project, which entailed posting new drawings of Golden star Bea Arthur each day for an entire year. And now comes word of Bea A Day’s logical, perhaps sunnier successor: Betty A Day, a daily artistic tribute to Arthur’s longtime costar, Betty White. This project, along with Denison’s other creative pursuits, can be followed at the artist’s personal Tumblr, where one will also find a link to Denison’s Etsy store, through which he sells both prints of his work and originals. For those interested, Denison says he also takes commissions. Thus far, Betty A Day has been, like Bea A Day before it, predictably Golden Girls-centric. Take, for example, the puckish “Rose Before Hoes,”which makes a punning contrast between Betty White’s naive Rose Nylund and Rue McClanahan’s more worldly Blanche Devereaux.
Denison, however, is not confining Betty White to that beloved, Reagan-era NBC sitcom. Far from it. In fact, Betty A Day continues to place its nonagenarian title subject into a dizzying variety of pop cultural contexts: Reservoir Dogs, Breaking Bad, Dr. Strangelove, etc. The permutations seem as infinite as the public’s affection for Betty White herself. In Mike Denison’s imagination, the one-time Sue Ann Nivens is welcome anyplace she chooses to materialize, be it the Star Wars universe or Adventure Time’s Land Of Oo. In Denison’s artwork, as in the Golden Girls theme song, it is Betty White’s fate to travel “down the road and back again.” Her heart is true. She is a pal and a confidant.