My Journey as an Artist

I grew up drawing and painting.

Ever since I can remember, I've been drawing, painting, building, folding, constructing... making.

The first major piece of art I made, which is still hanging in my parents' kitchen, is this version of "The Starry Night," which I painted in elementary school when I was seven years old.

A couple years later, I started taking art lessons after school from Ellen McGill, with whom I would develop much of my artistic style over the nine years I studied with her.

This is the first pastel I ever made, under Ellen's instruction, when I was nine or ten.

Over the next few years, I practiced a lot of technical skills with a variety of media – pencil, paints, ink... and even making collages and stained glass – but I always had the most fun with pastels.

When I was in 8th or 9th grade, something just clicked in my brain and I found my style. These three pastels were all produced between the ages of 13–15.

During my late high school years, I also got my first camera, a Canon PowerShot SX130 IS, which I mostly used to snap photos that I would later draw back at home. It also trained my eye, which helped me grow as an artist. 

Fast forward a few years, lots of classes in and out of high school, and a few student competition prizes as a vote of confidence... but I enrolled in college to study Computer Science, rather than art. With few art classes or external resources to motivate me, I took it upon myself to keep up with my artistic habits.

Over the next few years I continued to refine my technical abilities and my style, producing some of my personal favorites along the way (along with plenty of mistakes – not featured!)

When I graduated from college, I went through another personal Renaissance of painting, creating a number of pieces that pushed my limits technically and stylistically. I upgraded my art supplies (big fan of Sennelier), and focused on the patience and precision necessary for crisp architectural renderings, combining that with luscious color gradients and a healthy dose of abstraction. 

Without any environment for formal education, I looked to a number of artists for inspiration, primarily from the American Modernists of the early 20th century. Some favorites include Georgia O'Keeffe, Edward Hopper, Lawren Harris, Charles Demuth, and Oscar Bluemner, as well as an appreciation for the works of Lyonel Feininger, Mikalojus Ciurlionis, and of course, Vincent van Gogh (remember my first painting?)

Many of the works produced during this time are part of my Pastels and Paintings gallery.

More recently, I've purchased a proper DSLR camera (a Nikon D3500), and I'm starting to immerse myself in photography as a medium for artistic expression. I've taken everything that I've learned as a painter about light and dark, color blending, textures, and compositions, and I'm applying it to artistic photography and digital compositing.

You can find these in my Photography and Composites gallery.

I continue to experiment with my art, in an attempt to evolve it from a passion to a professional level.

If you want to support my endeavors, be sure to Contact Me either about purchasing any of my works, or if you know of any exhibition opportunities (anything from galleries, to coffee shops, restaurants, or your office building), or even just with a friendly hello. And be sure to follow me on Instagram to see all my latest work, or check out my Patreon channel for behind-the-scenes and plenty of bonus content.

Thanks for your support! Tell your friends and family!

- Ben

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