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Art & Life with Megan Frances

 

Today we’d like to introduce you to Megan Frances.

Megan, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I was born in Canada, lived in the Bahamas during my formative years, and have spent much of my adult life in LA. The combination of places has had a profound impact on my worldview, my sensibilities and my approach to making art.

I knew I wanted to be an artist from the age of five or six. We lived in Ottawa when I was a little girl, and I used to go to the home of a French family once a week for French lessons. One day, there was a birthday party. I didn’t know the kids that well. We were sitting around the table wearing our party hats and one of the parents asked what we wanted to be when we grew up. It struck me as really interesting when almost every girl said she wanted to be a princess. I was one of the last kids to speak, but I already knew the answer. I said I wanted to be an artist. At the last minute, I threw in princess too, because I didn’t want to feel left out.

The princess gig was a fantasy, but the artist idea was very real. I took art classes on Saturday mornings throughout my childhood, and was doing life drawing as a pre-teen. My grade 12 teacher encouraged me to go to art school, so after high school, I enrolled in art school in Toronto. I was lucky that some of my teachers were great Canadian painters. I studied there for two years, and I went to art school in France as well. There have been detours along the way, but I always knew I wanted to be a painter.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
While primarily abstract, my paintings include symbolic representational elements. Allusions to landscape and plant forms reflect my passion for nature and the environment.

In my current series, I’m exploring the Fleur de Lys as a point of departure for composition. My interpretation of the Fleur de Lys is an adaptation of the already abstract ancient symbol. Deeply personal, the Fleur de Lys refers to memories of my experience as a young art student in France and my coming of age as an artist and woman. I am inspired by a legend about the Fleur de Lys (flower of the lily) that says lilies grew where Eve’s tears fell when she was banished from the Garden of Eden. As this body of work evolves, I’m gradually deconstructing the symbol so it become less and less recognizable.

Each painting in the series is limited to a few select elements – the Fleur de Lys motif, leaves and derivative shapes. In some of the more recent works, I incorporate a window, as if viewing a garden from indoors. Others are painted on found textile, instead of canvas, adding another visual context. In the course of working on this series, I’ve been blown away by the infinite number of directions I can take it.

Do you think conditions are generally improving for artists? 

Artists face many challenges today. The art market is fiercely competitive and it’s not easy to get gallery representation. Even so, there are still a lot of exciting opportunities for artists. It’s a constant hustle, but I feel incredibly fortunate to be living in Los Angeles right now. The local art scene is popping and it’s really inspiring to be part of the amazingly diverse and supportive community of artists living and working here now.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
I currently have five paintings in the show, “Intangible in Paint,” curated by Juri Koll, presented by the Venice Institute of Contemporary Art (VICA). The show continues through February 28 at the Loft Art Studios and Galleries in San Pedro (open Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. or by appointment). There will be a closing reception on Saturday, February 23 from 1 to 3 p.m. I’m delighted my work has been featured in several recent curated exhibits, and look forward to more!

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Rick Friesen
Fatemeh Burnes

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