This webpage shares works of art that are currently available for sale, direct from the artist's studio and home. Each work is described, along with a bit of its creation story. Paintings are listed in order of their creation. The price does not include sales tax, packing, or shipping fees. Local delivery is available.
CV/Resume', with contact info, below (bottom of web page).
3 Still Life of Christmas Cactus and Art Books (on top of my piano) Denita Benyshek c. 1980, Wichita, KS 14.5”w x 10”h painting 23”w x 19”h with matt and frame (gold with crimson velvet liner) 8 lbs. approx. $350
What I saw when I was playing my upright piano and looked up. Morning, golden sunlight through a southern window. I recognize Gardner’s art history book and two books about Chagall. Lived in a small group of 4 apartments along with Terrence Christgau (actor, director, teacher now in NYC), a former Catholic priest whose name I've forgotten (we discussed philosophy and he gave me a book on Emerson and the transcendentalists), Dean Cleverdon, director/mime now in LA, and a woman who loved art history (she travelled to Europe just to see Gustav Klimt paintings, “everything else (experienced during the trip) was gravy,” she said.) I lived without a car, walking a mile to work at my job as a legal secretary. I worked part time so that I would have more time to paint.
The Iowa Sleeper - sold to collector in Houston, Texas Denita Benyshek c. 1982, Cedar Falls, Iowa Artwork size: 12.25" W x 10"H Framed: 21.215"W x 19.75"H 5 lbs. approx. Watercolor and ink, with mat and black wood frame.
A simple ink drawing made in Cedar Falls, Iowa, where I was commissioned to do my first multi-media performance art for the University of Northern Iowa Art Gallery. I’d left Wichita several times by this point, traveling to an artist’s colony in the Dominican Republic (Altos de Chavon), New York City, etc. The artwork is a young woman, happy in her travels of the world, content to sleep on the floor with her cat. Iowa, of course, has many churches and one is visible outside the window.
From the Sibyl of the Western Slope Denita Benyshek March 1996, Seattle, WA Painting: 23.5”w x 17.5”h Framed: 34”w x 28.5”h 9 lbs. approx.. Watercolor, ink, on paper, with mat and blond wood frame. $550
Creativity Denita Benyshek 1986, painted in Fairbanks, AK Watercolor, gouache, ink on cotton rag paper, unframed 19.75”w x 22”h 1 lb. approx. $450
Painted the first summer I taught at a University of Alaska program for gifted teens. So inspiring to be in the midst of such dedication and inspiration. So many great students. I could do my best work as an art instructor. I painted in the evenings, my worktable beside a window, where I could watch the changing colors of the midnight sun as it slowly set and rose. I felt full of ideas, brimming with creativity, a source of life.
Self Portrait Denita Benyshck 1995 Charcoal on paper, gray mat, silver wood frame. Drawing: 17.25”w x 19”h Framed: 24.5”h x 26.75”h 10 lbs. approx. $150
Detail above, right. (Note, photo of drawing has reflections of windows on the plexiglass.)
In the Well Denita Benyshek c. 1992 Chalk pastel on black rag paper, mounted on black mat board, black wood frame. 28”w x 21.75”h 8 lbs. approx. $350
I was teaching at Pratt Fine Arts Center in Seattle, teaching drawing with color. This was for a lesson on how to use warm and cool colors to do a portrait and represent light, shade, form. Recall using a photo of some Roman god or general as the model.
In addition, the title is a reference to a birthday celebration for me, created by a Jungian analyst/filmmaker/photographer (Corwin Fergus). During the celebration, he threw the I Ching and it came up as the unchanging “well” symbol. Surprised, he shook the pieces and threw 3 more times, and each time the same results, the 48th divinatory hexagram, the “well”.
He then gave me my present, a record album of avant garde minimalist composer, Pauline Oliveros) with a song/title, “The Well”.
