By Norman Koplas
Southwestern landscapes by Alyce Frank boldly demand attention with heightened, often unrealistic colors and flattened perspectives that sometimes cross the line into abstract expressionism. The result feels as if she has captured on canvas the emotional impact of a scene, unfiltered by what the human eye or brain perceives. Frank, who started out as an educational filmmaker, credits her unique approach to the fact that “I wasn’t trained. I just started painting.” Yet that modestly belies an innate talent she honed in private studies with master Taos landscape painter Ray Vinella and University of New Mexico professor Bob Ellis—not to mention a 1986 master class at the Santa Fe Art Institute with none other than Richard Diebenkorn, one of the leading figures in the abstract expressionist movement.
Born: New Iberia, LA, 1932.
Resides: Arroyo Hondo, NM.
Proudest accomplishment: In 2006, I had a very wonderful retrospective show at Kennesaw State University near Marietta, GA. And I’m very proud of raising my three kids. They’re wonderful people. The oldest turned 50 this year, and I have five grandchildren.
|FROM THE NORTH SIDE OF ARROYO HONDO, OIL, 24 X 30|
What would you have done differently in your life? I’d have gone to art school. I’m not sure that would have been a good idea, though, because my work is very much my own, singular in a way, and maybe if I’d gone to art school it wouldn’t be like that.
Advice to young artists: Just keep painting—work, work, work! Experience is what changes you and makes you grow.
Biggest misconception about an artist’s life: That being an artist is easy. I think it’s a difficult life. Nobody else can do it for you or with you.
How has your work changed since starting out? I’ve been on a straight and narrow path from the beginning. Maybe there’s a little more detail involved in my paintings now.
How has the art market changed? With the economy so difficult, I think the art market is having problems right now.
Other interests: I like to swim, and I do that regularly. I have two dogs that I’m fond of. And I’ve been trying to learn Spanish for years. But the art is the main thing.
Recent news: I’ve got a show coming up at the Fenix Gallery in Taos, probably some time next year, and I’ll be in the inaugural Grand Canyon Celebration of Art next September at the South Rim Village in Grand Canyon National Park.
She is represented by Fenix Gallery, Taos, NM; Meyer East Gallery, Santa Fe, NM; Marin-Price Galleries, Chevy Chase, MD.
Featured in “Legends of Fine Art” in December 2008