May 2015 Update:
In mid-February 2015 Frank Welles fell and broke his hip. He had been in the hospital and rehab until later April, when he moved to a modified independent living facility near one of his daughters. His family will be opening his studio in Garnerville, NY on the last weekend of May...and then closing it for good. It is uncertain whether Frank will be able to attend, but the family hopes to make it a celebration of over 60 years of art. Visit Frank's online gallery: http://www.frankwelles.com/
School/College Highlights - 1955 Graduated from Nyack High, "The last of the good classes" 1961 Graduated from Duke University -studied Sociology & Art
Military Highlights - 1961-62 Served in the United States Army. Not able to adjust to military life. Given a general discharge under honorable conditions. Held my rank of PFC.
1963-66 Taught woodworking along with drawing & painting as an occupational therapist, at a Rockland State Hospital, as an alternative service to the army.
Family Highlights - Born in Mexico City, Mexico. Brought up in the Chelsea district of NYC, at 311 West 26th St., between 8 & 9th Avenues. Did not start to speak until the age of five years.
1949 - Moved to Nyack, NY. Started 6th grade at Liberty Street School. Nicknamed myself "Sandy".
My daughter Kathryn Fiona is now twenty-one. She is a senior at Plymouth State College in New Hampshire, studying social service.
Career Highlights - To my Classmates of 1955 - "My successes and failures over the past 45 years"
1966-67 - Apprenticed with Upper East Side NYC picture framer.
1967-68 - Demoted in pay from $2/hr to $1.75/hr ...not fast enough at the art of gold leafing. Decided to move on and do my own thing. Started a handyman agency with an operation called Everything for Everybody, working in the Greenwich Village area, uptown west side and some east side. Ended up being the "Floorman", the beginning of a lasting career. This is where I discovered the beauty of wood.
1969- 72 - Found an abandoned, lower east side loft building. Rebuilt and transformed the warehouse space into living space with painting studios and a print shop.
1969-present - Attended Art Student's League in NYC off and on, concentrating in drawing. Did more floors. Painted and drew.
1972 - Moved to Falls Village, CT. Discovered patina, the aging process of wood. Did floors and some painting (fine art)
1973-1975 - Moved to Bynum, NC. Started arts and crafts community called GoodWorkShop. Didn't fly.
1973-85 - Restored and rebuilt NC farmhouse. Re-established floor business in Chapel Hill, NC. Continued to draw and paint.
1978 - present - Developed oil and wood finishing product line utilizing polymerized tung oil, that is considered the Rolls Royce of hand rubbed finishes and sold nationwide as Sutherland Welles For the Restoration & Finishing of Wood. Websites: www.Tungoilfinish.com or www.Sutherlandwelles.com
1985-86 Established Wood Workers Square in Durham, NC. Didn't fly.
1986-90 Juried in and joined Art Space in Raleigh, NC setting up a combination of painting and print studios.
1987 Started side business called Amala Designs. Had to do with painted, pickled display furniture with faux finishing. Didn't fly.
1990-92 - Moved to West Coast to seek fame & fortune. Studied landscape painting and drawing at Academy of Fine Art in Seattle, Wash. Traveled and did floors up and down the West Coast.
1993 - Back to Raleigh, NC. Established and built living loft studio in downtown, west side. Tried to set up wood working shop, utilizing the guild system. Didn't fly.
1996 - present - Re-established ties to NYC. Back to the Art Students League for drawing. Developed a niche market in restoration and custom floor installation, utilizing the Swedish concept of plank flooring.
1998-present - Started to explore the concept of incorporating three dimensional
picture framing within a piece of furniture. Thinking of calling the business
"Enclosures Unlimited". Utilizing art (my paintings, drawings & mixed
media) along with some faux finishing and tromp l'oeile. (Has to do with
opening and closing. ) More of a hands on experience, as opposed to hanging
art on a wall.
2000 - Began work installing, planning and finishing 10,000 sq. ft. of plank flooring for Richard Gere (the actor), following the Swedish concept of perimeters. I am referred to as the "The Leonardo of Floors" by R. Gere
1999-2000 - Designed & produced a period make-up trunk with an antique
mirror that turns into a framing system incorporating the concept of a triptych
with my artwork. One of the drawers contains more of my artwork, while the
other drawers contain various items of the trade. That then became the beginning
and the end of -
Anything else that you may want to say - Love & Kisses. Your classmate. Frank (Sandy) Welles