Frank Forrestall

Frank Forrestall

is creating Surrealist Fine Art Paintings & Drawings

8

patrons

$23

per Painting
I'm creating Fine Art Paintings and Drawings in the surrealist tradition.


Toxicity (2018)
24" x 16", Acrylic on Board


Many people ask me about the origins of the paintings that I create. In May 2019 I had a series of discussions with Film Maker Rajnesh Sharma who was interested in creating an Artist Profile piece for CBC in Canada. After many long, rambling conversations we finally began to pick up on a singular thread going back to my childhood belief system. From those discussions I was able to sit down one evening and write out the following piece which remains the best explanation for the origins of my work:

Frank Forrestall: Artist Profile

Growing up in a religious home always has it's benefits and challenges. As a Catholic I was raised to believe in a myriad of extraordinary truths. Everyday belief consisted of extra-dimensional realms of the spirit; heaven, hell, purgatory, the garden of Eden and my mother even once described the realm of Limbo, a place where the souls of unbaptized children were said to go when they died. The exact shape and substance of these worlds were left largely to my imagination. Similarly there were vast pantheons of spiritual characters and creatures that defied reasonable definition; saints, angels, demons, devils and miracle-invoking prophets. In my youth I understood these things to be real in a tangible or historical sense.

This is likely what inspired an interest in mythology and folklore at a young age. I always wondered about the boundaries between religion and myth; why were some of these beliefs considered correct while others belonged only to a distant and mistaken past?

Like many other Catholics, I experienced a crisis of faith in my teens. At that age my expanding world view no longer fit comfortably within the colorful cosmology that I'd learned about in my youth. The effect of this crisis is a deep sense of spiritual loneliness and isolation; a sense that the world isn't as deep or dynamic as I'd previously believed.

This crisis propelled me on a journey of seeking other paths which could fully encompass my life experience. I took an interest in studying other religions and world views. Somewhere in the back of my mind I felt I had to continue this search until I found a path which gave me the same sense of spiritual completeness that I felt when I was a young believer in the Church.
Eventually I came across the work of Mythologist Joseph Campbell and his work expanding on the ideas of Carl Jung. I was deeply affected by the idea that mythology and religion were in essence the same in their function to encompass deep spiritual truths in the power of storytelling. The symbols of mythology can be read and interpreted in the same way as the symbolism found in dreams. As Campbell put it “Myths are public dreams and dreams are private myths.”

With this understanding I continued to steep myself in the imagery and stories of world mythology. Now with an invigorated understanding that all religious systems throughout history have been attempting to tell us many of the same inexpressible truths about the nature of existence. Just as dreams try to explain things to the dreamer that they do not yet consciously understand, myths tell humanity grand truths about reality wrapped in colorful and mysterious clothing.

In 2016 a combination of personal and financial distress triggered a severe mental breakdown and subsequent depression. Through this difficult period my art took on a far deeper personal meaning in my life and became an important element on my path to recovery. My painting practice became an attempt to create my own system of mythological symbols to better understand the turmoil that stirred inside of me. This is when I began to use a free-flowing creative technique pioneered by 20th century surrealist artists like Andre Masson, Salvador Dali and Yves Tanguy. The process is as follows: In my sketchbooks I begin a drawing with seemingly random patterns of lines, curves and odd shapes. I continue until my eye catches discernible shapes in the chaos. Once I begin to see an image take shape, I tighten the lines and flesh out the forms. This process suspends my conscious self from the image creation so that what emerges is often a surprise even to myself. They seem to boil up from some deep
caverns of my subconscious.

Through this “automatic drawing” I tap into the realms of my personal subconscious dream imagery and therein I find characters and worlds that bear as much meaning to me as the saints and prophets of my religious past. Sometimes they merge with religious and mythological symbols from my studies and sometimes they seem to come from a place beyond. The paintings which I feel are the most successful are the ones which resonate and haunt the viewer for reasons not easily put into words. The mystery of their meaning is open to interpretation but for me the process is at its most powerful when words fail and the painting brings about a feeling of wonder not sensed since I was a young believer.


