Frank Gardner: Biography

Frank GardnerArtist Frank Gardner paints in the colonial town of San Miguel de Allende, located in the mountains of central Mexico. Frank first visited Mexico and San Miguel in 1985 and immediately fell in love with the town. In 1990 he returned for a visit and decided to relocate there permanently.

A move to Atotonilco, a small community just outside of San Miguel, inspired major growth and maturity in Gardner’s work. “It was such a challenge to be in a place where I did not speak the language and where I was confronted with a life completely different from what I had known before,” the artist remembers. “When I moved to Mexico, I took a chance by giving up everything I had in the States, but it has been well worth it — I never could have accomplished from there what I’ve done in San Miguel.”

Inspired by his surroundings, Frank enjoys working both in the studio and en plain air. His style adeptly captures his subjects’ moods and emotions, illustrated through paintings of colorful marketplaces, dramatic landscapes and scenes from everyday life. The combination of confident brushwork, dynamic compositions and lively color invokes true character in Frank’s work, and easily denotes him as one of today’s brilliant emerging talents.

Even when painting in the studio, Gardner works quickly, limiting the amount of time he dedicates to each piece. Having transported the plein air setup indoors, Frank is able to keep his studio paintings fresh and simple. “I used to try and include too much; going plein air has helped me with that,” explains the artist. He adds that a switch to a limited palette in late 1999 has considerably enhanced his understanding of color.

Gardner has been pursuing art full-time since 1996. His work is part of many fine collections across the United States, Mexico, and Canada. Frank and his wife Julissa share their San Miguel home with their many cats and dogs.