By Julie Osterman
When Nathan Bennett stumbled onto a new artistic method in the early 1990s, he decided to keep a low profile and fine-tune his technique before sharing it with the world. After “patina painting” for over a decade and winning numerous awards, the 34-year-old Utah artist started showing in galleries several years ago and continues to perfect his unique art form. “I didn’t put myself out there at first because I wanted to establish what I was doing and develop it,” he says. “To my knowledge, no one else paints this way.”
A complex heat-based process, patina painting consists of applying patinas to a thin bronze plate to create images much like a traditional painter would depict on canvas. Bennett, who became a patineur at a foundry soon after graduating from high school, began experimenting with the medium and seeking feedback from the artists whose bronzes he worked on, including Grant Speed, L’Deane Trueblood, and Lincoln Fox. He knew he was on the right track when he won two first-place awards at the 1999 Spring Salon show at the Springville Museum of Art in Utah.
Many of his works depict trees, such as in time out, which, he says, reflects the stress he was feeling in his life at the time it was created. “It’s like parents putting a kid in timeout,” he explains. “We all need a timeout sometimes.” Bennett is represented by Meyer-Munson Gallery, Santa Fe, NM.
Featured in “Artists to Watch” November 2005