Jennifer Bentson, Artist
Watercolor, Oil, Sketch - Charcoal, Pencil, and Pastel, Print, Chinese Brush Painting.
My passion has led me to create a body of work with narrative stories about oak trees in California. This project has encompassed many trips to the California Urban and Wild landscapes to capture a sense of the oaks of California. During this quest to find significant oak trees I have met with an Indian Tribe, worked with City Urban Foresters, as well as the Big Tree List for the State of California.
The Oak Tree is the national tree of the United States of America and I want to tell the stories of the oaks that have formed California history, culture, and environment. In order to be part of my project, an oak tree must have a significance beyond beauty. One oak I painted was saved from a fire by the grandfather of the children that play in its shade today. Two other oaks which have long since died, altered the course of a major street in Pasadena. Then there is a 13,000 year old clone of an oak that sits on top of a rugged peak. This year I published a book of paintings and stories of the oaks of Pasadena as a recipient of an Individual Artist Grant. I continue my work on the oaks of California and look forward to published more stories and paintings of this journey.
I have studied art in the Los Angeles area through the Animation Guild, Glendale Community College as well as in China. My formal education is in the field of psychology and education. Retirement means following what I have done as an avocation for years. I have held the position of President of two Art Clubs. I am a correspondent for an Art Magazine (www.artquenchmagazine.com) and have written numerous articles for this publication. I created a cultural exchange with artists from San Fernando Valley and artists in China, and led a tour in 2014. It was so well received we will be going again in 2017. I have participated in local and international workshops and exhibitions. I have curated, produced, as well as exhibited in over 50 exhibitions. I have won many awards. I believe the oak tree is a gage of how we feel about our environment and ourselves.