Frank Howell’s work is described as a
fusion of the physical and spiritual worlds, the continuum of life.
Whether he is painting an Indian face or a landscape, there is a sense
of evolving; an evolution of past, present, and the dawning of the
“My work is very representational in some respects, and
it’s kind of explosive and expansive in other respects. I combine these
directions, and, really, that’s what has been accepted as the
uniqueness in my work—it’s at the same time contemporary and
Subtle earthy colors and sensitive draftsmanship bring to life this philosophical reality.
views lithography as a painter’s print medium because of its ability to
reproduce the kinds of subtle gradation of values and tonality which
are most similar to the variations drawing and paint can provide.
“…my first concepts of a print were in terms of painterly processes.
Progressively, as I have gained experience and knowledge, my ideas and
approaches to conceptualizing those ideas are more in keeping with the
qualities particular to lithography. The delicate washes, crayon
textures and soft pencil lines so unique to the medium have become
useful and integral ingredients in the formation of my images. I
believe that through the communion between the tools, materials, and
qualities of lithography and my sensibilities, beauty may be born. It
is the communion and my awareness of its potential that perpetuates my
Howell’s list of credits is extensive. A drawing
series, “Past Winds,” created in 1975, captured the attention of
viewers in galleries, universities and museums throughout the nation.
He has had over 30 one man shows including a display of lithographs at
the Museum of Modern Art in Guadalajara, Mexico. Howell has been the
subject of profiles on television, radio and in newspapers and
The oldest of three children, Howell spent his
childhood in Iowa and Texas. As an ex-marine at eighteen, he enrolled
in the University of Northern Iowa where he studied ceramics and
jewelry making. He has had no formal training in painting, for which he
is most widely known.
For six years Howell stopped painting
altogether and devoted his time and energy to writing. The technical
aspects of his painting may not have progressed during those years,
but, his ideas moved forward, he explains, because the source for his
poetry and painting are the same. He feels that getting in touch with
this motivating force from within is the key to his success as an
artist. Many of Howell’s current lithographs and paintings incorporate
his poetry within the image, thus, allowing the viewer a more sensitive
insight into his creative mind.
Howell taught art for 11 years
in high schools and on the college level, before moving to Colorado in
1968 to devote his life to painting, sculpting and printmaking.