Hey there, friends! I am so excited to introduce you to my friend, Jessica Benson. I am always excited to see more of her work, as her pieces never fail to captivate me with the explosions of colors she incorporates, that give her images a sense of motion. Ed Catmull, one of the great artists and thinkers behind Pixar, says, “Art isn’t about drawing, it’s about learning to see.” That’s what I dearly love about Jessica’s work– I love how she sees things. Whether it’s her visual interpretation of a bible verse, a neuron, or a landscape, I love the chance to see the world as she does through her work. All of the colors, layers, textures, and motion Jessica incorporates into each detail never cease to challenge me to look at the world a little more closely. Read on to learn more about her work and process…
Do you have a favorite medium? Oil paints and oil pastels are my preferred media, I would say. However, I also work in charcoal and chalk pastel.
What do you see as the goal or purpose behind the work you do? First, I want to honor and serve my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ through what I create and through growing in this ability He has given me. I also want to bless and help others through it, which includes using art to tell them about God. Furthermore, I see it as a means to help my family financially, especially when I am a stay-at-home mom (Lord willing). Of course, I also greatly enjoy the process of creating art and helping others to create art.
How did you get started? I always messed around as a kid with drawing and creating random sculptures from items my parents considered garbage. In middle school and sophmore year of high school, I had a few art lessons. My junior and senior year of high school, however, was when I really got into it and had official classes as well as an art tutor.
Where and when do you do your work? When I am oil painting, I work in one of our spare rooms that is serving as my art studio. Otherwise, I work in various places around our house.
Are there certain people or circumstances that have encouraged you to pursue your art? All my art teachers/tutors, as well as my parents, and now my husband, have been a big encouragement.
What inspires your art? God inspires my work for one. Specifically, I sometimes illustrate scripture in a somewhat abstract way. Also, creation is inspiring. I love showing and studying the details of God’s creation. At the moment, the creation I am especially drawn to are animals. I enjoy capturing animals’ expressions and humorous, close-up angles of their faces.
Who do you look up to? Are there other artists that you look up to? I really enjoy artists who include bright colors and/or heavy texture. I studied Monet in high school, and, so partly because of that, I’ve always been drawn to an impressionistic style. Teachers have inspired me as well. My brother, who is pursuing animation, also inspires me. His media are often very different from mine, but I am constantly amazed by his talent.
What projects are you working on right now? Anything you are particularly excited about? Currently, I am working on oil pastel pet portraits for various people. However, I am also an art teacher, and that occupies the majority of my time.
What do you hope to accomplish with your work? Any specific hopes and dreams for the future? I go through phases of different interests, but there are a few areas I know I want to continue to build up. One is teaching more private art lessons, and the other is creating more pet portraits.
Do you have any advice or encouragement for people who want to pursue their own creative outlets? If you know Christ, pray about how He has gifted and made you, and how He would want you to use those gifts. Make time for it. The way most most of our lives are, we really have to schedule it in. Meet others who can encourage you, help you, teach you. Networking is so huge today. Experiment with ways to advertise/sell locally and online.
Where can people learn more about your work? At jdbensonredeemed.weebly.com I also sell work and teach lessons at the Linen Pinecone in Manhattan, Montana.
A huge thank you to Jessica for sharing her work and thoughts! Be sure to stop by her website to check out more of her work, and be sure to look a little bit closer at God’s beautiful creation around you as you walk through this day.