A Visionary Touch

picture of Frank Lorenzo
Author: C.L. Harmon
Date Published: August 22, 2017

He is not a large man in stature but puts a paint­brush in his hand, and he becomes larg­er than life. Frank Loren­zo of Pawhus­ka is the first to say that he prefers to paint out­side the lines. Even as a young man with crayons, he real­ized that he inter­pret­ed life dif­fer­ent­ly. It’s what his fam­i­ly called a “vision­ary touch.” His fam­i­ly real­ized his unique take on his sur­round­ings and encour­aged him to col­or his world as a young artist at ten.

FINDING INSPIRATION

Spend­ing a great deal of time at his grand­par­ents’ farm while grow­ing up, he found that though his sur­round­ings were his sub­ject mat­ter, they were not his only inspi­ra­tion; much of that, he explained, came from inside him. See­ing things as they were and draw­ing them was not the vision he saw from his inter­nal eye; see­ing them as a col­lec­tion of items need­ing to be placed in a man­ner that gave them new mean­ing was the vision—as with any vision­ary, see­ing the world dif­fer­ent­ly than oth­ers opens up a new course of thought. 

Although Loren­zo did not quite under­stand this as a child, he did feel that what he expressed through his art was some­how dif­fer­ent. The incor­po­ra­tion of those images sur­round­ing him into a work of art set him apart. “I feel it. I sense it. I use col­ors to cre­ate that feel­ing,” is how Loren­zo describes where his ideas come from. Art is not a sin­gle idea but a col­lab­o­ra­tion of feel­ings that mate­ri­al­ize into a sin­gle work of art.

A STROKE OF GENIUS

Artist Frank Lorenzo horses
Hors­es by Artist Frank Lorenzo

“I try to cre­ate an ele­ment that peo­ple can respond to.” Paint­ing is like a liq­uid puz­zle, with each stroke of the brush lay­ing a new piece, thus con­nect­ing them into a com­plete image. He explained that painters want peo­ple to relate to the feel­ing of what they are paint­ing. The light became an essen­tial ele­ment, and he con­stant­ly works to con­nect to the aspects of life and bring that light to those who expe­ri­ence his works of art. He has an innate sense of see­ing what is beyond the sur­face of an object.

“I like col­or and the light. The light is the beyond ele­ment. It is the essence of giv­ing life to an object or thing,” Loren­zo said. As an art teacher, he would ask his stu­dents to cre­ate by explor­ing beyond what they could see. His con­cept is using the light and allow­ing his art to grow out of the morn­ing. Loren­zo was a teacher at a high school and col­lege for ten years. As a high school teacher, in 1975, he was select­ed as one of the Most Out­stand­ing Edu­ca­tors of America.

MOLDING A VISION

column with birds at the top
Frank Loren­zo Birds on a pillar

. In addi­tion to paint­ing the world around him, he also has a back­ground in clas­si­cal pot­tery, even once mak­ing a com­plete table set dur­ing col­lege. As with his paint­ing, he uses the same phi­los­o­phy of not let­ting the clay become the art but using col­ors through a tech­nique he cre­at­ed to allow the art to grow out of the clay. He is a skilled, wheel thrown, clas­si­cal pot­ter; he also attend­ed San Fran­cis­co State Uni­ver­si­ty to work on a Mas­ters of Art in ceram­ics, with a con­cen­tra­tion in Raku. (A low fir­ing process inspired by the tra­di­tion­al Japan­ese.) “I believe the lev­el of com­mit­ment cre­ates the lev­el of suc­cess,” Loren­zo explained. 

In 1984, he was select­ed to exhib­it four paint­ings in Paris, France’s Salon des Nation juried show. His image “Fury” won an inter­na­tion­al award. The idea was made into a litho Lim­it­ed Edi­tion Print.

BURIED TREASURE

This Okla­homa artist uses nature to define the con­cepts in his art. B rds seem to be a strong pres­ence for human­i­ty, and they are calm­ing, he said. “y job as a cre­ator is to bury a trea­sure that oth­ers can seek out in the art and hope­ful­ly dis­cov­er what I buried.”

Loren­zo is a recip­i­ent of many awards in paint­ing and pot­tery. Or his pro­duc­tive years in cre­at­ing works of art, he has exhib­it­ed in gal­leries and muse­ums and is rec­og­nized nation­al­ly and inter­na­tion­al­ly. He is con­sid­ered a cre­ative Renais­sance per­son, com­bin­ing fan­ta­sy, real­i­ty, emo­tion, and dynam­ic col­or to jux­ta­pose what is real and not actu­al. His biog­ra­phy reflects an ear­ly inter­est in cre­at­ing art and the chal­lenge evolv­ing through archi­tec­ture and back into the paint­ing and pot­tery world. The skill, tal­ent, and com­mit­ment are the response to his creations.

birds escaping a pot
Frank Loren­zo Pot with birds

In addi­tion to his artis­tic abil­i­ties, Loren­zo has also used his tal­ents to cross bar­ri­ers that lead into areas of the world that are most­ly acquaint­ed with the math and sci­ence of life. Due to diver­gent cre­ative inter­ests that occurred from 1985 to 2015, Frank moved into real estate devel­op­ment and lat­er into becom­ing an Asso­ciate Mem­ber of the Amer­i­can Insti­tute of Archi­tects. He estab­lished an archi­tec­tur­al design busi­ness, restored and cer­ti­fied a build­ing that became a reg­is­tered his­tor­i­cal land­mark, and was an asso­ciate direc­tor of the AIA’s local chap­ter. He pub­lished a Home­own­ers Portable Con­struc­tion Handbook.

To view Loren­zo’s work or inquire as to pur­chas­ing his pieces, vis­it artistfranklorenzopainterpotter.wordpress.com

Unique­la­homa

C.L. Harmon

C.L. Harmon

C.L. is an award-winning journalist who spent many years in the newspaper and freelance fields. In addition to holding reporting and editing positions throughout his career, he also owned and operated a newspaper for several years. He was born, raised, and continues to reside in Oklahoma.

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Be free of expectation in heart and mind. Have faith in what is possible and confidence in that faith which makes all things possible. Life’s value is not a measure of met or unrealized expectations, but a review of how yesterday’s faith brought about today’s opportunity to believe less in what we expect and further into the miracle of new possibilities. - C.L. Harmon

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