Calling from the Mirror Denita Benyshek December 1987, painted in Long Creek, Oregon (where I was an artist-in-residence at a school). 37”w x 76.5” 35 lb approx. $650
Watercolor, goache, ink on cotton rag paper. Paper is cut and collaged, applied to fabric backing. Cherry wood frame under plexiglass.
A quantum physics, mystical self-portrait with my flute, angles emerging from darkness, “things” floating apart, boundaries loosening, all connecting and emergent within a radiating painted “gold” frame. This work presages the later works that included actual mirrors and ornate gold frames.
For about 17 years, I worked as a peripatetic art instructor, teaching part time here and there, at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, 30+ trips to Native villages in the Alaskan bush, artist in residence gigs at schools and at a maximum security prison for men. I would teach 4 hours in the morning, take a long nap, then paint until about 3:00am, then sleep again. Painting at night meant fewer interruptions and being away from cities meant it was easier to concentrate.
Details: Above right, self portrait. Below: The Cosmic Acrobat.
p Self-portrait. Denita Benyshek October 7, 1993, Seattle, WA 34”w x 30”h 3 lbs. approx.. Oil on canvas, unframed. $200
I am remembering Russia, folk culture, nature-connected animism, and my grandmother who was a gardener and farmer in Kansas. I am honoring my ancestors and their way of being. I am looking at myself through the lens of the past that is always present in my soul.
I received a private grant that allowed me to earn an MFA at University of Washington.
Self Portrait in Folk Costume Denita Benyshek Undated Oil on canvas, charcoal. Unframed. 30”w x 24” H 3 lbs. $100
Painted at the beginning of my MFA studies. I travelled to Russia the year before I started the MFA program at UW. In Russia, I visited many museums, large and small, taught at a college of folk art and culture (dance, music, visual arts), went to ballet performances with live orchestras every evening I was in Novosibersk, Siberia, befriended artists and musicians, listened to a baritone sing Russian classical songs and folk songs while we reclined on the grass at Pushkin’s estate. Many conversations about soulfulness, beauty, meaning in the arts – before entering the world of post modernism and many students making ugly, doleful, hateful, traumatized art. My ancestors are immigrants from Bohemia/Czechoslovakia and the Slavic way of being that I experienced in Russia - - well, that was much closer to my heart. I made several paintings that looked back into my ancestral past. This is a self-portrait. I am wearing a folk costume from the Karelia region, the Island of Kizhi.
Study for Beginning of a Long Journey Denita Benyshek Undated Charcoal on paper. Black wood frame under plexiglass. 28”w x 78.5”h x 2” deep with frame. 30 lb approx. $350
This is a full scale “study” for a reverse-painted glass work (the glass work was exhibited in Santa Fe, NM, and purchased for a private collection there). The girl at the top was based on a photo of one of my students at a school in an Athabaskan village, Alaska. She was drawing with such careful precision and I drew her with that same careful precision. As well, maybe a depiction of the heroic and imaginary reality journey undertaken during the act of creativity, with transpersonal experiences enroute! At the bottom is a house and dock on stilts, at the seaside, of a southeast Alaskan village. Entire families sometimes lived in these sheds. I suppose I am the horse, traveling through, visiting villages, observing, meeting, and connecting with people.
When I was dragged by my Arab mare, my left arm, my dominant drawing/painting arm, was ripped up from my knuckles to my shoulder. To retrain my arm how to draw, I did these large scale drawings for each large glass work. I’d have to hold my left arm up, supporting it on my right arm or lay the drawing down on a table so I wouldn’t have to lift my arm. Even so, it was difficult to simply grip a pencil or piece of charcoal. Sometimes, I would put my head down on my worktable and weep at the loss of fine motor control. In these large drawings, I am learning how to draw again, learning the flowing, automatic muscle memory, nerves reconnecting desire to act, once again – a skill that required years and years of practice to master.
One day, I was finished the large-scale glass work and I was preparing to throw the large scale drawing into the garbage as a friend walked in. Shocked, she exclaimed, “What are you doing!?!” and then persuaded me to keep all of these large drawings.
