OUT OF STOCK: Frank Spears - The Painter by Melissa Sutherland
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Frank Spears 1906-1991: a man of many talents, he painted throughout his life, first in water colours and then oils. His works were included in over 100 art exhibitions, both solo and group collections. His paintings were chosen on several occasions to represent South Africa in international exhibitions.

Writing about his painting in 1981 he said: ‘The value of a picture lies in its ability to awaken a sense of the underlying magic of the totally mysterious universe of which we are part.’

Esme Berman in her book Art and Artists of South Africa said of his painting: ‘There is an intimacy about Frank Spears’s portrayal of his subjects that evokes immediate and warm response from viewers.’


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Frank Spears – the painter is a visual biography which traces his life from his humble beginnings in Birmingham to his professional life in Cape Town where he met his wife of almost 60 years, the poet, Dorothea Spears. As well as becoming a successful businessman, yacht designer, actor and playwright, singer and broadcaster, he was also a painter whose work is represented in public and private collections worldwide.

‘… This gifted and thoughtful artist is constantly on the move to new and unexplored artistic territories. In such completely spiritualised work one cannot fail to see that Frank Spears is one of the leading masters in South Africa.’ Professor Matthys Bokhorst Director of the South African National Gallery

Drawing on original archival material and research, Melissa Sutherland reveals the changing influences on the work of this mystical painter.

‘… I try to discover and portray the essential unity of the subject in such a manner as to assist the viewer to perceive the same glimpse as has been given to me. I cannot conceal the subject which originally inspired me. I think such an act would be dishonest.’ Frank Spears Drian Gallery Catalogue, 1974

about the author - Melissa Sutherland

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Melissa majored in English and French at UCT. She obtained a Diploma in Publishing and Editing and worked at McGraw-Hill educational publishers in Sydney. In 2008 she started her own company, Vindigo Promotions whose stated mission is to share and connect people and opportunities around wine, art and travel. She describes herself as a global citizen, passionate Capetonian, wine tourism promoter, professional tour guide and entrepreneur.