Frank Gee

frank_gee“Simplicity would have to be the word that most fully characterizes my art. As human beings living in a fast-moving, aggressive society, we tend to over-complicate matters. We become so concerned with details that we fail to comprehend the true essence – the simple truth – of the life which surrounds us. The oriental tradition of art is based on communication through the simplicity of nature. This philosophy of depicting through simple forms, subtle suggestion, and natural subject matter has most greatly influenced my concept of art.”

Frank’s oriental heritage is an integral part of his life as well as his art. He believes that the simple and perfect rhythms of nature are reflected in the traditions of the orient. As an avid fisherman, canoeist, hiker, and backpacker, Frank is intimately acquainted with nature – the source of all his art.

Born in Canton, China, at the age of five Frank and his family moved to Nashville, TN. Soon after, he discovered Mill Creek, a small stream located near his family’s home and so began his love affair with water. His depth of knowledge regarding the anatomy of all species of fish, combined with his interest in biology, render his Gyotaku (fish rubbings) real and captivating – taking his art well beyond a one-dimensional representation.

Although he is best known for his paintings of birds, rabbits and fish, it would be difficult to categorize his art into any single style. From vividly colored koi swimming in a feeding frenzy to a serene winter scene with geese flying overhead, Frank believes in the oriental philosophy of painting, which suggests that subjects are best painted when held in one’s memory. Nature’s images are indelibly etched into Frank’s memory resulting in paintings of simplicity and depth, and often with his own brand of humor.

After graduating from the Memphis Academy of Arts, Frank worked with the Methodist Publishing House in Nashville before opening his own studio in Gallatin.

Frank’s large studio is set in Oakley, one of the oldest homes in Sumner County, where he and his wife reside. The house is one of the original Franklin houses and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Its sweeping views over Fairvue Plantation lead to beautiful Old Hickory Lake, where Frank may be found many days collecting his subject matter from his bass boat.

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