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Frankie O

Arts & Culture - Artisans & Galleries Bendigo


Frankie O - Artist Biography

My art journey really took off in my late 30’s after attending the Rome Art Program in Italy. This amazing program is designed to stretch and reconnect artists to their studio practise through painting and drawing on the streets of Rome in the plein-air tradition.

I came home filled with ambition and determination to devote more time to my studio practice, which was sorely lacking, being a full time Art Teacher for twelve years. In 2015 I began my first One Drawing a Day project, a daily commitment that helped me rediscover and redefine my drawing skills and find time in my busy schedule for art making. And from that point on my art world opened.

I studied a Bachelor of Fine Art at La Trobe, Bendigo (1997) and came out with a love of figurative oil painting. My work reflected emotive stories usually with a biographical background. They were dark and moody with a touch of symbolism and a nod to Greek Mythology.

However now... 20 years later... with a world of travel and experience under my belt, you will generally find me trying desperately to recreate the places I have traveled, with something of an illustrative, urban sketch type style. I've traded oils for watercolour, canvas for a touch screen tablet and figures for architecture.

I am heavely influenced by contemporary artists such as Liz Steel, Claire Caulfield and Bridget Davies. Each who have a magical relationship with their subject matter.

And when I need to change pace, as I find my subject matter is as diverse as the media I use, I often turn to high fashion and vintage tea cups to explore colour and expressive line, which are my one true north and the back bone to most of my work.

The Bendigo Visitor Centre mural came along ironically as I had just begun a series of a digital drawings based on Bendigo for my new One Digital Drawing a Day Project. When I was notified that my sumission was successful and that the initial concept sketch was greeted with such excitement I was thrilled! To live in the place I was about to imortalise in a 2 x 4 meter mural was recognition that you can find amazing inspiration in your own backyard and that sometime your most organic ideas are the ones that truly resonate and connect with people.

Follow my One Drawing a Day Project on Facebook @Onedrawingaday.byFrankieO or Instagram #Onedrawingadaybyfrankieo

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