Today I’m presenting to you an airbrush artist with not that usual airbrush painting techniques. Forget about skulls and fire for a moment, forget about getting realistic and dive into Contemporary Art. This is Frank Gavere, his airbrush art and also his story.
I was born in Minnesota. My father was a die toolmaker, inventor, designer, and process engineer.
I began to paint at age of 8 and just planned to be a lifelong artist. My first shows were in empty buildings my adult friends owned (I was in High School at that time).
I had learned photographic processes, mostly by reading and hanging out. After graduating High School I studied in Chicago and then moved to NYC (1967). I studied at Art Students league, met some artists and continued to learn.
Two of my artist friends did airbrush in their works. I guess I got my first airbrush in the early 1970’s. Most of my work was post surrealist but I was experimental. One of the first airbrushes was Iwata HPBC. I used it mostly with handmade sumi ink, a Carbon Black. In the mid 70’s I began building small assemblages, which was a 3D sculptural activity. I married a fashion designer and decided I’d finish a degree to teach art and I did.
Also I did a lot of film photography, some collages and more 3D assemblages. The airbrush was used outside; I had the compressor in the attic and an airline on the porch.
I taught for 23 years and eventually worked at a university school, where I did the arts programming for the 2nd grade for multiply handicapped students. My program had photography, woodworking, metals, and ceramics, as well as art projects. I enjoyed working with students and we had a great program. In the meantime, as part of my professional development, I studied metalworking and jewelry.
But school became too restrictive environment as my assignment was changed to preschool students and 23 classes a week. I went to graduate again and got another degree. In that MFA program I started painting with air-guns because I could do larger works and explore my ideas efficiently.
I painted on paper. The usual student does 6 paintings a semester; I bought a 100 sheet package, which I thought would last me through the 2 year program. It lasted a month. I experimented with whatever I thought would make an interesting image.
I made Modular pieces and works from half sheets to many sheets.
In 2009 I did my first website.
These days I work on my ideas in paint sessions which are 3 hours. I work at a steady rate, 1 or 2 sessions a day. It’s just about precision and quality and making my best work. I work outside very often; and the stray cats do visit me ;). Usually I paint 2 or 3 days a week. In a terrible weather I build assemblages but I’m always drawing.
I have a studio at MANA Contemporary where I hang new my works. People can come to visit by appointment or at MANA openings which are every other month. Works are available for sale and I live to make deals.
You can find my works on many sites, just Google my name. I’m also in Google Images and White Columns (Frank Gavere, MFA.).
I have many airbrushes and air-guns. Here is what I use: Iwata, Efbe, Paasche and others (whatever was interesting that I came across).
I have 3 compressors, 2 are nail-gun models, and the other I made up is a Paasche 1/4 piston, with a little tank. I have lots of media I paint with and use in imaging like stainless steel, brass or aluminum. I also use plastic, and paper.
My paint is Acrylic emulsion and I use Goldens, WN or Rowney, depends on the color. My carbon black is usually Fe2-O3. I understand archival processes and I know paper. Most paper is ALL cotton, sometimes I gesso it. It’s often size 22X30, or a bit smaller.
When I’m working I will change nozzles if they clog (that’s just 40 seconds). Paint time is too important to be limited by gear.
I have several igloo coolers where I keep the paints.
If I paint inside I use a 3M welder’s mask and also I use surgical gloves (usually on both hands). In 2.5 hours I will use less than 1.5 inches of paint in the cup. Clean up is about 30 minutes, average.
If you like Franks art then spare a moment to click like or tweet. I will appreciate it. Cheers.