Artists of Note | Mary Frankel

Representational impressionism

Mary Frankel, Morning Trim, Estes, oil, 12 x 16.

Mary Frankel, Morning Trim, Estes, oil, 12 x 16.

This story was featured in the November 2014 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art November 2014 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story!

Mary Frankel’s art career didn’t begin until later in life. She studied at Western State College (now Western State Colorado University) in Gunnison, CO, and took landscape architecture classes through Oklahoma State University, but it wasn’t until she was in her early 30s, when she moved to London for her husband’s work, that the art spark ignited. “A friend of mine took me to the John Singer Sargent exhibition at the Tate Gallery, and I just couldn’t believe what I saw,” she remembers. “That’s when I really wanted to paint.” Frankel drank in the culture of Europe. “I went to every museum or exhibit I could go to and looked at the architecture around Europe. I didn’t lose a single opportunity to immerse myself in the culture.”

Frankel brought that inspiration back to the states, where she designed gardens and landscapes in Houston, TX. Later she took workshops with prominent artists like Quang Ho, Kim English, Johanna Harmon, and Daniel Gerhartz and began to focus on portraits and figure paintings. Most recently she has been pursuing plein-air painting, captivated by the breathtaking Rocky Mountain scenery that surrounds her home in Estes Park, CO. She describes her work as representational impressionism, and while she still loves painting the figure, much of her time now is spent painting landscapes. “I’ve always enjoyed painting people and scenes from around the world,” she says. “This past summer in Estes Park I painted the whole time, and I’ve really enjoyed that, too. It’s just a wonderful life.” —Joe Kovack

Frankel’s work can be seen at Davis and Company Fine Art Gallery, Spring, TX.

Featured in the November 2014 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
Southwest Art November 2014 print issue or digital download Or subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss a story!

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