MJ Benson

MJ Benson

As a painter, I begin with the horizon, its ever steady line of delineation between the spaces of land, sky, sea. In between are layers and layers of light and color, sprung from my memory but unbound by realism. I use a framework, a few rules around composition or color, but it’s the tension between what I expect and what the painting is telling me that dictates the flow and finish. I work, and wait, until the profound shifting between place and memory stills itself harmoniously on the canvas.

I am a prolific painter, deeply enmeshed in all the intellectual, mundane and playful elements of exploring my vision. My disciplined framework for my professional practice as an artist was developed through the rigors of art school and the teachers who helped me hone my own rhythm of practice. I paint daily and my favored medium is acrylic paint; simultaneously, however, I use oils, gouache and encaustics to deepen my practice.

My work represents my explorations of the elements around bodies of sky and water, particularly in Maine, the colors and moods. The ocean, in league with the sky, has always fascinated me with its ability to soothe and terrify, its very solid, moving mass so easily shifted by the solid earth below it and the orbiting moon above. It’s always been home to me.

I have a BFA from the School of the Musuem of Fine Arts, Boston, and an EdM from Harvard University, and learned painting through the Maine College of Art and Open Door at Haystack. My photography has been exhibited and collected nationally. 

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