Appraisal

Vera Lees wrote, Gordon will strike most people as very sociable and certainly articulate.
He does not only entertain but also informs you in an engaging way about topics he knows well.
Those include sailing as well as painting.
He will wrap them up in such a manner that you will be utterly mesmerized and keen to deepen the discussion which by then will no doubt be of a philosophical nature without your ever being awed by his keen intellect.

In France he often got up at the crack of dawn to capture the mists before they were burnt off by the heat & sometimes finished after dusk.
Examples being at the valley of Sauternes were the brief, damp mist causes a vital mould which gives this the most exclusive & expensive of white wines, its unique taste.
Gordon felt it essential to capture a record of this sort of distinctive moment of light, mist & embryonic wine.

In fact on another occasion whilst at St Brice at the exact centre of the region Entre deux Mers, rather than miss the first light, he jumped out of a first floor window because the house he was staying in was locked up completely for the night.
He had left his key outside in his car but was not to be stopped by such a trifle…

At other times he was out in the open painting in 37 to 45 degrees Celsius valiantly finishing his landscapes.
He had to be quick for a sunrise or a sunset.
You find an astonishing immediacy reflected in his work.

One time a massive hailstorm caught him out at the near completion of a lyrical mountain scene.
The threatening sky was there from the start.
Gordon was too absorbed to analyze what it meant.
He only focused on the incredible effect that sky had on the shape & colours of the far mountain range.
The last part of the work was finished at a record pace as the sky quickly darkened & thunder rumbled & boomed.
Barely in time did he pack his gear & huddle in his car as hailstones the size of fists broke branches & threatened to smash his windscreen.
The drive back was through a debris strewn blasted countryside.
Back in the village he saw shattered windows, broken tiles; it looked as if the Mafia had paid a grudge visit!

As to the paintings there are vineyards, churches, villages, skies and fields.
The ambiance is often richly evocative of dreams.
The sheer variety of approach and colour treatment is stupendous.
Nevertheless the whole does not lose its cohesiveness and harmony.
Where one might expect greens one finds warm ochre, red and orange tinges.
But first and foremost did Gordon leave his preconceptions behind and painted with his eyes wide open and ultra-receptive senses, guided by his gut and soul.

His learned colour normal language was switched firmly “off”.
It was partly the unexpectedness that drew me in.
But as the paintings evolved, shown in chronological order, I began to admire the swiftness and assuredness of the development of his style.
A couple of senior teachers showed him their admiration by telling him that he had found what they have been searching for all their life.

There are landscapes which flow at an amazing pace.
One is like a sketch but you would not change anything it is so alive.
Yet others have the quality of an old masterpiece in accomplishment of brushstroke and unity.
They are jewels in subtlety.
The composition is invariably balanced and mostly dynamic, the effect often surprising with flaming trees as if set on fire by this most scorching of summers.
The whole is a document of possibly the hottest summer on record.

I love some pine trees in a forest scene which are treated loosely and very freely with lots of light suffusing the path and branches.
There are flecks of primary colour which are refreshing to the eye and mind.
All of his paintings are growing on you the longer you gaze.
In fact I could not study them for long enough because it got so late.
But many are in my mind’s eye still.

Words will never do these paintings justice.
They can only evoke the curiosity of the reader to go and look for him/her self.
You will be the richer for the experience and want to take at least one of those oils home.
If you are like me you will be torn between a great many of this unique vision of one man, Gordon Frickers.

Vera Lees 7.10 2003

Be Sociable, Share!