@2017 by Bess French. Proudly created with wix.com

    About me

    I have spent years walking through forests, hiking mountains, and exploring the natural world. This is always how my work develops.  A fallen tree, an unfamiliar fungus, a feather, or bone, all may become the impetus for a new work. Most recently, decay, decomposition, and rebirth have driven my work, as I am inspired by the sculptural forms that fungus, spores, and mushrooms take. I have become fascinated with decomposition of both animal and plant matter.  As a beekeeper, I observe first hand the fleeting life cycle of the honey bee and have used both discarded bees and their honeycomb in my work.  My honeybees, and their wax, have further propelled the evolution of my encaustic work.

     

    The experimentation that comes from the unique merging and blending of these inspiring materials is what really excites me. Encaustic, clay and natural artifacts have become the building blocks for my most recent three dimensional explorations. It is the processes of preparation, of the making of the art itself, that remains for me the most profound.  Far more telling than the final completed piece, it’s the process that holds the relevance. It is about taking risks, combining various, and often, disconnected elements to tell narratives of loss and redemption.

     

    My recent work is a series of assemblage pieces that explore personal anecdotes using natural objects such as beeswax, bones, found objects and wood boxes. These series are the culminating visual representation of a lengthy, and continued process of inquiry into the decomposition of organic matter and how it visually correlates to the dissolution of human experiences such as relationships.

     

    Early on I was fascinated with the theory of Wabi Sabi after reading Wabi-Sabi for Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers by Leonard Koren. The teachings of this theory still help guide my work: that all things are intrinsically imperfect, that we need to slow down and appreciate the small things that make life beautiful, that art making is about process, not final product. Wabi Sabi asks for concentration on the things that are often overlooked, the imperfections of life, and the many ways decay and aging record the passing of time.

     
     
     

    Let's talk...