Gallery Artists > Frank L. Heath Biography :

Frank L. Heath (1857 - 1921)  Artworks >>

“In studying over our California artists, there is no pleasanter surprise than in finding some of native birth, for instance, in the studio of Roethe and Heath, where they are each native Californians – young men of more than ordinary talent. Mr. Frank Heath was born in Portland about the year ’57. When six years of age, his family moved to Santa Cruz, and there, and at Monterey, he became so impressed with his surroundings that his talent as a painter, in after years, reflected the scenes of his childhood. Wild, dashing waves, against cold, gray rocks; milder waves breaking on shore; cold, deep, green waters, and other chilly water views, are his chief delight. After studying at the Art School, under Virgil Williams, he became a pupil of Yelland, and this constitutes his entire instruction. Since these, his only instructor has been Nature herself. From Santa Cruz and Monterey he has gone to Victoria and taken studies along the Columbia; from there he has sought the majesty of Yosemite, and worked unceasingly, securing many bold, strong studies of that valley of wonders; especially skillful in the treatment of water, whether as a fall, all feathery and fleecy, or as a river, deep and glassy. All of his canvases reveal this spirit of harmony with the freaks of the water-god. In appearance, Mr. Heath is very boyish-looking, earnest in manner, and, as might well be supposed, is celebrated as a swimmer. His impressions in regard to ‘Art in California’ could not be obtained, owing to the fact that he is at present, off on another tour, interviewing Mother Nature, so that this sketch is necessarily incomplete. It is said, however, that he is very severe in his denunciation of the restoration of Carmel Mission, near Monterey. Fortunately, before this ill-conceived work of restoration was carried out, Mr. Heath made a sketch of the Mission in its ruins, picturesque and ancient-looking as it stood, and from it has made many pictures to order for those who wish to preserve it in its original state. When he last visited the Mission, he was appalled to see it covered with a shingle roof, with all its picturesqueness gone, utterly spoiled as a landmark of the past; looking, as he says, ‘for all the world like an old saw-mill.’ So much for the artistic taste of the priest of Monterey!” Source

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