Painters of the past from whom the author has drawn inspiration:

Albert * Beaux * Bellows * Braun * Bunker * E. Carlsen * Carpeaux * Cassatt * Cezanne * Chardin * Chase * Church * Corinth * Corot * Courbet * Crane * DaVinci * Degas * Derain * Dewing * Dow * Eakins * Frieseke * Garber * Gauguin * Gile * Hals * Hawthorne * Hensche * Hibbard * Hiroshige * Hokusai * Holbein * Homer * Hunt * Ingres *Inness * Kollwitz * Kroyer * LaFarge * Meichers * Metcalf * Michaelangelo * Monet * Murphy * Nolde * Paxton * Pissarro * Pushman * Redon * Rembrandt * Rodin * Rose * A Ryder * Sargent * Seurat * Sisley * Sorolla * Tanner * Tryon * Turner * Twachtman * Valasquez * Vermeer * Villon * Vonnoh * Wendt * Whistler * Zorn *

Painters who have studied with Henry Hensche:

Sam Barber * James Beatrice * Monte Becker * Kay Benton *  Sammy Britt * Clay Buchanan * Gerald Deloach * John Ebersberger * Cedric Egeli * Joanette Egeli * Arthur Egeli * David Farrell * Frank Gannon * Peter Guest * Richard Kelso  * Elizabeth Lirette-Vest * Robert Longley * Margaret McWethy * Ken Massey * Charles Miller * Tom Moore  * Dan Neidhardt * Hilda Neily * Steve Perkins *  Bonnie Roth *  George T. (Tommy) Thurmond * Mary Ann Wanner * Mary Winterfield * (please let me know of others)

Note: Though this list is long, it is not complete. If your name is missing from the above list, or you know of someone not included, please let me know, and I will add their name. Painters in the Hawthorne/Hensche tradition will be added in subsequent editions.


Brettell, Richard R., Impression: Painting Quickly in France 1860-1890, Yale and the Clark Art Institute

Boas, Nancy, Society of Six: California Colorists, Bedford Arts Publishers

Clark, Kenneth, The Nud, Doubleday-Anchor

Da Vinci, Leonardo, Treatise on Painting

East, Sir Alfred, Landscape Painting

Gerdts, William, American Impressionism, Abbeville Press

Gerdts, William and Will South, California Impressionism, Abbeville Press

Gerdts, William and Patricia Trenton, Eds. California Light, Laguna Art Museum

Harrison, Birge, Landscape Painting, Scribner’s

Harvey, Eleanor, The Painted Sketch: American Impressions from Nature 1830-1880, Abrams

Hawthorne, Charles, Hawthorne on Painting, Dover

Henri, Robert, The Art Spirit, Harper & Row

Hensche, Henry, The Art of Seeing and Painting, Gray, LA: Hensche estate

Hill, Edward, The Language of Drawing, Prentice-Hall

Hunt, William Morris, On Painting and Drawing, Dover

Poore, H. R. Composition, Dover

Rathbone, Eliza and George Shackelford, Impressionist Still Life, Abrams

Richer, Paul, Artistic Anatomy. Watson-Guptill

Speed, Harold, Oil Painting Techniques and Practice and Science of Drawing, Dover

Vanderpoel, John, The Human Figure. Dover

Westphal, Ruth, Plein Air painters of California: The North and The South, Westphal Publishing


My work is rooted in that of the Impressionists, particularly the studies of light and color made by Claude Monet. He showed us the beauty of an early morning dawn, the warmth of an evening sunset, the somber relationship of fields and woods on a stormy day. He shocked us into seeing the variety of color in nature. We no longer enjoy a landscape rendered in a narrow range of color; we know colors are changed by the light striking the scene.

I make all my paintings from direct observations of nature. Like Monet, I feel the sensation of life can only be gained by standing in front of nature. Only under a condition of existing light and atmosphere can we sense the beauty of a scene. I do not copy a scene — photography does a better job (although only within a limited color and value range) — and I am not interpreting it through some psychological concept.

To capture the beauty of the natural world, I use color to show the major planes of light striking a landscape at specific times of day under the same atmospheric conditions. Instead of shades of the same color, I use different colors to show how the light changes shapes within the landscape. Showing how horizontal planes recede into the distance by these subtle changes of color gives my paintings a three-dimensional effect. I usually work no more than two hours on a painting before returning to it another day at the same time of day and if the same atmospheric conditions prevail.

When others compare my choice of color with Impressionism, I demur. They misconstrue my artistic purpose. The Impressionists profess to imitate nature, painting it as it is. The result is often flat, arbitrary color that disregards the more profound truth.

As viewers, the more we become aware of how different lights affect the color of what we see, the deeper our feeling is for a work. Even though understanding a painting is intellectual, caring about one is emotional, a participation engaging the mind and the heart.

I attempt to have my work stand up to the best work of the ages. I strive to be as good and add something to our insight into the world around us.


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