Mike Frank uses lavish color and detail to draw the viewer in to otherworldly scenes that are magical and beautiful. Visit his website to enjoy more of his paintings.
I consider myself a realistic painter with a whimsical imagination. I love to stretch that imagination by portraying the smaller creatures of this world surrounded by lavish natural settings.
Many of these settings are at night to add a little more mystery and intrigue. My goal is to make my art viewers feel that they are part of the painting—to transport them into an enchanted time and place.
In “Sunshine Traveler” I want to make the viewer feel that they are flying alongside the Monarch butterfly, or participating in the night search for “Hunt for the Wolfman,” or wishing for the safety of the raccoons in “Romantique.” How fun and exciting it would be to swim with the “Undersea Creatures!”
There is drama and joy among the small creatures also, you see it every spring. Heroes and villains of this planet are not safe from me either. I want to create paintings that viewers find it almost impossible to turn their eyes away from.
I love to create. Creating paintings gives me a way to show off my imagination without depending on others. It also gives me the power to touch someone, to bring back fond memories, to make people aware of their beautiful surroundings, to alter a mood or to dramatize the quest for survival or happiness.
I often portray many of our world’s magnificent creatures in their natural surroundings. I do my best to glorify them; to warm our hearts to them and be thankful for their creation.
I have been painting for over forty years. My art education is nominal; some college and several art workshops. I get most of my inspiration from the study of the early American artists of the 1800’s. When my imagination is tired and weary, I will concentrate on creating straight landscapes in the tradition of these artists.
I usually start my paintings with a direct approach, laying in masses of color, then adding detail and highlights. Sometimes I will start paintings with a complicated theme using the old time grisaille approach.
I start the layout with black, white and gray shades then adjust tonal value and fine detail. (See “grisaille” image). Finally, I add thin coats of color glazes while adding highlights. (See final painting image “Visions of Paradise IX”).
Another thing that I like is to create several paintings for a single theme. For me, one painting is not enough to contain everything that I want to include in that theme.