The Southampton Press

The Southampton Press
Thursday, November 10, 2005
The Ferregut Tower Gallery
By Andrew Botsford


Frank Wimberley thinks of his paintings as living things, not that he’ll start by telling you that straight out. You get the idea by the way he talks about his work, using terms and expressions typically used by parents when talking about their children, or horticulturists talking about their plantings. “Sometimes you just have to let them go,” he says, describing the sometimes painful process of recognizing that he can’t work on a piece any more, and his offspring is ready to leave the nest. Before that happens though, “I always walk away to give it time to absorb…” he says, shifting to the language of the gardener, “to give a painting time to breathe. Then I can go back and find surprises. I can go back and find something else,” as if new shoots or blossoms might come up while he wasn’t looking.

And later after he has described some of his techniques and how he goes abnout naming his abstract works---bold colors in dramatic gestural strokes of action painting and scraping with brushes, knives, the ends of sticks or pieces of wood, often layered and balanced by minimalist collage---he just might come out and say it: “it’s a living thing.”