Thursday, May 31, 2018

DPW Spotlight Interview: Frankie Gollub

Each week we will spotlight a different DPW artist who will give away one of their best paintings. To enter to win Frankie's painting, "March Afternoon, Seattle" go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing their interview.

From Frankie's DPW Gallery:

Frankie Gollub was born in Landstuhl, Germany. Inspired by Civil War history, he began to draw and paint constantly at the age of 12. Frankie's appreciation of military service and his own father's service in the U.S. Army encouraged him to join the Army National Guard in 2000. He served 6 years with Headquarters Battery, 2/111th Field Artillery at Petersburg, VA. Frankie studied at Richard Bland College where he decided to pursue a career in painting. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting. 

I began painting when I was 12 years old. I started painting with acrylics, mostly Bob Ross landscapes and Civil War battle scenes. I few years later I started oil painting and I was hooked. I continued to paint landscapes and Civil War soldiers.

Did you have any stops and starts in your painting career?

During my last two years in art school I decided I wanted to pursue a career in classical archaeology, focusing on Ancient Rome. During my post back studies of Greek and Latin at University of Washington I decided to pursue a career in Fine Art again. It was a slow start from 2013 through 2014 as I returned to painting. The real momentum began in 2015 as I picked up three commissions.

March Afternoon, Seattle
(click to view)

Enter to win by clicking on the link at the top of the DPW home page announcing Frankie's interview.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I have painted in egg tempera, casein, gouache, acrylics, watercolors, and oil colors. During art school I was painting large multi-figure paintings set in contemporary interior spaces, exploring the dynamics between men and women in a relationship and cohabitation. In recent years I have painted animal portraits inspired by 17th Century Dutch painting, still lifes, and landscapes. The landscape paintings are either Hudson River school style or tonalist.

Which ones have "stuck" and which ones have fallen away?

Landscape painting has really captured my interest, especially since I live in the Pacific Northwest where many wonderful vistas are close by Seattle where I live. I practice plein air painting to better understand landscape painting, hone my landscape painting skills, and gather studies to turn into larger studio paintings. I also really love painting still lifes and I have a number of replicas which are used for 17th Century Dutch style still life painting. I also have little props like an anole lizard and beetles that I add to still lifes of donuts and cupcakes. In addition I have crayfish and a crab in my freezer which I use as props.

(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I haven't painted the human figure for years but I do want to get back into that. Recently I have started painting portraits again, focusing on self-portraits. In landscape painting I enjoy the tonalist style and it's an area I plan to continue exploring.

Who or what inspires you most?

I find inspiration in art from the 15th Century through the 19th Century. I am particularly fond of 17th Century Dutch painting but I also love 19th Painters such as JMW Turner, the Hudson River School painters, and the American tonalists. Living in the Pacific Northwest inspires me everyday, viewing the various mountain ranges and evergreens.

Mt. Rainier
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

For me procrastination involves drinking coffee while looking at paintings on the internet. Often I'm reading artist's blogs or reading about painting technique. I have an obsession with painting materials such as pigments and mediums and I do a lot of research online. My library of art books can also be distracting. But I feel that all of my research does contribute to my practice as a painter. I also like to make music through Logic on my Macbook, inspired by 80's new wave, funk, and R & B. That in itself can be time consuming and take away from painting.

What techniques work to ensure that you make time for your art?

I try to keep my research limited to the time I'm eating breakfast. Then when I'm done I go paint. I do try to maintain a daily routine in which I make time for painting.

Song Dynasty Coins and Vermillion Pigment
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

The art books in my library are a huge source of inspiration. Galleries and museums are another source. With still life I find inspiration through my props. That often takes 30 minutes to an an hour to set up the still life getting the composition and lighting right. For landscape painting I use my plein air studies as part of my creative process. That is combined with lighting and skies I have seen, especially late in the afternoon before sunset.

How do you keep art "fresh?" What techniques have helped you avoid burnout and keep your work vibrant and engaging?

I paint a variety of genres like still lifes, animal portraits, and landscapes. I often rotate through these and I usually have several projects going at once. In addition to my larger studio paintings I like painting smaller works ranging from 5 x 7 through 11 x 14. I consider these my studies and experiments. I also like to experiment with different oil mediums that have been used since the 16th Century. I especially like the 19th Century Copal resin mediums.

Sunrise over Rattlesnake Ledge
(click to view)

What do you feel you are learning about right now as an artist?

As an artist I am always learning whether it be about landscape painting, still lifes, or portraits. I teach art from preschoolers through adults at an art studio in Bellevue, WA. I've always felt that most of my learning as an artist has happened while teaching others. In terms of landscape painting, it is through studying my favorite painters and practicing plein air, combined with studio painting that has helped me tremendously.

What makes you happiest about your art?

Being able to share my vision with the world and seeing the joy it brings people has made painting rewarding. My painter friends have been inspired by my landscape paintings and they have started plein air painting, often joining me in the field to paint. I am always happy to share my knowledge with others and I enjoy the conversations we have about painting. I have started many friendships in recent years through painting alone and I couldn't be happier.

Thanks, Frankie!

© 2018 Sophie Marine

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