I want to make paintings that have the DNA of a different time. Today, everything in our life is formed by chemists in laboratories, including most colors that we can make paints from. If you look at paintings from before the industrial revolution (the good ones), they have a whole different life and DNA about them. A large part of this was the studio environment, where the artist and assistants where responsible for making colors from scratch. To me, it makes more sense to take colors from the natural world to respresent the natural world. Modern synthetic colors can be beautiful but don't fit in this natural world.
Also, how we see has changed. It is unusual to take the time away from screens and quietly take in the world around you. For me, drawing and painting from live models or still lives has potential to reveal more about itself than a static photograph could.
These are the themes I care about when I'm in the studio. My approach is a work in progress, I always want to be learning more, but I make what I can from scratch; linseed oil from flax seeds, flake white from sheets of lead, or earth tones from dirt gathered from hikes.
Making things easier doesn't mean better, I believe that it sometimes takes a lot of work to make something special.

Joseph Besch

January 2018