Monday, June 07, 2010

Frank Frazetta

I'm one of those people who usually reads about someone famously talented who passed away with a sense of 'that's a shame' or 'what a loss' but who never really could say that the person was a huge influence on my life.

That changed today when I learned that Frank Frazetta passed about a month ago.

The art world has lost a master artist.

Frank Frazetta was a huge influence on my art.

Early on I was impressed by realism (much to my father's dismay.) I tried to make my work look like a photograph. I had some success, and gained a little notoriety in my high school, but except for the satisfaction I got from making something unreal look really really real (like a female body builder who was pale-white on one side and dark-skinned on the other, or the young blue woman with steel gray hair) I felt like something was missing.

I discovered what was missing when I discovered Frank Frazetta's work. Passion. Motion. Fire. Unchained emotion.

He led me away from art-as-photography (I have nothing against it--I'm blown away when I see it and I highly respect people who can work creatively within those styles) and expanded my horizons into the realm of art-as-expression. I stopped feeling closed-in and pressured to work on the details of realism to the exclusion of all else and started feeling alive and creative when I worked. Now I render realistically only when it serves the emotion, rather than losing the emotion as I try to force realism.

For me, realism had become a crutch, a constantly inbreeding goal that served only to reproduce what I could see. I didn't think I could ever render that which I couldn't see. It seemed out of reach, an impossible goal. For me, it would have been, at least by the route I was taking. Frazetta took me by the hand and said stop copying the still life, and the photo, and look inside yourself first. Imagine ... and then paint.

Thank you, Mr. Frazetta, for sharing your gift, for your infamous generosity, and for your artistic vision. You changed my life, and the lives of thousands of other artists around the world without having to say a word.

You showed us better ways to dream.

Rest in Peace.

1 comment:

The Moody Minstrel said...

You're the one who first introduced me to Frazetta's work, Kami. Yes, that is definitely a tragic loss in the fantasy art realm.