I currently live in Geneva NY, and was born and raised in the surrounding area. Growing up I always had a huge interest in art of all kinds, and I’m pretty sure from a young age I would tell people I wanted to be an artist when I grow up. It’s surreal sometimes to say that I accomplished that. I feel like lots of artists have this imposter syndrome where it feels weird to call yourself an artist when people ask what you do, that’s definitely me. I received my degree in Photography from the Fashion Institute of Technology.
I worked in the photography field for a few years after college, but ultimately found that it wasn’t the direction I wanted to take my career. I’ve always loved painting and mixed media, and that is how I’ve found myself in my current role as a display artist for Anthropologie in Victor,NY. I started with the company as an Intern in Manhattan, and then freelanced for them in several cities over the years. I strayed for a while and explored some other ventures including floral design, which I still enjoy doing as freelance work in the summers here.
As far as mediums go I’m all over the map, I think that’s what I love about mixed media, it feels like there aren’t any “rules”. I love working with different kinds of papers, and I always find myself wanting to add some element of gold or silver leaf, or metallic ink. I also really enjoy layering lines of ink overtop of my pieces to give them that extra detail and intricacy up close. I’ve become especially fond of high flow acrylic paints, they’re really easy to mix with water and achieve different opacities, and they mix really well with each other to create custom shades.
For me personally it’s all about movement, I love placing a large amount of separate pieces on a canvas and sending them all in one direction, I like giving pieces momentum. I think that’s why I’m drawn to creating animals and insects and things that exist in nature because they all have a specific way that they move through their environment and I like to explore that. I hope the viewer takes what THEY want or feel from the piece.
My creative process is very repetitive, I typically start out by making a template of sorts and then I will cut that out and trace that hundreds of times on different kinds of paper that I’ve treated or painted. Then I cut them all out and I will go back in and add the details (ink lines, gold leaf etc.) It can actually get boring at times if I’m honest haha, but the end result is always worth it. I listen to a lot of podcasts while I work.
Chelsea Bendix is one of 36 artists from 10 states who’s work is included in Adrift, a national juried exhibition which is on view at Main Street Arts through June 11, 2021.