G'day guys, Frankie here. It's been a while since we've done an artist interview like this and I have been loving watching the evolution of Ben's work on the socials, and thought you guys might want to know a bit more about the man behind "those" Monopoly board paintings! So kick back, take a break from your life for a little minute and delve into this revealing and candid meandering that is the talented and inspiring Ben Tankard.
Having shows in beautiful places, most notably I would say Michael Reid's gallery at Murrurundi. Well worth a visit. Also, when something you paint really connects with a particular buyer in a significant way.
I've always wanted to write a book, so maybe an author, probably a career that's even more difficult to succeed at!
Maybe balancing creativity with doing what you need to do to make money. It can be difficult to find the right balance, sometimes I have to wait quite a few months to get time to experiment with a new subject or style.
I find I have to set limits, for example, saying ‘commissions are closed for the year’ or ‘I’m only painting twenty of this style this year’.
Gardening, landscaping - I love building brick and stone walls, listening to music, bushwalking, reading.
No I consider myself really lucky to have had success with them, I wouldn't want to ask for more than that!
Before my 'pop art' I often painted quite careful, monochromatic landscapes, and I'd definitely like more time to paint those, and at the other end of the spectrum I also enjoy painting energetic, chaotic abstracts.
Yes, I think so, people have a connection with the subject matter, and then hopefully the aesthetics of the painting appeals to them too.
No! I guess I've been lucky, but honestly artists have been appropriating pop culture since at least the 1960s, with Warhol and Lichtenstein.
Probably Nick Cave, who seems to be a favourite for many artists. Just very evocative lyrics, and his music ranges from outrageous anger to sadness to love.
Newcastle artist Jo Shand is a personal favourite. She's very versatile and very talented, and the work has humour. There must be something in the water in Newcastle, lots of great artists up there. There's so much great art available online and in galleries, for every price range. I’ve never regretted buying a painting, you can’t have too many.
So difficult to say. I've painted over 450 Unpopular Penguins, and I’ll probably keep painting them but doing fewer each year.
I'd like to paint more abstracts, and more landscapes, and just continue to take time to experiment and also to improve my skills. I've been missing life drawing, due to Covid restrictions, that's a really good way of improving, so hopefully I can get back into that soon.
When I’m painting I have probably six or seven cups of coffee a day. Sometimes by about 7pm I’ll realise I’ve had too many, but it’s great fuel for painting energetic abstracts!
Thanks so much Ben for indulging our curiosity and opening up about your practise!
You can catch Ben Tankard's paintings over at his website here.
Or via Bluethumb here.