By John Benson
Special to The Gazette
When Frank Geric was about to retire from Ford Motor Company more than a decade ago as a millwright, the Westfield Center resident never dreamed heâ€™d take up painting as a hobby.
Now a dozen years and more than 100 paintings later, the Cleveland-born artist is realizing a talent he never knew he possessed.
The Gazette: Itâ€™s probably safe to say not many retired millwrights take up a painting in retirement.
Frank Geric: I donâ€™t know of any really (laughs). I just thought I would really enjoy it, and my wife, Elsie, signed me up for a vocational evening class just before I retired. So, I took the class, and I just stayed with it. I donâ€™t have any formal training, so itâ€™s more or less self-done.
TG: Maybe that was her way of getting you out of the house in your retirement?
FG: I donâ€™t think that was her goal. She wanted to make sure I just didnâ€™t sit around and do nothing.
TG: Clearly, you havenâ€™t become a couch potato. At what point did you realize you had some artistic talent?
FG: Well, when I started painting, people were making comments that they thought my work was really good, really nice and they wanted to know if my work was for sale. So, I started selling it, and then I started doing different shows. I really enjoy it. And as long as I enjoy it, Iâ€™m going to keep doing it.
TG: What type of painter are you?
FG: I donâ€™t know, itâ€™s just a traditional type of work. Itâ€™s realistic, but I donâ€™t like to use abstract style. I do landscapes, seascapes, florals and wildlife. I donâ€™t do portraits. Somehow I feel like I donâ€™t do them justice.
TG: Now that youâ€™ve become a respected painter around Medina County, is there any wish list project youâ€™d like to undertake?
FG: I would love to go out west and paint outside. Just to go out there and paint some of the scenery. I donâ€™t know if Iâ€™ll ever get to do it, but thatâ€™s my goal. I think that scenery is gorgeous out there.
Geric shows off his work once a month at the Cuyahoga Valley National Parkâ€™s M.D. Garage event. Heâ€™s part of the Crooked River Gang. In addition, several of his pieces are currently being shown now through May 15 at Marieâ€™s CafÃ©.
Benson may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to nominate someone for the â€œlocal artist spotlight,â€ e-mail accent@
ohio.net or call 330-721-4053.