Bill (William) Franks
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One only has to look at Bill Franks’ paintings and get lost in the thought of a bygone era, when painters were capturing the rhythm and breath of the great Canadian Landscape for the first time.
From a young boy, Bill’s painting instructor was one of the preeminent painters in Canadian history, A.Y. Jackson, a member of the famed Canadian Group of Seven. Bill was enlisted to row A.Y. around the Go-Home Bay area of Georgian Bay. With the help of A.Y. who taught him how to make a sketch box, Bill was introduced to en plein air sketching. This included the fundamentals of colour and how to capture the movement and rhythm on a journey of interpreting the landscape across Canada including the mid to high Arctic
Throughout his life, Bill embarked on a journey of capturing the surrounding landscape wherever he found himself. Despite choosing a career in medicine as his vocation, Bill was always able to retreat back to painting.
His travels, life experience and deep appreciation for the land is evident in his works. He is reflective, though, always referring back to his mentor, A.Y. and his words of guidance. Pattern, design, rhythm, summarization and build light on dark—these words have guided Bill and influenced his style of painting for over six decades.
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