Farewell and Thanks
Much of my painting success is owed to Frank Federico, a friend who died recently. He was a brilliant colorist, inspiring artist and wonderful instructor. Frank was also instrumental in founding the CT Pastel Society, urging me and other artist friends into board meetings, early CPS exhibits and Pastel Journal subscriptions.
Watching Frank transform even mundane scenes into vibrant images freed me to work in the colorful, expressive style I prefer. An advocate of loose, “painterly” pastels, he suggested techniques like gouache under-paintings, working upside down (the painting, not the artist!) and blocking in the composition with complementary colors. These ideas helped me develop the process I use today.
Frank was a creative, kind and witty instructor. When I was new to pastels, his gentle teasing identified blunders in paintings. Frank’s stories about his checkered past as a painter on the streets of New Orleans and in Massachusetts seaside towns kept things entertaining. His exuberantly flowery descriptions of the painting process provided a window into a uniquely creative mind.
For several years, I managed a series of private workshops with Frank and developed a congenial group that benefited from his instruction. This old photo captures the spirit with which we approached painting near my shoreline studio. LOL Frank, and many of the participants, became my lifelong friends. He will be sorely missed.