Art runs in my family. I'm a painter and a writer, my brother is a musician and a photographer and my mother is a painter and a teacher. In honor of Mother's Day here is an interview with Suzzanna Frank, my mother and a self-taught artist from Northern Kentucky. Frank explores nature and emotions with a paintbrush dipped in gorgeous, vibrant colors.
Can you tell us a little about your artwork, artistic background and artistic processes?
I start with a personal experience. I have to connect in some way to the landscape or city scene that I am working on. This emotional connection allows me to explore the setting or location from a very personal perspective, allowing my emotions and feelings to become a part of the painting. Even with my still life’s I have to have some type of connection. The setting may be what I connect to, but often it is the fruit itself. I paint only those pieces that I really like or maybe have raised in the garden.
What inspires you as an artist? Why do you create art?
I would have to say nature’s emotional expressions and man’s relationship with it inspires me the most. I am always searching for ways to express the sensations and emotions I experience from nature.
What do you want viewers to walk away with when they view your artwork?
I want my viewers to walk away from a piece of my work feeling their own emotions and sensations. If we examine nature and all the different facets of it we find a wide gambit of emotions. Connecting to the emotions that the experience brings forth in all of us is my overall goal.
Are there any artists that inspire you? If so who would they be and why?
There are artist that inspire me of course. Monet probably, more than any other artist, helped me introduce color into my work. When I first started to paint my pieces were dull and fairly lifeless. My son kept telling me I needed to work with color. There are two pieces of Monet’s at the Cincinnati Art Museum and I would just stare at them for so long the guard would ask me to move on sometimes. It was his piece, Rocks at Port-Goulphar that probably played a major role in my present use of color.
What types of themes, ideas, or concepts do you explore within in your artwork?
I would have to say I explore emotions in my work. I try to work with positive emotions most often. There is so much in this world that creates negative emotions in our day-to-day lives that I search for the positive in our everyday experiences. I try to find these feelings in all the things that go together to create a life.
And finally, what advice would you give to other artists?
I’m sure many artists will say the same thing, but, “Don’t Give Up.” Have faith in yourself first and foremost. If you are strong in believing in yourself, all the negativity out there will not beat you down. Practice all the time. The Daily Painters have the right idea. The best way to improve your skills is to Do It as often as possible. Put yourself out there. Most people are honest in their opinion of your work, don’t take it as criticism, and listen from the mindset of learning.
For more information you can visit Frank's website and Facebook page for more details.