I like the adventure of making paintings. I like paint in all its glorious variation: thick, thin, smooth, gritty, opaque, translucent, glossy, matte. Material stuff that I can manipulate directly on a surface. Making art takes me to places nothing else does. It satisfies me like nothing else does. While I am a landscape painter at heart, I need the open-ended-ness of a non-objective painter. Color and authenticity of feeling comes first.
My recent work has a range that goes from more obvious landscape reference, to what might appear to be non-objective. Sometimes they feel like landscape, still life and portrait all rolled into one. For me, Art along with science and religion, is part of the triangle of human seeking, expression and knowing. If the newest physics is correct, then our consciousness and the universe are inextricably bound together; one cannot exist without the other. Our reality snaps into being every microsecond that we observe it, as wave functions collapse into the physical world we know. And of course this is happening when we are making art. But this arena is different from everyday life; If we have done our work well, then we have opened up our total consciousness and enabled access to something far bigger than ourselves.
"Here we find ourselves suddenly not in a critical speculation but in a holy place, and should go very warily and reverently. We stand before the secret of the world, there where Being passes into Appearance and Unity into Variety. The Universe is the externization of the soul."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson: Essays, Second Series
At its best, art transcends its apparent subject matter and illuminates the human spirit and our connection to the universe. Sounds highfalutin but feels true.
Throughout my evolution as an artist, my goal has been to make the best art I can, using the best of the past as my guide, and to be true to my own nature. To do this calls for me to be constructively self critical, open to the possibilities of the moment, confident and humble. The studio and life in general always supplies the humble. I supply the fortitude.
Scott Bennett, August, 2021