Frank Gardner was born and raised in Poughkeepsie, New York. He graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1986 with a BFA in Painting. A desire to find true inspiration for his paintings eventually led him to México. He has been living in México since 1990 and now resides in San Miguel de Allende with his wife and daughter.
Gardner paints on location and in the studio using paintings or sketches done on the spot and or photo references. His style adeptly captures his subjects’ moods and emotions, whether it be paintings of dramatic landscapes, colorful marketplaces, or boats in a harbor. The combination of confident brushwork, dynamic compositions and lively color invokes true character in Frank’s work.
México inspires a large amount of Gardner's paintings. However, traveling and painting is something that he loves to do. “A fresh set of eyes on a new landscape is good for the art spirit.” Frank says, “It pushes me in my work with new challenges”. Cape Cod is a frequent destination for his painting trips. Other recent locations he has painted include the coasts of Maine, Florida and México.
Gardner’s work is part of many fine collections across the United States, México, Canada and Europe.
My paintings are interpretations of my experiences. They come from the desire to share the beauty that I see every day by arranging bits of color and ideas to tell a story. Drawn to the colors of fleeting light effects on the landscape I try and accurately represent color I see. However, I also interpret and push color if it is useful to convey how the scene makes me feel. Color combinations and juxtapositions are a lot of what make a subject appealing to me. I look for situations that are unique to a particular place at a certain time, depending on lighting conditions, but also filtered through my mood at the time a piece is painted.
Painting in a representational style, and influenced by the Impressionists, I am drawn to fleeting light effects and color while sometimes sacrificing detail. A controlled chaos or loose spontaneity is my favored look, although each color and stroke is well thought out and carefully placed. My goal is to convey to the viewer my feelings about the scene through my use of color and brushwork. I’ll let the subject and my mood determine how much detail is required to complete each painting.
Paint application is important to me. It is a very personal facet of my work. An artists brushwork and paint handling is what sets their work apart from another artist’s interpretation of the same view. It is as unique as a fingerprint. I not only brush paint on, but lift it off, or smear it with a finger or paint rag. It is often the lifting off of the paint or moving it around after it is on the canvas that gives the look I am after.