Invention helps fellow artists paint into their prime
Boomer Francis Mesaros creates Panctures, his patented unique art form that combines painting with sculpture that can weigh more than 200 pounds.
Viera Voice Linda Wiggins
Don’t call boomer Francis Mesaros a photographer.
Yes, he has photographed sunrises and moonrises from one end of Brevard County’s shoreline to the other, but it is simply to take note of the vision he has captured.
“I am the camera,” Mesaros said.
The local artist is known far and wide for creating seascapes lit by moon or sun in a unique art form of combined sculpture and painting he calls Pancture, a trademarked name whose process won a rare patent in October. Also patented was his mechanized palette knife with ergonomically designed handle and eight interchangeable tips for blades of varying sizes. It will help all artists, as well as relieve stress on his own wrist as the years advance.
Mesaros’ seascapes start from the top down with a traditional painted, textured surface, but about a fifth of the way down he begins applying a thick curl of paint in an upward stroke that dries in the shape of a shallow C lying face down. Additional shapes are applied, or cut in, until what is left is a textured, three-dimensional seascape that creates mesmerizing undulations of color. The waves increase in size until he must switch to colored epoxy that burns hot as it cures rock hard. His works can weigh more than 200 pounds in dried paints and cost thousands of dollars in supplies.
Like many artists, he has a gift he must give or else deadly depression sets in. His seascapes are intended to give the viewer a moving spiritual experience of heaven on earth, a refreshment from worldly cares, the feeling that anything is possible after all.
The mission he now shares is all about processing past pain to embrace the majestic beauty of life we may once have thought was no longer worth living without the love or other object of value we have lost.
He once self-medicated his way through the close-together losses of his brother, his sister, his father, his mother, his infant daughter, and finally, less than a year later after their baby, the 2001 death of his soul mate and wife, Carol. Shortly after that, he had emergency open-heart quadruple bypass surgery, deepening the depression.
Despite the fact that he’d found love again and enjoyed the devotion of close friends, he could not shake the feeling that having no one left on the planet who shared his bloodline meant life was no longer worth living. He shut everyone out and tried to take his own life.
“When I woke up and found myself alive instead of dead, I saw that I did have love in my life and that I was throwing it away,” Mesaros said.
Today, he paints 10 hours a day building inventory for an upcoming show in New Jersey, where he splits his time. His works typically sell for $3,600 to $42,000. The opening of each show features a one-man multimedia presentation that chronicles the loss of each of his family members and how he eventually pressed through to the other side, “Paintings from a Life.” Mesaros is working with a ghost writer and publisher to put it out as a book in the coming months. An accomplished musician, Mesaros also is working with a producer to commercially record the songs he wrote and performs in the show to coincide with the paintings from his life in his permanent collection.
If he could give pointers to others in the wake of his lessons, among them would be:
“If you have someone in your life who cares whether you are having a good or bad day, if you have family, tell them you love them. There is no time to waste. If you’re mad at them, forgive them. It’s not worth it. Life can be over in the blink of an eye.”
On the two most common questions he gets, regarding how he started as an artist and how he had the courage to put it out to the world:
“You have to put in regular hours, just like you do a job, or you aren’t doing it. If you are an artist, if you have been given a gift, it is your responsibility to yourself and others to give that gift to the world. You can’t not give it. You don’t have that luxury. You may worry that others will not accept you; rejection is a given. But if you are not true to yourself, then that’s nothing compared to what you are going to do to you.”
Mesaros’ works are on display at Gallery 14, 1911 14th Ave. in Vero Beach. He will appear there at the Historic Downtown Vero Beach First Friday Art Walk at 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 5 and Jan. 2. For more information on Mesaros, go to mesarosart.com.