Frank was born and raised in Glasgow, Scotland and moved to Dunedin in 2000. He has always drawn and painted, as long as he can remember but it wasn't until he moved to Dunedin that he really started painting seriously. Looking back, he can remember being inspired and energised by the landscape, light, and colours of Otago, but also the energy and enthusiasm for art and creativity.
He loves nature and the outdoors and much of his work is inspired by that. He also loves history and stories and often find himself illustrating stories within his work, some real and some made up. There are often elements of fantasy, whimsy, even comedy but always a story in one form or another. Human figures abound in many of his paintings and he has lots of fun creating characters, inventing them as he paints. He loves the paintings that change and evolve as he works and likes to think that as the image emerges it takes on a life of its own until it is a fully formed story.
He tends to work mostly in oils but also illustrates using various mediums including digital drawing programmes on computer.
His other passion is drawing illustrated maps and he have produced a little collection of these for Dunedin and surrounding areas. He says, “You can convey so much within a map – your love of the place, your own experiences there, your favourite little corners of the place”.
He has many influences, mainly Bruegel and the old masters, with their drama, humour, light and dark, but mostly the characters - in the case of Bruegel especially, as he seems to be having so much fun with his paintings and that's what it's really all about!
Frank Gordon at DWRF 2021:
Mapping Dunedin's Stories