Prelude to Confluence -no longer for sale. My son refuses to let it go. Denita Benyshek c. 1994 Charcoal on paper, black liner and silver wood frame. 30.5”w x 77”h 30 lbs. approx.
I suppose I was drawing a romantic image of the kind of man I’d like to be in love with, a man who was very connected to wilderness, nature, trees. The man depicted carries trees, and lake reflections of trees, within him.
Around 2005, when my son was 7 years old, I met a man who looked, and had a soul, much like the man in the drawing. We were deeply in love for many years and we are still friends.
5The Confluence of Two Rivers Denita Benyshek c. 1994 Reverse-painted and collaged tempered glass (acrylic on laquer), full-length mirror with ornate gilt frame (to reference framed mirrors for beholding the self). This work is designed to reflect, and thus incorporate, the image of the beholder and the image of the space where the work is exhibited. Thus, the beholder becomes part of the artwork in a dynamic way, with the artwork ever changing.
32”w x 81.5”h 65 lbs. approx. $500
I became interested in glass art partly because this is part of Czech heritage (Bohemia had the right raw materials to make high quality glass), developing glass engraving and cut through to clear technique.
I was also interested in reverse-painted glass as it was a common means of folk art painting, where craft workers, often women, could produce icons for religious pilgrams to holy sites. Reverse-painted glass also makes colors more brilliant and magnifies space between layers. Paint can appear to float unsuspended, transcending gravity.
Note, the works on glass are difficult to photograph as the environment and light sources are reflected on the surface.
Details below. (Details are so important, as these large works lose richness when reduced to small images.) One detail shows reflection of artist photographing work.
Sonata in Joy Major. Denita Benyshek c. 1994. 28.5”w x 77.5”h x 3”d 60 lbs approx.. $350
Reverse-collaged glass, reverse-painted (acrylic on clear laquer) glass, collaged and painted foam core. … deep with multiple layers in space. Note, the black wood frame is sprung (the corners have come apart) on the bottom 2 corners. The price is reduced to reflect the need for repair.
Sonata in Joy Major is protest art. At the University of Washington, surrounded by grim, dark, ugly, overly cerebral artwork, I decided to make a work that was colorful, joyous, nature-connected, and celebratory.
Details below: Birds, sunflower, flowers. Flying Mokosh. Small pond and trees. The old mare on her path.
The Sacred Ladder of Light. Sold to collector in Nashville, TN Denita Benyshek 1994 10.5”w x 25”h including frame. 8 lbs. approx..
Engraved glass, fabric and iridescent string collage, over black satin, black wood frame.
The radiating colors in the center are a mandala, a source of womanly creativity, from her womb (although you cannot see the woman depicted due my reflection). Believe me, somehow, in real life, the reflections just are not this obvious!!! I was depicting the creative powers of a woman, seated at her worktable (meanwhile, a male peacock strolls by). The light of the sun shines down upon her, entering and filling her, and then she, in her creative work, illuminates and radiates.
While I was at UW, the Pilchuck Glass School gave me a full scholarship (room, board, tuition, supplies) to attend so that I could study glass engraving from a Czech master. The UW art faculty hated that I won this scholarship because I was considered an outsider artist, undeserving. I didn’t play the suck up game to powerful faculty and I didn’t make the kind of post modern/modernist art they revered. So, the next year, they made sure that they got to select the Pilchuck scholarship winner! Meanwhile, I was able to work with an artist who respected my work, my approach, my values, my subject matter.
Glass engraving is done either using spinning, diamond encrusted wheels on a horizontal axle (not sure what the parts are called) or using diamond encrusted bits in a Dremel machine. Very slow process, very, very slow. Although the lines are based on rapid ink sketches, the cutting process requires extreme concentration, focus, steady hand, to slowly, slowly, move along. I think I enjoy using fabric collage because my mother was a gifted seamstress. I grew up with bolts of fabric unrolled on the carpet while she painstakingly cut out patterns, hearing her discuss design, color, pattern. I learned as much from her, perhaps more, than from my father who was a graphic artist. For example, the radiating sun/flower at the top has embroidered French knots that my mother taught me to make.
