Featured Artist: Frank Forsman
Recently I was fortunate enough to run across some amazing artwork on Instagram that literally took my breath away. The artist behind these works is Frank Forsman.
Originally I was drawn to his portraits, they were emotionally alluring and seem to draw you into the soul of the subject. I wish I had the entire series in my home. But then I also found his animal pieces. Now I am a elephant lover. I support various groups that protect these amazing animals from poachers that are after their ivory, and environmental groups that work to assure their survival and that they continue to thrive. They are such emotional animals and one of the only animals known to actually grieve when death occurs in their families. They are emotional with their little ones and fiercely protective. Family has meaning to them. Frank captures this emotional awareness in his work. So then he definitely had me as a fan for life.
What really impressed me was his ability to take a subject and merge reality with abstraction. This is a technique that I’ve worked on for years and still have yet to achieve. But it seems to come so naturally to Frank. So maybe I’m just a little envious…ok I’m envious.
Frank refers to himself as “Some Kind of Painter”, he says he’s not sure about calling himself an artist. But I can assure you, after you take a look at his work, you’ll have no doubt, as I do, that this man is not only an artist, but an amazingly talented one at that.
Here are some of the portraits in his collection….
What Frank has to say about his start and his work….
“Some Kind of Painter”
I have exhibited both in Sweden and the USA. Limited edition giclee posters are available on selected paintings.
To start painting was not for me self-evident, creativity and creativity have always been there, but mostly through music. My family is as amazed as I am that this could be when I barely painted at all as a child. I was more fascinated by life as an artist, how they lived, and especially our active artists in the turn of the century 1800-1900. I’m a historian and devoured a lot of literature about that time.
During the 1990s I took a course in watercolor to test my wings. Frankly, my artistic eagerness did not get the outlet I had hoped for. I never understood the essence of watercolor, but I did not give up, instead I did several courses in the same medium with the same result, and felt quite unsuccessful without giving any other medium a chance. I remembered that, at one point, my artistic supervisor (Marie Hektor) said “I think oil would suit you better Frank”, but without thinking about it I gave up, and did not lift a brush for 20 years.
Then by chance and serendipity, I fell across Acrylic when I carved some wooden sculptures for hanging. I bought some small sample cans of acrylic paint on Rusta, and started painting the wood sculptures. I tested myself and noticed that awesome patterns immerged when I diluted the color with water, and that the transparent layers gave me good depth. I began to wonder if I could transfer this on canvas, so I bought some cheap canvas cloths on Biltema and started experimenting. I posted some pictures in a group on Facebook, and received very good responses, which prompted me to continue, and for the first time the pieces fell in place. The watercolor was too backward, and difficult for me, I never understood it and my respect for those who understand the essence of the watercolor is great. With all the nice feedback supporting me, I grew up and it became like a “drug” for me to paint. I tested myself and experimented with masses to put life into the paintings, at the same time it was a big challenge for me to show what I was doing to others when I constantly doubted if it was good enough. The fine feedback continued, and it is, quite honestly, due to the this that I continued when my own doubts were always there, and are still there.
Finally, I dared to join major international art groups in social media, and post my work. The response was overwhelming, and people wanting to buy my work came from, among others, the United States. One day there was a message from Tamie Odom who owned a gallery in Texas, she had seen a picture of me in social media and became curious. She asked to see more of what I painted, and we decided to send her a little of what I did. Without really feeling confident about the task, I threw on the caution to the wind and jumped into the unknown. I now call her “My lifechanger”. She believed in me, little me from Sweden that had just discovered that painting can actually be really fun, and where I’ve found a way of expressing myself. I have now had paintings in Texas since the summer of 2016, my gratitude for Tamie and that she took a risk and believed in me.
As I see it, my artistic journey started on a summer day in 2014, on the balcony, and some fisherman landing on an MDF. The acrylic was the key to the “lock” that the watercolor could not open. Without the responses and feedback I received online and without those who appreciated my work, an understanding and supportive family who saw in me, that I had a dream and a journey ahead of me that began on that balcony with those fishermen, that I had the courage to keep painting. A big thank you to all who, in one way or another, inspired and contributed to my career, you are all there, no one mentioned nobody forgotten.
I do not know about artist, but I’m probably a some kind of painter / Frank Forsman
“Frank brings a fresh perspective to a sometimes tired art scene. His mixed media works show a depth and feeling which draws the viewer into the piece. So much meaning there. “Tamie Odom owner and curator Sparrows Gallery. https://www.sparrowsgallery.com/
Here are a few pieces from his animal series… Of course “Motherhood” is my favorite, but they all have that fine line of abstract and realism that has always eluded me as an artist, but Frank has inspired me to keep working on it… his story is so inspirational that it’s moved me to find the key to that “lock” just like Frank did.