Who Am I?
Who is Bernice Benton, Stained Glass and Acrylic Artist?
Well for a start, almost no-one called me Bernice. I know I’m in trouble if you use my full name… I’m normally referred to as Berni or Berni B .. and sometimes, Lily Pink
As a child I was quite good at art. At school I enjoyed art but I never took any exams (the teacher changed, I didn’t gel with her, you know how it is). I didn’t really contemplate any art until we moved to Wales in 2005. However I always felt there was an artist in me. She was just waiting for the time, inspiration and confidence to show herself.
I joined some community art classes with an incredibly talented and likeable welsh teacher. He was very motivational , let you ‘do you own thing, but gently nudged you in the right direction. It hardly felt like being taught at all. Yet I learned so much.
I love working with acrylics. The depth of colour and intensity you can create with them is incredible. and its all about layering. The finished product needs to have layers of colour over layers of colour to create a depth.
When I recreate images of space nebulas , inspired by APOD and NASA, I start with black then add reds, blues, silvers , and more blends of black to provide a base for the nebula to explode out of
Space-scapes are my passion. And in 2018 I had my first solo exhibition entitled “Out of The Darkness Comes The Light” an collection of space inspired images both in acrylic and glass.
I hadn’t even contemplated stained glass. In this locality there are a huge amount of very talented artists and craft people. It is also a very small community and the lady who taught me stained glass had become a good friend quite soon after we moved here. She was running adult education community classes and was short of students. I joined to stop the group folding. I loved it from day one.
Caroley Bergman was my teacher. She predominantly works on fused glass. She is hugely talented. I work purely with stained glass. My aim is to use the glass with its colouring and patination to provide all the character the design needs. I don’t add any glass painting to any of my work.
All the items I make are from my own designs and drawings.
The ‘fun’ part is taking an idea, and turning into an image that will work out of cut glass, then choosing the right sheets of glass and making the very first one. Most of my pieces are one offs – I will only ever make one of any panel or window. My smaller designs , which are suncatchers or teak light holders may be made in larger numbers but because all the glass is hand cut , no two items will be exactly the same. And that is the joy of it.