When I started trying to promote my own artwork online I kept coming across other people's art that amazed or compelled me in one way or another. This blog has been a way for me to practice thinking and writing about art, as well as learning more about my peers and all the incredible art that is being made out there.

Search for an Artist on this blog (or cut and paste from the list at the bottom of this page)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Chelsea Bentley James

"North"  oil on panel  24" x36"

"Roselle with Reed"

"Aubry"  oil on panel  12x12

"Above"  oil on panel  60" x 60"

"Flush"  oil on panel  12x12
Chelsea Bentley James has some new work up at Kayo Gallery in Salt Lake City this month (along with artist Angela Fife). I posted some of her work back in February of 2010. Most of her paintings were landscapes with a few interiors here and there, but lately she's added more figurative work to her repertoire. It all works equally well, mainly because the subject matter does not in fact matter. Well not entirely at any rate. She clearly has an affinity for her subjects, an interest in them as objects, as places, as people, and her technique renders them through a filter not unlike memory, so that they come out fragmented, partial, ghostly and dreamlike. But we do not need to have any connection to her subjects to appreciate what she does with them. Because, landscape or figure, what her work is really about is painting itself. It's about the process of accumulating marks on a flat surface to create an image. It's about subtle shifts in hue and value to create a sense of depth and atmosphere. She remains firmly entrenched in the figurative tradition but her work is a constant reminder that all 2-dimensional rendering is abstraction at it's root. It's all just an accumulation of marks. She also manages to make that fact look almost effortless. Of course it's not. Not at all, but that appearance is a testament to her skill.
Her website is really just a blog. There's loads of great stuff there but you have to dig down into the archives to find it all. But you'll be glad you did.

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