Frances Blake is an Irish artist living in Dublin. She is mostly self taught and has been painting since she was a child. However she attended classes at the National College of Art and Design, Dublin and the Ontario College of Art and Design, Toronto among various other classes and workshops. Frances loves to paint in acrylics, oils and watercolours. She also experiments in mixed media and collage using fabric, wool or pebbles. She has displayed her work in several exhibitions with her first solo exhibition at the Public Library Tallaght in Dublin 2016. Frances is also a mural artist and a statue restorer (seemuralsandstatues.com) for examples of her work. She teaches art to adults and children throughout the year in Churchtown, Dublin and at summer camps during the summer holidays.
The ProcessUsually I have an idea in my head for some time or a few days but sometimes I get a sudden idea and need to put it together before it dissolves, it could even be in a dream. Sometimes I am out driving or on a train and the way the light falls on a mountain or a cloud falls to the front of a mountain makes me want to paint it. I love skies and clouds and very much enjoy painting them. Every season has it’s beauty and they all influence my imagination. I look at trees and see design like the delicacy of fine lace in their branches, and the sunsets and the ocean they are all so beautiful. I take photos and notes and quick sketches for later use. I get ideas from everything around me and also from interacting with people. I love to study people’s faces or the funny little walks of birds an animals. Sometimes I see people in cartoon format and will enjoy recreating them on paper.
I paint in acrylic, oils and watercolour. I sometimes use pebbles or paste to give my work a three dimensional effect. I enjoy experimenting with different mediums, textures and applications. I mostly like painting outdoors or in my studio. I use photos, notes, my imagination and memory. I love to make mistakes so I can turn my whole picture around making it into something completely different. I always say a little prayer before I start to make sure I have all the best artists in Heaven at my back. When I paint I like to check my work in a mirror and see it objectively. Then when I feel my painting is finished I will bring it into my house for a few days so I can enjoy it and to be sure I am totally happy with it.
I can say from my heart I am at my happiest when I am painting!