George Benson

George Benson

art, painting
Another legend I painted at a time when I was exploring a range of musical themes. Beyond creating a straight representation, at the timeI was using a reduced palette of four colours; cadmium red, ultramarine blue, cadmium yellow and titanium white, which I settled on to see how far I could push their creative potential. While this and other paintings I did at the same time are blue themed, others I did do not necessarily reflect the blue tones seen here.
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Old man and fiddle

Old man and fiddle

art, painting
Not only is this the earliest painting I ever did on a musical theme, this also happens to be one of the earliest surviving paintings I ever did, full stop. As is obvious, it was based on a photograph (black and white if I recall correctly) though now I couldn't say where I found it, but I did it as a challenge as I was trying to teach myself how to paint at the time. It was done in acrylics on a canvas-textured paper. I liked working with acrylics because it suited my need to work fast and is very forgiving of mistakes. I do remember trying to get a bit of a dramatic lighting aspect into the picture as I was struck by the old boy's joyful smile and…
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If you start me up

If you start me up

art, drawing
I went through a period when I became fascinated about creating paintings and drawings with a musical theme. Some were rather imaginative, some were portraits, others were largely exercises in throwing a load of paint around and seeing what turned up. I rediscovered this one in my old portfolio which I found neglected in the shed. The original is slightly larger than A1 on heavy watercolour paper. I liked working fast in acrylic and pastel at that time, I seem to recall.
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So little time

art, painting
If ever there was a symbolic illustration of how little free time I have in my life these days, this painting is it. In total it probably took around 8 hours or so to paint.  Sadly, those eight hours were spread across nearly a month. What with TMA marking, day schools, work commitments, family life, domestic emergencies and the ordinary hustle and bustle of everyday life I began to feel I'd never finish this picture. When I started it I was clean shaven. Over the time it took me to complete it I grew a beard (which I started to paint in) and then a few days ago I shaved the beard off which necessitated the painting out of the beard and getting things back to more or less where…
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Starry starry night

art, creativity, painting
Starry Night (interactive animation) from Petros Vrellis on Vimeo. Occasionally one comes across a piece of work, whether in the world of atoms or the digital realm of bits and bytes that represents a quantum shift of imaginative and creative endeavour; the kind of work that makes one feel very humble indeed. And Petros Vrellis's sublime, gentle, visionary wonder is such a work. His starting point is Vincent van Gogh's, The Starry Night. The painting itself, as anyone who's even remotely familiar with it, is a night scene looking out over Arles with the blue mountains on the far horizon underneath which a swirling maelstrom of stars dance and whirl in a sky that fills two-thirds of the scene and bears down on the town and fields huddled below. One…
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A little less rust

art, painting
The quest to dust off the old painting skills continues. Another self-portrait I'm afraid; largely for the same reason I did the first one! This self-portrait is larger than life-size which is the first time I've ever approached a portrait in this way and it took a little while to correctly eyeball the proportions and relationships between the key elements while visually scaling them up on the painting surface. Things seemed to happen much faster this time around and there was more fluency and confidence in the mark making. The whole painting took less than half the time of the original, which is quite a step forward. In feel, it is looser and more 'airy' than the first portrait and the subtle change in lighting tended to soften out details,…
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