Art Chowder September | October 2021 Issue No. 35 Issue 35 - Page 11
Seattle City Life
San Francisco drawn to the piece , the group had not yet identified that it reflected the Spokane region . The group verbalized their intrigue with the piece , slowly realizing that they recognized facets of it , and eventually exclaimed their joy that it was Spokane ! Ben soared in that moment . This is precisely the goal he intended to achieve with his work — whether creating a private commission , or exploring new areas — connection to place . Nothing ignites joy in Ben more than hearing people connect with his work , to hear their own stories about the area they might recognize while viewing a particular piece . The magic Ben achieves is the engaging of viewers in transcending the frame , to let their memories , emotions , knowledge , and experience of a location weave in and out of what he might have captured in the piece . Each painting then takes on its own identity specific to the person engaging with it .
Since his inception of this concept about 18 years ago Ben and his work continue to evolve . While remaining loyal to the love of place in the basic terrain , he has explored other mediums he feels help shape the story and tell more than just the topography of a location . In addition to switching from canvas to wood , which helps create a more 3D experience , he utilizes resins and epoxies over metallic and pearlescent paint to depict water ; he mashes up poetry , imagery , and a host of different painting methods to depict a particular story . Ben is working on an exciting project about to culminate after more than 16 years in the making . His “ Place Collection ,” which I had the pleasure of viewing in progress , captures a depth well beyond identifiable topography and landmarks .