Francis C. Tucker, Thrush's Soliloquy
In my work, I express the poetry of the commonplace.
- Francis C. Tucker
Tucker's painting evokes the quietness of daybreak, when one may hear the thrush's song. The sun is below the horizon and the landscape is simplified into sculptural shapes.
An artist with a delicate touch, Tucker worked with egg tempera, mixing egg yolk directly with colored mineral pigments to create rich hues. Egg tempera paint generally produces an opaque, matte surface, but Tucker mixed in oils and other substances to create rich tones and textures.
Tucker grew up on a farm, "chasing cows in the moonlight." He attended the Albright Art School in Buffalo and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. He also served in the US Army during the Korean War. In 1957, he worked for renowned frame maker Carl Laughlin, learning carving, gilding, and fine carpentry skills. In the 1960s and 1970s he worked at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and he is credited with having dramatically upgraded the museum's attention to framing, mounting, and the presentation of its collection.
In 1967, Tucker joined the faculty of the Philadelphia College of Art (now the University of the Arts); the school had historically been dedicated to the applied arts, and Tucker is credited with having turned a painting class of seven students into a full painting department. He was an instructor at the University of the Arts in the spring of 2012. He painted right up to the time of his death, in December 2012.