Much of Frank’s recent painting has been based on both literature and music, but mostly music. His aim is not to illustrate anything, but using the way he paints now to find some pictorial equivalent to the musical language. Music is largely an abstract art form and this suits his purpose well as his painting has already become what he supposes most people would call abstract.
“There are three main elements from music that I try to use because they seem to suggest possibilities for visual translation. Colour – as expressed by instrumentation and tonality; texture – as expressed by counterpoint and the layering of different voices ( and for my purposes the more complex the better), and energy – as expressed by –well, energy.
I do not have music on while I paint – I would find this a distraction because I would want to listen to the music. What I do bring to the easel is my memory of a piece (which usually I know well anyway) and the impression it has made on me. To be clear, I am more consciously influenced by the work of some composers, principally Charles Ives, than that of other painters. Having said this however, I have looked at a lot of painting and once seeing I cannot unsee, so I suppose some traces of other painters probably diffuse into my work on a subconscious level.
Other composers I have used include Elliot Carter, Michael Tippett, Alban Berg, Richard Wagner, Cesar Franck, Arnold Bax, Charles Koechlin, Francois Couperin, Igor Stravinsky, Bela Bartok and Frederick Delius.”