a most mysterious ‘FMR’ artwork

As yet to be verified ‘FMR’ painting [with accompanying writing and photo placed within the frame] – 20 cm x 15 cm.

To appreciate my latest blog article whilst dining on a belly full of edible delights from the sea, please firstly read an earlier blog I posted April 2016 about Mr FMR, here:


This photograph of a painting (or print) shown above with the signatory ‘FMR‘ came to me by way of a blog reader.  Incredibly they had this ‘FMR’ artwork in a frame as yet waiting to be identified.

I almost couldn’t believe it, however, I need more information to confirm the artist.

My artist relative ‘FMR’ had most definitely painted an umber coloured boat in a previous pastel entitled ‘Swan Lake’.  I’ve carefully kept a printed card of ‘Swan Lake’ and may publish this on my blog in the future, along with further artworks by Frank Malcolm, Jnr.

Please take a look at two additional pieces of this provenance puzzle:

Handwriting on the back of the artwork shown at the top of this blog article.

The handwriting is in the style of the period.

Accompanying the painting, hidden inside the frame is a photograph of a lady, here:

Faded monochrome photograph of a lady hidden inside the frame.

I do have useful ability at handwriting analysis from the personality perspective.  However, assigning handwriting to a particular person for the purpose of identification is not my professional forte.

Presently I cannot ascertain the identity of the lady in the photograph.  Although it would be reasonable to believe it has connection to the artist.

We all love a mystery and personally I’m excited to receive information of possible Frank Malcolm ‘FMR’ artworks.

In my living room an original framed printed greeting card entitled ‘Sunset Over Lake Kariba, Zimbabwe’ signed by FMR takes pride of place on a table.  Again, I shall publish this artwork in a future blog.

I’m in the process of establishing whether my relative ‘FMR’ produced reproductions.  Clearly seascapes and landscapes feature strongly in his portfolio of work.

Original paintings, cards and prints of his work is of great interest to me.  Please send me a WordPress message if you see any further examples of his artworks.

Thank you – I shall post up-to-date news following on from this blog article as soon as I find out anymore.


Joseph Mallord William Turner

Would you like to go on a journey with me?  Please think for a moment where I might take you.

We can cross oceans of time.  The fabrics of space.  I will open up the Universe with my hands for you.  Inversely of understanding.  A design from the outside.  Pulling at the edges like a canvas stretched across beams.  Atomic order.  Nucleic.  Archaeological charcoals and elementals masking the span for all its measurement.

'Snow Storm - Steam-Boat off a Harbour’s Mouth' by Joseph Mallord William Turner - Exhibited 1842 - Oil paint on canvas - 914 mm x 1219 mm

‘Snow Storm – Steam-Boat off a Harbour’s Mouth’ by Joseph Mallord William Turner – Exhibited 1842 – Oil paint on canvas – 914 mm x 1219 mm

‘Snow Storm – Steam Boat off a Harbour’s Mouth’ by Joseph M W Turner is amongst my favourite of his works.  The human mind fills the void.  Forms its own imagination.  You perceive what you are able to comprehend.  Reality it is not.  A construct of perception as an idea.  The basis for an impressionistic viewpoint.

The above artwork by Turner is a cacophonic masterpiece.  You look at this and heard.. nothing.

Until now.

I merely lifted my canvas from its cardboard box to show him without commenting or referencing the title of my artwork – ‘Creative Mind’.  At that precise moment a professional creative told me and I quote his words pretty much verbatim here, ‘It makes my brain think all sorts of things’.. I knew it had achieved everything I wanted from the outset.  Perfectly.

Turner has immense influence to this day.  Everyone says this.  Let me give you an example.  If you would like to view Whitewall Galleries online (here in the UK) and look up Chris and Steve Rocks you will see this for sure.

As a side note in abstraction I also strongly recommend the work of Danielle O’Connor Akiyama.  With these recommendations I speak from personal interest in their quality.  This is not a reflection of other artists merely that their work was on show when I visited the gallery sometime ago.  Impressive and beautiful.

Turner’s masterpiece above shows layers of intricacy, a sheen of glazed light, depth of feeling and stormy chaos.  Truly iconic.

This brings us nicely to the value of his photographic realist paintings.  Consider viewing Turner’s next painting, immediately below, to Chopin’s Nocturne in E flat major Opus 9 No. 2 as I myself did.

'Moonlight, a Study at Millbank' by Joseph M W Turner - Exhibited 1797 - Oil on panel - 31.5 x 40.5 cm - on display at the Tate Gallery, London, UK

‘Moonlight, a Study at Millbank’ by Joseph M W Turner – Exhibited 1797 – Oil on panel – 31.5 x 40.5 cm –
on display at the Tate Gallery, London, UK

‘Moonlight, a Study at Millbank’ has such eerie reality that it pulls us in as if by one of the ships ropes about our midriff.  Our faces feel the cold-still nightly breeze.  We can hear light winds through the sails.  Quietness and a gentle drifting along of taut wood bound together strong for the working.

Two curious sayings I share now that I have read of my Great great Uncle artist Mr FMR aforementioned in my previous blog.  ’12 horses on the strength’ and that he was ‘the cat’s whiskers’ to his Mother and Father.  I really would like to paint these two expressions after the preceding works already waiting in the theatrical wings of my mind.

The latter expressionistic idea would not only be construe from Mr FMR’s sayings herewith.  You see at ‘middle’ school our class was given a project to complete.  I was thirteen years of age and chose to write about wildlife.  I enjoyed drawing the faces of big cat’s, exceedingly I practised.  Yet my drawing ability by my own admission is mostly immature during my earlier years.

