Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Forrest Bess

Forrest Clemenger Bess (1911–1977) was an American painter and fisherman.

Burning Bush


He is known for his abstract, symbol-laden paintings based on what he called “visions.”



Bess made his own frames and worked mostly with dark, brooding pigments, which he sometimes mixed with sand or varnish for texture. 

And All the Things I Have Forgotten


Throughout his life as an artist, Bess developed a complex visual vocabulary to accompany his obsessive devotion to beliefs and theories that separated him from society around him. 

Dedication to Van Gogh


Bess believed his visions and the resulting paintings came to represent a pictorial language that had universal significance.



He also he believed his imagery formed a blueprint for an ideal human state, with the potential to relieve mankind of suffering and death.

I Can See Through Myself


He is now regarded as a unique visionary, an artist who cannot be grouped with any one school but who belongs to his own vivid, personal vision.



Bess was formally diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic late in his life. As an alcoholic and increasingly disturbed, he experienced frequent hallucinations, visions that often translated into art.

Seascape With Sun


More of Forrest Bess‘s visionary art can be found at

7 thoughts on “Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Forrest Bess

  1. I think who you know is the most important of all and then who you are, if you are a famous actress and you write a book, it is “bingo” big time. The rest of the people need a lot of luck to start with and then some ! That is how this crazy world works.


  2. That’s true. But these days it’s exposure exposure exposure. Social media, word of mouth, who you know, art shows — it’s a lot of legwork just to get someone to look at your stuff. Writers have the same problem. Everyone and their mother writes books these days. It’s just figuring a way to get something out there that’s new and different.


  3. People are really odd creatures. If a welknown person buys an artwork from an unknown artist, the artist immediately becomes famous and his/her work will sell like hotcakes !


  4. Yes, lots of them died poor, sick and hungry it’s only after their dead that their art becomes famous, sad isn’t it ??!


  5. When you look at his work you can see they were made by a troubled person. But they are special and unique to say the least.


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