We had the good fortune of connecting with Rebecca Bennett and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Rebecca, let’s start by talking about what inspires you?
I am forever intrigued by our natural world. My layered abstract paintings explore the dynamics of color, line, and texture reflected in the five elements: fire, water, earth, air, and ether. The viewer is encouraged by their abstraction to interpret their experience of the work rather than the work itself. My work plays with the abstracted modern landscape. I use light and dark, space and scale, encouraging the viewer to step into the work to react and reflect. My process is one in which the artist and paint are partners negotiating the surface of the canvas as if the paint had animated qualities 

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am an oil painter and mixed media artist living and working in Austin, TX. My recent art journey began in December of 2002. My husband and children gifted me a dedicated art studio space in a nearby warehouse after I had overtaken our bedroom and bathroom!! A couple of years earlier I reignited my passion by taking classes at the Contemporary Austin consequently opening the valve. With this new dedicated studio space I spent a year just playing, experimenting, and practicing. The first big, scary, step was showing the work. At first I showed in cafes and alternative spaces. I was full of anxiety about how it would be received. The feedback encouraged me to continue and work as a full time artist. The very best part of this art career is the making of the art and the play in the studio. Some of the play leads to new series. My Meta Collection series is one such development. The Meta collection is born of re-imagining my painting photographs in a way which transforms them into a new construct. These digitally manipulated images push forward and abstract the work to create a new form and concept. Cutting, reorganizing, and shaping the images uses them in a new way to create organic art forms. What is certain about this career is that there will be waves of success and failure. Be prepared for the bumpy ride. Don’t take the rejection personally. Revel in the successes. Trust yourself. Do the work. Play.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Well, hopefully that friend would love art as much as I do! I’d start at the Sawyer Yard complex. We would spend a day there perusing the art studios, and eating/drinking at the restaurants & cafes. It is constantly evolving and growing so you never know what you’ll find. Another day we’d get ourselves to the museum district to check out the Zoo, Children’s Museum, and Fine art. I’d want to show off Houston’s diversity. We’d find our way to large ethnic areas of the city which are home to a plethora of culture and food. YUM.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Priscilla Sage, my aunt, encouraged and mentored me my entire life. When my mother, her sister, died at 48, she became a second mother. She, a professional artist and professor, s filled my soul with art. I witnessed her dedication and drive. To this day, Priscilla continues to create work and push boundaries. From day one, she encouraged and embraced my endeavors. We lived half a country apart, I in NJ and she in IA, but she saw to it that the connection remained tight. Priscilla included me on her trips to NYC throughout the years. On these trips I learned to look at, understand, and appreciate contemporary art. We traveled to Japan and Paris for art explorations. I am forever grateful for her love, attention, and care. With Pat Witt at the Barn Studio of Art, I was exposed to all forms of art study in the traditions of the old masters. Pat had deep connections to the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art. We were often surprised to have a guest professor or an old classmate who lived in the area teach a class. Pat felt getting outside of the studio to observe was just as important as work inside the studio. Her students were taken on nature walks to observe patterns, shapes, colors, and textures. Field trips to the Philadelphia Museum of Art were important too. Those walls hold old friends. I fell in love with Mary Cassatt, and the impressionists there. Rembrandt came to life. Most of all The Barn Studio of Art was a space to explore without competition or judgement. The greatest joy was hearing Pat declare with animation, that you’ve reached a new learning plateau or skill.

Website: www.rebeccabennettartworks.com
Instagram: https://instagram.com/rebeccabennettartworks
Twitter: https://twitter.com/r_b_art
Facebook: https://facebook.com/rebeccabennettartworks

Image Credits
Scott David Gordon

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutHTX is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.