May 10, 2010

Frank Frazetta 1928-2010 (Part 6)

As I was writing a final post in this series about Frank Frazetta, I have just learned of his passing.  Very sad day for his family, and for his admirers who were inspired and amazed by his artwork and talent.

Hanging on my living room wall is a fantasy painting of a deer with wings.  The deer was my first attempt at a fantasy oil painting, inspired by Frazetta.  While it wasn't monsters or warriors, the deer originally had a rider on its back.  She had a dagger strapped to her leg and a spear in the other hand.  And she didn't wear much else (hey, I was a teenager).  It was only my second attempt at using oil paints and unlike the first attempt, a still life painting, I wanted to create something purely from my imagination, thanks to Frank.  But I never tried to copy Frazetta, I just wanted to share in his world.  Three years I spent on that painting, fussing with the wings so that you could still see the beautiful, primitive huntress.  Eventually, I decided to paint her out so the wings could unfurl. That was around 1980.

At the same time, Frank Frazetta was at the pinnacle of his career and had sketched this drawing about five years earlier (my guess). When I came across this little gem for sale, I couldn't help but fall in love with it. I purchased it and framed it in a bronzed wood with black velvet and gold inset.

It's quintessential Frazetta... Conan posing with a battle axe, a quick sketch that he inked in with all the little pen noodling that I love about his line work.  The pen seems to have zipped along his form with just the right touch, getting lighter and heavier at times.  The stance is solid, the angles are perfect, the pondering attitude on his face, and his classic signature off to the side.  Maybe it's me, but I see beauty in that squiggle that runs up the ax handle.  Never have I seen a better portrait pose of Conan.
Or is it something else that draws me to it?  Could it be his depiction of the raw nerve of the barbarian that just gets my testosterone up?  Yeah, that's me inside.  I'm certainly no muscle dude.  In fact, I'm all of 142 pounds. But a part of me is that guy, poised and ready to give life a good swipe.  That's me making a decision... do I guard myself or do I just attack?  
But I digress...
I now own a drawing by one of the greatest artists, in fact, thee grand master of fantasy art, who has now passed on in flesh but he will live on in his magnificent art.  Frazetta's Conan drawing shares wall space with my Deer painting, a tribute to the artist who inspired me so much.  Rest in peace, Frank, you'll be missed.

Links to the other posts in this series about Frazetta are found here:
Frazetta Part 1
Frazetta Part 2
Frazetta Part 3
Frazetta Part 4
Frazetta Part 5

To see the most recent posts by Mark Astrella, click on the header at the top of the page (A Burning Designer)

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