F. Scott Hess

Anchises Lost, 2009Pale Horse, 2011Belt, 2001


The subject matter in my work is the reason I make it. I don’t have any great love of the actual act of painting. It is a means to an end, the method that delivers the image in my head to the rest of the world. In projecting that image outward I use whatever works best. I pose people and capture them photographically for most of the larger figures, usually using friends and family members. If I need a nude model I usually hire a pro. I have sometimes used found photos if there is something indefinable about it that I want to utilize or try to capture, and I have on occasion purely invented a figure. The anatomy training I had in Vienna comes in handy for that. Still-life objects that appear in the works are often set up in the studio and painted from life, and background space is most likely invented, as the scenes in my head probably don’t exist in reality. I do linear sketches on typing paper to develop the idea, and the compositional flow. At one time I would take the final version of the sketched idea and grid it for transfer to the canvas. These days I just project it, make some light lines, then commence to paint. I never do color studies, and work all of that out on the canvas. Those colors that are of the greatest emotional, psychological, and symbolic meaning for the idea get set in first, and then the remaining color areas are worked out as the painting progresses. I spend many hours a day in the studio, and prefer to be alone there. If I don’t have a large block of hours to work in a given day, I don’t paint. I want the unlimited time to spend in ‘the zone’.