Paintings by Anita Benson



There is a phenomenon in Hawaii called "the aloha spirit," brought in from the tropical breezes traveling thousands of miles across clean sea air. The aloha spirit makes people kind, slow paced, and eager to smile. This spirit is what I strive to capture in my work, beyond just beautiful subject matter.

Since moving to Hawaii from the Monterey Peninsula in California in 2005, I have found a profound change in my work. My palette is brighter, my subject matter more honoring of nature. I continue to emphasize stark shadow and sunlight contrasts, the yin and yang of the world. There would be no light without darkness, no joy without sadness. I think about these things while I paint, along with compositional and painterly considerations.

Painters require a great deal of alone time in order to work. We also need to get out and experience the world. I believe my extensive travel throughout many continents has contributed to my artistic understanding along with my art schooling and teaching. Lately, my adventures take me underwater with camera and snorkel gear, and across the surface of the water in my kayak.

I will paint until I die. I believe I was born a painter and started "showing" work at age 4, when my grandfather exhibited my work in his little mobile home near Santa Cruz, California. Thank you, Grandfather!

I hope you enjoy my work as much as I enjoy doing it.