Barbara Bentinck

 Barbara Bentinck has been staying in the Gueststudios for 6 weeks now. Her studio looks cosy, the walls are filled with canvases, the table with paint, brushes and all the other things she uses while working on her paintings. Because that's what she came to the Gueststudios for, to work very seriously on some new paintings.

Art and travelling seem to be part of Barbara's nature, which isn't so strange considering she´s the daughter of a diplomatist father and an art-historian mother. During her childhood they travelled around the world and changed their country and environment every three years, while her mother taught her about culture and art of many places they visited. Her interest in art became especially stimulated when she lived in Paris around the age of twelve and followed art classes at school. She started to take the lessons very seriously and wanted to impress her teachers. Ever since painting became more important to her and she decided to study art in New York, where she received a bachelor´s and master´s degree in Fine Arts at the Pratt Institute.
           During her study at the Pratt Institute in New York she already tried to create her own style and interest instead of following the ongoing development of trends in the art world around her. Soon she discovered she was most interested in colour and the effects colours can have on the human mind. She found out circles and geometrical patterns seemed to offer never-ending possibilities for her artistic expression. For over 10 years she's been experimenting with this shapes and colours, which always seemed to offer room for more change and more improvement.

                                         Pastel 70 x 150 cm, 2008.

                                         Oil 100 x 180 cm, 2007.

                                           Gouache 56 x 56 cm

           But she started to feel stuck in her own work, she realised that the ideas about the subject she had been working on for so long could actually come to an end. She once started to work on abstract paintings because she wanted to break free from certain artistic rules, but now she noticed she needed change to break free from the rules she had created for herself in the last 10 years. At the moment she´s working on some figurative paintings, completely different from what she´s been doing before. She always thought about figurative art as limitating, but now she sees all this new opportunities. At the moment working on figurative art is a challenge to her, experimenting with new forms is exciting to Barbara after all these years of abstraction.
          Still she notices that she´s interested in the same aspects of creating art. The colours and their effects, experimenting with colour and searching for the right compositions and proportions. She still uses the same techniques in her work, but on a different subject. While she was working on the circles and geometrical patterns her knowledge of technique increased, so now she can use this in her figurative work.The subjects she chose for her new figurative works are pictures of situations she ran in to herself and felt like she had to capture them as an image, because she noticed something special in the colours or composition. At the moment she's trying to create figurative paintings that look like real places, using the right perspective and depth. Only with the use of colours that seem to be quite unlogic and bizarre, as an experiment to see how much this really matters for the way viewers perceive the image.
          Barbara doesn't feel the need to be innovative or pioneering in her work but she wants her work to be nice to look at, not boring and she wants to keep on getting fulfilment for herself out of her work. Also she hopes that she can show viewers another way to look at paintings by experimenting with colour and how it can affect the viewer or a painting. She wants to have fun in working on her paintings, exactly what she seems to be having right now by experimenting with her renewed interest in figurative painting. She hopes to finish two paintings in the coming six weeks. We´re happy to see she´s feeling productive in the gueststudio and even having this breakthrough while staying here. We´re very curious about the end results, so we´ll visit again soon!

          Barbara in Gueststudio 2 in front of some new (unfinished) works, 2012.