Artist interview with Paul Bennett

Artist Paul Bennett specialises in painting atmospheric landscapes and seascapes, and finds that a good walk is always the source of true inspiration…especially if there’s a pint waiting at the end...

Never lost

My work explores…

Memory and experience. The landscapes or seascapes are not anchored into any specific region or time; they are an eclectic synthesis of place, weather and season. I choose to capture and communicate my experience this way as it reflects life with its unceasing process of observing, experiencing, interpreting, storing, and ultimately reflecting. The result I strive for is a unique and original visual experience that has captured not only the sense of somewhere/sometime, but also the more subtle notion of recollection.

Going out for a walk inspires me because...

It is the first step of the discovery and is key to the process in which I work. You can walk the same path a hundred times, but the change in season, the time of day and so on will make the walk unique every time. The work I create is an amalgamation of every walk I’ve been on.

Make it rain

The thing that makes me feel most creative is…

The moment when you get time to stand back and reflect on everything that came before. I need space to let my mind settle and the rest of the creativity happens as a result of the process, the act of putting paint onto the canvas. Letting the last brush stroke dictate the next.

I am currently working on…

A series of abstract landscape paintings for an upcoming show at the Cloud Gallery in Chester (now open). The painting featured here Waiting for the Night 2 is part of the series. I will also be starting on a new series of seascapes, which will happen when I get back from West Coast of Scotland.

First light

The piece I am most proud of is…

Always the painting I have just finished. It’s almost like seeing the painting for the first time and feels fresh to me.
The strangest experience I have had so far working as an artist is... being asked for my autograph. It’s only happened a handful of times, but I find it kind of odd, in a good way.

My favourite place to walk is...

Kentmere. The walk in the valley is flat enough for my three year daughter and I like nothing better than seeing her out and about. However, living in Kendal, just outside the Lake District, I am spoiled for choice and every weekend is a potential adventure and source of inspiration.

The most magical place I know is…

Mount Kinabalu in Borneo. I was there with friends a few years back. It was great trekking through unfamiliar terrain. The most magical moment was when we were near the summit at around 3am in the morning and the moon left the sky to reveal the most amazing panorama of a night full of stars. It was truly breath-taking.

Waiting for the night

The next place I want to explore on foot is…

A toss up between Kyoto, Japan or keeping it more local and exploring Eskdale a bit more. I’ve been to Wasdale a couple of times before, but the weather has always prevented me from getting stuck in. With any luck I will get to do both this year.

One thing I always take with me on a walk is…

The name of the pub at the end of the walk. It’s not a proper walk if there’s not a pint waiting for you at the end. It’s an integral part of the walking process and gives me time to relax and reflect.

www.paul-bennett.co.uk

Titles of each painting by Paul Bennett (from top): Never lost; Make it rain; First light; Waiting for the light.