The details show the engraving, iridescent thread, collage texture, and iridescent enamel. Details include the radiant sun, an artist's color wheel, and woman as creator,
The Great Mahaska Denita Benyshek 1994, engraved at Pilchuck Glass School, WA. Framed: 11.25”w x 11.25”h < 5 lbs. Engraved and reverse-painted glass over a sheet of stained glass, collaged, painted. $250
I would have had a hard time explaining why this title came to this piece. I once owned a great, in spirit – not in size!, white Arab mare. Such ecstasy to ride her. We’d race on mountain trails, leaping over fallen logs, so many adventures, so connected and communicating so instantly that we were like one. Mahaska is the name of a small, rural town in Nebraska. My mother once told me she thought it was a Native American name. Wondering it’s meaning and origin, I looked it up. Mahaska was a chief who’s name means White Cloud. So, there he is, his spirit, the White Cloud in the sky, watching the world now, where horses become iron weather vanes that only move, rotating, in place. The building is the garage attic in the Bridle Trails neighborhood, where my mare and I lived while I attended UW. Sunset, the trees reflected in the windows.
And the photographer’s inevitable reflection, too! I once hired a professional art photographer to photograph the glass works. He built a black wall of fabric with a tiny hole for the lens of the camera, so that he could photograph the work without any reflections. Took many hours. I don’t have this set up available – my apologies.
The Luscious Flames of Spring - sold to collector in North Bend, WA Denita Benyshek 1994 Artwork: 9.5”w x 11.75”h Framed: 11”w x 13.5”h < 5 lbs. approx.
Engraved and sandblasted pink glass with oil paint under a clear sheet of engraved glass. Black wood frame.
Love working with spatial layers, so rich! This is a quick ditty, about erotic love, the gifts that men and women can give each other freely, those riches and joys. The life that grows between them and the life force that nurtures them.
Map in Progress Denita Benyshek 1994 Artwork: 11”w x 11”h Framed: 14.75”w x 14.75”h 5 lbs. approx. $155
Engraved, sandblasted pink glass with oil paint and collage, under clear, engraved glass. Gold liner inside walnut wood frame.
Life is not static, not fixed. Life changes as new influences arrive. The gifts of the unconscious, what’s emergent/being formed, what’s discovered and being recorded, mystery revealed. The stories and images of Melusina hold many stories and meanings. She is a magical female spirit of a holy well or a holy river, represents fertility and prosperity, attends Persephone and travels to the underworld. In alchemy, she has a double nature, symbolizes the union of opposites, as she serves as a mediator between dreams and souls.
This is another work started at Pilchuck Glass School. I would search for pieces of glass in the scrap piles. The base is a translucent piece of milky pink glass.
The Lone Rider. Denita Benyshek Undated Painting: 12”w x 11”h Framed 21.5w x 21”h 9 lbs. approx.. Watercolor on rag paper, framed with mat and light cherry wood frame. $275
A watercolor sketch performed without drawing the image in pencil, just painted directly. Dusty, late in the day, emergent, taking form, approaching. Based on a photo from a magazine. (Because the work is framed under glass, there are reflections on the glass captured in the photograph of the artwork.)
I am Writing You from a Balcony. Sold to collector in Nashville, TN Denita Benyshek 1997 Engraved clear glass over oil-painted, sandblasted pink glass, with feather and gold leaf.
I wrote a letter to my mother, from a balcony of an old inn, at a lake near Zurich, Switzerland. In the letter, I could see the castle of Iseltwald and did a quick sketch of it. The drawing of the castle and a phrase from that letter were later engraved on glass for this work.
Detail of engraved drawing of castle tower below.
