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Thread: The paintings of Chris Bennett.
April 26th, 2009 #1
The paintings of Chris Bennett.
New painting, the first one worth showing after painting a string of work that's ended up in the bin.
'Red Queen' 45cm x 35cm acrylic on gesso panel.
Last edited by Chris Bennett; September 14th, 2011 at 06:39 AM. Reason: update
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April 26th, 2009 #2
'Launch' is an idea I had to make a metaphorical equivalent to the Saturn V take-off 40 years ago. Not only is she watching a rocket ascending but she is the rocket ascending. Her shape, the stabability of her feet, strength of legs, movement into the torso and the acceleration into the movement of her gesture which then takes us into the blue beyond - all equivalents of the various stages of movement undergone by launch, but represented by something quite still.........
In this painting I have tried to put the discoveries I've made with 'the Heads' into practice with figures and their environment. 'Summer Storms' and 'Blackbirds' did not really do this, with the former using a stage set type of simplification that avoided the issue.
Somehow I had to use the 'free form' effusions off 'The Head' paintings in a way that became more deliberately a setting, or extension of the figures into landscape. This is the first tentative result.
The whole image is built off the idea of a simple gesture....
All paintings are acrylic on gessed board.
Here is a painting that I have been planning to do for ages and finally decided to make it happen. I've used a more procedural approach for this as opposed to the technique of 'The Heads' because the drawing for it was basically a silhouette template and therefore it made sense to use my 'traditional' approach rather than the one I am developing that you see in the series of 'the heads' etc. It is also a much more complex painting and since I am still in uncharted territory with the 'heads technique' it made sense to go about this in the way you see here. I've posted the drawing for it and a half way studio shot of the painting in progress to show you what I mean.
The running woman theme is kinda consuming me at the moment. This is called 'Summer Storms' - I'm trying to push the metaphorical ideas as far as I can and strip the paintings of all unnecessary naturalism. Hence the white and red streamers are lightning, fire, electricity. The colour of the dresses becomes the changing sky, the linked arms a sort of metaphor for attractive charge, or reassurance in danger - the tree standing for blasted oak yet an endorsement of their movement. These are the obvious ones, but there are other deeper meanings that are just gut instinct.
You don't have to 'get' these metaphors, they are just things that occur to me after I have the initial imaginative insight. I then make note of them in order to keep me on track and intesify the original intuitive idea.
Acrylic on gessoed board.
After the discoveries I have made with the beach volleyball paintings, particularly with regard to something Kev Ferrara pointed out concerning how my brush shapes, being in a sort of turmoil with each other, yielded the image, I have turned it toward work from my imagination.
The 'heads' are the most recent paintings so far and I have tried to formalise the empirical language of the Volleyball paintings which were derived from dialogue with photographs into a sort of 'evocative cartooning of the mind'. This is pushed most strongly in 'Head 4'.
'Cupboard Love' is a tentative use of the language in a spatial setting, but I mean to push things much further. I'm going one step at a time. In 'All on a Summer's Day' I have tended to rely on the subject alone to tell of a particular way of looking at the world. These new paintings are possibly the first signs that I might have found a way to do this through the painting language itself.
Last edited by Chris Bennett; October 17th, 2012 at 06:56 PM.
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April 26th, 2009 #3
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April 26th, 2009 #4
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April 26th, 2009 #5
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April 26th, 2009 #6
really nice colors & subtle midtones in your work
if I had to make any comment/crit it would be that maybe your faces/figures could benefit by being affected by light more, even though I love neutral color tones
Last edited by LisandroG; April 26th, 2009 at 09:57 PM.
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April 27th, 2009 #7
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April 28th, 2009 #8
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April 28th, 2009 #9
Your planar approach is pretty sophisticated, impressive. Wonderful!
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April 28th, 2009 #10Swordmaster
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These are great. How large are they?
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April 28th, 2009 #11
Some really great stuff here Chris. If anything my eyes are distracted by the metal plate's shape in the Summer's Day and Jaw bone in Head 4. I love your colors and approach to these paintings and it is inspiring. Please show more soon!
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April 28th, 2009 #12
Cupboard love has an ominous, forbidding feel to it. Liking all of these Chris..
New World Creation: Designers Wanted – Environment of the Week
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April 28th, 2009 #13
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April 29th, 2009 #14
Deceptively simple looking.
Liking the large areas of colour and slight texture on the piece.
After looking at some of your previous work, all I can say is that these are some of your strongest pieces IMO.
Great to see people evolving and experimenting (unlike myself)
my sketches here... http://conceptart.org/forums/showthread.php?t=92997
www.sevans.co.nz , visit them or a puppy dies!
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April 29th, 2009 #15
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April 30th, 2009 #16
Jasonwclark Many thanks Jason.
Gloominati Thank you.
Farvus Thanks Farvus, always good to get feedback on favourites.
LisandroG Interesting thought, however, I'm trying for an image that doesn't involve ordinary, logical source illumination to acheive legability. Many thanks.
adconcept Thank you.
bhanu Ah, my friend from India! Glad you like 'em bhanu.
goldnmean Your first post and on my thread! Many thanks. And you are right, the planar approach does not stem from logical reading of facets illuminated by one source illumination.
Elam Thank you. 'Cupboard Love' is 70cm x 45cm, 'All on a Summer's Day is 54cm x 70cm and all the rest are 45cm x 35cm.
