01 August, 07:42
American Artists Appreciation Month. A couple of times in my life the Earth shook when a great figure in a creative field died. One such time was when Frank Frazetta, the premiere fantasy artist copied by so many (superb artist Boris Vallejo being one), passed away 12 years ago. I loved his work the first time I saw it for Tarzan in comics and in fantasy magazines like Eerie (covers and interior illustrations). It was the cover work he did for paperbacks that got me to read the Conan series and other Sword & Sorcery works. The portraits of his men are bold and strong and the women sexy and mysterious. His details are amazing, colors vibrant, and all done in a style that leans towards impressionism where what he does not paint or draw is left to the viewer to insert. Phenomenal! What amazes me even more is he painted in small dimensions (something like 18"-24" high -- going by memory, here) and beyond that, they were usually done in one try and took only a few hours or less to complete from scratch. Utterly astounding! I was blown away when I first discovered those facts. First, I would have expected his work was done in large format, and secondly, I would have expected his paintings to have taken many hours or days to complete. Need I say it? Another homie born in Brooklyn. He was a giant. When he fell, yes, the Earth shook.