BMFA Artist Directory

Shirra Benson

Oil Paint

Example of Your Work Image

Painting has always been an outlet for me and is highly influenced by my ever-changing environment
and my emotions. Throughout the pandemic I was challenged on many levels and coming back to the
brush has always helped me in a therapeutic way. “Paint Doodling” is what I’ve named my style of oil
painting. I have been using this method of abstract brushwork on canvas since 2019. My paintings start
with an idea but are mainly unplanned; I simply let my brush and energy lead the way.

As a medical administrative student in 2019, I had done some volunteer work for a placement in Hospice Care at the very start of the pandemic. Also, at that time I was going through a divorce, leaving me a single mom with two young children. The sadness and depression I felt for the world (including my own) was indescribable. In Hospice there were people dying very much alone, and this broke my heart. My heart was already broken due to the crumbling of my marriage. Now, with the world suffering, this was the most challenging time I had ever been through, and this is what lead me to my current body of artwork: The Gold Series.

The Gold Series is light, dark, thick and textured with spurts of colour and energetic brushwork that
carries the eye continuously. The gestural brushwork combines mixed wet-on-wet techniques with
impasto and palette-knife painting, lots of uneven tones and questionable textures that keep sending
your mind spiraling, trying to understand the abstract nature of the painting and relate it to this world.

My artwork is very busy, and I hope to achieve periods of distraction while guiding you away from current, everyday stressors, and into a different world for a moment in time. Now, with the pandemic somewhat in the end stage, I focus on the positives of my current life situations and absorb the positive energies that I gather from spending time in nature with my growing family and bring all that back to the studio.

Historical War movies have now entered my realm as a high interest late night activity recently due to the fact that I’ve found them to put life into perspective. Coincidently, the series has moved into darker and “bonier” looking abstract figures. I have found that the more I learn about the wars that took place and the suffering our veterans and citizens endured, the more I’m given hope and gratitude for what I DO have in this blessed life.