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.

How we see has also 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