Mural "Common Ground" By Natalie Bessell


“While I am painting, I focus more on how to ‘properly’ execute an image. The image that comes before the execution has either logically puzzled together in my mind or has simply popped up. Perhaps it had been growing awhile and I hadn’t noticed.

I would say that the actual “art” of what I make happens in my moment to moment daily life. 

Even if people are not consciously aware of it or are too aware of it, life is a strange phenomenon. Sure, we try to categorize and place subjects in specific boxes, and find similarities between this and that. But, when it comes down to it, I don’t feel like I know what the point of this human experiment is, and maybe I’m not supposed to, perhaps that would ruin it. So, with painting, drawing, whatever medium it may be, I choose to communicate certain things that I do know.
For example:
I know that a bee pollinates a flower. That the flower comes from a plant, which comes from a seed. That the seed is watered and that the seed eats sunlight and earth. I know that we, humans eat the fruits of the earth. I also know that humans make other humans in a similar fashion. And that the “seed” grows in the woman and that the seed becomes a being and the mother can feed that being with her body. Almost like she is the earth for that child, for that time.

That’s a story I like, and use as a plot, but I have not figured out the moral. I am not going to try and convince anyone that I know the meaning of my paintings. Perhaps someone sees the painting and has a different perspective. Good. I don’t “have” the art I make, the art has me. I am working my ass off for it. To claim it as mine would be the vainest thing. Does a plant think “I made this flower and the flower means life?” I don’t think so. I feel like I am just a plant that is sufficiently watered and able to express a flower and bear fruit. Thanks for that, earth.”

natalie bessell

Natalie Bessell is a painter born and based in San Diego, California. Using acrylics and oils in earth tones on raw natural materials, her art explores the human relationship to nature in all of its complexities. 

In many ways this investigation began when she left her studies at the School of Visual Arts in NYC and began to travel internationally, witnessing different religious art forms, healing practices, and the varying relationships humans have with the Plant and Animal Kingdom. Using a sharp aesthetic and an incredible eye for detail, Bessell weaves a parallel universe with her art. One where the true nature of things does not hide in the shadows but stands unmasked at the altar awaiting sacrifice and tribute. Natalie's art is the Plant and Animal Kingdom of dreams. One of revealing juxtaposition -- where death is very much a part of life, one where we need to kill to live, one where humans have the power to heal as much as they have the power to destroy. 

Now settling down and traveling less, Natalie nurtures and worships the life teeming in her garden and the canyon it overlooks, allowing it to fill her dreams and thus her art. 

Bessell creates pieces that she hopes will encourage people to stay still, to take a moment to breath and worship our connection to the natural world.   

Natalie is based in San Diego

Inquiries to:

Instagram: @nataliebessell