Bill Bensley – Artist and Exhibitionist

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Bill Bensley is a jack of all trades – with a new notch on his belt! Having delved into the worlds of architecture, landscaping, interior design, fishing and even writing, Bensley is now adding the fine arts to his already impressive skill set. Unbeknown to many, painting did not quite come naturally to Bill, having only discovered a passion for it over the last three years. Inspired and taught by his dear friend and Caribbean-based artist, Kate Spencer, Bill picked up his paintbrush and easel, and fell down the rabbit hole. After a few years – and several painting holidays with Kate, Bill now draws and paints wherever he goes, and whenever he has a minute to spare – on aeroplanes, site visits and even on the back of menus!

Not one to do things by halves, he has thrown himself into this enjoyable new creative outlet and built a stunning glasshouse painting studio (complete with chandelier) in the grounds of Baan Botanica, his exquisite home in Bangkok. On any given weekend – and some early mornings before heading to the BENSLEY offices – Bill can be found painting away in the glasshouse, or all around his amazing garden, often asking friends to pose for him. When out and about exploring Bangkok and other parts of Thailand, his key accessory now is no longer a camera, but a sketchpad and pencils.

Bill has developed a fauvist style, bursting with beautiful bold colors, delightful forms, often a touch of humor, and his trademark gift for storytelling. As someone who was never a student of the fine arts, he considers himself an “Outsider” to the arts scene, but is very excited to see where it will take him. During 2020 when his travel was cut down from 30 weeks in the year to none, Bill was able to devote all his spare time to his new found passion. He currently has a collection of nearly 100 paintings and countless sketches – the paintings ranging in size from around 50x50cm to over 3 metres! These often mix mediums, from watercolor to acrylic, oil and pastel, even passing through collage. Bill often arrives at the office on a Monday morning having painted two or 3 new paintings – it will not be long before he reaches 100!

Purpose

Everything Bill does has a purpose and in the case of his art, he is selling both originals and prints in order to raise funds for two causes very close to his heart: the Shinta Mani Foundation and Wildlife Alliance, the NGO that the Foundation collaborates with whose armed rangers protect the 865-acre forest and wildlife at Bensley Collection – Shinta Mani Wild, in Cambodia. During the pandemic, the threats to the forest and its inhabitants from loggers and poachers has sadly increased. Bill is passionate about its protection, working tirelessly to support the Foundation and NGO’s essential work.

Exhibitions and E-Shop

After being asked where people could see and buy his art, Bill has set up an e-shop on his website https://www.bensley.com/shop/  where fans and art lovers can buy original artist prints of all sizes, from A4 to A0, printed with archival ink (made to last) on 310 gsm cotton artist textured paper, for a beautiful finish. Originals are of course also for sale.

As part of BENSLEY Bangkok’s recent Art Deco facelift, Bill built a glamourous Gallery aptly named the ‘BENSLEY Outsider Gallery’. This huge space is complete with natural light from above, a spiral staircase and catwalk that hangs from the ceiling for ideal views of bigger works. Currently 60 or so works are on display there. Viewings can be arranged Mondays to Fridays by appointment only; please contact mink@bensley.com or nikita@bensley.com, ​or call them on +66 2381 6305.

In February 2021, a second ‘BENSLEY Outsider Gallery’ will open at the Intercontinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort in Danang, Vietnam for an initial period of 2 years, where guests and visitors can view and purchase artworks. The exhibition will comprise 47 prints ranging from A4 to AO (1189 x 841 mm or 46.8 x 33.1 inches) in size, as well as three original artworks.  For viewings at the hotel, please contact John Hamilton, on john.hamilton1@ihg.com