Skip to main content
by Bud HensgenSyria

I did this painting under the influence of several articles on the war in Syria. I was thinking sectarian warfare, refugee camps, country in turmoil, a people imprisoned in their own land. Oil 20″ x 40.” This painting is on exhibit at The Gallery Underground in Crystal City until the end of January.

Watch Tower

Free Palestine I visited the West Bank late in 2011 and was deeply impressed by the hardships inflicted upon the people there by the Israeli occupation. I came to believe that through its oppression of the Palestinian people, Israel is creating its own terrorists. The wall became a symbol for me of Israeli oppression and of its own captivity behind the wall it has built. The painting above is titled “Watch Tower, oil, ” 30″ x 40.” The painting at left is titled “Free Palestine,” acrylic, 18″ x 24.” The entire series or 15 paintings, titled “Palestine Interrupted,” was exhibit in January 2013 at The Jerusalem Fund in Washington, DC.

White Spot

This painting, titled “White Spot,” is part of a series titled “Rough Edges.” Almost everybody loves red, so I tried to push it. The whole idea was to play with bold colors and strong images, images that scream out at you and say, “Look at Me!!” Acrylic, 36″ x 36″


I was painting one day and not getting anywhere. So I painted my easel. Then I was happy. Oil 18″ x 24″

Fire Next Time


This painting is titled “Fire Next Time.” It is part of the series “Abstractions in Yellow and Red” and a 12′ x 12′ enlargement of it is on permanent display on the corner of Crystal Drive and 26th Street in Crystal City.

Breaking Out

Breaking Out
This painting is part of a series titled “Rectangle Revisited. It is part of the permanent collection of Convergence near Shirlington. At the time, I was working to see how many interesting “plays” I could get from the rectangle.



Author Bud Hensgen was born in St. Louis, Missouri and, after some university work, he entered the Jesuit religious order.  After nine years he left the Jesuits and joined the U.S. diplomatic service where he served in London, Colombia, Panama and Germany.  He was later one of the founders of Old Dominion Brewing Company in Ashburn, Virginia and  the Executive Director of the Mid-Atlantic Association of Craft Brewers, a trade association that worked to change state laws in Maryland, Washington DC and Virginia to accommodate the growing craft brewing industry.During the 1990’s painting, which had always been a hobby, became an avocation, and he painted landscapes in oil and abstract works in acrylic.  His landscapes emphasize the dynamic forms and colors of the outdoors.  His abstract work uses multiple layers of transparent and opaque paints, which set up a tension between compelling forms of the surface against the multi-layered background.  The effect  creates ambiguity and depth.

Bud is a member of Studio Gallery in Washington, DC, the Art League in Alexandria, VA and the Arlington Artists Alliance in Arlington, VA.  He works in his studio in Convergence, located in Alexandria, VA.

His works are frequently exhibited in the Studio Gallery in Washington, DC, the Art League Gallery in the Torpedo Factory in Old Town Alexandria, and in the Arlington Art Gallery in Arlington, VA.

He has been the recipient of The Arlington County Cultural Affairs Award, and his paintings hang in many private collections in this country and around the world.  Several of his paintings have been selected by the Crystal City Business Improvement District Association as part of Crystal City’s  Art Walls Project.  The enlarged paintings are on display on the corner of 26th Street and Crystal Drive.


Artists Statement

My abstract work reflects the dynamism, complexity and frequently the ambiguity of life in our contemporary world.   I work by layering acrylics charcoals and oil pastels to create depth and build tension in color and form.

My style is uniquely my own. I recognize, however, many influences in my paintings.  Sculptor Henry Moore, artists Willem DeKooning, Franz Kline, Robert Motherwell and contemporary French artist Bernard Piga have all had an impact on my body of work.  Locally I have worked under artists Jane McElvany Coonce, Joyce McCarten, Lisa Semarad, Sara Poly, Rick Weaver, and Marsha Staiger, and I owe them a debt of gratitude.

People respond to colors and forms because these have the power to evoke feelings and experiences deep inside us, some of which we may have almost forgotten.  I hope my paintings may bring you a constant and refreshing renewal, an experience you may enjoy for years to come.


Comments are closed.