Ben Groff

Artist Statement

From an early age, I drew pictures in pencil, continuing into my mature years. When I finally came to painting in oils, this emphasis on clarity of line and form carried on into the new medium and I found myself to be by nature a realistic artist. But realism must never be an end in itself; rather the brush must adapt itself to the object and the object to the brush so that a deeper sense of the reality of the scene can emerge. Above all I seek to work with heightened color and light to express the spiritual essence that I find in that sudden, transitory moment of illumination the image contains, making it permanent.


I was born in Pennsylvania, growing up there and among the little hills of Rockland County, New York. I moved to Seattle after college, later to Lynnwood, and have lived here ever since, enjoying a long career as a nurse at Virginia Mason Hospital. My interests have included hiking, mountaineering, and world travel, from which I draw most of my images. However my deepest concern has always been pan-artistic, spanning music, photography, art, and literature; I have been a fiction writer with many published stories. I am married with two grown children and one lovely granddaughter

I have been drawing and painting from early childhood. However, I have also been going blind since childhood due to a condition called Keratoconus. 20 years ago, my eye doctors had exhausted all the known solutions and my eyesight had become so poor that I was on the verge of giving up my lifelong passion, drawing and painting. Luckily, I found a cutting edge eye doctor, Dr. Rotkis, in Seattle that restored my sight through cornea transplant – I am so thankful for this doctor and for the organ donors! I use this new lease on my eyesight every day to improve my craft as an artist.

Why I paint
I experience joy when I see beauty – in a landscape, in a cityscape, in wildlife, in people – and I want to communicate and share that joy with others. When I see a scene that captivates me, I unconsciously start painting it in my mind. As I look back on paintings, no matter when painted, I can remember the day and what inspired me. I re-experience that initial joy when my art makes a connection with another.

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