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A season remembered in art… Bennett turns memorable accomplishment into a detailed piece of art

BY IVAN SANDERS
STAR STAFF
ivan.sanders@elizabethton.com
The Elizabethton Cyclone football season in 2019 was one that many will not to soon forget as the Cyclones ran the gauntlet on the way to perfection — a 15-0 record and the Class 4A State Championship.
While the players and coaches received rings as a reminder, local artist Randall Bennett decided to put his God-given talents to work and went to work in detailing the season in a piece of art that has captured elements of the championship run.
There are some that with a colored pencil in hand that can’t manage to draw a straight line however that is not the case for Bennett whose work has garnered a lot of attention.
“I wanted to use my talents to potentially offer something to the public so that they could remember this incredible season,” Bennett said. “I wasn’t exactly sure that I was going to make prints of it until about two weeks ago.
“But once I saw the feedback I was getting on social media from my Work In Progress posts I felt that offering prints could be an option. That was a big factor in my decision.”
After looking at the art, it’s enough to cause someone to scratch their head and wonder how long such a drawing would take to complete. Even though time is a valuable commodity, Bennett says when he is creating a piece that he doesn’t keep up with the time because it’s about so much more to him.
“That’s a common question that I’m asked on any piece….“How long did it take you to draw that?”, Bennett stated. “My brother, who is a much more skilled artist than me, once told me that when someone asks that question, to simply answer “All of my life.”
“That’s a very true statement. But as far as actual time spent — I honestly couldn’t tell you. Hours and hours for sure. Ten minutes here — an hour there — over the span of about nine months or so.
“I’m not one to keep up with my time spent on creativity. I just get lost in the joy of creating and don’t think about time.”
After looking at the drawing and the depth of detail, Bennett was asked if there were times that he thought of just putting the drawing aside due to the ever-evolving detail that he was finding himself trying to fit in.
“Absolutely. And there were times that I did just that,” he said. “Sometimes it got just so tedious that I had to take a break from it for a while.
“There were also times that I had to table it out of necessity due to other, more time-sensitive drawings or photo sessions, and of course things in everyday life. But I always found myself looking at it from time to time to plan my next steps.”
For the average person trying to attempt to even come close to fitting every detail that Bennett managed to work into the piece would be enough to pull every strand of hair in one’s head out.
The artist admitted that even with all the drawings that he has done, there are challenges that must be overcome to move forward with intricate drawings such as this one.
“The most difficult part was definitely the composition of all the images, trying to figure out the best placement for each image…and how I was going to fit all of them on there,” Bennett commented.
“I probably spent as much time on the composition as I did actually laying down the color. That being said, the most stressful image for me was the trophy.
“For one, it’s the centerpiece of the drawing. So I really stressed about getting the colors close and giving it its shine and reflection. Gold and silver images are always a challenge for me to replicate with colored pencils. But I think I pulled this one off pretty well.”
Once the piece was completed, Bennett shared the outcome on social media and since then has had several people ask if he was going to replicate the drawing for purchase.
“Yes, I am,” he stated. “Those interested can purchase them through PayPal at jancey@charter.net, through Venmo to Randall-Bennett-11, contacting me through social media on Instagram (rbennettphoto) or Facebook, or they can always text me at 423-773-5704.”
The cost of the 18×24 print is only $20.
Even though Bennett feels blessed to be able to do such work and give others enjoyment through all he does, he finds that it opens doors to share with others that talent doesn’t stop at being able to draw.
“It is very satisfying knowing that people like seeing my artwork,” said Bennett. “But I try to use the conversations about my talents in positive ways.
“I’ve had many people say that they wish they could ‘draw like that’ but that they don’t have a creative bone in their body. And that is just simply not true. I tell them that everyone has some sort of creativity within themselves.
“They may have to search for it, but it’s there!”
For Bennett, it’s now off to the next project and hopefully a second championship drawing coming in 2021.