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Frank Pierobello about Frank Pierobello

I took an Art Course in High School; I also played the clarinet and the sax in the Band. I had my own dance band; I played at school dances. Once I played at City Hall. My Father [Mike] came from the old country [Italy] for me. Playing at City Hall was like I really made the ‘Big Time’. He made the stands for the Band. He was beaming. In High School the Art Teacher had us write a paper on what we expected out of taking art. Everybody in the class was going to be a famous artist and make all kinds of money. I said I really enjoyed making art and even if I didn’t become a famous artist I knew I would be doing art in some form or another for the rest of my life…..I got an ‘A’ on my paper and I am still doing art at the age of 76 years old. My mother and I live together; she is 98 years old. She does the shopping, cooking and washes the clothes, a little hard of earring, but other than that she is A-OK. I have four (4) children; they are not kids anymore, I think they are catching up to me. I got divorced 45 years ago. I am self taught; I have taken workshops with Charles Movalli, Charles Soveck and courses at Maine School of Art. The most instruction I have had is with Lajos Matolcsy of Paris, Maine. He was a fine artist and was a driving inspiration for me. I think of him all the time. I have painted with professional artist Chip Chadbourn, John Swan, and many others, I have
learned from all of them, but the BIG THING I noticed was that I have more fun than they do; they have even told me that. I think the reason being is that I don’t depend on my art for a living. I have been a TV man, a real estate broker, and for the last 25 years a bar owner. The bar is a work of art for me; I have done alright financially and I have tried to keep my art separate for me, selfish yes, but it works for me. When I do a commission which once in a while I do I am never satisfied with the work; it’s like I give the brush to the person I am doing the painting for. All I can think of is what they would like a NO for me. So I am really on guard, if it were only blue, can you paint my dog, my horse, my house, children playing. I do paint all those things, but it has to be the right time and my idea. I like to do a painting and have somebody buy the work because they feel what I felt when I painted it, when I sell a painting I don’t paint another one like it, that’s a trap that I think a lot of artists fall into. I can’t blame them, the rents due, food for the table, gas for the car, if I had to do that I know I wouldn’t get any enjoyment out of art. It would be a job. I really paint for myself; I am my worst critic. When somebody asks me what my best painting is, I tell them the one I am working on now. The one thing that stinks in my mind is the first time I stood in front of a blank white canvas, I just stood there, I could not move. The instructor came by and said, “come on Frank, GO”, I couldn’t. I finally made a mark, the instructor came by and I said that’s not right, he replied that’s more than you knew a little while ago. I have been doing that for the last 50 years, learning from my mistakes. I tell my customers that whether they know it or not they are patrons of the arts because every time they buy a beer, I can afford a tube of paint. They all think I am another Winslow Homer. I use them as models, it means a lot to them and me – it’s personal. I feel great and my PLAN IS TO PAINT, PAINT, AND PAINT……….Frank Pierobello, 2010
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Artist John Swan about Frank Pierobello

There are many people who refer to themselves as artist, writers, poets, designers, and so on. Very few of them really are. That is not to say that they do have a sincere desire to become one, or do not work very hard at becoming one, but that they do not have to be one. They do not make a conscious decision to become a painter or writer, you have no choice in the matter. It becomes an all encompassing passion, a muse, a mistress.

When John Sargent was asked by an acquaintance whatever happened to a friend who once showed so much promise at painting, Sargent responded “Perhaps he had to many other interest”.

Frank Pierobello is one of those artists who are a rare, focused painter. He is a real painter who could not stop painting even if he wanted to. It is a part of him and it defines who he really is. Setting up a canvas on a windy day or any day, regardless of the elements and many distractions is like eating or breathing for him. He simply lives for painting and his paintings are simply beautiful. The experience of painting the doing is part of Frank’s natural daily pattern. If in your travels you happen to notice a man often in a straw hat intently working at an easel, his clothes spattered with all the colors of the rainbow, he is likely to be Frank. He is amazing to watch, but you have to be quick about it because Frank works fast, once he finds his inspiration and works out his composition, sometimes simple often complicated, he explodes onto the canvas with all the pigments on his palette, it was once said that that Monet was just an eye, but what an eye!” This applies to Frank Pierobello as well as Monet. Frank does not simply copy what he sees, he is painterly a real painter. His canvas are rich with color, texture, paint, and air, they breath. Whether you see them framed on a wall or stacked in the trunk of his car, there is no mistake about what he is trying to do. He brings the entire color and atmosphere home with him all in the guise of a small oil painting on canvas.

