Cat Bennett is an artist and former illustrator who did work for national newspapers, magazines, publishers and television for over thirty years. She teaches drawing as a way to find our own vision and look at the world with more care. She is the author of three books on drawing and creative thinking, posts her art on Instagram and participates in selected group shows.
What’s your earliest memory of the arts?
Despite being a visual artist, I studied theater as a kid growing up in Toronto and was thrilled straight away by the experience of making things up. Plus, the acting school shared space with The Royal Shakespeare Company and, from the age of ten, I was under the spell each week of these fantastic actors in rehearsal. Ordinary life paled in comparison!
Do you have a favorite memory or story about MCA?
I’ve taught drawing to adults at MCA since the doors opened. One day our class did a forty foot long drawing on paper on the rehearsal hall wall. I gave each student a place, a crayon and a Van Gogh drawing to render. Later, we changed places and drew from imagination in the white spaces between. Some students were very experienced, some new to art. It didn’t matter. The result was phenomenal!
How have you stayed connected to the arts these past seven months?
I have simply carried on with my art practice. Right now there are fewer demands on my time so I’m getting to make much more art. I’m happy about that! I miss live teaching and going to museums but consume visual art with relish online. I also treat myself to occasional art books to fuel my imagination.
Who’s your favorite artist (of any form—visual arts, theater, music, dance)?
I have many “favorite” artists but Picasso continues to inspire with his inventiveness, presence, and honest emotion, particularly in his wood sculptures and ceramics. He taught us not to hold back. And Matisse for the pure expression of joy in art, especially in the “cut-outs.” And Japanese art often triggers wonderful ideas for me with all that it leaves out. I love its clarity of purpose.
Do you have a favorite quote about the arts or one you’d like to share?
“It took me four years to learn to draw like Raphael and the rest of my life to learn to draw like a child again.” – Pablo Picasso
To read more about Cat Bennett, visit her website.