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Artist Frederick Craig Franz

A forty two year resident of Western North Carolina’s high country, Frederick “Craig” Franz’s Avery County home is an area that is a landscape artist’s delight.  He makes his home near the foot of rugged Grandfather Mountain and the National Forest that borders its southern flank.   It is an area lush with dense forests and cascading streams.  Nearby are the Roan highlands, a 6,000 foot peak that is home to forests of Frazier Furs, expansive balds, and native plants.  In the late spring red rhododendron and flame azaleas bloom covering the hillsides with color.  Four true seasons visit the high country each year and provide Craig with unlimited venues from which to paint.                                  

Craig’s journey as an artist began with a career as a jeweler/craftsman, designing and fabricating original gold and silver creations.  He studied drawing and painting in college, but did not choose to pursue that discipline until later in life.  An admiration of impressionism, especially the continued development from the 20thCentury American Impressionists, has helped guide his eye.  Working primarily in soft pastels his award winning paintings are created both plein air and in the studio.  His smaller works have been described as “little gems”.  Craig also works in oil, but is drawn to the velvet and rich color that is unique to pastels.

“Capturing on canvas the mood and atmosphere from a landscape setting is a lifelong pursuit and challenge.  But one that is filled with such satisfaction, it is the reason painters have such excitement and passion for what they do.”