Barbara Benton, born in Enid, Oklahoma, was a stay-at-home mom to her three children for thirteen years before returning to school and eventually graduating with a BFA from University of Central Oklahoma in 2022. When she began her studies, her interest was in the field of education with a plan to teach kindergarten before falling in love with painting, and later ceramics, and consequently changing her major to studio art.
Before pursuing a degree, Benton found creative outlet in sewing special occasion clothing and costumes for her children and making quilts as gifts for loved ones. Moving from textiles to paint, the importance of people, and especially family, have remained central to her work, as well as joy and wonder at the beauty found in the world around us.
Working in an “alla prima” style, Benton uses loose brushwork and gestural marks to capture a spirit of movement and life in her work as she aims to not only convey how she sees, but also how she feels about what she is seeing. Her approach to artmaking tends to be intuitive, finding creative freedom in being guided by feeling.