One of the great pleasures of being in the art business is the chance to see the work of artists we’re not familiar with from all corners of the world. While there is a lot of good work out there, it is only occasionally we see art that causes us to stop and catch our breath. Such was the case when we first saw the watercolour and mixed media work of this week’s featured artist, Frances Simpson of Kenya.
In answering one of our questions, Frances commented, “African paintings can be exciting ..not just as a perfect non-moving scene or landscape but in exciting colours showing a flash of life which is how one usually sees things here.” It was precisely that “flash of life” that got our attention with her work – I’ve never been to Kenya, but when I take in Frances’s art I know that I am right there – it is a holographic experience of light, sound, taste, and smell.
We invite you to take a few minutes to experience this beautiful work and feel the vibrant spirit of Africa. More work, and larger images can be found on Frances’s website.
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Note: Use the slide-show controls to pause or go to a specific image. Mouse over the images to see details about the artwork.
A Second generation Kenyan, born in the Great Rift Valley, Frances Simpson spent her childhood on a Cattle farm. After studying Music in England she returned to Africa to paint, and now works with her sculptor husband Hugh, from their Studio in Naivasha,Kenya.
Using the earth colours of the African bush, and the vivid pinks,reds ,oranges, and indigo of the Tribal fabrics, Simpson works in Watercolour and mixed media on paper, to represent the rural environment that she lives in. The immediacy of paint, charcoal, ink and natural sand on paper are essential to the movement and life in her paintings.
She is happy to take commissions and is looking forward to updating her Website into an online worldwide Gallery.
The Art Marketing Secrets Signature 6 Questions
1. What led you to become an artist?
I wanted to return to my home country after studying abroad, and painting was a fantasic way of life and enabled me to earn a living.
2. What happens for you and what do you feel when you are in the creative process?
Time disappears..and yet there is a sense of immediacy and excitement where every actual minute counts in order for the ever changing scene to be transported onto paper..unlike oil painters who can change a painting over days… the watercolorist must make a statement where each emotion or observation captured in line or wash will show through. Although after this process I will often wonder …”how did I do that?”
3. What is your favorite piece of your own art and why?
Often the newest piece I have painted or drawn.. because of the excitement of seeing it as a whole.. At the moment.. Flight in Green – because it captures the moment in true colour of the flamingo taking off over green water with the elusive flamingo pink randomly apperaing in the painting, and the boldness of the ink lines.
4. What would your perfect artist-life look like?
Painting from dawn to dusk with no interruptions of food or email/ telephone or organising others… probably out in the Bushveld! and a buyer turning up at the end of the day!
5. How are you marketing your art?
Exhibitions twice a year with a limited email list, and commissions in between to whoever turns up at my Studio – word of mouth.
6. What else are you busting to tell the world?
African paintings can be exciting ..not just as a perfect non-moving scene or landscape but in exciting colours showing a flash of life which is how one usually sees things here.
So – breathe in the beauty and life in Frances’s work! And if you have comments or just want to express support please do so below. Artists love feedback!
Breathtaking! amazing use of watercolour – very fluid and
immediate…. watch this space!
amazing artwork – and all self-taught… love it!
This is absolutely gorgeous work. I feel like I am in Africa just looking at it.
Enjoyed looking at your work today. You capture images in such a different way sharing with the viewer the emotion of the event you've captured. Life can be so exacting but in reality while we live in the detailed world, we dream and feel in a more ethereal world and you portray that in many of your paintings.
I hope to meet you again and visit your gallery. May you be blessed as you share your visions with the world.
The correct website address is http://www.simpsonfrances.com