Witnesses to a Crucifixion (2019)
24" x 32", Acrylic on board
Tiers
Patron Level 1
$1 or more per Painting

Thank you for being a patron!
All Patron Tiers can count their contributions toward the purchase price of original Paintings or Drawing.


Sponsors will also get first look at new paintings as well as commentary and additional video media with insights into the imagery and my creative process. 

Patron Level 2
$5 or more per Painting

Thank you for being a patron! All Patron Tiers can count their contributions toward the purchase price of original Paintings or Drawing. 


Sponsors will also get first look at new paintings as well as commentary and additional video media with insights into the imagery and my creative process.  

Patron Level 3
$10 or more per Painting

Thank you for being a patron! All Patron Tiers can count their contributions toward the purchase price of original Paintings or Drawing. 


Sponsors will also get first look at new paintings as well as commentary and additional video media with insights into the imagery and my creative process.  

Patron Level 4 - Art Investor
$20 or more per Painting

Thank you for being a patron! All Patron Tiers can count their contributions toward the purchase price of original Paintings or Drawing. 


Sponsors will also get first look at new paintings as well as commentary and additional video media with insights into the imagery and my creative process.  

Patron Level 5 - Art Investor
$50 or more per Painting

Thank you for being a patron! All Patron Tiers can count their contributions toward the purchase price of original Paintings or Drawing.  


Sponsors will also get first look at new paintings as well as commentary and additional video media with insights into the imagery and my creative process.  

Patron Level 6 - Art Investor
$100 or more per Painting

Thank you for being a patron! All Patron Tiers can count their contributions toward the purchase price of original Paintings or Drawing. 


Sponsors will also get first look at new paintings as well as commentary and additional video media with insights into the imagery and my creative process.  

Goals
$23 of $100 per Painting
Artist Talk, Video Presentation

"Where do you get your ideas?"

In March 2019 I presented an Artist Talk at the Craig Gallery in Dartmouth, NS where I set out to answer that difficult question by reviewing all of my creative influences from early childhood to adulthood. The talk lasted an hour and a half and reviewed over 130 images. Since then I've had a lot more time to think about the origin of my imagery and I would have far more to discuss and present.

When I reach my first $100 in patronage I will assemble the images and present the talk in a Video Presentation. If you're really curious to see what's behind the veil, please consider becoming a Patron and supporting my work!
1 of 1
I'm creating Fine Art Paintings and Drawings in the surrealist tradition.


Toxicity (2018)
24" x 16", Acrylic on Board


Many people ask me about the origins of the paintings that I create. In May 2019 I had a series of discussions with Film Maker Rajnesh Sharma who was interested in creating an Artist Profile piece for CBC in Canada. After many long, rambling conversations we finally began to pick up on a singular thread going back to my childhood belief system. From those discussions I was able to sit down one evening and write out the following piece which remains the best explanation for the origins of my work:

Frank Forrestall: Artist Profile

Growing up in a religious home always has it's benefits and challenges. As a Catholic I was raised to believe in a myriad of extraordinary truths. Everyday belief consisted of extra-dimensional realms of the spirit; heaven, hell, purgatory, the garden of Eden and my mother even once described the realm of Limbo, a place where the souls of unbaptized children were said to go when they died. The exact shape and substance of these worlds were left largely to my imagination. Similarly there were vast pantheons of spiritual characters and creatures that defied reasonable definition; saints, angels, demons, devils and miracle-invoking prophets. In my youth I understood these things to be real in a tangible or historical sense.

This is likely what inspired an interest in mythology and folklore at a young age. I always wondered about the boundaries between religion and myth; why were some of these beliefs considered correct while others belonged only to a distant and mistaken past?

Like many other Catholics, I experienced a crisis of faith in my teens. At that age my expanding world view no longer fit comfortably within the colorful cosmology that I'd learned about in my youth. The effect of this crisis is a deep sense of spiritual loneliness and isolation; a sense that the world isn't as deep or dynamic as I'd previously believed.

