Sunday, September 13, 2009

Remembering Gale Bennett (1939-2008)

GALE BENNETT (1939-2008) was Founder and Director of ArtStudy Giverny in Giverny, France, a school for artists and photographers celebrating its 14th anniversary in 2009. A native of SW Florida, Bennett studied at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. The works of this internationally-known artist can be found in collections throughout the US, as well as in Canada, Europe, Japan, and Australia. Gale Bennett said that Nature in all forms provided his primary inspiration. His modern eclectic painting style included references to Abstract Expressionism, Impressionism, Cubism, and even Renaissance art. In 2008 Bennett was honored with the “Lifetime Achievement” award given annually by the “Angels of the Arts”. Until his death in 2008, the artist and his wife, Cello, divided their time between Giverny, France and Southwest Florida.
The above bio is from Gale's website. To view his work click here.
I met Gale in Giverny in September of 2003. This was a very eventful year for me. My wife Alexandra and I were just married, and I had just started a new job with Blacktop Creative. Alexandra arranged for us to spend a week in Giverny while on our honeymoon in France. If this place sounds familiar, it is because it is the location of Claude Monet's famous gardens, home and final resting place... which just touches on this amazing village. I'll save the art history lesson for another time.
I only spent a week working with Gale, but learned a lifetime of information. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't use what Gale taught me that week in 2003. From composition to color, I haven't looked at painting and design the same since. I use it in my commerical as well as my personal work.
I only recently learned of his passing last year. My wife and I were greatly saddened by the news. We had corresponded with his wife Cello on and off since 2003, but as often happens, we lost touch.I just wanted to say thank you Gale. That time in France rejuvinated, inspired and instructed me to keep doing what I love, and I will always be grateful.
Gale Bennett
 Gale instructing me
 Painting on location
A painting I did in Paris the following week of the trip
Pears painted after returning home, remembering Gale's instructions


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