Jack Frame a Q & A

If you would would like to view some of Jack Frame’s latest work please click on the link.

A Q&A with Jack Frame:

You do not paint onto conventional canvases, and you use a range of materials. What lead you to this unconventional medium?

I’ve tried painting, drawing and printmaking on lots of different materials, metal sheet aluminium, steel, copper, acrylic plastic, fluorescent plastic, MDF, panel board and glass linen, cotton, canvas and calico. When I was a student I couldn’t afford to buy grade canvas in roll so I used my nylon bed sheets, these are quite bad to work on… but by re-stretching and using vast amounts of water based primer you will achieve a workable surface.

Essentially surface is one of the main things in the kind of painting I do. Different materials produce a different finish, the way the light bounces off a piece of varnished glass or metal is very different from a pitted canvas or sanded board, I respect all surfaces but in many ways I’m going through a mackerel faze anything shiny I am extremely attracted to at the moment. I like the way they reflect light and how this changes throughout the course of the day. The reflection of people walking in front of them, also the movement of shine and the way it bounces over the surface is visually exciting to me.

Trees are clearly important to you, what makes them such an engaging subject?

I’m definitely not a tree hugger, but I need something to lock onto, a subject matter, that will allow me to walk around, come back to and to provide a sense of place. Most landscape have trees in them, most of the time you don’t really notice them, they kind of fill in the background or act as a side kick to the main theme of the painting.

George Stubbs painted a massive amount of horses but he never really painted just horses. They manage to resonate with real intensity. Sometimes I think I am trying to use the tree in these paintings to try and make images that allow me to explore what it is to be a human or rather Mr Jack Donaldson Frame.

As the Constable quote goes ‘Paintings is but another word for feeling’.

What is the most interesting critic you have had of your work?

Children and drunken people are often the most honest. I got a massive cheer from a set of builders carrying a large canvas up Sauchiehall Street from the flat once. I think one guy shouted out ‘That’s brilliant by the way.’ in broad Scottish dialect. He really didn’t have to do this. I almost felt like pictures still have power, as most people tend to amble past blindly.

I’ve also been likened to John Constable on acid by the Burrell collection.

What helps your creative process and how do you get into the zone?

I do lots of drawing, woodcuts and reading. I sit in the garden with my cats and dogs and look at the hedge. I cut the grass. In some ways I never really stop thinking about pictures and imagining what they could be like, how they would feel.

I have to be listening to something while working. Definitely not music or people taking on the radio I get too wound up. I mostly listen to documentaries on lots of different stuff depending on the mood; I do have a set list which I can repeat word for word. The predictability of what is going to happen next is important. It ranges from things like Robert Hughes ‘Shock of the New’ to wildlife docs, ridiculous historical re-enactments with stick on moustaches, travel and food documentaries, Keith Floyd pig truffling especially is a favourite.

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