GALLERY AT THE MERC: ALLISON BENBROOK
Allison Benbrook Watercolors: July 17th-August 26th 2012
TICKETS: FREE, no tickets required. Exhibit is open to the public during published Ticket Office hours.
I never considered myself an artist, and never even picked up a paintbrush until well after my 50th birthday. That all changed when I signed up for a watercolor class with my mom.
Can it be called love at first brushstroke? I soon realized that I loved everything about watercolor painting, and it was, in a sense, the "bringing together" of all my life experiences. During my career, I designed fabrics for our family weaving business, and operated our custom dyehouse, working with fibers and vibrant dyes. Transparent watercolor pigments reminded me how much I love color ... and it felt like I was going home.
Of course, watercolors don't always behave. This too felt good. All my life I've worked with horses and dogs, competing and just training for fun. Animals don't always behave either, so I grew comfortable with asking for what I wanted, and then working with whatever I got. So when my watercolors take off on their own, I go with it.
When faced with something new, I always err on the side of obsession. I bought probably every book available on watercolor painting. I've taken classes and workshops from Drew Bandish, Stan Goudy, Alvaro Casttagnet, Keiko Tanabe, Stan Miller, and every demonstrator at every meeting I could find. I paint every night after work, and whenever I can squeeze in time to wet my brush.
I am a value painter and frequently, my first layer is my only layer. I try to move beyond the shapes and capture the heart and soul of my subject, whether it is an animal, a person, or even an old house or car.
During my first year of painting, I was lucky enough to have my paintings accepted in 8 juried shows, won my first award, and sold my first painting! In 2010 my painting "Everybody Loves a Parade" was awarded second place in the prestigious Watercolor West International show. Now that I have sold commissions and paintings to private collectors all over the US, Great Britain, and Sweden, I proudly call myself an artist!
I invite you to peruse my galleries, please let me know if you see something you like, and of course the originals are for sale, and prints and notecards are available of everything I paint.
San Diego Watercolor Society (2011-12 President)
American Watercolor Society
National Watercolor Society
California Watercolor Society
San Diego Museum of Art Artists Guild
San Diego Art Institute
Foothills Art Association
East County Art Association