Don’t let winter blues colour the way a mid-season sunset sky looks to you.
Capturing the brilliant colours of a prairie sunset, Carmen Frank seeks to bring viewers into a moment of reverie, to feel the crunch of snow under their boots while the sun begins its descent. She wants observers to smile and feel joy upon first glance at her artwork.
Frank’s artistic inspiration comes from photos she takes in her day-to-day life. Each photo gives her different ideas that are stitched together over time.
“Through the different seasons I will go on trips to explore southern and central Alberta where I gather inspiration for paintings like this one, looking for elements like old weathered barns, tracks in a field, crops, grasses and vivid skies,” explains Frank. “I will then sift through my many photos to create a piece that pays homage to the beautiful Alberta views I've experienced.”
This painting in particular is a collection of imagination, real-life photos and a gut feeling. She began with a warm colour base across the entire canvas, and then painted each new colour as a different layer, creating shadows and light. The barn is intended to add scale to the painting but also to showcase the limitless skies that are home to Alberta.
The bold, saturated colours in the sky capture the warmth and beauty of Alberta in winter, including wind patterns that add tangible movement to the piece.
“I never knew that skies could be so alive before moving to this province; they have greatly shaped my painting style, the subject matter that I paint, and even the amount of movement I try to capture within my paintings,” Frank says. “Alberta has helped me to discover that elements as simple as a field of crops with a wide open sky can be as full of movement as the stormy seas, and as full of colour as a field of wildflowers.”
Frank has dedicated herself to creating acrylic paintings that capture her own warm feelings for the land, seeking to share joy with scenes that remind those who look at her work of the magic of the country’s landscapes.
Art has always been a part of Carmen Frank’s life. Born and raised on the West coast, her family always encouraged the arts and she found herself busy with drawing, music, ceramics, sewing, woodworking and any other crafts she could get her hands on. In later years when Carmen decided to pursue a career in healthcare in Alberta, she began to use art as a creative outlet and started developing her unique style of painting as a means to escape from the stress of everyday life.
For over a decade, Carmen has dedicated herself to creating acrylic paintings with the intent of bringing joy to her audience with scenes that remind them of the magic of Canada. From the West coast to the Rockies, and the sweeping prairies of Alberta, she never stops falling in love with the beauty of Canada.
This work is part of The Art of Winter, a larger series in which artists are creating custom pieces representing their experience of winter warmth in Alberta.
This content was produced by The Globe and Mail’s Globe Content Studio on behalf of Travel Alberta. The Globe’s editorial department was not involved.
CREDITS: Concept and editing by JESSICA ROBINSON; Art direction and design by JEANINE BRITO; Development by KYLE YOUNG and JEANINE BRITO; Project management by CHRISTINA LIPPA