My long-time interest in creating two-dimensional art work has been in consideration of the perception of positive/negative space or figure/ground relationships in drawing and painting. I also like to consider how we read and interpret the visual cues of mark-making and composition, trying to distinguish those which our minds read, but then sometimes distort for us, allowing us to understand or make assumptions from what we know, but are not necessarily cognizant, from what we actually are seeing.  Thinking along these lines, the positive/negative dichotomy of the two-dimensional surface become a questioning of illusion and reality, for our vision and memory are so intertwined that our understanding usually lies somewhere between the two.   

My work has gone in several directions in terms of approach to this thinking.  Early on, I explored the play of positive and negative space using the thick and thin resistance of oil and water mediums combined in non-objective or abstract drawing and painting.  Lately my work has been representational, but I find that, visually and in process, the approach is very much the same as non-representation or abstraction.  The subject matter has been as diverse as architecture, plants, camouflage fish, and translucent microscopic organisms.

Kathleen Benton
February 2014

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