Born in Sioux City Iowa, Frank Howell began drawing when he was a boy. He felt a strong connection to the Lakota Sioux tribes, and was always concerned with the mythic content of his images.
In a passage from the book, Frank Howell, Monotypes, he wrote of his work and inspiration:
"There is dancing and singing! There is listening and seeing, far beyond and more intense than mere eyes and ears can see and hear! There are memories, recollections of events and dreams, both realized and haunting! And there are lessons being learned in order to be taught! Solitary faces and figures, alone together, once of a purely physical world, seem to be rising to some higher plane! Flowers become figures and figures become faces that dissolve into clouds and feathers! Skies and landscapes merge with each other and then merge with figures! Definitions are blurred! All beings and things, past and present, that were once isolated and their own entities, are now fused and flowing, as one in a wind, a future in an endless river of spiritual continuity.
"Feel the wind! Rise and fly! Soar as a broad-winged bird through canyons of wind and color! Ancient sea blues, warm reds and umbers, and forest greens, and blacks, in both delicate and bold passages that intertwine and fuse! Broad lines and fine lines weave and gesture their way through, over and around the waves of color! There is transformation! There is transcendence!
"There is light, penetrating light, from above and beyond mysterious, beckoning horizons that move and endlessly expand! There is light within! Internal light within landscapes! Within dwellers! Light of promise, and light of vision!
"Illuminated paths, paths of questions! Paths without fear and paths of possibilities! There is dissolution and there is renewal."
Best known as a painter, Howell was also a master lithographer, printmaker, photographer, and poet. His skills as a draftsman and above all his ability to communicate the harmony in man's strength, sensitivity and unending spiritual significance are among the reasons for the overwhelming popularity and collectability of his work, exhibited in museums and galleries throughout the United States.