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  • Writer's pictureCarole Vicens

Benny Alba: Storm Paintings

Artist’s Statement:

American Storm Series

I see greatness and beauty in storms. Famous American painters Georgia O'Keefe, Charles Burchfield, and Marsden Hartley influenced my early thoughts about weather. Their paintings celebrate weather. My images are from photos of my road trips.

When I was in elementary school a summer storm circled our lakeside cabin for hours one night. LOUD thunder, BIG lightening and HEAVY rain frightened us as the storm went around and around the bowl of water. The dog's teeth chattered. Mother stayed close, comforting me. Dad was working far away. She must have told him about it because when the next night storm he got me out of the bunk bed, took me by the hand, asking me to stand with him on the wooden dock. Only my great love and trust kept my hand in his. White crested, metallic waves surged, briefly visible when lightening illuminated the low clouds and sky. Wind flapped my rain spattered night gown while the storm blasted us. That night I learned that storms are like symphonies. It begins as rise of excitement, builds by dramatic crescendos and at last the storm travels on -- fading into the distance. Resolution! A storm is a movie, its images flickering so quickly that they are difficult to remember. That is why I capture storms in my paintings so others can see the moments I saw and feel the emotions I felt.

I wonder, what will people think when looking at my paintings? Will they find meaning? Will they feel threatened? Will they want to avoid the topic altogether? Their reactions are part of the dialogue of Art. I enjoy hearing viewers' opinions, their experiences with powerful weather, and whether or not they like storms at all

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