About Benjamin King (Artist)

I am an artist living and working in the New Forest, UK.

2012 going on 2013

Well good day to you fellow internet browser.

I thought I’d take some time out of my day to write a little blog post here. As the curtains fall on 2012, 2013 is waiting to make it’s entrance. I can honestly say that this has been an incredible year, not just for me, but for Britain as a nation.

Where shall I start? Well the two major events that made Britain the focal point of most television sets of the world this year are the Queens Diamond Jubilee celebrations, and the London 2012 Olympic games. There is nothing I love more than seeing a nation united together, and these two events did just that, unite our nation.

Despite it raining most of the summer, the Jubilee celebrations just showed that the Brits won’t let the weather dampen their spirits (if you pardon the pun there). I’m not sure that the Queen enjoyed cruising down the Thames in the rain, but with Prince Philip by her side, they stuck it out. The Pall Mall was alive with the crowds of London, who had come to see some big names perform outside of Buckingham Palace. It truly was a celebration to remember.

However, without a shadow of a doubt, the highlight of 2012 was the Olympic games. Now, I have to admit, I was surprised by how it all came together so smoothly. I honestly thought that, knowing Britain’s love for scaffolding and traffic cones, that this wouldn’t be anything spectacular. I thought the buildings would still be under construction, that some lanes of the sports track would be coned off, with builders walking over to the long jump pit with a shovel to borrow some sand.

How wrong I was. I was blown away by the opening ceremony. It was a bright and colourful reminder of everything that makes and has made Britain great, including the Industrial Revolution and a touching tribute to the NHS. I for one was happy to see such our healthcare system recognised at such an event. Our nurses and doctors work around the clock, working for peanuts (and by that I mean a low wage, not literally peanuts, they’re not elephants) and are under immense pressure and stress all the time. It’s a system that we take for granted. We may not like paying taxes, but it was a wonderful reminder of how our money goes towards such a system to help us. We are very fortunate to have the NHS.

On top of that, the queen jumping out of the plane was unbelievable! (Ok, so it wasn’t really the Queen, it was obviously a stuntman). Still, I think it say a lot about our the harmless humour and cheek of our nation. The fact that we can portray our Queen in such a way, (and even make light fun of her) in such a way is another reminder of what makes Britain great.

I found it truly inspiring to see so many countries brought together in such an event. Although I think the announcer was making half of them up, I’d never heard of the majority of those nations!

And of course, let’s not forget the starts of the event, the athletes themselves. For such a comparatively small nation, Britain did so well to win the number of gold medals it did. However, it’s not all about the medals. For once, just once, it was incredible to see real athletes, real talent, real inspiration on our screens. For too long now, programs such as the X-Factor, Britain’s Got Talent, Jeremy Kyle and Big Brother have just broadcast mediocrity, putting our nation to shame. I don’t care if some spotty brat can barely sing Michael Buble, I don’t care if some greasy haired lard arse got his sister pregnant and cheated on her with his cousin on the Jeremy Kyle show, and I don’t care if some orange, bleached hair, Geordie bimbo drank her housemate’s Five Alive in the Big Brother prison. And I certainly don’t care that Coleen Rooney and Kim Kardashian are expecting. No. I care about the REAL talent, about the people who have trained every single day of their athletic career, the people who have sacrificed relationships and social lives to be where they are. Jessica Ennis, and Moe Farrah? People like them DESERVE to be broadcast, to be loved and admired. These are the people Britain should be looking up to.  Not duck-face ‘Jordan’, REAL people who have WORKED to be where they are. I apologise for the rant there, but that needed to be said.

So, in my view, that is what made the 2012 games so special and something to remember. Remember, Britain did that. We produced these athletes. It shows what we are capable of as a nation.

Now I’ll move onto the more selfish part of this, which is why 2012 has been a fantastic year for me.

Well, for starters I am feeling a lot more happy and positive. I started counselling and I am seeing a new life coach who is helping me to gain some direction in life. So in terms of that, I am improving as a person, which is always a good thing!

2012 is also the year that I took a big step in my life. It’s the year I went to explore New Zealand. Yes, after spending 24 hours in a tube of farts, watching about ten films, and stuffing my face with surprisingly good airline food, I arrived on the other side of the world. It was a phenomenal experience, not just because I got to see a dear friend who lives out there, but because I made new ones, and the experiences I had. A skydive and white water rafting are pretty wild for me! But the people I met made that trip very special, and I’ll always be grateful for their company and kindness.

I am running out of time so I’ll wrap this up. That was why 2012 was such a great year for me and our country. And that’s why 2013 has such great potential already, because as a country, we can be great, and achieve amazing things. And you can too. Just remember all that you’ve accomplished in your life, have you gone to uni? Gone travelling? Obtained a degree? Gotten a promotion? A new job? Remember all of those accomplishments and how they made that time great. And if remember that, you can accomplish even more this coming year, and make 2013 a truly spectacular time of your life.

Happy New Year everyone!


Pre-painting Yums no.1: White Chocolate Lindt Lindor Balls


Pre-painting Yums No.1: White Chocolate Lindt Lindor Balls

Welcome to a new thing I’m starting, Pre-painting Yums! Now, as most creatives know, sometimes a little snack or meal is required to keep up the mental energy. Join me as I take you through some of the delicious beverages and snacks that keep me going!

