Women in Art - Q&A with artist Tina Frantzen

Posted by Fiona Cable on

Tell us a bit about yourself and your practice as an artist.

I have always been involved with creating and expressing myself whether in acting/directing/writing/photography and now painting. I still write poetry and I am actively involved in photography, however painting is now my main practice. 

Where did the idea/inspiration for your recent work come from?

My current work is an ongoing evolution of my previous works.  I paint intuitively, using a process of revealing in which figures appear. The details of these figures are unknown to me before I start, so that with each work there is a process of discovery as the painting proceeds. I love the surprises that happen along the way.  They are a little like dream images that are elusive and ephemeral and often not fully present. I chose not to title the works so the viewer can share the sense of discovery and is free to interpret each painting as they wish.  For myself, as I sit with a completed work, each of the figures in it has their own life story beyond the painting.

What is your philosophy?

To be true to own my style and practice and create works that move others. I'm always very humbled when people choose my paintings because they say they need them not just because they like them but that they need them. There is something within the painting that resonates with some part of themselves and that is very special. 

Tina Frantzen

What did you learn from this creative exploration?

I have learnt to stand back and let the work happen rather than trying to direct it too much.  I am constantly following my intuition as to the revealing process and the colour palette that I use. I always meditate before commencing painting and this helps in trusting the process of creating. 

Can you tell us a bit about your journey into art?

I started painting 2004 and trained at Art Station with Matthew Brown and Kathryn Stevens attending two of their year-long courses. I have been exhibiting continuously since.

The inspiration for my first paintings came from experiences travelling overseas on a personal odyssey.  I loved how the differing qualities of light and shade in places such as Istanbul and Santorini can be used as a means to convey atmosphere. From there it was an organic evolution of my works using light to represent emotions in my series of doorways and entrances in which enigmatic figures would appear.  Gradually the doorways receded and the figures emerged into the light creating their own atmosphere. I am still fascinated with the way light illuminates and obscures forms. As Goya says “there are no lines in nature only forms that are lit up and forms that are not. There is only light and shadow”.

 Who would you consider your heroes (in the art world or artists you look up to)?

I have always been inspired by Rembrandt. His paintings are rich, with deep space, loaded brushstrokes, and dramatic selective lighting. Also Rothko whose paintings are so contemplative and moving.

Which one tool could you not live without?

I think that would have to be my camera as alongside my painting I am constantly taking photographs. I love recording moments and connections between people then using these photos to create books for friends so their occasions can be shared and remembered. 

What’s one thing we should know about you?

I am impatient and spontaneous which suits my intuitive painting process

What’s your next goal?

…the next exhibition! Esoterica - opening 5 September 2019, Railway Street Gallery.

Greatest achievement so far?

I was delighted and surprised to be chosen as a finalist in the Wallace Art Awards in 2017.

And the biggest challenge?

Consistency. Having many interests means many distractions however once I am on a roll with painting I love it.

 Best piece of advice you have received?

Just do it!

…and pretty much all of the advice in Bayles & Orland’s book “Art and Fear – observations on the perils and rewards of Artmaking” my much thumbed go to book of inspiration and support. 

Do you have a day job?


 Click here to view Tina's paintings.



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