something of myself…

untitled, oil on canvas, Philip Bennetta, 2013

I was obviously working on this one metre square painting in 2013, while living in France. I really like it and must have left something of myself…

So, here is a photograph of the painting, which is now the found work.

Nail Plate

Nail Plate, Acrylic on canvas with found object, 30 cm x 20 cm, Philip Bennetta, 2020

I like using commonplace materials, bringing them in a found state to the studio and I prepared canvas painted with acrylic yellow ochre and left it to dry for a few days…

During this time, I was making steps down to the stream running by the studio and I needed one last plank of timber to front the top step. I came across a sawn-off scaffold board, which had a nail-plate on one end. The metal plate was jagged at the edges, not something to have protruding from a step, so I removed it. However, I felt attached to the nail-plate and compelled to save it…

So when the steps were complete, I took the nail-plate to the studio and instinctively placed it in position, on the canvas. I spent several hours thinking and experimenting how to attach it to the canvas. Should I introduce other materials? What to use? I was questioning and careful of my own process throughout. Should I work with the found object or make a photo-real painting of it(?) Bring the real thing into the white space, I heard myself say…

So here then is the ‘sculpture’ and to finish my tale, I decided to reference the timber of the stretcher and the metal of the nail plate, rather than introduce new materials and, with two lengths of fine wire and corner stretcher supports, I stitched the nail-plate to the canvas, bringing this humble found object to this art space.

Thank you for reading the back-story to Nail Plate


We have just started working on our most recent edition of cyanotypes, from our home on Bodmin Moor, Cornwall, UK. The first “test” set have cooked in the sun, had a very good wash and now drying overnight. We hope to complete the main body of work by the end of the week. Here’s a selection of photographs from the site, where we are working, more later…

from Bodmin Moor…

Bodmin Moor is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and designated an International Dark Sky Landscape and we have decided to make our work, during this “lock-down” year, using sunlight and moonlight.

We are fortunate to be able to work from our home, here on the moor, with a stream and footpath running alongside the garden and hedge, set in a beautiful landscape; more to follow…

tearing paper…

I had just starting to prepare the paper for our Bodmin Moor edition of Cyanotypes and blackened out the project space ready for stage 2, when I got side-tracked and watched the National Trust film we made last year. Here’s a reminder:

Trusting our 2020 edition, from our home on the moor, will be as beautiful.

Sad though not to meet and chat to all the lovely folk who come to say hello and see what we are up to.

Hoping to post this years edition very soon…


Sorry to say that our annual National Trust residency at the former Paraffin Store, St Anthony Head, is now cancelled for May 2020 (as is Open Studio, Cornwall). However, we shall be making a Bodmin Moor edition of cyanotypes during this period, from the home lock-down & for Open Studio Cornwall fans we have just come across this unaired am-dram:


poems with music…

We have now completed three more projects in the Poem by Post series.

from left to right, A Sense of Place, Tag Ending and Vigil

All three of these recent poems contain a melody line and guitar chords, so they can be read or sung to music. Currently working on a fourth one…

So, dust down the old guitar in the attic and contact us by email if you’d like one or more of these hand-sewn pamphlets (£10 each including p&p). We can also email a free audio file for each poem, to give an idea of the tune.

Contact by email to:


poem with music

We have just finished our most recent project in the Poem by Post series, which is also our first one with music! Here’s the last ones being sewn up…

sewing up
all printed up
cover, with sewn spine

earth, water and flame

Midwinter Spring -“its own season ( T.S. Eliot)”, has its own season on Bodmin Moor, and each of these three paintings carries fragment, history, memory, sense of place, spirit and trace of other. Water from a stream by the studio is mixed with soluble oil paint and…

earth contains fragments of earth from the moor

earth, copyright Philip Bennetta 01/01/2020

water has a stream-water wash, between paint layers

water copyright Philip Bennetta 01/01/2020

flame carries ash from Christmas Day fire-pit flame

flame copyright Philip Bennetta 01/01/2020

Colouring Christmas

Colouring Christmas is a meditation, to do with music, love, nature, fire and the human spirit. Made on Christmas day 2019, with found winter colour from Siblyback Lake in Cornwall and original music played on the Egyptian Oud.

and a peaceful New Year to you all from Cornwall

and then the film…

Following on from the poetry pamphlet Yn Mis Hedre/In October, here is a new short film to do with the art making process, which includes a reading of the poem in English and Cornish, together with music on bouzouki. I hope you like it. Thank you for viewing:

all sewn up…

The latest pamphlet, in the Poem by Post project, is all sewn up. [please see under ARTISTSPRESS, on this site, for project details]

With Thanks to Jerry for translating the work into the Cornish language and to Susan for her sensitive pencil drawing. Here’s the final stitch…

sewing the final pamphlet
all pamphlet making and sewing complete, with envelopes
artwork (detail)
number 15 of 15

lifting the wraps…

Our work at the Old Paraffin Store, St Anthony Head, earlier this year essentially sold out. We return next year 7th – 14th May.

However, there were some experimental cyanotypes, which at the time we did not put up for sale and whilst they are not “regular” examples, I do love them for their happy-accidentness ( maybe why I was keeping them under wraps, with thanks to Sam who prompted the (re)search for them…)

I also came across two pieces from our 2017 residency, bringing back memories of the site and the hundreds of lovely folk who came to see what we were up to, over the past three years.

one way or another…

as a triptych, hung horizontally

as a triptych, hung vertically

The work is inspired by ongoing research, to do the juxtaposition of found wire(mesh), sea and stone; movement, stillness, flashes of light.

So here they are hung horizontally and vertically. They could also be hung with spacing or as individual works (see earlier posting).

They are painted in water mixable oil paint and pigment, currently my mediums of choice, offering a flat and fat surface that can be delicately over-painted and cut into. I masked up the sides/edges of the canvases prior to painting so as to emphasis a boundary/ other dimension.

paintings: 50,51,52

Sea & Stone research: following several weeks of thought and digital experiments on how to resolve three paintings, an unexpected day in the studio due to intense and sustained rainfall, brought out the bright red pigment and oil; a triptych (?)

© 50,  oil on canvas, Philip Bennetta, 2019
© 51, oil on canvas, Philip Bennetta, 2019
© 52 oil on canvas, Philip Bennetta, 2019


We’ve only been back a couple of days 
bring on another retreat…

Filmed and recorded inside a straw bale barn, overlooking the apple orchard, at Cotna Barton Eco Retreat, Gorran Churchtown, Cornwall during a day of sustaining August rain…

work in progress

three paintings arising from sea & stone research

© 50 oil on canvas and digital Philip Bennetta, 2019
© 51 oil on canvas and digital Philip Bennetta, 2019
© 52 oil on canvas and digital Philip Bennetta, 2019

Triple Storm

(…Curled in the Triple Storm where Love reposes.

from The Inner Gold by Jean Mambrino, translated by Jonathan Griffin)

three years of redaction, scraping back, adding layers and cutting through…

© Triple Storm, painting, oil on canvas (1 m x 1 m) Philip Bennetta, 2019