While pursuing a career as a physical education teacher, Fran spent many evenings and summers at the Massachusetts College of Art and the Harvard Extension School of Design. She began to study pastel painting with Christine Reid at the New Hampshire Institute of Art in 2004. Workshops she has attended include watercolor with Dustan Knight and Kevin Shea and pastel with Terry Ludwig, Richard McKinley, Doug Dawson, and Albert Handell. She has also studied portraiture with Adeline Goldminc-Tronzo.
Fran is a member of the Newburyport Art Association, the Pastel Painters of Maine and the Pastel Society of New Hampshire. Her pastel “Spring Morning” won an award in the 2008 PSNH regional juried show “That’s Pastel”. Her work has been accepted in NAA juried shows; her pastel “Autumn” won the H. Hale Patterson Jr. prize for excellence in 2005. Most recently, “Autumn Dune” was juried in the 2009 PPOM International Show: “That’s Pastel”; later that year, “After the Storm” won an award at the PSNH national show. She has exhibited with her plein air group at NAA and the Haskell House in Ipswich, MA. Her work has hung at several Newburyport businesses.
As a former teacher in a suburban high school, Fran directed the outdoor education program. Being in the wilderness close to nature, observing and learning, has always been a source of deep satisfaction. The marshes, fields, and woods of New England are favorite subjects.
“There is a lot that in intuitive in my paintings. I was immediately drawn to pastels because the medium seemed to allow a natural, spontaneous expression in a way that eluded me in my previous watercolor work. That’s not to say that thoughtfulness doesn’t play a part, but that it grows out of the rhythms, the sensory experience of the landscape. My hope is that, in addition to depicting a scene, a can share what it was like to be in that lace at that time.”