Do you know the violinist who really cannot play or the singer who is yet able to fully master singing?  For a fact both always exist and some latterly of their age, renowned.  I am one and the other.

It’s quite the strangest thing that some artistic things I could accomplish in painting and drawing with ease whilst other subjects I struggle/d at almost impossibly.  Art is learning.  Nobody on earth ever picked up paints, crayons or pencil and drew with expertise immediately.  No one.  Ever.

Again I shall digress, oh Mr L.S. Lowry I love you so very much my dear fellow.  For two exemplary reasons that my heart chases after like horses toward their hurdles for riding.

Turner’s work appears effortless.  Clearly though, as shown below, Turner’s learnedness at professional draughtsmanship produces finely exquisite angles and perspectives beyond stark portrayal.  For sure there is art in architecture.

Lines meet curves, leans and masses of concrete order.

'Tintern Abbey: The Crossing and Chancel' (looking towards the East window) by J. M. W. Turner - 1794 - Graphite & Watercolour on paper - 35.9 cm × 25 cm

‘Tintern Abbey: The Crossing and Chancel’ (looking towards the East window) by J. M. W. Turner – 1794 – Graphite & Watercolour on paper – 35.9 cm × 25 cm

Turner is rightly regarded as a British exemplary of artistic influence.  His classical self portrait is to appear on the Bank of England’s £20 note from 2020 following a public selection process.  Perhaps I waited wisely for the right time to make deserved commentary about Turner.  Without doubt a pleasure to write this blog article and in eager readiness for sometime now.

Loudly whispers ‘Constable! Constable!’, Edgar Degas and Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, 1st Baronet – someone, somewhere, somehow please an encore!’

For some within art Time really has no limitation whatsoever.  God, the Dove or the Dragon are unable to conquer unto destruction nor death.

‘The Living Artwork Eternal That Breatheth Not.’

It’s the journey of life.


The Family Knight and The Artist

''Caribbean Sunset' (2001) by FMR, Watercolour & Pastel, photograph taken from professional greeting card sent by the artist.

”Caribbean Sunset’ (2001) by Frank Malcolm  Jnr, Watercolour & Pastel, photograph taken from professional greeting card sent by the artist.

Over the years my dear maternal Nan and Grandad received professionally printed greetings cards from her cousin, Frank Malcolm, Jnr.

His Father, who was my great-great Uncle, joined the Board of a highly successful housebuilding company in the UK from the late 1920’s.

Both Frank Malcolm Jnr and his Father served in the Second and First World War respective to their time.  Having worked their way up through the ranks from the working classes – a rarity in those days.

Senior Frank served in the Battle of the Somme and Junior Frank Malcolm as far afield as India in the capacity of an Officer.

Within the same family surname of my dear Nan’s mother, ‘Little Nan’ to me, there was also a much loved national gardening writer who used the alias of Mr Cuthbert.  A ‘flamboyant marketing genius‘ the national newspaper wrote on my birthday of 1997:


‘Mr Cuthbert’ had a regular column in the national press during the 1930’s through to the 60’s – “Mr Cuthbert’s Weekly Garden Talk” – please see the newspaper hyperlink above for further details.

Indeed Sir William Clayton O.B.E, alias Mr Cuthbert, was given his Knighthood in 1968 as a result of his contribution to the public life of Wales.  I quote directly:

From 1960 onwards he served as an officer of the Order of St. John, becoming Commander in 1962 and Knight in 1968.  He was also a Freeman of the City of London.’.

Returning to art you can likely see from the artworks in this article that FMR’s, often signed artist signatory, favoured mixed media is watercolour and pastels.  ‘Caribbean Sunset’ shown above was accurately composed during his holidaying in the Caribbean.

I only knew about his keen art interests around 2014 during one of my regular telephone conversations with my Nan.  It was incredible to receive the envelope from her with his printed greetings cards.  Immediately I noted his beautiful handwriting and talented compositions.  Far superior than I had expected.

Malcolm’s artworks speak of peace, beauty, serenity and the calmness of time.

'Christmas Lily' (1998) by FMR, Watercolour & Pastel, photograph taken from professional greeting card sent by the artist.

‘Christmas Lily’ (1998) by FMR, Watercolour & Pastel, photograph taken from professional greeting card sent by the artist.

The dreamy background illusion makes for a very pretty artwork in ‘Christmas Lily’ (1998), featured above.  The folding of leaves and curving of petals particularly realistic.

'Autumn Gold' pastel by FMR, 'Autumn Gold' pastel by FMR, 'Christmas Lily' (1998) by FMR, Watercolour & Pastel, photograph taken from professional greeting card sent by the artist.

‘Autumn Gold’ pastel by FMR, photograph taken from a professional greeting card sent by the artist.

‘Autumn Gold’ is amongst my favourite of Malcolm’s artworks.  There is much gold vibrancy to this artwork.

‘Autumn Gold’ seems to breeze in a sense of solidarity.

FMR personal greeting to my dear Nan and blessed Grandad who passed 2008.

FMR’s personal greeting to my dear Nan and blessed Grandad (who passed away August 2007).

I thought it would be just perfect to include one of Frank Malcolm Jnr’s personal greetings to my Nan and Grandad.  The calligraphic quality is flowing and effortless much like my own father’s.

At this moment I cannot help think of my Dad’s unique laughter, powerful singing and exquisite handwriting – all truly very memorable to me in the proper sense.

Known most often by his middle name, Malcolm passed away December 2006 having lived a good life as a happily married man.

I learnt good qualities from my father and I’m sure that anyone who met my relative Mr FMR would no doubt have found him to be a very likeable, eloquent and caring gentleman.  Not least an exquisitely talented paint and pastels artist.

To Family and Art – Matt The Unfathomable Artist.