Frank Handlen’s art is traditionalist. For over sixty five years he has found his inspiration in the sea and ships, depicting them in both oil and pastel. In 1938 he was encouraged by Frederick Waugh go to up to Maine. He settled at Biddeford Pool where, over the years, with the sea before him, he mastered its anatomy confrontationally, by plein-air painting. Later, his subjects were to include landscape and sculpture; with one commissioned heroic bronze now on the village-green in Kennebunkport, Maine.
During his early years, to support his family, he worked in various shipyards where he learned the rudiments of Naval-Architecture and eventually designed and built for himself a forty-foot, sixteen ton topsail schooner, which is moored in the river behind his house. His work is extensively owned, both privately and by several large corporations.