Frank McLean Docherty was born in Glasgow in Scotland in 1942. He became a student at Glasgow School of Art in 1960 and graduated from the Department of Printed Textiles in 1964. He taught in a secondary school in the East End of Glasgow for two years, thereafter departing to work in Dublin in the Republic of Ireland as a textile designer (Marks & Spencer, Heals and Liberty of London). He was also an illustrator for a range of newspapers and an Art Director of magazines.
In 1973, he was appointed Principal Teacher of Art in a Scottish High School and in 1978 was honoured by the Queen when he was appointed Member of the Royal Society of Painters in Watercolours (R.S.W.) He left education in 1994. Since that time he has developed a vision which is quite unique in Scottish Art.
“Bank Managers, toucans, lighthouses, penguins, bowler hats, Frank Docherty makes you smile. Drawing his inspiration from everyday events and an eclectic mix of exotic imagery, Docherty composes pictures, surreal metaphors reflecting his imagination, humour and sense of the absurd.
Docherty is a collector’s painter who plays to his strengths, the clarity of design making his work easily accessible.
His earlier semi-abstract work found him in a cul de sac forcing a radical rethink and reassessment of where he wanted his painting to go.
Other artists recognise in Docherty an enviable quality of draughtsmanship that he himself believed he was unable to develop fully in his earlier work. With this in mind he set about creating paintings with a surrealist vocabulary, using strong composition, the interlocking of blocks of bold colour echoing his roots in the abstract.
Using his titles as a doorway and with his storyteller’s gift for narrative he engages the viewer in a dialogue of verbal and visual puns. His canvases are peopled with characters caught up in the everyday frustrations of life combining realism and fantasy to present social and personal dilemmas, the juxtaposition of conflicting imagery and recurring motifs, presenting puzzles and inviting questions.”
Joyce McGlone, Queen’s Gallery, Dundee
Frank Docherty’s paintings are represented in private collections in Brussels, London, Stockholm and Los Angeles and of course, Glasgow.