24 August 1980

My Life in Pictures Part Twelve: Frank Frazetta


I think I first saw Frank Frazetta's work in a book of his collected illustrations sometime around my 18th year. I wasn't a big reader of fantasy fiction or the 'Conan' books or I might have ran across his illustrations sooner. I was probably initially drawn to the work because of the way he drew those stylized and sexy women, but what kept me coming back were the bold compositions and the wonderful use of color and dramatic lighting.
The 'Frazetta Fans' in art school became almost a cliched joke. How they would turn every assignment into an excuse to draw a muscle bound sword wielding warrior battling a sabre tooth tiger or giant lizard. So much so, that I found myself turning away from Frank's work out of a sense of shame that my own sensibilities would be somehow exposed.

I haven't thought of Frank's work in several years, but recently ran across a few images that reminded of that book I owned so many years ago, and how indelibly so many of the paintings have been etched into my subconscious and probably still influence how I draw to this very day. Many still have the power to astonish, and inspire.