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ABOUT ME

I am a contemporary artist working from my new seaside studio overlooking the  Gower coastline in Wales. My focus is on the natural world and I take inspiration from the coast and countryside surrounding my studio. I paint exclusively with specialist Japanese watercolours and incorporate 24k gold leaf into many of my works.

EXPERIENCE

I have painted from a young age, and was introduced to watercolours by my grandmother Talia Benz, who was a renowned airbrush artist in the States. Her father Otto Benz was an American Impressionist who studied at the New York School of Art under William Merrit Chase and painted beautiful scenes around Massachusetts and all along the East Coast of America.

I won the award for Art at both my primary and secondary schools, and while studying for my A-Levels I took part in the TV programme Watercolour Challenge and was a daily winner (I have the gilded presentation watercolour box as a beautiful souvenir).

I went on to study for a BA (Hons) in the History of Art and Architecture at the University of Reading, followed by a three year PG Dip (Cons) in Painting Restoration at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London. Throughout every University holidays I undertook an internship at the National Museum of Wales Painting Conservation studio. It was here that I was taught the skill of gilding by the head conservator Kate Lowry. On graduating from the Courtauld, I immediately began working as the Painting Restorer at the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Wales and was responsible for the conservation and preservation of the gallery collection, which included paintings, prints, miniatures, sculpture and china, as well as overseeing the preservation of works of art across the County's buildings. I also worked on the Gallery's many touring exhibitions which saw a wide variety of work spanning many centuries on display.

FULL TIME PAINTING

After the birth of my child I returned to my first love of painting, specialising in watercolour which I enjoy taking beyond it's traditional associations by using a bright and vivid palette and applying it in a wholly new way. I also use my skills in gilding by applying areas of fine gold leaf to my paintings and prints.

 

My work has been exhibited throughout the South East and I am represented by the Cambridge Contemporary Art Gallery. I also recently become the tutor of Botanical Watercolour and gilding at the Henley-on-Thames School of Art.

CONTACT ME

I regularly accept commissions. If you would like to contact me to discuss and find out about availability please email emmabenzart@outlook.com

You can also read my blog which details one of my recent commissions here

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