Amy Bennett’s art is self-contained. Her oil paintings don’t rely on the outside world for reference, but rather on carefully crafted models that Bennett makes herself. These models offer her complete control over lighting, composition, and vantage points to achieve a certain dramatic effect. She then paints the models, replaying the narrative she set in place.
“Typically I don’t know exactly how the model will look in the end,” she said in an interview with wertn. “It’s a feeling out process to try to get something that exists only in the imagination (and is sometimes quite murky) into the real world. There is a lot of exploration and play. I don’t do any preparatory sketches – for me, the 3D model is the sketching process.”
Made using cardboard, foam, wood, paint, and glue, her models include a town, lake, theater, doctor’s office, and church, among many others.
“While working with tiny pieces that often slip frustratingly from my fingers, I am reminded of the delicacy and vulnerability of the world I am creating, and this summons empathy for my subject,” she wrote on her personal website. “The clumsy inadequacies of miniatures help me to convey a sense of artifice and distance. I try to paint the scenes in a way that feels like a believable world, but an alternate, fabricated world.”
Take a look at some of her models and paintings in the gallery below.