Appraisal by a fellow artist

May I share these words from a fellow artist and poet with you? It’s bit of a read, enriching though. > My friend Vera Lees wrote below, “Best ever painting. Adore the colour scheme, so fresh. Great brushwork too. Alive! X”

Domaine de la Tronque 23.09.16
Domaine de la Tronque 23.09.16

Vera, artist, painter, musician and poet, and I have been friends a very long time. It was Vera who introduced me to the delights of Plymouth Jive Club where new window opened for me on dance. Back in 2003, as I slowly began to emerge from the darkest period of my life Vera was one of the first to see my 2003 French ‘plien aire’ paintings, the results from 5 weeks around Bordeaux and Castelnau de Montmiral.

Domaine de la Tronque, detail 3, 23.09.16
Domaine de la Tronque, detail 3, 23.09.16

The appraisal she wrote after was much appreciated by many including myself so to bring you up to date ‘ertiz:, enjoy,
“Dear Gordon,

Last night was very special.
Your new collection of paintings is a treasure, beautifully haunting ambiances.
It was a journey I shall remember.
You must find a way of marketing yourself including the quest of a very personal “vision”.
I think the artist’s thoughts and background matter and enhance an exhibition.

I could write an article to give credit to your paintings since I like them so much.

I am looking forward to seeing you up there among the best.

Take care my friend, Vera xxx”

Then Vera generously wrote to me as follows:

“Words will never do these paintings justice”

Stupendous Sun Drenched Landscapes of France

An Appreciation of Gordon Frickers‘ French Painting Odyssey

Gordon will strike most people as very sociable and certainly articulate.
He does not only entertain but also informs you in an engaging way about topics he knows well.
Those include sailing as well as painting.
He will wrap them up in such a manner that you will be utterly mesmerized and keen to deepen the discussion which by then will no doubt be of a philosophical nature without your ever being awed by his keen intellect.

I remember one such talk on his unique colour perception which was discovered rather late in life by his art tutors at Montmiral.
He has a different colour experience to normal’s, more vivid, reds and blues are perceived differently to colour normal’s, as well as greens being changeable, inconstant from moment to moment.

To explore these & other issues in depth he decided to courageously ignore the considerable expense, go for it, follow up on work & ideas developed by earlier visits, but frozen by a personal tragedy that is now were all dark days belong, past history !

Gordon went to France this summer to concentrate on painting and came back with a compelling series of 40 or so oil paintings of the scorched landscapes of Bordeaux & the Tarn

He revealed the journey he underwent one Sunday evening in taking me into his modest studio/bedroom.
I did not know what to expect remembering mainly his very fine ships and seascapes.
The local paper would bring out an article every few months on different commissions.
But this was a land locked quest.

In France he often got up at the crack of dawn to capture the mists before they were burnt off by the heat & sometimes finished after dusk.
Examples being at the valley of Sauterne were the brief, damp mist causes a vital mould which gives this the most exclusive & expensive of white wines, its unique taste.
Gordon felt it essential to capture a record of this sort of distinctive moment of light, mist & embryonic wine.

In fact on another occasion whilst at St Briac at the exact centre of the region Entrée de Mere, rather than miss the first light, he jumped out of a first floor window because the house he was staying in was locked up completely for the night.
He had left his key outside in his car but was not to be stopped by such a trifle…

At other times he was out in the open painting in 37 to 45 degrees Celsius valiantly finishing his landscapes.
He had to be quick for a sunrise or a sunset.
You find an astonishing immediacy reflected in his work.

One time a massive hailstorm caught him out at the near completion of a lyrical mountain scene.
The threatening sky was there from the start.
Gordon was too absorbed to analyze what it meant.
He only focused on the incredible effect that sky had on the shape & colours of the far mountain range.
The last part of the work was finished at a record pace as the sky quickly darkened & thunder rumbled & boomed.
Barely in time did he pack his gear & huddle in his car as hailstones the size of fists broke branches & threatened to smash his windscreen.
The drive back was through a debris strewn blasted countryside.
Back in the village he saw shattered windows, broken tiles; it looked as if the Mafia had paid a grudge visit!

As to the paintings there are vineyards, churches, villages, skies and fields.
The ambiance is often richly evocative of dreams.
The sheer variety of approach and colour treatment is stupendous.
Nevertheless the whole does not lose its cohesiveness and harmony.
Where one might expect greens one finds warm ochre, red and orange tinges.
But first and foremost did Gordon leave his preconceptions behind and painted with his eyes wide open and ultra-receptive senses, guided by his gut and soul.
His learned colour normal language was switched firmly “off”.
It was partly the unexpectedness that drew me in.
But as the paintings evolved, shown in chronological order, I began to admire the swiftness and assuredness of the development of his style.
A couple of senior teachers showed him their admiration by telling him that he had found what they have been searching for all their life.

There are landscapes which flow at an amazing pace.
One is like a sketch but you would not change anything it is so alive.
Yet others have the quality of an old masterpiece in accomplishment of brushstroke and unity.
They are jewels in subtlety.
The composition is invariably balanced and mostly dynamic, the effect often surprising with flaming trees as if set on fire by this most scorching of summers.
The whole is a document of possibly the hottest summer on record.

I love some pine trees in a forest scene which are treated loosely and very freely with lots of light suffusing the path and branches.
There are flecks of primary colour which are refreshing to the eye and mind.
All of his paintings are growing on you the longer you gaze.
In fact I could not study them for long enough because it got so late.
But many are in my mind’s eye still.

Words will never do these paintings justice.
They can only evoke the curiosity of the reader to go and look for him/her self.
You will be the richer for the experience and want to take at least one of those oils home.
If you are like me you will be torn between a great many of this unique vision of one man, Gordon Frickers.

Vera Lees 7.10 2003

You can see most of the paintings she wrote of on my web sites in particular see the Bordeaux series and “2003 – Stupendous Sun Drenched Landscapes of France”…/2003-stupendous-sun-drenched-l…/
“Exploratory paintings – 2006 to the present”…/exploratory-paintings-2006-to-…/

Yet again, thank you Vera.

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