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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


What is Uniquelahoma?

Uniquelahoma is an online magazine showcasing what is unique, beautiful, and positive in Oklahoma. Started by...

Unique Quote

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