Nancy B. Frank has worked successfully in mediums as varied as wooden jewelry, sculptured cakes, painted furniture and photography, but she feels she has finally hit her stride as a painter of horses.
“I wasn’t just a horse crazy kid, I thought I was a horse, snorting as I cantered ‘round the playground. When my family drove past a nearby horse farm, I would excitedly exclaim, HORSES! Little did I realize then that one day I would be riding my own horse in the mountains of Colorado, and coincidentally he would be born and bred in that very barn I passed as a child.”
Although Frank ultimately earned an M.F.A. in photo-printmaking at the University of Wisconsin-Madison after receiving a B.F.A. in painting at Ohio Wesleyan University, she routinely shied away from horses as a suitable subject matter.
This changed when she began doing equestrian travel to different countries and cultures.
Until then, the artist’s two primary disciplines, B&W photography and painting, had never been able to merge in the studio. Because of the new age of digital photography, Frank was able to paint from her original digital color photographs.
Frank found herself finally painting horses, with her photographer’s eye and her horse lover’s heart. Her extra large canvases are close-up and tightly cropped, filling the space with manes and reins and parts of bits and bridles. From them one senses both the power and the restlessness of the animal, and the intimacy of his relationship to his rider, which is what creates the tension in Frank’s paintings. While the human isn’t physically visualized, his presence is felt, whether kindly or not.
Now able to admit and express her passion for horses, combining emotion with technique, Frank sees no end in sight. She has already made travel plans for the next series of horses, and for the next one after that.