My Life by Ben Hotchkiss:
I was born at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Greenwich Village to DeWolfe and Grace Hotchkiss on December 23, 1945.
I spent a couple years in Venice and Santa Monica California, taking in the hippy experience. Then I spent some time at the Esalon Institute in Big Sur. I headed back east and for most of the next five years I lived in Gaylordsville CT working in my parent’s store The Basket Shop, an old fashioned roadside gas/gift shop. Eventually my wanderlust picked up again and I moved to Torrington, Waterbury, and New Haven Ct, all of which were run down defunct mill towns. Then on to Providence RI., Boston, Long Island City, San Francisco, and Chicago. I was a rolling stone, living in over 50 different places such as rooming houses, cheap hotels, YMCA’s, and other inexpensive places. I had about the same number of jobs: day laborer, factory worker, janitorial, and other bottom rung positions.
I was a restless soul with a raw curiosity about life. I didn’t know exactly what I was seeking; I simply knew that I craved new places and experiences!
I dabbled in art in my teen years by sketching and doing watercolors. But in my late teens, 20s and early 30s I pretty much abandoned my pursuit of art. Then in a rooming house on Valencia St. in San Francisco I began doing watercolors again. I kept the theme alive, eventually moving from watercolors to oils, I’ve continued to do abstract oils ever since.
My father was my inspiration to become an artist. He was a fine artist who worked in oils and watercolors, and had a wonderful studio which I visited often. I observed him painting, his artwork on the walls, and I often thumbed through his collection of great art books.
Fluence article by Edward M. Gomez (May/June 2010)