SARASOTA, Fla. - On what would be Betty White's 100th birthday, a Sarasota-based artist is auctioning a portrait of a young White that was painted using only lipstick. Alexis Fraser, known as "Lipstick Lex" on social media, said proceeds from the auction will go to a Betty-approved charity: the Humane Society of Tampa Bay.
At first glance, Fraser's art studio looks more like a make-up counter. She says using makeup instead of acrylics, oils, or watercolors is how she stands out in a crowded artistic community.
"It's all about beauty and personal empowerment," Fraser said of painting with makeup.
Her process starts first with a sketch then dozens of shades of lipstick to finish it off. It took Fraser about a week to finish her latest lipstick masterpiece of a young Betty White.
Alexis 'Lipstick Lex' Fraser created painting of Betty White to auction for the Humane Society of Tampa Bay
The entertainment legend passed away last month, just a few weeks shy of what would have been her 100th birthday.
Fraser's aunt died the same day.
"It was always in her wishes, as well as Betty's. Both women, no children, but really, really put a lot of passion towards bettering the lives of animals," Fraser said.
Alexis 'Lipstick Lex' Fraser lost her aunt the same day Betty White died
That's what inspired Fraser to use her talents to forward their causes. She painted the masterpiece of Betty White to honor both women and will use the money she gets at auction to help Bay Area strays.
"I've always had animals growing up. I love animals. My husband and I, our dog was our child before we had real children, and so we've always wanted to bring animals back into our home," Fraser said.
Monday, they did just that and adopted two kittens from the Humane Society of Tampa Bay. Fraser hopes her work inspires more families to do same.
Alexis 'Lipstick Lex' Fraser uses lipstick to create her signature artwork
"I really love when I can say I've made an impact with something… so just the self-fulfillment that I feel to be able to do something powerful and impactful with my rare and unusual talent is pretty awesome," Fraser said.
Bidding for the piece starts at $750. The auction opened Monday, January 17 and ends Monday, January 24. For more information on how to bid, visit one.bidpal.net/bettywhite/welcome..
So far, the Humane Society of Tampa Bay has raised more than $23,000 from people making donations in Betty White's name.