Paul Alan Bennett
Since the age of nine Paul wanted to be an artist. "I suppose it’s because children are attracted to powerful things and art always struck me as being very powerful. I had prints of paintings by Van Gogh all over my room when I was in middle school. I don’t know where I got them - probably from a calendar - but I found them inspiring."
In school, Paul did well in art but he always had my own art outside the classroom. Mainly, he loved to draw. He liked the ways ideas evolved as he drew. "My own curiosity keeps me going. What is it that I am after? The inventiveness of art and the hold it has on my own imagination and spirit captivate me," he says.
Paul studied drawing and ceramics at The Maryland Institute of Art in Baltimore, and followed up with an M.A. in Greek history at The University of La Verne, Athens, Greece. His schooling deepened his love of art and history, and helped him to find work as an art and art history teacher in a number of different places around the world.
Paul's work has a certain style that looks like knitting in paint. This evolved from purchasing a pair of knitted gloves in Istanbul. He was attracted to the simple patterns and the texture of the gloves, so he decided to see if he could copy the “knit” look in paint. He used gouache watercolor as it is easy to change and is a logical extension of drawing but in paint. The “knit” look gradually became his signature style. At one point, Pendleton Woolen Mills was attracted to his work and created 16 tapestries in wool based on his designs.
Paul states, "Like any form of self-employed work, art can have its frustrations. However, the longer I stay with it (30 years now) the clearer it becomes to me how important art and culture are to our lives. I feel fortunate that I have been able to do it as long as I have. I hope to continue producing art for as long as I am able."
See more of Paul’s art at his website: paulbennett-art.com