“Ice Bear”, 22×36, Oil, Winner of Best of Show from the NOAPS 2020 Spring Online International Exhibition. Collection of the Artist.
This engaging scene presents us with a story for the viewer to create…the nearly monochromatic painting presents us with an image that impresses both with detail and weight. We can feel the weight of the bear, the force of the impending growl, and the icy cool water. Amid the mass of ice the bear is painted slightly warmer, giving us the impression of life. The challenge of this painting is expertly met with the artist’s use of values and temperature, creating an immensely successful painting.
“Shore Leave”, 30×24, Oil, Private Collection.
Linda Besse is best known for her renderings of animals in their natural habitats. Though trained as a geologist with a Master of Science degree specializing in geochemistry, Linda became intrigued with painting while observing another artist paint. Her dedication to the craft has spanned 20 years, with much self-study along the way.
“Stealth”, 24×34, Oil, Collection of the Artist.
Linda has found her subject matter traveling to all seven continents and 40 countries…though inspiration can come watching the birds and animals from her kitchen window. For her winning painting, Besse states: “I’ll spend hours in a small willow blind scanning the horizons for polar bears. Just when I know I’ve spotted one, a quick look through the binoculars will reveal a large shiny…..boulder. But, when a polar bear comes into view, it is so obvious. Their white hollow fur almost glows and there is nothing quite like it. Then I wonder how I could have ever mistaken a glacial erratic for this magnificent creature. It is that glow which the background is designed to enhance.”
“Woven”, Oil, 33×44, Collection of the Artist.
Besse works exclusively in oils for their luminosity and depth of color. Her palate consists of titanium white, cadmium red deep, cadmium yellow deep, Naples yellow, yellow ochre, sap green, viridian green, ultramarine blue, cerulean blue, Paynes gray, raw sienna, burnt sienna, raw umber, burnt umber, Van Dyke brown, and lately Crimson Lake and Phthalocyanine Blue Lake (Michael Harding brand). Besse paints on gessoed boards, either commercially made or hand painted.
Painting in Progress, Oil, 13.5×20 (also see on artist’s blog: www.besseart.blogspot.com)
Due to the nature of her subject matter, Besse works from photos, using up to 15 different shots to compose her painting. Though the painting is done in the studio (along with her two cats), Besse always takes the time in the outdoors to take in the surroundings, memorizing the colors and feel of the place. She draws directly on the gessoed board, and then paints alla prima, starting at the top of her painting and working downward, background to foreground.
Though she had won numerous awards for her paintings, her greatest goal is striving for continuous improvement. Growth for the artist is a lifetime study.
Linda encourages other artists to tell their own story, in their own way. “Push yourself artistically. Be bold and take chances and your work will continue to grow.”
The work of Linda Besse is represented by the Louisa Gould Gallery, Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts (Martha’s Vineyard)
To view more of Besse’s work visist www.BesseArt.com
To view the NOAPS 2020 Spring Online International, go to www.noaps.org
Written by Patricia Tribastone, NOAPS President