Ben's work is directly influenced by all of the places he's seen, lived and dreamed about. The outcome is a surreal future of the natural world where these evolutionary mashups depict stories of adaptation, progression and the will to change.
What’s your preferred medium to paint? Have you tried different mediums before?
Oils. I used to only use soft pastels. I love the look of them and the pure color they can emit, but I grew tired of how hard it was to frame and ship them. I began using acrylics and then shortly after moved onto oils and I haven’t looked back.
Favorite living artists?
My favorite artists right now, in no particular order are: Lisa Ericson, Keven Peterson, David Rice, kathy Ager, Jon Ching, Dulk, Nathan Ota
I would have to say the streets. Where art intersects real life routines. There is so much smart, truthful, and creative art out there on the walls, in alleyways, and even on dumpsters that you just can’t see inside the large curated establishment of museums.
What’s the meanest thing someone has said about your art? How did you respond?
Not really anything “mean” but the most hurtful comment I have received is, “Oh, you still are doing that (painting)...have you thought about doing something else?” I usually respond, “Yep still doing that and nope, because ‘painting’ is my job.” Other comments I get a lot is, “That looks good, but have you ever thought of painting (insert random suggestion here) instead?”em.
My wife. She supported me when I first thought about becoming an artist and still supports me when I have doubts or I am struggling
What advice do you have for someone who wants to make art for a living?
Keep at it, keep pushing, keep painting. It is hard, and once it becomes easy I probably will be dead. I look back at my earlier works, artworks I swore were the best, and say to myself - what was I thinking? They were the best of my ability at that time in my career, and I love that I keep seeing progression from year to year. You will get turned down and ignored, but you just have to keep at it. Success is worked at, not given.
Ben's Favorite Trekell Products:
I love your Golden Taklon brushes. I hate seeing brush strokes in my work and these brushes do everything I need them to do, be it dry brushing or applying thin glazes. I also am in love with your cradled panels. They are always perfect, chip-free, and up warped unlike many panels offered online.
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