by Tabitha Benedict
My process involves first by layering Venetian Plaster mixed with acrylic fluids. the layers represent all the layers we go through in life, and then the texture, abstract piece speaks to me on what wildlife is going to live in the canvas.
I use Venetian Plaster to create original paintings and drawings. Combined with mixed media I have developed a unique style using abstract, transparency and representation.
An abstract mind allows the ability to think about things that are not actually present. Gaining perspective into the bigger picture I start by layering the plaster one layer at a time.
Transparency represents the intentional to bare one's soul to the world, showing one's true self. This is a way to give permission to feel and experience your feelings rather than “fix” them.
Wild animals with their raw state of being stirs up the energy of our own soul providing a parallel example of what it means to be transparent.
Art is a
Journey of a Free Soul
by Alev Oguz
We sometimes play a vicious game with ourselves called “Never Enough”. We pay a hefty price to be a part of a tribe or to feel loved so we don’t feel alone. But it is only when we are alone that we get to see exactly who we are. We embark on a journey to peel back all the layers revealing once again the core of who we are. It is only when we are true/authentic to the very core of our being that we begin to create the story that was meant to be told. When you no longer live to fulfill another’s view of who they think you should be magic begins to happen. So close your eyes for 5 maybe 15 minutes in the quiet doldrums of your living room before all of your house awakes. Sit still and envision yourself in space. There is all this space around you, there is plenty of space, envision what feels good it could be a simple as smelling your favorite flower.
My philosophy and life purpose is to inspire others to live a life they so shall desire and to create without boundaries so you can reconnect back to your true self.
Where it all Began
I grew up in a small town in Upstate NY, rolling hills and vast swathes of countryside. My favorite pastimes; family diners at Lewis’s Italian American restaurant, licking the worlds best ice cream after a little league softball game at Gillian’s Dairy Isle, and a $1.25 slice of pizza and Pac Man at Joe and Vinny’s Pizzeria with friends. My love and connection to nature began as a young child when my grandma would take me on frequent visits to Rogers Environmental Center. It was here that only a few memories of childhood remain. I remember standing on a bridge on my tiptoes so I could reach over the fence to throw handfuls of fish food to the giant brown and rainbow trout. I would run to the birds of prey building so I could stare into the blank eyes of the taxidermied owls and eagles and envision them alive. Throughout my life I was always finding ways to revel in the outdoors. An Outward Bound backpacking trip through Hurricane Island in Maine, a secluded 3 day backpacking trip in the Anazazi Indian Reservation in Utah, Scuba diving the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, and my first deep water dive in Belize, just to name a few. Nature can inspire us, open our hearts and minds and connect us to who we are. Drawing became the cornerstone of my artistic abilities. In the second grade my first life drawing became the cover of the Elementary School Times and I received my first ribbon in the elementary art show. By the time I graduated from high school my mom had filled a scrap book of awards, scholarships and newspaper clippings. One that I like to congratulate myself on is The Congressional Artistic Discovery Award. My painting had the opportunity to hang in corridor of the US Capitol Building for a year along with 100 other talented high school students who took first prize in their district.
My Process Today
Painting and Drawing has provided me with a life long expressive outlet. It is my way of, examining, processing and expressing my personal experiences and beliefs, sharing my spirit and connecting with the world. For the past 5 years I have been in the process of developing a unique style based solely on intuition. When I discovered the use of Venetian Plaster as a medium I had felt like I had arrived home, the process became a metaphor for my life. Each painting evolves through the accumulation of countless layers, fusing together fluid acrylic colors and plaster. Each layer delivers new ideas and experiences, I love how the colors mix and intermingle as they are layered. Like magic the painting starts to create a story of its own burying the past with opaque layers and letting other layers remain translucent.
Once I have acquired enough depth subject matter begins to naturally take form. By integrating wild animals in a composed but powerful state of being a sacred connection is established. The spirit of the animal represents how the energy of the human spirit and the environment are intertwined and connected as a whole. Birthing these works has been a significant part of my own personal transformation towards wellbeing as they represent sacred space for me. I hope that viewers will feel a connection to mystical dimensions with my work, completing the purpose of connecting to your soul.