Benjamin Mitchley

Fine Artist in Centurion
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About Benjamin Mitchley

I was born on 1 January 1967 in the Free State, South Africa. I matriculated from Welkom High School in 1984. I studied fine arts from 1985 to 1987 at the Vaal University of Technology and Tshwane University of Technology. 
I'm a full-time freelance fine artist, scenic artist, illustrator and 2D digital animator. I do commissions and collaboration in oil and acrylic painting, scenic painting, illustration, and 2D digital animation. 
In my figurative paintings I try to capture the moment to the best of my ability, whether it be a thought, emotion or atmospheric feeling. These scenes of everyday life are taken from photographs I have captured in my surroundings. This moment I leave to the viewer to interpret. As each interpretation might be different, I believe each to be true.
Since 2003 I have exhibited my work in South Africa, and in the same year received my first international exposure with the help of SouthAfricanArtists.com online gallery. I exhibited work in Munich and Hof, in Germany (2005 - 2006). Since then I gained support from several buyers in the UAE, Europe, America and South Africa. 
I furthered my scenic experience while working in Dubai on the IBN Battuta shopping mall (2004 and 2006), a sculpture project for the Dubai Municipality horse museum (2007) and mural work at the Dubai IMG Worlds of Adventure indoor theme park (2016). In Johannesburg I worked on a scenic project for Monte Casino's East-End Teatro (2007) and created backdrops for television adverts at Golden Island Studios (2013). 
Since 2010, as a self taught animator, I received contract work to create a short film for a SABC documentary and animation collaboration projects for corporation info-graphic material. In 2013 I received a first place award for a medical animation competition for the Iheed institute. 
Poetry and writing developed from my fine art, illustration and animation creations, in the form of web comics, animated poems and illustrated poetry e-books. My search for new ideas and experimentation with new techniques, styles and media is ongoing.

My Work Process
Painting: With pencil I draw onto the canvas the outline of the image from which I am working. I start filling the canvas with paint medium until all areas of canvas is completely covered. Once dry, I continue to add layers of paint medium until I've achieved the desired detail. A few months after drying, l will add a mixture of damar varnish on oil paintings as a protective layer. It brings out the richness in the colour. A similar acrylic medium is applied to acrylic paintings for the same reason. Reference images used for my paintings are from my own photographs taken in my surroundings. 

Digital Artwork:
I create my digital artwork using design and art software such as Affinity Designer, Affinity Photo, Clip Studio Paint EX, Krita, Artrage and Mypaint. I use a digital pen and a 22-U-mini Bosto intuitive monitor to create on. It mimics the feeling of creating a traditional artwork, whether it be drawing or painting. I consider the creative input, the hours spent and costs on this type of work similar to that of a traditional media.  

Animation: I create my animation using digital animation software (Moho Pro, Harmony Advanced, Toon Boom Animate, Toon Boom Studio, Clip Studio Paint EX, Krita and Open Toonz). The style of work depends on what I and the client would like to achieve. My main style of work is 2D cut-out and 2D digital animation. For a 2D cut-out style, I would photograph and scan the artwork into photo editing software and create layers by cutting out each moving part. In the animation software these parts are given bones, and sometimes a mesh warp, to help them achieve the movement I would like to see. Sometimes I create an animation before a script evolves. I would see a moving image in my imagination, create it and build a story around it.

Awards and Competitions: 2012 Vuleka competition, SA Art Times Merit Award. Iheed Animation 1st place Award, Oct. 2013.   

Feel free to contact me with regards to creative work, commissions, collaboration, teaching or advice. If you are interested in purchasing artwork, my work is available at South African Artists online gallery and in my Facebook shop. Animation work can be seen on my youtube channel, BenjAnim. Visits to my studio are by appointment only.


Exhibitions:
Sanlam Vuleka Exhibition, 2003.
Sanlam Vuleka Exhibition, 2004.
Obz Art Walk, 2003.
SoulPIE Exhibition - 38 Special Art Gallery, Cape Town,2003. 
Aroma Cafe, Loop street, Cape Town, 2003.
Granny Feel Goods, Main Road, Green Point Cape Town, 2003.
'Picasso' Red art gallery, Steenburg village, Tokai, 2003.
Strada restaurant, Munich, 2005/2006.
Koenig Bistro, Munich, 2006.
Hof Christmas market, Germany, 2006.
The Studio art gallery, Clarens, 2007.
Richard Renni gallery, Clarens, 2007.
Solo Exhibition,Spirit, The Arts Association of Bellville, Cape Town, 2008.
'My Country, My Land', Hyde Park Gallery, Johannesburg, 2009.
'Green,Organic,Nature,Nurture', Hyde Park,Jhb. Food and Trees for Africa, 2009.
'Gallery On The Side' Four Ways, Johannesburg, 2010/2014.
Sanlam Vuleka Exhibition, 2012, Merit award.
2nd Annual Group Miniature Exhibition, Art Lovers 1932 Gallery, 9 May 2013.
In celebration of Portugal Day, Group Exhibition, Art Lovers 1932, 8 June 2013.
Don't let that Horse, Ode to Chagall, Group Exhibition, Art Lovers 1932, 25 June 2013. 
Turbine Art Fair, Johannesburg 2013.
Art Lovers 1932 - Erotica group exhibition 19 Sept to 2 Oct.
Art Lovers 1932 - Mixed Media Duo exhibition with Johan van Staden in conjunction with Gordon Froud - Alice in Wonderland group exhibition, 3 Oct. to 16 Oct. 2013. 
The Alfred Mall Gallery, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town, 2014.
Gallery On The Side Four Ways, Johannesburg, 2014
Pretoria Art Association members exhibition, 2016.
Annual Group Miniature Exhibition, Art Lovers 1932 Gallery, 2017.
Solo exhibition, Moments, Trent gallery, Pretoria, 20 April 2018.
at Midnight'group exhibition, Johann van Heerden Art Gallery, Pretoria, 1 June 2018.  
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