Hank Besanceney stands next to some of his work at the Mendon Public Library. Photo by Kelly Paganelli

Mendon Public Library has been excited to share eleven pastel paintings by local artist Henry “Hank” Besanceney and residents have two more weeks to enjoy them. Created over a span of 50 years, the paintings reflect the talents of this self-taught pastel artist. Depicting the light in the clouds or the shadows of crumbs on a plate, each of the paintings has a story to tell.

“Light & Shadow: 50 Years of Pastel Paintings by Henry Besanceney” includes a painting done in 1973 of a Salt Marsh in New England. This painting got its start when Hank took pictures on a trip through New England. With the picture as a guide, Hank used pastels to create a painting to remember the scene.

Hank remembers buying a box of pastels at Sullivans on East Main St. in Rochester. He opted for the pastels as he didn’t know how to paint with a brush. Over the years, he refined his craft during quiet times in his Honeoye Falls barbershop when nobody needed a haircut.

Through the eighties and nineties, Hank was busy with other things and didn’t really pick up his pastels again until 2004. The Oranges, Purple Loosestrife, Bagel & Lox, and Bowl of Tomatoes were all painted around 2004. When photographic images lacked the background or landscape he wanted, Hank used his imagination and pastels to create a hospitable table setting for the tomatoes or landscape for clouds to roam above.

The Falls in Winter painting is the most recent image to be painted. Several paintings have been entered in art shows, specifically a special art show in Montreal where Hank was an award winner.

Hank’s various creations have been on display three times before at the Mendon Public Library. Well-versed in numerous subjects, Hank particularly enjoys discussing art, history, and wine. An avid reader, Hank could also provide recommendations for your next read.

Mendon Public Library is pleased to be able to showcase Hank’s beautiful pictures through the month of May.

For more information about Mendon Public Library displays, programs, and initiatives, please contact www.mendonlibrary.org.

©2024 Mendon-Honeoye Falls-Lima Sentinel

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