Our May show features bold, bright new works of the flowers of Mexico by Paul Alan Bennett, opening May 2 during the First Friday Gallery Walk from 5-9pm.
Paul’s flower paintings resulted from a recent trip to Sayulita, Mexico where he was quite taken by the Huichol folk art, and Day of the Dead images and rituals, which reconnected him to the folk art he had seen in Istanbul years before. His time in Istanbul influenced the style he has become known for—a “knit” style using gouache paint. He could see where this style would fit well with the themes and designs he encountered in Mexico. The spiritual and surreal elements found in Huichol art, and its playful nature, tied in well with his interest in ethnic art, children’s art, art history and his own travels.
“The flower theme in Mexico is everywhere.” says Paul. “Beautiful flowers are sold on street corners, and used for restaurant and kitchen tables as well as for celebrations and remembrances. As a symbol, they speak a language that can be universal as well as personal.” Such a symbol reminded Paul of flower doodles he enjoyed doing as a child. “There is something so basically pleasing about drawing a pretty flower.”
“In the high desert of Central Oregon a colorful flower can be a cause for celebration. Indian Paintbrush, Sand Lily and Trillium found during hikes in the spring create splashes of color. Encountering them is always a time to pause and take in their beauty because we know their blooms won’t last for long. Our souls are nurtured by this evidence of earths life force.”
Paul is based in Sisters, Oregon and his paintings have won numerous local and national awards. He has been featured on Oregon Art Beat and teaches art at COCC.
Tumalo Art Co. is an artist-run gallery in the heart of the Old Mill District in Bend, Oregon. 541-385-9144