Questions and Artists

“Tiboron”, watercolor 22″ x 30″, by Frank Webb.

The Peninsula Pulse has teamed up with the Door County Art League (DCAL) to reprint portions of interviews conducted by Randy Rasmussen with various artists. To sign up for DCAL’s monthly newsletter or for more information visit

Frank Webb has been a working artist since 1947. His primary medium is watercolor and his sophisticated approach to the medium is detailed in his books, Watercolor Energies, Webb on Watercolor, and Composition For The Painter.

Over 60 years as a professional artist support Webb’s current activities in painting, lecturing, jurying and writing. He has conducted hundreds of workshops in all 50 states and throughout the world. He will be conducting a workshop from May 23 – 27, 2011 at Dillmans Lodge in Lac du Flambeau, Wisconsin. For more information on this workshop, call 715.588.3143 or email [email protected].

For more information on Frank Webb, visit

Randy Rasmussen (RR): Mr. Webb what is the first piece of art you remember creating?

Frank Webb (FW): The first drawing I remember making was a pencil drawing of a man smoking a pipe. I took the drawing and showed it to several adults and then asked them to see their version.

RR: Was your family creative and did they give you encouragement as a child in your art endeavors?

FW: My parents gave me materials (paper and pencils). I think this was the best form of encouragement.

RR: Mr. Webb when did you know you were going to be an artist?

FW: Very early in life, actually in grade school.

RR: What was your first job as a working artist?

“Monterey”, watercolor 22″ x 30″, by Frank Webb.

FW: I worked my first job as an artist in a small studio. We worked on very mundane local merchandising ads for a group of regional newspapers.

RR: Was it difficult making the transition from commercial art to fine art?

FW: It is a profound difference to “sing one’s own song” rather than that of “another.” The key is to continue making fine art paintings on one’s own time. This makes the change seamless.

RR: You are prolific. Do you have any idea how many paintings you have done in your long career?

FW: I spend no more than 1 and 1/2 hours on one painting. I can’t compute how many paintings I have done in my career.

RR: I have been told your workshops use humor to get across points. Do you have a favorite comedian?

FW: It would be easy to name 10 comedians I enjoy, but I always especially enjoyed Victor Borge. I think the enjoyment of his work came from how his humor related to his art.

RR: I own two of your outstanding instructional books. Do you have a favorite?

FW: My first book, Watercolor Energies. This was the first writing I did.

RR: How often do you paint?

FW: I paint almost every day. If I am not painting I am doing something related to painting such as reading, framing, traveling, or looking at the work of other artists.

RR: Mr. Webb, what do you think is the importance of art?

FW: I think art puts us in touch with qualities normally absent in routine life. Art intensifies life. It gives us a hint of a life where all parts relate to the whole.

Since retiring from his career in chiropractic medicine, Randy Rasmussen has pursued his art with unmitigated passion. Randy conducts interviews for the Door County Art League, paints three times a week, almost entirely plein air, and is a charter member of the Peninsula Plein Air Painters. His work can be seen at