Sylvia Bendzsa’s home for nearly three decades is St. John’s. In summer she travels the province sketching and painting in preparation for the year’s work. Her work has been seen across Canada in exhibitions and collections with such organizations as Labatt Breweries, Lloyds of London, Fishery Products International and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Sylvia Bendzsa’s paintings, watercolours, etchings and lithographs are derived from a transcendental appreciation of nature. From nature to artists to canvas flows visual poetry with an essence of spirituality. Through the artist’s expression, the viewer is permitted to travel beyond the surface of the image to explore and interpret their own emotions and sensations.
Feeling is the essential motivation behind my paintings. The initial inspiration holds the key to the process that evolves afterward. I may be drawn to a particular place by: the qualities of colour; a certain slant of light; a beautiful shape; the movement of the sky; a memory of the ocean or a dream. What is important is that something takes hold of me and ignites a passion to paint or to draw.
Landscape has become my primary motif. I spend hours on location, in silent observation, absorbing what is surrounding me. The contrasts of the changing seasons, the different times of day, the light, colour and atmosphere all engage me. While a painting begins in a sketchbook and is assisted by photos, the work recall and hours in the studio evolve to develop an image. My art is about process and the struggle to give meaning to my ideas, giving depth and life to a particular image.
I have been involved with learning about making art and studying art most of my life. I was raised in Ontario and resettled in Newfoundland about thirty years ago. Intending to stay for two years this place has grown on me with all it rugged beauty.
I attended an art high school, Ontario College of Art, Ohio University for etching studies, Memorial University and the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design for my degree, Bachelors in Fine Arts. St Michael’s Printshop has also played an active role for me these past 30 years. All of these experiences have melded together and and helped me develop my style and the way I work.