Utah based painter Tom Betts sees the world in a teacup, or at least finds fascination with light playing across the forms of teacups in various situations — in water, on tables, whole and broken. He also finds meaning and emotional resonance in the compositions he creates with teacups, seeing them as metaphors for aspects of life and the human condition.
In the most recent series of paintings on his website, his fascination with teacups carries over into arrangements in which teacups on tables, along with jars containing what appears to be preserved fruit or vegetables, are lit by strings of miniature lights. Light from the tiny bulbs reflects an refracts its way around and through the objects, including the translucent sides of the cups, and casts delicate, intricate shadows against walls and table tops.
Betts works from life, drawings and photographs of his subjects, using a controlled palette of nine or ten colors. He studied painting and drawing at the University of Utah and now teaches there.
If you go back further into his body of work (via the horizontal scrollbar at the bottom of his home page) you will find other subjects, including precursors to the current series as well as figurative work and nighttime cityscapes.
You can find additional work on the sites of galleries in which his work is represented (listed below), and an article discussing his work and process on Artists Network.
[Note: some images are NSFW.]