Contemporary Works on Paper
Frank Hobbs – Artist Statement
“Most new discoveries are suddenly-seen things that were always there. A new idea is a light that illuminates presences which simply had no form for us before the light fell on them.” -Susanne Langer
As a painter of landscape, the concept of place is important to me. Each painting is my personal response to a particular site I’ve encountered in my wanderings around Tuscany, where my wife is from, and where we spend summers. As a problem for painting, the visual eccentricity of a given motif, its resistance to generalities, is what I find most exciting and engaging. The specifics of the lay of the land, the urgency of dealing with transient effects of atmosphere and light on a given day, the subtle cultural pentimenti that lie just under the visible facture of the subject, all of these, and more, overwhelm theory and force me to engage in the solving of a unique empirical problem. Writer Henry James characterized nature as the great “blooming, buzzing confusion.” Painting, for me, can speak of an underlying order and connectedness that it is my struggle and my delight to discover and to share.
Seeing, for me, is the first and ultimate problem of painting. To see and to form are two parts of a single process. Seeing informs the act of painting, and the language of art instructs the eye. Searching and discovering new potentials in a motif, and the dialogue that ensues between the paint and the act of forming of the image, is what I find most compelling as a painter. The thrill when the first crude likeness appears is still as fresh and exciting as it was when I first started painting, nearly four decades ago.