Sanding Her Down
15 x 11 in., watercolor
This work was recently awarded Second Place at the 2018 juried ‘Best of Ohio Plein Air II’ show at Group Ten Gallery (Kent, Ohio)
Born in 1949, raised in Brookfield, Ohio, next to the steel town Sharon, Pennsylvania, I learned very little about art except what I read about Michael Angelo, an Italian and a guy who did it all. I was accepted in Education at Kent State University even without even knowing what manila paper was. There were a few good professors who taught “how to,” but most had us paint on our own returning to class for critics. This method made me realize in life no one hands you anything. Decisions and the consequences are your responsibility. If you want to get ahead, never stop working and learning.
After getting married I worked as an art therapist, substitute teacher, hearing aid specialist all awhile raising kid. I was able to sell some weavings and found I could pay for watercolor lessons by couponing and refunding. Starting in 1990 I was able to sell my paintings and prints in fine art outdoor art festivals throughout five states while joining art organizations, working on the boards, chairing exhibitions and winning awards. What stopped me was back surgery brought on by my thinking I was like the meaning of my name, “strong as bull”. Ha, no more outdoor shows. So, my friend, Karen LaValley, introduced me to plein air, the best studio ever. With our part time Florida/Ohio move I got out there and found more artist and am still working hard at plein air.
During my outdoor art festival circuit time I was introduced to the Whiskey Painters of America a world of small paintings. In 2016 I was accepted into the small organization. I love the theme “drink a little, paint a little”. My choice of liquid to paint with is Crown Royal, don’t tell my husband.
With painting in Florida come more organizations. Thanks to the members of Florida Watercolor Society who encouraged me to enter American Watercolor Society. “You Looking at Me” was accepted in 2017.
My words to fellow artist are, “You will only get better if you keep reaching to improve. If you see something wrong in one of your paintings, this means you have grown. Take it out of the frame, rework it and rewards may come your way.”
View more of Fran’s work at franmanginoartist.com.