They are brilliant and they are beautiful, and they are real paintings that can compete with the very greatest. I have often painted with Frank; he is not only gifted but thoroughly entertaining. There is never a dull moment with Frank. He will verbally assault your love life, your colors, the size of your brush [mine are too small] or your speed or execution. He will often paint two canvases to my one. He is addicted to paint. I have heard it said Van Gogh once ate paint, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Frank did the same [It would explain a lot]. Knowing Frank I am sure that these accolades will make him uncomfortable, and he will undoubtedly respond in his typically self depreciating way but regardless of this, he is the real thing, and there is no one who I would rather set up an easel with.
~John Swan 12/09


I knew John before he became a successful artist; I knew him as a school teacher and married with two young sons. He started out being a full time artist, divorced and making a home for his boys. Making a living in Maine is hard enough but doing it with Art is just about impossible, but he did it. Meeting John today you would feel he was born a great artist. He is where he is today because he wouldn’t have it any other way. He did it the hard way. Very few people know how hard it was for John. He has been an inspiration for me. Look at his art and you will see why he is highly acclaimed and collected worldwide.

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Jim Tarsetti about Frank Pierobello

Ask Jim Tarsetti about Frank Pierobello and he lowers his head and smiles to himself as if he is somewhere far away, trying to decide what to say about someone who is more than just a friend, someone who, as a fellow artist, became a brother of the spirit the moment they met. “There’s courage and a passion in Frank’s painting that I have never seen anywhere else,” he says after some careful thought. “He has a style that is powerful and unique,” he continues, struggling to express what for him is beyond words. “He loves to paint! It’s his whole life!” he exclaims, throwing up his hands and laughing, as if there’s no more that needs be said.

Jim and Frank met thirty years ago in an art class and have been traveling the world together ever since making art. Throughout Maine and New England, Canada, Texas, Arizona, Georgia, Mexico twice, St. Kitts, Italy – easels set up on site, eager to capture the essence of countryside's, mountains, rivers, deserts, and the character of the people they encountered along the way. “When you work next to someone like that in so many different places, under so many different circumstances, you start seeing subjects through their eyes and their work reveals dimensions to what you’re working on that you never could’ve seen entirely on your own,” Jim says, gesturing to his own work on the walls behind him. “Frank and I are about the same age and we’ve had about the same amount of art training, but the truth is that I look at him like a mentor. He knows technique and materials like no one else; but it’s more than that, it’s his love for what he’s doing that inspires you. He goes about painting with an energy and zest that sweeps you up and takes you along with it.”

About Jim Tarsetti by Frank Pierobello

Jim is a businessman, artist, husband, father, great chef, politician, and joker. He can fit in anywhere. I have had the best times of my life with him. We have painted all over the place. He can go into a room full of strangers and come out like a long lost relative. The greatest thing about Jim is he is My Best Friend.
~ Frank Pierobello, 2010

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Edie Tucker about Frank Pierobello

Anyone who’s been around the local art scene for any time at all knows Edie Tucker and has come to trust her sure eye. You might not always hear what you were expecting to hear, but what she has to say always seems to ring true.

Edie and Frank Pierobello have been attending a life drawing class together for about twenty-five years now, so when she comments about him and his work she knows from whence she speaks: “Frank works very hard. He’s learned to draw very well by continually challenging himself. He’ll keep at it until he gets it. That’s the difference between him and others. In the end his hard work and dedication make the difference.”
Of course anyone who’s known Frank for as long as Edie has knows that he’s not all hard work. “I guess you could say he’s the class cut-up”, she says with an amused smile, “he keeps us loose. HE doesn’t let us take it too seriously, and in the end that counts.

With Edie, as with Frank, though, it’s all about passion. “The artistic spirit is definitely in him”, she says, “it shows in his work and in the way he lives his life. He asks a lot of life and it gives a lot back to him because he’s always on this great voyage of discovery …”
~ Edie Tucker, 2010

About Edie by Frank Pierobello

I and Edie have been drawing from the model side by side for over 25 years every Monday morning. Sometimes she treats me like a wife of 25 years. She’s a great girl and is responsible for keeping the group together over the years. I don’t think we would have anything if it wasn’t for her; when the models were late, Edie would jump in. I have tried to get her to take off her clothes but NO DICE. She really loves art and we all love Edie.
~ Frank Pierobello

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Al Waterman about Frank Pierobello

Al Waterman, owner of Atelier, a well-known Portland studio/art gallery through the 1990’s where Frank Pierobello often did drawings and paintings from the live model, says that Frank is one of the most gifted artists he has known over a lifetime spent in association with artists.

“Frank”, Al says, “has the feel of the old masters in his work. His frequent trips to Europe to study the work of the classic artists are reflected very clearly in his superb handling of light, color and form.”

His knowledge of painting technique alone is not what makes Frank Pierobello an exceptional artist though, says Al. “He paints without fear. There’s an unbridled passion that shows through in his work and makes it compelling, irrespective of technique or subject matter. You can feel the spirit of the artist, and that’s what art is all about anyway.”
~Al Waterman, 2010

Frank Pierobello about Al Waterman

I have known Al for years and I have never known any other person more generous with his time, studio, and whatever he had. Al never had a lot, but you were welcome to all of it. The time I spent with Al was doing portraits. We had a great time just painting. I thank Al for the portraits in this book. I think they are some of my best work. Everyone was an invention more than a painting. Thanks Again Al.
~ Frank Pierobello

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