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BA (Hons) PG Dip (Cons)



Emma is a contemporary artist based in Oxfordshire, UK. Her focus is on the natural world which she depicts in her unique and vibrant style, working exclusively with specialist Japanese watercolours. Emma comes from a long line of artists, her great-grandfather Otto Benz was an American Impressionist who studied at the New York School of Art under William Merrit Chase, and her grandmother Talia Benz was a talented and renowned airbrush artist in the US and with whom Emma used to love painting with as a child. 

Emma was a daily winner on the TV programme Watercolour Challenge while she was still at school, before going 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. Emma spent every holiday during her University studies interning in the National Museum of Wales Painting Conservation studio, and it was here that she was taught the skill of gilding by the head conservator Kate Lowry. On graduating from the Courtauld, Emma 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. Emma also worked on the Gallery's many touring exhibitions which saw a wide variety of work spanning many centuries on display.

Emma has since returned to her first love of painting, specialising in watercolour which she enjoys taking beyond it's traditional associations by using a bright and vivid palette and applying it in a wholly new way. She also uses her skills in gilding by applying areas of fine gold leaf to her paintings. Emma's work has been exhibited throughout the South East and she is represented by the Cambridge Contemporary Art Gallery. Emma has also recently become a tutor of Botanical Watercolour and gilding at the Henley-on-Thames School of Art.

Emma regularly accepts commissions, if you would like to contact her please email

1998 - Selected to exhibit at the Glynn Vivian Art Galllery alongside Welsh artist Glenys Cour

1998 - Watercolour Challenge TV Programme, Channel 4, Daily Winner

1998 - 2001- BA (Hons) History of Art and Architecture, University of Reading

1998 - 2004 - Painting Conservation Intern, National Museum Wales Conservation Department, during every University holiday

2001 - 2004 - PG Dip (Cons) Conservation of Easel Paintings, Courtauld Institute of Art

2004 - ICN, Netherlands, technical examination of a large 19th Century Painting

2004 - 2012 - Paintings Conservator, Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Swansea

2011 - 'Evan Walters: Moments of Vision' by Barry Plummer, article published

2012 - 'Framing Wales' BBC2, Ep. 2: interviewed by former MP Kim Howells on the restoration and painting technique of Welsh artists Evan Walters

2018 - Leaves art conservation to devote her full time to painting

2018 - May - Wild Tweed Country Lifestyle Show, selected to exhibit work and run watercolour workshops

2018 - May - exhibited as part of Oxfordshire artweeks, Henley-on-Thames arts trail

2018 - December - The Creative Duck Pop Up Shop, Henley-on-Thames

2019 - January - selected to showcase my work in 'Spotted' at Top Drawer, Olympia, London

2019 - April - Oxfordshire Artweeks - private view - Watlington, Oxfordshire

2019 - May 11 - 19 - Oxfordshire Artweeks, solo exhibitor at venue 'That Lovely Stuff' boutique in Watlington, Oxfordshire

2019 - June 1 - Watercolour painting demo, 'From' boutique, Thame

2019 - June 26 - July 1 - The Creative Duck Pop Up, The Old Fire Station Gallery, Henley-on-Thames

2019 - 1 November - 31 December - Selected to exhibit in the Cambridge Contemporary Art Gallery Winter Exhibition

2019 - December - The Creative Duck Christmas Pop Up, Henley-on-Thames

2020 - January - Top Drawer trade show, Olympia, London

2020 - January - new tutor of watercolour painting at the Henley-on-Thames School of Art

2020 - 2-3 May - exhibiting as part of Oxfordshire Artweeks, venue: The Henley School of Art (cancelled)

2020 - June 2 - Emma's watercolour 'Berry Special' painted for Art on a Postcard featured in The Times newspaper, page 12

2020 - Summer - Art on a Postcard Summer Auction

2020 - Emma is now stocking Le Bon Marché in Paris and The Huntington Art Museum and Library in California


2020 - NSPCC Online Christmas Fair

2021 - January - Top Drawer, trade show, Olympia, London