Thursday, April 12, 2012

Artist Spotlight: Scott Bennett

Wild Sunflowers, 31" x 41", acrylic on canvas
"At it's best, Art draws us in, holds us in aesthetic arrest, and moves us. We are not always ready for this. Science, Religion and Art are, ultimately, different ways to get to the same place. I believe that all great art speaks past itself and it's superficial appearances, but that it is also the plain and simple appearance that somehow launches it beyond itself. That is part of its mystery." ~Scott Bennett, 2011

Scott Bennett is an artist with a wide spread ability to paint exquisite realist biological specimens and also heavy textured abstract landscapes.  His practice may come from years of working with the variable acrylic medium, yet his abilities with watercolor and numerous subjects keeps his work ever evolving and always enchanting.

Han's Garden, 44.5" x 35" , acrylic on canvas
It was evident from a young age that Scott was an artist, though he didn't know at the time exactly which venue to pursue.  He always had pastels and paper in hand, attended Syracuse University School of Art with an art major in mind, and yet still didn't know which aspect of art intrigued him the most.  He considered illustration, and with his life long love of carnivorous plants, it would make sense to combine the two.  However, he was dabbling in special effects makeup, video and all sorts of painting, but primarily watercolor.  With numerous friends moving into acrylics, Scott found them to be a natural medium and the versatility they gave him has held his interest since. 

Pinguicula Gypsicola, watercolor
As an evolving painter, Scott has not always used traditional brushes or even traditional tools in his painting.  He has been known to use a lot of knives and spreading tools, large sqeegees and even house painting brushes to cover the larger canvases he works on, especially in acrylic pieces.  Yet, when it comes to details, Scott leans to bristle brushes, springy, square flats that hold heavy paint.  He determines his brush choices with acrylics based on the density of the paint itself, finding that the softer brushes work well with lighter paints.  The paint will determine the brush type, giving the artist the most control over the work, the most flow from the tuft without having to bear down.  Even brushes worn down can be useful, though, as they work hard for pushing paint into a thickly woven canvas. 


With the delicate watercolors and biological illustrations, Scott tends to use quality synthetic brushes for his work, finding that springy, flat or round brushes work best for his style.  The thoughtful work requires a steady hand and pointed brush, that holds its shape.  Even if Scott works in acrylics, or creates studies for his landscapes, he uses fine watercolor brushes with acrylic washes.  Soft haired brushes, synthetics like the Faux Kolinsky or Faux Squirrel have tapered bellies made to hold the fluid and give the artist ultimate control over the work. 

Nepenthes x mixta, watercolor
In Scott's work, having both control and selection is important.  To start a piece with a house painting brush and allow it to move in its own direction, finalizing with careful details at the end is what gives Scott's work it's depth, or in the case of of watercolors, it's realism. 

To get to know Scott better or see more of Scott's work, check out his website or his work on FineArtAmerica.com

Keep Painting,
Karyn

For more brush information, check out the Dynasty Brush website.