Forrest Bess: Native son a world-class artist

Forrest Bess at work painting at his Chinquipin bait camp.

    Forrest Clemenger Bess lived an extraordinarily simple life during most of his residency in Matagorda County, yet this man could never be described as simple.  
   Indeed, complex, provoking, visionary, enigmatic eccentric, egocentric, intelligent, sensitive, kind, generous, contradicting, cantankerous, perceptive and witty are but a few of the descriptive adjectives used by those who knew him to profile him. 
   Forrest, the first born son of Arnold “Butch” and Minta Lee Farrell Bess, was born on Oct. 5, 1911, in Bay City.   
   At the time his parents were living in Clemville, where Butch was an oil driller, and Forrest spent his childhood there along with his only sibling, a brother, Milton. 
   Forrest began drawing and sketching as a child and must have known then that he would someday become an artist.   
   His extraordinary hand and eye coordination, coupled with his sensual use of color made his early paintings both accurate and artistic.  
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