This crisis propelled me on a journey of seeking other paths which could fully encompass my life experience. I took an interest in studying other religions and world views. Somewhere in the back of my mind I felt I had to continue this search until I found a path which gave me the same sense of spiritual completeness that I felt when I was a young believer in the Church.
Eventually I came across the work of Mythologist Joseph Campbell and his work expanding on the ideas of Carl Jung. I was deeply affected by the idea that mythology and religion were in essence the same in their function to encompass deep spiritual truths in the power of storytelling. The symbols of mythology can be read and interpreted in the same way as the symbolism found in dreams. As Campbell put it “Myths are public dreams and dreams are private myths.”

With this understanding I continued to steep myself in the imagery and stories of world mythology. Now with an invigorated understanding that all religious systems throughout history have been attempting to tell us many of the same inexpressible truths about the nature of existence. Just as dreams try to explain things to the dreamer that they do not yet consciously understand, myths tell humanity grand truths about reality wrapped in colorful and mysterious clothing.

In 2016 a combination of personal and financial distress triggered a severe mental breakdown and subsequent depression. Through this difficult period my art took on a far deeper personal meaning in my life and became an important element on my path to recovery. My painting practice became an attempt to create my own system of mythological symbols to better understand the turmoil that stirred inside of me. This is when I began to use a free-flowing creative technique pioneered by 20th century surrealist artists like Andre Masson, Salvador Dali and Yves Tanguy. The process is as follows: In my sketchbooks I begin a drawing with seemingly random patterns of lines, curves and odd shapes. I continue until my eye catches discernible shapes in the chaos. Once I begin to see an image take shape, I tighten the lines and flesh out the forms. This process suspends my conscious self from the image creation so that what emerges is often a surprise even to myself. They seem to boil up from some deep
caverns of my subconscious.

Through this “automatic drawing” I tap into the realms of my personal subconscious dream imagery and therein I find characters and worlds that bear as much meaning to me as the saints and prophets of my religious past. Sometimes they merge with religious and mythological symbols from my studies and sometimes they seem to come from a place beyond. The paintings which I feel are the most successful are the ones which resonate and haunt the viewer for reasons not easily put into words. The mystery of their meaning is open to interpretation but for me the process is at its most powerful when words fail and the painting brings about a feeling of wonder not sensed since I was a young believer.


Witnesses to a Crucifixion (2019)
24" x 32", Acrylic on board

Recent posts by Frank Forrestall

Tiers
Patron Level 1
$1 or more per Painting

Thank you for being a patron!
All Patron Tiers can count their contributions toward the purchase price of original Paintings or Drawing.


Sponsors will also get first look at new paintings as well as commentary and additional video media with insights into the imagery and my creative process. 

Patron Level 2
$5 or more per Painting

Thank you for being a patron! All Patron Tiers can count their contributions toward the purchase price of original Paintings or Drawing. 


Sponsors will also get first look at new paintings as well as commentary and additional video media with insights into the imagery and my creative process.  

Patron Level 3
$10 or more per Painting

Thank you for being a patron! All Patron Tiers can count their contributions toward the purchase price of original Paintings or Drawing. 


Sponsors will also get first look at new paintings as well as commentary and additional video media with insights into the imagery and my creative process.  

Patron Level 4 - Art Investor
$20 or more per Painting

Thank you for being a patron! All Patron Tiers can count their contributions toward the purchase price of original Paintings or Drawing. 


Sponsors will also get first look at new paintings as well as commentary and additional video media with insights into the imagery and my creative process.  

Patron Level 5 - Art Investor
$50 or more per Painting

Thank you for being a patron! All Patron Tiers can count their contributions toward the purchase price of original Paintings or Drawing.  


Sponsors will also get first look at new paintings as well as commentary and additional video media with insights into the imagery and my creative process.  

Patron Level 6 - Art Investor
$100 or more per Painting

Thank you for being a patron! All Patron Tiers can count their contributions toward the purchase price of original Paintings or Drawing. 


Sponsors will also get first look at new paintings as well as commentary and additional video media with insights into the imagery and my creative process.