Showcasing Benita Cole Studio


Artists Statement

What I'm Trying to Say


My paintings celebrate the small beauties in a world that seems to be overwhelmed with ugliness, violence and anger.  I am trying to say that despite murder and violence around us the sum of these tiny spaces is beauty.  Our world is breathtaking and wonderful and inspiring and full of delight and childlike wonder.  Life is precious and beautiful and worth celebrating.  My art is unique because it focuses on the light, the life and the bright beauty of landscapes, flowers, people and  their pets. 

Painting for me is a way of seeing the world, a sort of exploration, not quite adult finger painting but something close.  Nature is one of my great loves.  I need to play and to express my naked wonder of the natural world.   I capture strands of light and weave a vision of the natural world.  Painting for me is like breathing.  It is also my most coherent expression.  I consciously observe the beauty, take photos and sketch the things that inspire me to play with light and shadow.  I paint as many as four versions of my vision before settling on the one which conveys the time, place and feelings of that experience I want to express to you.  The result is not a photograph but the relationship between me and the image.  I am often inspired by music and find the piano music of Anne Sweeten the best for my florals.  I find the natural world and flowers in particular to be sensuous expressions of the dichotomy of the world.  Strong, flexible, delicate, provocative, lush, fertile, rich…Certain flowers are especially interesting to me especially the ones from my childhood.  The peonies with armies of adoring ants, the hollyhocks my mother planted along the foundation of every house, the daffodils and tulips that made the snow a distant memory, and the cactus flowers like oiled tissue paper in bright colours.

I have begun painting with acrylics the last 4 years.  I am drawn to their brilliant opaque shades and the way they defy traditional mixing.  As a completely foreign medium I am learning how to paint all over again.  My current work is taking the anatomy and geology that I mastered to an entirely different subject, flowers, faces and abstract skies.  Instead of the grand landscapes I painted 25 years ago, I am exploring at the world at a micro level but asking the same questions.  What is this life and world we take so for granted?

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Some idea about who I am and what has brought me to this place.