Frank Herrmann Studio Visit

Yesterday was a very productive art day for me. I started the day with my internship at the Kennedy Heights Arts Center (http://www.kennedyarts.org/), then I did a studio visit with my painting teacher Frank Herrmann (http://www.herrmannart.com/), then I went to my studio and worked on paintings for an upcoming show, then I went to the Charlie Woodman’s opening at the Weston Gallery in downtown Cincinnati (http://www.cincinnatiarts.org/weston-art-gallery), and finally I stopped by Pendleton studio and talked to many artists, including abstract painter Jackie Frey (http://jackiefrey.com/).

The most educating was probably the visit with Frank Herrmann. I talked to him for about an hour and a half about his painting, techniques, studio, history and more. I learned a lot about how to succeed as an artist. Frank showed dedication and commitment to his work, and I know I need to have the same attitude to succeed. 

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I was also amazed at how big his studio is. From the outside it looks pretty small, but once you go in your eyes immediately are drawn upward to the high ceilings. His shelves are full of giant paintings dating as far back as the 80’s. He’s got buckets, tables, and carts full of paints and brushes. He also has a back room full of small paintings and drawings. The vast amount of work he has done definitely blew me away. 

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Frank makes abstract paintings based on the Asmat culture from islands in the Pacific Ocean. In the bottom right of the picture you can see a wooden shield from the Asmat. The signs and symbols of the culture definitely inspire Frank and can be seen in his work. They reoccur as a common motif in paint, laser etchings, prints, and drawings throughout his work. When I asked him what interested him about the culture, he mentioned how they were one of the last groups of people to be introduced to metal so they only made wood carvings. Frank has been working with this series for ten years now. It’s fascinating how he has made so much work based on the same concept, but none of it looks the same. Everything is unique and has it’s own breath of life.

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