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Meet Francene Christianson of Francene Christianson in West Dallas

Today we’d like to introduce you to Francene Christianson.

Francene, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I am an oil painter. I started painting when I was nine. In art school, I moved into the world of advertising and graphic design, and worked as an art director in Los Angeles and New York. All the while, my love of fine art persisted. I knew I had the ability to create scenes that told a story; that allowed people to get lost in the image. After years in commercial art, I got involved in the Minneapolis art scene and returned to oil painting.

My first series revolved around California landscapes—Central Valley Hills, Yosemite National Park, and Southern California beaches. I grew up in these landscapes and wanted to capture them for others to enjoy. I then moved toward painting the people I grew up with. Using time-stamped images from old family photos and slides, I began a series documenting my immigrant family’s experience in Southern California. These everyday moments are both specific to my experience, yet created with a universal intention, ideally allowing viewers to place themselves within the paintings’ narrative.

For me, inspiration comes from my surroundings. I find ideas in everyday details, (a body moving through water) as well as grandiose scenes (the curved road cutting across a mountain.) Currently, I am experimenting with landscapes in my new home: Texas. When I first moved here, I was floored by the great expanses of this state. In turn, my view of landscape has shifted to include aerial perspectives that attempt to capture the sheer scale of place.

At my studio in the Tin District in the Trinity Groves area, I plan to continue exploring this series, while also staying open to new inspirations.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Definitely not. There were times that promotion was not good and shows didn’t go well. Sometimes paintings just don’t work. That being said, the support of my family, the mentors I have had, and the friends I have made along the way have made the struggles just a part of the process.

Francene Christianson – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I create oil paintings. The style I paint in is uniquely mine. My work is representational and covers the genres of figurative and landscape.

I am proud of the work I have created and look forward to new work on the horizon. The Dallas Art Scene is supportive and I am glad to be a part of it.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success is the accomplishment of an aim or a purpose.

A finished painting is a success. Each one. The sale of a painting is also a success. The evolution of a series of paintings is a success. A breakthrough in a painting is a success. Without the little successes the bigger ones don’t happen.

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