Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Twenty Years Ago

Today is my birthday.
I was thinking about how my style has changed over the years, so I am going to post a painting that I did about 20 years ago.
I was fresh out of RISD and my work was pretty much all over the place.There were oils, collages, prints, found object sculptures, you name it. I had not really settled on my "style" yet, but this is pretty representative of how I was painting.
This is a large painting. At least 4 x 5 feet. I was not very good at keeping records back then so I am not sure.
I scanned the slide big so you can see into all of the detail if you click on the image. It's the best I could do with this old slide.
I am usually am pretty good about letting go of my art. But if I could buy back one painting that I have ever done it might be this one. I sold it CHEAP to get money to drive to Mexico 18 years ago, to someone who promptly re sold it for more money.

So it goes.

I hope that whoever owns it now is enjoying it.



"Untitled", approx. 48" x 60" oil on canvas, found objects
circa 1989, Private Collection

23 comments:

Dean H. said...

Hi. Frank! I just 'found' your blog. Wow....your style has really evolved. Your use of color is dramatically different. I like the "now" and the "20 years ago".

Dean

Frank Gardner said...

Thanks for stopping by Dean. I appreciate your comments. Pretty much everything about my art is dramatically different than it was 20 years ago.

FCP said...

If the only thing constant is change, then evolving must be a good thing, huh? I'm certain that the owner of your painting from 20 years ago is just as happy with it as current buyers are with today's paintings, so you have spread happiness for many years! An admirable feat.
Happy Birthday, Frank,
Faye

Frank Gardner said...

Thanks for the Birthday wishes Faye. I agree that change is good. It is interesting when I look back how my work has evolved to what it is today. Sometimes I think that coming from a more abstract background is why I paint like I do. Our "style" is like our fingerprint. Unique to each of us.

Colin Page said...

hey frank,

Happy belated birthday.

I love that painting. It's so great to see some beautiful abstract painting full of color and life.

Colin

Mike said...

Hey Frank! Happy Birthday! When you were painting this old piece I had just begun to sit with a size 0 brush and a few watercolors to try to figure what painting was about. It looks to me like it has been a wonderful journey for you as much as it has for me. Whadatrip, eh? ;-)

Frank Gardner said...

Thanks Colin. I do really like some of the color combos in this piece. It really moves. Had a lot of fun painting it.

Frank Gardner said...

Hi Mike. Thanks. Yes, it has been a long and wonderful journey. I don't think I even owned a "0" brush back then. Some of the strokes on that painting were huge.

Frank A. said...

A Happy belated Birthday Wishes to you, Frank. ... :)

Great "stuff" going on here. I am envious !

Take care...

Frank Gardner said...

Thanks for the B-Day wishes Frank, and thanks for having a look at my blog.
I'm honored to have you as a visitor.

christine said...

Happy Birthday Frank! I've been reading my way through artist's blogs and stumbled upon yours. it struck me as interesting that you posted a very early work and how drastically different it is from your work of today. if you only knew then where you would be now? you mentioned about ...if there was one painting you could by back this would be it.... i read an article by an artist who started keeping at least one painting from each new series or style as it would evolve. i started this years ago and what a great thing, i don't feel as though i've lost so much of myself this way. i allow myself to keep favorites or 'first' paintings in each new series that i start. do you ever keep paintings now?
anyway...'Fresh Milk" is my favorite, the colors are remarkable and i particularly like how the man and mule? are within the shadows of the building, they're there but not front and center, beautiful.

Frank Gardner said...

Hi Christine, Thanks for having a look.
I do "save" some pieces every so often, but there is something about this one that has always called to me. I did not know it at the time, but over the years I keep coming back to it. I have stacks of stuff from this "period" so it is not like I am missing them.
I am usually not very attached to my work. For me it is the process. After that, they can go their merry way.
Thanks for posting a comment.

silvina said...

Happy belated birthday, Frank!!!
This abstract is dramatically different from the sun bleached Mexican landscapes you paint now. It's really good that you got to explore so many different styles and mediums. It's brought you to where you are now.

Stacey Peterson said...

Happy belated birthday Frank!

This is a great painting! How fun to see a snapshot of how your style has changed. I'll bet the abstract background is a good foundation for what you're doing now.

Frank Gardner said...

Silvina, Thanks for visiting and the comments.
I think you are right. I've explored lots of mediums and approaches and I think that is what makes each of our styles unique. I sometimes complain that my "formal" training was lacking, but it is the more abstract and experimantal stuff that made my "style" what it is.

Frank Gardner said...

Thanks Stacey. I think the more abstract stuff definately set me up for painting how I paint now. I find it easier to loosen up than some. I like a good painterly stroke and I think I can see abstract possibilities in a flat area of space.

christine said...

interesting, do you think maybe you painted from more of an emotional level then versus the way you paint now?

my paintings are from a pure emotional inspiration, sending them on their merry way is terribly difficult for me.

Ambera said...

Frank this painting is absolutely stunning! It's quite amazing to see how dramatically things have changed for you over the years. Do you ever think about experimenting with paintings like this again? I have to say though, your style now is so sophisticated, but there are still traces of this "wildness." I think it's wonderful!

Eric Orchard said...

Happy belated birthday Frank! I hope it was great. I love the piece of "vintage Frank". The colours are so rich and I love the collaged bits.

Frank Gardner said...

I don't know Christine, I think I paint from a more emotional level now because I feel so strongly about what I paint. In this older work I was kind of searching for something to say.

Frank Gardner said...

Thanks Ambera, I do sometimes think of painting a few like this. I think it would take me a while to get back into that grove.

Frank Gardner said...

Hi Eric. Thanks, I did have a nice birthday. I actually got a few celebrations out of it.
I'm glad you noticed the collaged pieces. They are important to the piece.

christine said...

...looking for something to say...isn't that the beauty of youth! thank you so much for sharing with me Frank, i've really enjoyed the insight into your work.