Benson: Life, art is what you make of it

Published 1:42 am Saturday, June 8, 2019

Andalusia local Batina Benson believes that people should look at art as a blank canvas and create whatever comes to their mind.

Benson was recognized at the Lower Alabama Arts Coalition Tuesday night alongside of Sarah Bowman. Their work is on display through the month of June.

She started painting in 2001, while she was in college at Auburn University.

“I decided to go into the college of liberal arts in the art field,” Benson said. “So, I got into a couple of classes there and I liked it a lot, so I kept going.”

Benson said that her feelings are what inspire her to paint.

“A lot of times it may just be the mood of what I am going through,” Benson said. “Sometimes it’s life and sometimes it could just be free flowing painting, basically just whatever I’m thinking at the moment.”

Claude Monet is one painter that Benson looks up to because she studied him vastly in college.

“When I was studying him in school, I was just drawn to the subtleness of his paintings and his brush strokes,” Benson said. “He did a lot of flowers and floral paintings and to me that was just again, that note of beauty and life and the beauty of this world. I was automatically drawn to his type of paintings because they made me feel free.”

When Benson paints, she has to set a certain mood.

“I like to listen to classical subtle music or jazz,” Benson said. “I’ll sit down and lay out my things for whatever I’m painting with that day. I’ll have the windows open so I can have as much natural lighting as possible, then I’ll just get a cup of coffee and paint for hours.”

Benson said that she enjoys painting abstract paintings the most.

“I also work in the medium of pastel as well,” Benson said. “I like to take things that others would naturally see and think and I turn them into what I see. It could be the totally opposite of what they see, but that’s what art is.”

The turnout to the art show on Tuesday was very exciting to Benson.

“I think we had a huge turnout,” Benson said. “I was actually able to sell some paintings. I was able to mingle with a lot of people that came in and answer questions that they had about my art. I was particularly drawn to people that were telling me what they thought they saw in my paintings. It was probably something totally different that I didn’t see, but when they pointed it out, I could see it. It was interesting to see everybody’s viewpoints.”

Benson said that she still gets lost in all of her paintings.

“Life is just like the blank canvas of art,” Benson said. “It is completely what you make of it, so in my pieces, I tend to, like I said, think of how I am feeling. It may not make sense to others, but to me, I get lost in my paintings. I get in that zone in my paintings, because this is my creation and this is what I see.