I currently offer three Talks/Demos
Talk One – My development as an artist
a. I present a slideshow of 45/60 minutes (as required) with two related themes:
The way in which my painting has evolved over a lifetime, from being a student at Bolton College of Art to the present. The slides show the development of central concerns in my work, including a step-by-step illustration of the making of one painting. My work is usually oil or acrylic on canvas but I have been exploring a rather different way of working with acrylic on paper recently.
I have a particular interest in our relationship with the English countryside and I link this to the development and understanding of landscape painting, discussing the influence of such things as the Grand Tour, the classical inheritance, landscape gardening, etc.
A coffee break at this stage is usually a good idea . . .
b. I provide a number of my sketchbooks (over 20) which can be passed around and examined – these give a clear indication of my working methods which involve using drawings and photographs on which I base finished work.. I also bring recent paintings – some unfinished - which I can relate to the preliminary work where appropriate. I talk about this latest work in some detail and, from this, questions naturally arise, usually initiating a general discussion.
2. Talk Two – What I did on my holidays
a. A slideshow of 45 minutes or so: In 2005 I did a kind of Tour de France (by car), visiting various art-related sites and doing some sketching and drawing of my own. In summary, it covers a range of 20th century artists in various parts of France, their work and how they responded to their landscape environment.
Coffee break . . .
b. A demonstration of a painting in acrylic on canvas. Intended to show how a fairly large-scale painting can be developed, I spend 45/60 minutes beginning a painting. I talk about what I’m looking for in a landscape and the different ways in which I try to bring out those specific qualities. – these are often related to composition, colour, rhythm and the visual echoes which help to make a painting ‘work’.
Because the demonstration is an opportunity to show how a painting can grow from the initial observations made ‘in the field’, I surround myself with the relevant source material in the form of photographs and sketches. Where possible (and it usually is) I will have examples of finished, similar paintings to show.
3. Three - Demonstration
I can , if preferred, dispense with the slide shows and do a more leisurely demonstration which involves the use of more sketchbooks and photographs. I will start a large-scale acrylic on canvas from drawings and photographs which I will use to discuss and point out the features which I am aiming to bring out in the painting. I will also have related studies available.
My painting method involves using paint straight away with little or no drawing, aiming rapdily to work up the surface across the canvas to a similar stage of finish at any given time. As acrylic dries quickly I am able to show the benefits of underpainting, glazing, scumbling, scratching, scraping back and so on as I progress.
Current charge (2007) £70 plus travelling at cost.
- Future Tuition:
Frank Gordon was born in Westhoughton, Lancashire in 1943 and studied at Bolton College of Art for five years before entering art teaching, first in Lancashire and then Yorkshire after ‘emigrating' across the Pennines in 1972. He continued to paint throughout his teaching career, exhibiting widely in the North of England.
He left teaching in 1995 and subsequently moved to the Yorkshire Dales National Park, thus enabling him to indulge his related passions of painting and hill walking. The majority of Frank Gordon's work is related to his experience of the countryside as a lifelong walker; he has covered most of the long distance paths in Britain as well as major routes in the Alps. In 1997 he and his wife Sheila backpacked 1200 miles from Land's End to John o'Groats and in 2004 they trekked through the Scottish Highlands from Fort William to Cape Wrath.
Adze Gallery, York
Artists Show, Leeds City Art Gallery
Fenestra Gallery, Kirkby Lonsdale
Leeds Art Fair
Linton Court Gallery, Settle
Look Gallery, Helmsley
Maiden Bridge Arts, Tatham, Lancaster
Manchester Academy of Fine Arts Open Exhibition
Minster Fine art, York
Patchings Art Festival
Spiral Gallery, Settle
Sultan Gallery, Lancaster
Walker Galleries, Harrogate
White Room Gallery, Meltham, Huddersfield
Yorkshire Artists Exhibition, Skipton
Lund Gallery, York
Acrylics, Oil pastel, Oils