Benton returns to TroyFest as artist
Published 3:00 am Wednesday, April 22, 2015
This year, Mike Benton will be attending TroyFest for the third time as a graphic artist, though locals may know him through past festivals as a musician.
Benton used to play his guitar in a blue band named “Good News Blues.” He said he had been playing for seven years at TroyFest.
“Before I went into the (graphic) arts, I was into music,” Benton said. “But I have been interested in arts all my life. I stopped painting for a while after getting married, but my daughter (who) studied art at Troy State got me back into it four years ago.”
Benton said he works with charcoal, pastel or acrylic for his paintings, different medium for different types of art.
“I like to do portraits with charcoal and pastel; and landscape with acrylic,” Benton said. “With portraits, people are very particular about how they look, you have to be more exact. You have to choose the medium depending on how familiar you are with it in odder to express art freely.”
Benton said one of the reasons he enjoys coming to TroyFest as an artist is the fellow artists he could meet at the festival.
“At TroyFest, I get to see a lot of artists who have more experience than I do,” he said.
“We share tips and we support each others. It makes me feel encouraged since I just started back painting and I feel I need to be in more festivals and be around more artists.”
Benton said the festival has opened a lot of opportunities for him. The first time he showed his art at TroyFest, he won the Merit Award for graphic art with his charcoal painting “The Shower.” Through the event, Benton also builds his fan base and customers.
“I enjoy people coming and asking about my works though it’s a big festival with thousands of people,” he said. “I am so appreciative that since my first two festivals, I have repeat customers and commissions.
“It feels good when people would think highly enough about of my art to ask me to do a portrait of their family members.”
Benton is bringing to this year’s TroyFest his paintings of the moon rising on the beach, misty forest and several pet portraits.