Samuel Gray Thank you. The plate she is holding on 'All on a Summer's Day' cost me a great deal of trouble! Thanks for your enthusiasm!
Vulgar` Thanks Vulgar, 'Cupboard Love' originally had a figure standing to the right of the cupboard, but the painting just would not 'work'. Eventually I realised what I was painting about and lost the figure completely - interestingly the figure is sorta still there in that it is felt by its abscence. Which is, I think, the reason the painting is feeling slightly unsettling.
Ronald Liu Thank you.
SEVANS Thanks SEVANS, I guess one is always trying to extend their range a little, trying to perfect a language that will give the most potent body for what goes on in their imagination. I guess I'm trying to figure out how to avoid painting by approximations yet be mysterious at the same time.
jeremyg0rd0n Thank you. Yes, in these particular paintings I am wondering how much the gesture of the brush can carry the final meaning without being tempered. How a 'brushy' mark can stand by a wrought, hard shape yet look complete within the painting.
What I'm looking at with these heads in particular is the means by which an image might look complete without recourse to consistency of rendering.....
May 1st, 2009 #17
Great work Chris!
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May 1st, 2009 #18
http://www.conceptart.org/forums/att...4&d=1240775872 This one's awesome.
"Beliefs are rules for action"
"Knowledge is proven in action."
"It's use is it's meaning."
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May 2nd, 2009 #19
I'd frame one for a wall for my place.
My SketchBook http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=139784
http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=192127"Everything must serve the idea. The means used to convey the idea should be the simplest and clear. Just what is required. No extra images. To me this is a universal principle of art. Saying as much as possible with a minimum of means."-John Huston, Director
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May 2nd, 2009 #20
Chris, I always enjoy your posts here, these paintings are excellent. The heads are great - Head 3 and 1 make great use of geometry in facial construction, and Head 3's got a great expression. They also have beautiful hair, and a good color scheme to go with it. The neck in Head 1 is a little confusing - her neck muscle is so exxagerated, I'm not sure if it's really some ribbon from the flowers.
Head 4 has the best use of patterning in the background to compliment the face. I just wish her face was as engaging as head 3.
My favorite of the group is Makeup. I feel like it makes the strongest statement.
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May 2nd, 2009 #21
Love the latest C.B. , would love to leave a longer comment but at least wanted to pop in and say love the latest progression, Cupboard love, and Tart are my favorites, thanks for sharing,cheers.
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May 2nd, 2009 #22
Great paintings. I gotta go with 'Tart' as my favorite.
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May 4th, 2009 #23
Zarahn Southon Thank you Zarahn.
armando Thank you, I think this one is my favourite too - it underwent a drastic all-or-nothing alteration before finally 'clicking' and getting there.
OmenSpirits Thank you. If only there were more people like you walking into the galleries that show my work!
TASmith Thank you. Yes, 'Makeup' is interesting in that it is using the same language as the other heads but much, much more tempered. In the other heads the language is very much 'on display', in 'Makeup' it is sublimated into the image. This is probably the way the main thrust of my painting in general will continue.
Victor B That's OK Victor, It's great that you stopped by and left some imput as to your favourites, which is of great interest to me and one of the main reasons I post on the FF. Like I said to TASmith, these two images use the language seen in the heads in a little more sublimated or intergrated way.
HunterKiller Thank you Hunter, 'Tart' was an excuse to paint a pair of beautiful knees!
May 4th, 2009 #24
hey chris! I really like the path you are taking with your art! I remember your earlier posts here, and I think the themes in your later ones are more daring and i like it. Its real enjoyable just looking over the canvases at the tones of color, the change in warmth, skintones etc. somethin i like is the look that one gets from starting with a white background, glaced with thin pigments so that it gets that rough vivid look, then going over it with thicker and mixed with white paint(i think you know kinda what i mean, bad and long explanation there hah, sorry!) the contrast in that is great, it looks to me as you use that kind of technique...
yeah anyways, to get to the point I think you be doing this very very well, and thanks alot for posting!
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May 4th, 2009 #25
I really like the texture, and...weight? that the cupboards have in 'cupboard love' and all of the heads are just beautiful.
You can unequip that attitude.
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May 7th, 2009 #26
gunnarsson Many thanks for your interest. I have included a couple of WIPs of 'Tart' and 'Head 2', since you are interested in the methods and their result:
Notice how 'Head 2' is more about discovery during the painting process, whereas 'Tart' is somewhat more proceedural and the discoveries are more discreet.
Alzuna Thank you Alzuna, and for the feedback too.
Last edited by Chris Bennett; May 7th, 2009 at 08:23 AM.
May 7th, 2009 #27The Cat's Deputy (POW! Moderator)
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I love when you upload stuff. How are you getting on with the digital recompositions? I liked those, although they had a way to go as we were saying when you put them up.
This new series is fantastic. You really incorporated what Kev said about the brushstrokes. If I was in a gallery, with loads of money, and was about to buy one or more off you, the only one I wouldn't buy is Head 3. I'm not even sure why. It's just not as pleasing as the rest.... I can't really offer anything more concrete than that. It's style, ability and composition are as good as the rest. <shrug>. Best i can give you other than asspats.
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May 7th, 2009 #28
...absolutely lovely Chris; a very inspiring use of color and brush strokes...
May 8th, 2009 #29
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May 8th, 2009 #30
wow i love your style. you are an amazing artist,
my hat is off to you!
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