Friday, January 25, 2013

Friday Feature: Maria Bennett Hock

Maria Bennett Hock
Hi Everyone,

I'm pretty sure we are working at warp speed, because I could have sworn I was just posting a Friday Feature like yesterday!  So here we are at another Friday and I'm thrilled to be featuring a favorite facebook and blog friend for a lot of artists, Maria Bennett Hock.  I met Maria through facebook and have thoroughly enjoyed getting a glimpse into her world. 

To see more of her work check out her blog and website

"Randy Higbee" original oil by Maria Bennett Hock
 How did you get your start? What’s your artist journey so far?
 I have always been artistic and have tried almost everything. During my life I was the one doing the newsletter, the graphics, the posters but I never took it seriously. As far back as I can remember I always wanted to be a portrait artist. I just thought it was so far out of the realm of possibilities I never pursued it. I became a computer graphic artist and loved it. Never having to touch paper or canvas and having an undo button was great. Then I had a life changing experience...I think almost everyone has one of those during their life...I decided to do everything I ever wanted to do. First on the list was finish college...I was in my 50’s. I attended during the day full time to further my career in my computer career. I was required to take a drawing class and thought I was going to die. I hadn’t touched a pencil in years. I drew very reluctantly, very poorly, whining all the way. All of a sudden I loved it! I could draw! I drew faces, mostly relatives, for two years before I touched a brush. In 2009 took a painting class and fell in love with oils. I still look at my old paintings and laugh...what was I thinking??? I jumped in with both feet and started drawing and painting often but not every day. I took a Karin Jurick workshop and learned about daily painting. I met some wonderful artists who encouraged me to start a blog and get on facebook. I have been painting, drawing, meeting new artists and loving my life ever since.
"Karin Jurick" original oil by Maria Bennett Hock
 Where were you born?
 My father was in the military. I was born in Atwater, California at Castle Air Force Base.

If you could live anywhere where would you live?
 I currently live in Washington DC and love it. I am happy wherever I live. I am an Air Force Brat and Army Wife so I have lived all over the world and Washington DC is a great melting pot of many many cultures.
"Crystal Cook" original oil by Maria Bennett Hock
 What’s your favorite thing to paint and why?
I like to paint portraits and figurative pieces. I love to show emotion, to tell a story with my brush. A friend once told me I wear my heart on my brush and I believe that is true.

Could you talk about your painting techniques?
I sketch the piece before I begin to make sure I like the composition. I usually tone my canvas...a medium gray is my current favorite color to tone. Then I sketch on the canvas with a brownish color...usually burnt umber. I try to lay in colors in the usual manner...darks first. I put some of the lights in to see “where I am going” and then continue to place all the colors. I feel the need to cover the canvas before I get into the nitty gritty and really form the contours. I paint wet into wet for most of the painting then I digest what I have done and go back to punch up the color. I may even repaint just seems to give the painting more depth. I use very large brushes for as long as I can then finish up with smaller ones.
"Debra Bryant" original oil by Maria Bennett Hock
 Do you have go-to paints/colors, what are your favorites?
Right now my favorites for skin tones are Rublev’s Vermillion and Verona Green Earth. Those mixed with a ochre on a gray toned background are really giving me some skin tones that I love. Colors I like to have on my palette are Yellow ochre, alizarin crimson, cobalt blue and cerulean blue, sap green, cad yellows, and I am just starting to love the pthalo’ and blue. I usually get Holbein in most colors.
"10 Hock" portrait of her mother original oil by Maria Bennett Hock
 Do you have a favorite artist? Who has been your biggest inspiration?
I have a lot of favorite artists but my biggest influence when I started is John Singer Sargent. I like Mary Cassette and Joaquin Sorolla. A favorite contemporary artist (though I have many) is Rose Frantzen. Her book Portrait of Maquoketa is fabulous. I constantly use it for inspiration.

What have been some of your crowning achievements?
Just starting on what I consider this unbelievable art journey is one of my favorite achievements. I was very excited to get a a painting accepted into a gallery in Dupont Circle in Washington DC. Very happy to be juried into a local gallery so I can show my work. My latest achievement was being juried into a “30 paintings in 30 days” show. I used portraits to depict the states of life from birth to death. It was a fun, emotional journey and so rewarding to see the collection at the gallery.

What are five things you would like to happen in your life in the next five years? Dream big here:)
Improve, grow, experiment...
Find a gallery to represent my work
Establish a more far reaching online presence
Have my own show
Improve, grow, experiment...
"Linda Popple" original oil by Maria Bennett Hock
 What is your advice for other artists who are just getting started in their career?
Don’t wait for the right time...just do it. Take a class, find a an art community. Dedicate a space in your house for art. Make it work.

What is the best advice that you have received as an artist?
Paint what you love.
"Carrie Waller" original oil by Maria Bennett Hock

Chocolate or vanilla?
Your dream vacation spot?
Anyplace with my family
Book or movie?
Art Book
Favorite movie?
“Somewhere in Time”
Romance or comedy?
Favorite dessert?
Anything Chocolate
Night owl or morning person?

Thank you so much Maria!  It was fabulous getting to know you a little better:)



  1. Another great post!! I love these Friday events over here!

  2. Maria, you are so talented! Love hearing your story, so inspiring :) Thank you for sharing with us Carrie.

  3. Yayyy!!! thanks so much Carrie!!! I am so honored to be featured!!!

  4. So nice to know Maria is a chocolate lover! ;) Great interview as always Carrie!

  5. What a wonderful interview, Carrie!!! I love Maria's work..her portraits are all terrific.. she is such an inspiration..and she loves Chocolate!!!

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  7. Thanks, Carrie, for interviewing one of my favorite people! Maria is a wonderful artist and friend. She inspires and encourages others as she continues on her art journey. Yep, she's pretty great! :-)

  8. Great interview of a wonderful person and inspirational artist. Thanks, Carrie.

  9. Thanks for sharing Carrie, great interview! I love
    Maria's art and like Linda,she is one of my favorite people and friend. She's the best!

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  11. Maria is one of my favorite art friends. She's inspiring, beautiful, supportive, courageous and just FABULOUS. She doesn't let fear stop her from anything, and I predict ALL of her dreams will come true!

  12. I recognized you and Crystal right away!
    Great interview and what a nice lady :0)