Dan’s Papers Cover Artist Ben Fenske’s New Muse

June 10, 2020 Dan's Papers cover art (detail) by Ben Fenske
June 10, 2020 Dan's Papers cover art (detail) by Ben Fenske

Sag Harbor-based Ben Fenske talks about his latest “muse,” his urge to always create art and more.

Courtesy Ben Fenske

What was the inspiration for this piece?
Every once in a while a muse will pop into my life. The model for this painting was a muse. I did many paintings of her in everyday situations. In this case, she happened to be working in her garden when I saw her and asked her to pose.

Talk about your art style.
I am inspired by the painters of the turn of the last century and by the Soviet-era impressionists. In some way I try to imitate the styles of painting from those periods. I use traditional materials, oil paint put on canvas with brushes mostly.

Tell us about your artistic process.
I don’t have a set process or schedule. Many times I’ll have an idea based on an experience or something that I’ve seen and I’ll try to recreate that so I can paint it. Other times, something will catch my eye and I’ll set up and try to capture it. I make many sketches and starts, often without a direction. I like to start a big painting and then put it away for a week or two. This way I have many canvases going at once.

If you weren’t an artist what would you be doing?
That’s a difficult question. I’ve been painting and drawing as long as I can remember. It is something that i need to do everyday. It can be a curse or a blessing.

What inspires you the most?
When I’m in the right space everything is inspiring. I also draw inspiration from other painters and works of art.

See more of Ben Fenske’s work at Grenning Gallery, 26 Main Street, Sag Harbor, grenninggallery.com.

June 10, 2020 Dan's Papers cover art by Ben Fenske
June 12, 2020 Dan’s Papers cover art by Ben Fenske

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