It is hard to believe it has been 15 years since graduating from the National Art School in Sydney. And it is a pleasure to remain in contact with several people from our time spent in drawing classes, painting classes and campus life. One such friend and fellow artist is Frank Boyle who also resides in Wentworth Falls and shows at Day Fine Art in Blackheath. Frank will be exhibiting at Day Fine Art later in the year (5-21 November). I recently caught up with Frank in his studio where large canvases in various stages of completion lined the walls and floor. He is known for his large scale atmospheric landscapes and also paintings which were inspired from his many trips to India. Frank has the rare talent of capturing the internal states of his solitary figures standing in vast, ethereal fields of colour ... quite incongruous to the hustle bustle reality of India!
How old were you when you felt like you were an artist?
I don't actually consider myself to be an 'artist'. I call myself a visual artist if anyone asks but I prefer to think of myself as a painter. I'd have been in my mid to late 40's, a few years after I felt I'd started to develop my own language that I had the confidence to think of myself as an 'artist'.
What is your background?
I'm originally from Scotland and worked in the sheet metal industry.
What role does the artist have in society?
Artists provide inspiration and pleasure for people inside and outside of the creative industries. Imagine the world with no books, libraries, paintings, art galleries, music, dance, drama etc.
How do you navigate your way through a creative block?
I see a creative block as being caused by fear. Fear of failure, criticism or any other negative response that may result from any piece of work I may produce or am unable to. I meditate to try to find out what the cause of the block is. I try to feel how the fear effects my physical body. I also use the 'down time' caused by the perceived block to research other artists to recharge my inspiration.
Is the artistic life lonely? What do you do to counteract it?
The archetypal artist is generally considered to live a lonely (and poor) existence. I am by nature a bit of a solitary soul so I don't really feel that lonely. I could probably go to more exhibitions, which I do from time to time. I could also stay in touch with more people in the art community but that would probably take a lot of effort and time on my part.
Name 3 artists you'd like to be compared to.
I'm a bit embarrassed by this question because I don't think I've earned the right to be compared to other artists but if I had to choose 3, off the top of my head, I'd choose Eardley, Manet and Bischoff for no reason other than I love their work and spend a lot of time looking at them; and many others of course!
Whats the best piece of advice you've been given?
Don't teach unless you've got something to say.
How do you feel receiving criticism?
Uncomfortable, but I think it's important to hear what others have to say, whether good or bad and be able to use it positively to grow and improve. Using it negatively can really eat you up and do terrible things to your self esteem and leave you feeling quite damaged.
What art do you most identify with?
Whats the strongest memory of your childhood?
Time spent on my own. I used to enjoy going for long walks on my own along country roads near where I grew up. I liked to explore, look at nature, catch frogs and let them go, climb trees etc.
Thank you Frank for allowing me into your studio space and giving us an insight into how you work. I look forward to seeing your show later in the year!