ABOUT THE ARTIST
A linguist all my life, I am now learning a new language, the language of Art. I am interested in the memory of objects and landscapes, and the imprint of people on the world. My work hovers between the semi-representational and abstracted forms. I currently paint with acrylics using quick, spontaneous gestures sometimes adding paper, fabric, stencils, rocks or found objects on the canvas surface to express my emotions and give form to the canvas. I prepare my surfaces with gesso and modeling paste, or other medium, sometimes with a particular vision in mind, always letting my intuition guide me. I build-up texture and layers of paint allowing the canvas to start waking up to the painting it is about to become. I favor the pallet knife which produces strong, unconstrained and unpredictable paint strokes letting the canvas reveal itself to me. There is a constant adding and subtracting, scratching and smoothing. I find this dialogue with the canvas both exhilarating and soothing as if time and space were no longer relevant.
I am a self-taught artist, but have attended the classes of several national, international and local artists who are listed under Acknowledgments. Many artists guide me through this journey, too many to name, among them Marc Chagall, Paul Cezanne, Henry Matisse, Maurice de Vlaminck, André Derain, Nicolas de Staël, Margaret Putman and Thornton Dial.
I have exhibited in San Antonio as a member of the Genlileschi Aegis Gallery Association (https://sylviambenitez.wixsite.com).
EDUCATION AND ART TRAINING
Université de Toulouse-Le-Mirail, Toulouse, France:
BA Applied Foreign Languages - French/English/Spanish - Minor in Business and Economics
Diploma of Translation and Consecutive/Simultaneous Interpretation, 1980.
"Cypress Studio" Art Class with Laurence Karasek, Lakehills, Texas: Strengthening Drawing Skills, Composition, Perspective, Spatial Understanding, April 2013.
Painting classes with Seth Camm, 2014.
Southwest School of Art, San Antonio, Texas: Studied Studio Art, Landscape Painting and Intensified Abstraction with Jeannette McDougall, Sylvia Benitez and Chris Sauter, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018.
Semmes Studio at the San Antonio Art League and Museum: "Inspired Abstraction", a Studio Workshop, 2018, with Marguerite Moreau McCarthy.
New York Foundation For the Arts - Learning/Professional Development - Immigrant Artists Mentoring Program with Mentor Kim Bishop, 2019.
Color Theory and Studio Workshops with Roberta Buckles, Summer and Fall 2019.
LANGUAGES: French, English, Spanish