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Beth Van Hoesen
(1926 - 2010)
San Francisco artist Beth Van Hoesen (1926 - 2010) spent more than five decades drawing and printmaking, becoming one of the most prominent and prolific California printmakers of her time. She is best known for her timeless drawings and prints of animals and botanical subjects. Her early work was rooted in figurative depictions of people she knew and studied. In all mediums and subjects, she exercised masterful technique and a reputation for fierce perfectionism.
Beth was born in Mesa Orchards, Idaho, where her family owned an apple orchard and processing plant. During the Depression years, Beth and her family moved often before finally settling in Long Beach, California in 1940. She began studying fine art at Stanford University in 1944. After graduating, she traveled and studied in France before returning to California to study at the California School of Fine Arts (now the San Francisco Art Institute) in 1951. She met her husband and fellow artist, Mark Adams, who is featured in several of her works (Checks, Checked Suit (State II), and Nap.) Beth and Mark lived and worked in a converted 1910 firehouse in San Francisco-s Castro neighborhood and were known for hosting figure drawing gatherings with artists such as Wayne Thiebaud, Gordon Cook, and Theophilus Brown.
Beth had a keen eye for detail and executed work with precision. Her work begins with multiple preparatory sketches and line drawings using graphite, colored pencil, and watercolor before these works are translated into final prints. Early works focused on nudes and portraits while in later years she focused on animals.
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