Written by Marilyn Hurst …
Frank Arnold is an abstract figurative painter and sculptor. His work is haunting, bold, bright, and imbued with allegorical symbolism. It is also dark and pulls obliquely from his unconscious – abstract intellectualism personified.
Frank has also produced two books, the first, “Frank Arnold Speaks” is a bilingual, English and Spanish biography reflecting back on his youth as an adopted child, and on his life experiences and the impact it’s had on his artwork.
His second book, “Your Creative Imagination Unlocked,” is a collaborative with depth psychologist, Dr. Jim Manganiello. It’s an exploration of his own creative process with observations and hypotheses by Manganiello respective of Frank’s work as well as that of other abstract artists, Cy Twombly, Wassily Kandinsky, Pablo Picasso, Mark Rothko and Banksy. His book explores the deeper mind and how art can be a path to rediscovery of creative imagination. Frank was born in Long Beach, California, raised in the San Joaquin Valley and now has galleries in California and Mexico.
Frank graciously shared his time with us, and his personal insight into the creative process.
When did you get into the fine arts and what inspired you to do so?
It all began for me with a love of color. As a child I won a flower arranging contest at the fair. I was so taken by all the colors and the possible combinations. I have to think that was the true starting point for me. I got into fine art in school. That was back in the days where if you talked too much, give you more art classes. “Put Frankie in art class because he talks too much.” I was kind of board with school, but my daydreaming fed my creative side and I grew to love art.
Did you ever paint traditionally or figurative work, or did you plunge into abstraction right away?
I was classically trained in realism, both painting and drawing. What I found, aside from the fact that realism is a lot of hard work, is there are so many rules to follow. I wanted something to come from my soul. At first I was painting from my surface mind and it was all about me. As I began to work from my deeper mind, I began to feel something was coming to me from another place, something I call gifts from my soul. I can’t explain the source, but it guides me through my process.
The way I describe it is … I go to a place where no words are spoken, a place where there is no sound, no smell, even my sense of touch goes away. I’m left in a bright place where things seem to be given to me. It’s a wonderful place where I feel I can do anything; a place I am so grateful for, because I can see.
Why did you choose San Jose del Cabo Baja Mexico as one of your studios?
I have been in love with Mexico ever since I was a kid and people always think of it as an arty country. They love and respect art. There were only a few galleries in all of Los Cabos when I first came here. I felt pulled to the area for its beauty and the people and the sense of community. Now it’s become such an art Mecca for Mexico.
Has living in Cabo San Lucas changed your art expression from living in Fresno USA ?
As my art comes from within, I have to think it is affected by where I am. What keeps my interest is the work which I feel is coming from my soul, the deeper mind work over which I really have no control. I think so much of it is really messages for other people. I have seen this played out in my gallery so many times when viewers to react to the images. It’s humbling for me to see.
Do you have one sentence that would define your philosophy in art?
If anyone’s art moves you for a moment, then it has done its job.
Chris MacClure – iAD Founder,
and Frank Arnold