He said, “Give me your cup and I shall fill you up.” Denita Benyshek 1997 or 1998 Watercolor, ink, gold/copper leaf collage on rag paper. Mat, silver wood frame under glass. Painting 6”w x 14”h Framed 13.25”w x 22.25”h 5 lbs. approx.. $200
After I graduated from UW, I taught visual art and art history at North Seattle College. I was about to interview for a tenured track position in Michigan, when the man I was dating proposed marriage. He’d swept me off my feet, I was crazy in love, wanted to have a baby, and said yes. I made several paintings inspired by our early love.
We Met on the Edge of the Future Denita Benyshek 1998 Artwork: 15”w x 14”h Framed: 24.25”w x 23.5”h 6 lbs. approx. Watercolor, ink, on rag paper, mat with black wood frame. $550
Another painting about ecstatic love.
Bride on a Path Denita Benyshek 1999, North Bend, WA Watercolor on rag paper, matted and framed Artwork: 10.25”w x 14”h Frame: 19.25”w x 23.75”h 8 lbs. approx. w/ frame $250
Can This Be True? Denita Benyshek c. 2001, North Bend, Washington Acrylic and collage on rag paper, unframed. 41"W x 42"H $1200
Based on drawings done, in the dark, during live performances, of the Seattle Opera’s The Pearl Fishers. Some of the abstract under painting was done in collaboration with my 3-year-old son. The opera’s gold, reclining Buddha is at the top. In the lower left corner, a procession of men carrying torches. “Can this be true?” is a quote from the opera’s libretto. One of my favorite paintings. Why? Because life is present as the past is remembered, as the now is experienced, as the future becoming, with the sacred ever present.
Details below: Sleeping Buddha. Procession with torches. Vase with roses (behind which is a linear drawing, barely glimpsed, of the back of an elegant woman in an evening gown, her long hair in a French twist).
The Nighthawk (Mt. Rainier). Denita Benyshek 2020, North Bend, WA Acrylic on cotton rag paper 42 x 86” unframed $3000
During a flight, saw Mt. Rainier through the plane's window and did a quick sketch on a napkin. I then worked on this painting for 10 years, through many changes, an entire mountain range came and went, a storm blew through, large trees grew in the foreground, then vanished. Dark night with purple clouds, a great moon rose, then day came, then a low mist floated in. One day, the painting asked for a yellow gold sky. Although I wasn't sure about this, I trusted the art spirit’s voice. I did as I was requested, and the painting was done!
The Still Lake of Reverie Denita Benyshek 2020, North Bend, WA Acrylic on 2 sheets of cotton rag paper 35.75 x 77”, unframed $3000
Near my mountain home is a lake. Spring fed, the water is rather cold. In the summer, I enjoy swimming back and forth across the lake, floating in the middle and looking up at the clouds, treading water and gazing at mountains and trees. So peaceful. I walk along the shore, all seasons, coming to know the rocks and trees and wildlife. I bring home water from the waterfall to use in my studio, incorporating the mountain water into my paintings.
The Plateau Denita Benyshek 2021, North Bend, WA (based on sketches from Arizona and New Mexico) Acrylic and fabric collage on rag paper 22.5 x 30”, unframed $450
From a series of 62 sketches drawn during a journey from Santa Fe, New Mexico, to Canyon de Chelly, Arizona. Original sketch is below.
Additional sketches from my journey, Santa Fe to Canyon de Chelly. These sketches are not for sale currently.
Denita Benyshek, 2018, sketches of cliff dwellings in Canyon de Chelly, Arizona.
Denita Benyshek, 2018, sketch, near continental divide.
Crossing the Continental Divide Denita Benyshek 2021, North Bend, WA (based on sketches from Arizona and New Mexico) Acrylic and fabric collage on rag paper 42.25"W x 40.5"H $850
One of my favorite paintings, such a sense of mystery, what is about to be experienced.
Spider Woman Rock Denita Benyshek 2021, North Bend, WA (based on sketch from Arizon, Canyon de Chelly) Acrylic on rag paper 22.5 x 30” unframed $700
Artist Denita Benyshek in Santa Fe, New Mexico, 2019.