First up is something I discovered today whilst walking around town, Lindt chocolate balls.

But these aren’t just any Lindt chocolate balls…oh no.

These are white chocolate Lindt balls.

White chocolate happens to be a weakness of mine, as I find it really quite delicious. I have always liked the milk chocolate Lindt balls, but I saw white chocolate ones for the first time today, I just couldn’t resist.

So these little things are providing a slight sugar rush nessecary for me to paint. Right now I’m working on Christmas card ideas!

I hope you enjoyed this, and I’m sure that many more if these will follow!

The End of my Studio Tenancy

Well, I enjoyed my time in the little studio space I rented out in Poole. The tenancy has now ended and I’ve had a good three months there. Of course, I have the option to renew the tenancy. Unfortunately, adding up the cost of everything, it’s just not practical for me to stay there. 

It’s a 20 mile journey each way, which doesn’t sound like much, but each journey uses at least a gallon of petrol. In addition to the ridiculous costs of petrol, the fact is, I don’t like driving. I find it frustrating and it’s not environmentally friendly. 

Half of the time, mum and dad are at work, and I’m needed at home to look after the fuzzy golden creature known as Ella. This means at times, I can’t go anyway. 

Even though it’s a space I’ve always dreamed of having, I’m barely making any progress in regards to my painting. This is in part due to the fact that I don’t manage to make it to the studios very often. I need a space I can get to every day.

So, I have no more studio space in Poole. Could this be the end of my paintings? Don’t worry, certainly not! I’ve set up a little zone in the house, the very same room I lived in when I was doing the daily painting challenge. 

If anything, you’ll be seeing a lot more progress and this blog will finally be up and running again. 

Ben’s Ranting – Pretentious Art Language

I’ll put my hands up here and admit to you now in all honesty, despite being a practicing artist, I’m actually very bad at keeping up to date with current exhibitions and shows.

There are the few odd occasions, however, where I do pick up the ‘Culture’ section of The Times, or look online to see if there’s anything going on that’ll interest me. Sometimes when I read the information regarding an exhibition, or when I read anything art related, such as an essay, a review, and article or a critique, there is one thing that never fails to irk me and really put me off the art world;

The pretentious, non-sensicle language, more commonly referred to colloquially as ‘art speak’.

Here’s one such example;

‘In this gesturing with materials, the aesthetic, too, has been subordinated. Form, colour, composition, drawing are all auxiliaries, any one of which – or practically all, as has been attempted logically, with unpainted canvases – can be dispensed with. What matters always is the revelation contained in the act. It is to be taken for granted that in the final effect, the image, whether be or be not in it, will be a tension…’ (Getting Inside the canvas, page 589*)

After spending a few minutes with a dictionary and a thesaurus, (and a few penicillin tablets for my aching head) I roughly managed to translate that as

‘through the physical use of materials, the image, and any traditional rules regarding composition become supplementary. What is important is the action of painting itself, and we can assume that any imagery will interplay with the marks made’.

I don’t know about any of you, but I read such things and I am left perplexed. I literally haven’t the foggiest idea what they’re talking about. At the risk of sounding discourteous towards such authors, it almost seems as if they’re talking down to the reader. I, along with many others I’m sure, find it very off-putting. Is it really necessary to use such language?  I just think it’s such a shame. I truly believe that more people would get involved in art, (or more importantly, would want to get involved with art) if it was just that much more relatable to them is a less distorted way.

Of course, I am no essayist. I am far from being a ‘great’ or even a ‘good’ writer. I just write the way I would normally write. For those of you who followed me throughout my 365 day painting challenge, you would know that I wrote a short paragraph, or ‘blurb’ as I called it, which acted as a diary entry, basically describing my thoughts, feelings and what happened throughout the day. Those writings were in no way professional. I made up words, made sexual innuendos and the writings themselves were more of a stream of consciousness (only proofread for spelling and comprehension) as opposed to a well planned, thought out drafted essay. I realise that’s entirely different, I am not saying authors should make up words or innuendos. The point I was trying to make is, people enjoyed reading them. They could relate to it, and some even told me that they could relate what I had written that day to the painting produced on that day.

Is this language in art really necessary? I personally don’t think so. What I find ironic is the number of practising artists that agreed with me last year.

(* I apologise for the lack of information, but this particular excerpt was from a photocopied sheet, so the author and title are unknown).

My Next Painting Project – An Update…

I’ve kept this something of a secret, but I may as well tell you now. 

In the beginning of March, we are heading to Tromso in Norway, and…

we are going on a guided chase to see the northern lights!!

Apparently it’s supposed to be a period of high solar activity, which, put in simple, easy-to-understant, everyday, normal-person speak, means our chances of seeing the northern lights are pretty high!

I am currently undergoing two painting projects, so once they are completed, I will start on a series of aurora borealis paintings!

Just a little bit excited…

My 365 Day Challenge – A Painting Every Day For A Year

Hi everyone. Last October, I completed my challenge to complete a painting every day for a whole year. This challenge lasted from 22/10/10 to 21/10/12. If you would like to view the paintings please visit my Tumblr blog or you can visit my Facebook Artist Page.

Feel free to leave any feedback!

Thanks everyone.