benjamin b. purvis
Benjamin Brantley Purvis grew up in the small town of Franklin, Tennessee, just south of
Nashville. There he came to appreciate art from watching his sister, Heather A. Miller, win a variety of art shows in the community, and later becoming an art teacher in Owensboro KY. He was also influenced by the landscape and wildlife watercolor art of his father who was working as an architect at the time. Ben grew up and ranked first and best of show in all the same art shows his sister had won many years ago, and so decided to make a career out of his abilities. He
graduated high school, having successfully completed all AP honor art classes with top grades and decided to go to Ringling School of Art and Design in Sarasota, FL.
Many are familiar with the evolution of artist Jackson Pollock's creative process, which began when he accidentally dripped paint directly onto unstretched canvas and resulted in
unforgettable, multilayer pieces that helped define abstract expressionism.
The unique and unorthodox process used in Benjamin Purvis' latest series had a similar genesis. Ben says, "This isn't a style I studied, learned or emulated, but something I developed along the way."
Working in his signature oils and unhappy with what he'd painted, Purvis threw the odorless mineral spirits used to thin his paints directly on the canvas. Later, while staring at the changed painting, he had a creative breakthrough. He picked up his palette knife and added sky and water to the piece. The resulting work became the first of a series, and the birth of a genre of abstract impressionism for which the emergent artist is increasingly recognized. In addition to employing his signature palette knife, Purvis' process includes a unique combination of brush strokes and paint movement, flinging and flicking paint, along with a calculated spray of
odorless mineral spirits on the canvas.
On any given day Purvis can normally be found in his studio, experimenting with hues, textures, oils and spirits to create his signature pieces.