Christine Benson is a printmaker, visual artist, and owner of Journey Through the Arts: a multi-faceted arts facility with visual workshops. She began to experiment with creating art from as young as four years old, which led to her time at OCAD majoring in printmaking. Currently, she is illustrating her own Children’s book entitled, “Magic is Everywhere” which aims to inspire young children to use their imaginations and discover the magic that can be found everywhere.
Finding inspiration is different and special to each artist. Christine draws her inspiration from nature and precious moments with her daughter, as well as songs, quotes, and her environment. For Christine, art is a way to communicate her ideas in a unique format and she loves its ability to reach different perspectives to teach, learn, and connect with an audience. Art is “not just a pretty picture on a page” says Christine, “it can move people, call them to action and even unite us.”
Her main passion within art is not only in creating, but in inspiring others to create as well. The importance of educating her community about the impact and value of all forms of art is a driving force in Christine’s joy as an artist. By sharing her passion, Christine has been able to deal with difficult moments in her life by using her own art to educate her audience on important subject matters.
Christine’s goal with art is to make it more accessible. From the ability to view, purchase, and engage with it, she aims to make it a more connecting experience for everyone. “I feel that it is important that everyone in the community be able to appreciate and participate in the arts community and so when I exhibit my work, I try to do so in a welcoming and inclusive way.” The biggest compliment for Christine is when she connects with someone through a conversation about the impact of her art, “[It] is extremely gratifying.”
So, what’s next for Christine? Currently, she’s completed 15 linocut illustrations for her children’s book. The next step in this ongoing project is publication. Christine can’t wait to see all her hard work come to fruition and be enjoyed by children everywhere. She will also be creating a new body of work to be exhibited at The Old Art School in Port Hope, Ontario during the 2022 Northumberland Hills Studio Tour, taking place September 10th-11th.
This piece of Christine’s is titled, “Magic is Everywhere”. It is a series of linocuts on Japanese paper. She began this series after her daughter was born as a way to document “the meaningful bits of magic that could be found in everyday life and our adventures together.” “Magic is Everywhere” is told through the eyes of a child, rooted in real-life experiences intertwined with the magical adventures Christine and her daughter took. Such as imaginary trips on ladybug wings, walking through ferns and fiddleheads, playing guitar to her forest friends, and admiring the beauty of nature.
The process of printmaking is easy to get lost in. Christine states how it is a solitary experience that can be used as an escape to vanish into the creative process: “The act of carving is a soothing and reflective time where for a short while I am transformed into a sculptor as I cut away the block and wait with anticipation as the first print is pulled. What remains are subtle lines and the feeling of movement created by both the delicate manipulation of the tools and an element of surprise.”