Paul Bennett

Born:                                 1975         Windsor, Berkshire, England, UK

 

Education:                       2013          Artist Residency, Shenzhen, China

                                2001          Bachelor of Arts with Honors, Fine Arts

                                                                 Surrey Institute of Art and Design

 

Paul Bennett is an international contemporary Fine Artist specializing in exceptional semi-abstract seascape/landscape paintings and also unique portraiture. The two themes are very different in mood and style, but both are made from using a mix of traditional techniques and more unconventional painting methods. Both rely on drawing from memory to create finished work that is abstracted and more expressional than representational. Bennett endeavors to generate a sense of intimacy and isolation while leaving the subject open to interpretation.

With the digital age well and truly with us, the advances of visual media means that almost anything is possible within the boundaries of our imagination. It has been Bennett's aim to create work that is most definitely a painting; accomplished by using rich textures, multiple layers, poured paint and brush/palette knife marks. This becomes a way of escaping the everyday, mass produced visuals that we are constantly exposed to and the way in which we now digest and assimilate our visual world. Bennett is a great admirer of photography and photorealism and appreciates the technical ability to produce such works. However, his approach is to record and comment on things that are more than visually apparent: to tease out more than the eye can see, to draw people in and invite them to experience – not just consume – an image.

 

Artist Statement:

The seascape / Landscape paintings created are inspired by memory and experience and are developed using artistic intuition. They are not tied into any specific region or time; they are an eclectic synthesis of place, weather and season. I choose to capture and communicate my experience this way as it reflects life with its unceasing process of observing, experiencing, interpreting, storing – and ultimately – reflecting. The result I strive for is a unique and original visual experience that has captured not only the sense of somewhere/sometime, but also the more subtle notion of recollection.

Occasionally I refer to photography as a starting point and as a way to engage with the surface and begin the initial mark making process. After this point it is all an abstract interpretation of the memories I have and places I have experienced. This is all brought together with constant experimenting and I find the works are continuously evolving and influencing the next.

Oil paint is the medium that plays a big part in capturing the essence of a faded memory and lends itself nicely to the way I paint. It works well when applied thickly and can create great depth when worked into the surface sparingly, which leaves previous layers partially exposed. The paint is applied in this way to give the artwork itself a narrative and history, where the process of its creation can be glimpsed at in places – not dissimilar to the way in which the memory deals with the hazy recollection of a place once visited.