Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - December 31, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta
District The Lethbridge Herald Local news SECOND SECTION December 1973 Pages 13 to 20 Local artist spent half a lifetime painting landscape By KEN ROBERTS Herald Staff Writer How long does it take to paint a landscape of Southern About 34 years. Don Frache spent four years at an art school in Los Angeles and then six years in Toronto and New York drawing illustrations for fiction stories in pulp magazines like True Western and True Romance. Then he returned to Lethbridge where he's spent almost a quarter of a century roaming Southern Alberta memorizing the landscape. He spent 24 years getting a feel for grain rock prairie grasses and relationships between sky. foothills and mountains. Mr. Frache. 53. lives in Coaldale. His face is tanned and the wrinkles around his eyes suggest he's spent a good part of his life-out-of-doors. One- could almost mistake him for a cowboy. A showing of Mr. Frache's paintings is now being held at the Art Studio on Fifth Avenue. Mr. Frache has sold many of his paintings at the showing including one for 000 to H. H. Michael of the city. The painting shows Col. James F. Macleod and Mounted Police scout Jerry Potts roaming along the Belly River. Meagre living at first When Mr. Frache started painting in the Lethbridge area in the early 50's he barely made a living. he started selling paintings in Calgary. Regina and Van- but not many in Lethbridge. in the last year he's sold almost all ol his paintings here. He attributes this to a greater interest in line arts and people having more money to spend. When Mr. Frache returned from his stint in Eastern he began to paint prairie landscapes as he puts it. nobody was doing them. was painting the mountains but nobody was painting what was around he says. thought the Prairies were something to be The prairie sky is also predominant in many of Mr. Frache's pictures. is the land of the big he says. is so much of it you can't miss it. That's all you Mr. Frache uses clouds to bring the reader's eye back lo the centre ol a .picture. His clouds are painted in such a way the viewer's eye goes from the centre of the lo the rests on the clouds and then back to the centre of the picture. Mr. Frache uses several of these aids in a painting. The main objective is to have the eye meander gently around the stop and rest on an object like a maybe on to a rock formation but always coming back to the centre of interest. It takes several years of experience to be able to do this. To start a picture Mr. Frache gets an idea and then makes many small sketches which contain nothing but abstract shapes of men. prairie and horses. These sketches give Mr. Frache an idea where he wants things in his picture to go. They also give him a chance to experiment with some ideas he would like to use in a picture. In the Macleod-Potts painting Mr. Frache thought it would be interesting to have the heads of Col. Jerry Potts and another Indian scout in a straight line with Chief Mountain in the background. He also thought it would be interesting to contrast Jerry Potts lo the Big Chief. He experimented with these ideas on many small sketches. The abstract shapes used in these sketches develop a picture. Mr. Frache says. They are to a painting what a foundation is to a house. The underlying shapes make a painting interesting. After numerous smaller sketches Mr. Frache finally makes one that's satisfactory. Then he does a large sketch. Here the various abstract forms of the smaller sketches take their shapes. There is a lot of detail in this large rough sketch but not as much as in the final pain- ling. Sketch is a guide The lager sketch is done in pencil or charcoal and Mr. Freche does a lot of erasing before it's finished. Using the larger sketch as a guide Mr. Frache does the actual painting. The Frache were all painted since last February. Prior to that Mr. Frache travelled around Southern Alberta taking photographs and making sketches of scenes that appealed to him. Then back to his studio where the sketches and photographs become paintings. Mr. Frache prefers work- ing in his studio to painting on location because he has time to develop a picture. Mr. Frache does some work on commission. He did the painting on the cover of John C. Charyk's book the Lit- tle White School House. He's done two other covers for Mr. Charyk. He's also painted a mural at the Calgary Don Frache spends at least eight hours a day painting International Airport. And he does about 10 portraits a year. To do the Macleod-Potts painting took about one month. Mr. Frache says. He trys to put in an eight-hour day when painting. A painting done in water colors usually takes a day. Mr. Frache says. Water colors cannot be erased. The painting has to be put on canvass and left. Oil paintings can be erased with turpentine so one can spend more time on them and is why they are more expen- sive. Time spent on a demand and how the picture turns out all are taken into consideration when determin- ing its price. Mr. Frache's water colors are in the to range and his oil paintings are in the to range. He's spending more time on his paintings than he did in the past and is charging more for he says. -A Subjects heads aligned with Chief Mountain Product of 24 years getting a feel for the Prairies Southside attraction waning South Lethbridge seems to be losing its magic attraction for city residents. According to a breakdown of the city's November pop- ulation while the city as a whole grew by 796 the southside declined in pop- ulation by 170 from to North Lethbridge in the meantime grew by 900 from to and West Lethbridge registered an in- crease of from 285 persons to The November census also recorded fewer pre-school age children than the last count taken in January. The count showed pre- school of whom will attend public schools and 695 who will go to separate schools. The total is down from last year. The growth of the northside population is likely a direct result of the housebuilding ac- tivity which.has slowed to a trickle on the southside as most of the available land for housing has been used up. However no reason has been proffered for the decline in New Year's Day 1964 was 52 degrees above Splish splash Dean of the Lethbridge Y Stingrays soundly defeated the Calgary South Y Patriots swim splashes his way to victory in one of two team 366 to 105 in the invitational event. Ninety heats to determine the swimmers in the final 220- five swimmers from the two clubs competed. in I nthhririne swimmers Jan. 10 years before the start of the temperature in Lethbridge climbed to 52 winds reached peaks of 35 miles per hour from the southwest and .03 of an inch of rain fell on a trace of snow on the ground. But it will be long un- derwear weather this year as the Lethbridge weather office is predicting variable cloudiness created by cold Arctic air which will hold the lows tonight to 10 below zero with highs New Year's Day reaching only zero. The lows overnight New Year's Day will be in the 10 to 15 degrees below zero range. New Year's Day weather in Lethbridge hasn't followed any set pattern during the past decade with temperatures above freezing recorded four times. The mer- cury reached 31 and 30 degrees two other days in the same period also. The coldest day time temperature in the last lu years was five degrees below zero in while the minimum tempera lure recorded in the same period was 18 degrees below in 1966 and 1968. The windiest New Year's Day in the past decade was 1973 when gusts reached 46 miles per hour. The wettest years were 1968 and 1967 when 1.4 inches of snow fell. The whitest day was in 1965 when 10 inches of snow remained on the ground. The warmest New Year's Day was recorded in 1918 and 1927 when the mercury reach- ed 55 degrees. The coldest day won't be remembered by many residents as the temperature reached 39 degrees below zero in 1911. The present cold spell in Lethbridge can still be con- sidered warm in other parts of The Prairies Temperatures early Sunday dropped to 43 degrees below zero at Fort Chipewyan in northeastern Alberta and 42 below at Prince Albert in north-central Saskatchewan. Readings of 25 below were reported in many other areas of Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Temperatures during the day under mainly sunny skies warmed up but still didn't reach zero. The cold weather is having at least one positive effect. RCMP in Regina reported that traffic was not as heavy as usual for a holiday weekend and no serious highway ac- cidents had been reported. Lethbridge native opens tutoring school in Italy A native of Lethbridge and recent graduate of the Univer- sity of Duane John has opened a private English tutoring school in Italy. Mr. who receiv- ed a Masters of Arts degree in comparative literature at the fall convocation of the U of is the son of Mr. and Mrs. John Credico of the city. Duane attended St. Basil's school and Catholic Central High School before entering the U of L where he received a scholarship. He then completed his Bachelor of Arts degree in English and his M.A. at the U of A.