Debra Benditz, San Antonio, TX Member Since June 2013 Artist Statement Art is about discovery. Skillfully executed, my paintings are clearly defined by classical instruction. I am just as fond of the developmental processes as I am with the end result. This diligence in preparation, peppered with my imagination, allows for open-ended flexibility. The Muse is fueled with preparatory sketching and research, resulting in an exploration and exclamation much like my personal journey. My canvases are filled with past experiences and interests, infused with a strong sense of whimsy.
While in grade school, my art interest was fostered and encouraged. As a child, I loved visiting my grandfathers’ home. The walls were covered with so much art I often looked at them in bewilderment. The old home in Shaker Heights, Ohio had belonged to a great uncle who was not only an artist but also a passionate collector. Hours were spent on the floor of the music room going through the post-card collection and sketchbooks while one-sided Enrico Caruso records played on the Victrola.
At the age of 26, I started my own steel business supplying pipe to the oil and gas industry. Yet, there was still that stirring in my soul that could not be fulfilled. My business was flourishing. Glamour magazine named me one of ten top young working women in America in 1989. Even that accolade didn’t fill the void. I sold my business, took a year off and started to evaluate what I really wanted out of life. This led to culinary school, where I was able to continue exploring my interests and love of art, architecture, travel and cultures, while gaining the ability to cook without a recipe. After graduating, in an attempt to fuel my muse, I teamed up with a certified master chef and started a culinary consulting firm. A few years later I discovered that, having these credentials and another successful business, still left me wanting. This time, I went back to school on my terms, following my muse. International studies led to art history, then classes in interior design and finally studio art and painting. I studied interior design in Scotland, anatomy for artists in Budapest and art in Europe in Paris, Trier, and Brussels.
I graduated in 2008, at age 50, with a BFA in studio art, painting from Texas Christian University. Drawing from my past, building on my many loves… life, passion, expression of lust, beauty in nature and the human form. My canvases are filled with past experiences and interests, resulting in an exploration and exclamation much like my personal journey, all infused with a strong sense of whimsy. Explore my work and see the result of undying tenacity and perseverance, all culminating…to quench the thirst in and of my soul!