From his childhood, Karl-Erik Bennion was interested in art. His father worked in oil landscapes. It wasn’t until high school that Karl-Erik discovered a talent for portraiture. He improved rapidly in a few short years doing several commissions for friends and family. His early works were mostly in pencil/graphite and then charcoal. For several years Karl-Erik’s art was in these colorless mediums. It was in these works that he learned much about value and contrast.
Karl-Erik studied under Del Parson at Dixie College, who helped him soften his touch and mature as an artist. Karl-Erik’s schooling was in computer information technology with emphasis in visual technologies. His graphic artist skills and fine art skills have worked hand in hand over his career.
His artwork has been featured in the Sears Invitational at Dixie College in St. George, earning an honorable mention for one of his Native American portraits. Several of his Native American portraits were on a solo art display at the Dixie College Eccles Fine Arts Center.
His current works are in pastel over watercolor wash. Karl-Erik Feels this organic feeling backdrop helps create a unique and powerful mood in his paintings.
He is the father of six children and lives with his wife and family in St. George. He is the Art Director for a local company and manages several graphic and creative artists.
About the Portraits:
These pastel works start from the substrate stage. Karl-Erik prepares a board with Gesso and using different techniques, creates a unique texture for each piece. Once the Gesso texture is complete, the piece is given a watercolor wash. This stage is unpredictable, as the water and paint flow in directions that are sometimes a surprise to the artist. Karl-Erik says it is similar to raising children. You cannot force the painting, you can guide it and steer it in a direction, but each piece will become it’s own work.
Once the watercolor wash is dry, Karl-Erik uses pastel to paint a portrait. The Portrait painted on such a unique and organic substrate; give each piece a rustic and organic feel. The matting and framing of each piece is carefully considered to enhance the feel and mood of each work.