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As with most artists, they have always been! Of course, for Frances there was coloring, drawing, scrapbooking, and mud pies as a child growing up in southwest Pennsylvania. In her twenties, Frances attended the Maryland Institute College of Art. As a student, drawing and painting evolved, but pen and ink became her favorite. In her thirties, she moved "out West". She discovered Evergreen, Colorado, an artist's haven. Shortly thereafter Frances was invited to the Tom Ware(house) Group where she enjoyed sculpting with clay. In her late forties and early fifties she experienced getting stoned (no, not smoking!). Frances' husband gifted her an alabaster stone, a hammer, and chisels. Later, she attended many MARBLE/Marble Symposiums held in Marble, CO. The craving for carving Yule Marble became apparent. A long-time interest in bronze came in her sixties when her brother requested a mask of his face be on his headstone. Now in her late 70's, retired from her 40-year business, she can enjoy art-making full time.
Acrylic pouring, alcohol ink, clay sculpting, and pen and ink artwork keep her creating during the winter months. However, creating stone and clay/bronze sculptures is Frances' passion. Creating art is her fulfillment place. Although formal classes gave Frances structure, most of her creations have been both instinctual and inspirational. Many of her pieces are influenced by her surroundings and hiking adventures in the Rocky Mountains Parks.
Frances has been honored to be juried in for many shows and competitions. She discloses "Awards and praises for my artwork have been thrilling, rewarding, encouraging, and
Frances Listou did not start carving until her husband, Erik, gifted her a hammer, chisels, and a stone. She said, “I started chipping away not having any idea of how or what I was doing”. That sculpture sold! See Moon Struck in the Alabaster Gallery. After that, she became a stoner, but does not smoke... she carves rocks!
When she finds a stone that appeals to her, she may set it aside, sometimes for over a decade. She looks at it occasionally, or just thinks about the shape and color, imagining what she wants it to be. This is the “work” part. Then it just happens! She will either see an image that will “fit” the stone or just start carving; now she is “playing”. Frances enjoys this direct carving method, without an image or model. But at times, she uses a maquette, usually in clay, as a guide. She will chip, grind, and sand the stone until she is saturated and satisfied with what has transpired. Occasionally, a mold from a stone or clay sculpture becomes a bronze piece. When not "stoning", clay, acrylic painting, and alcohol ink have her attention. In many of her stone sculptures, Frances leaves the borehole and the natural stone. She wants the viewer to see the original stone, how it was harvested, and the highly polished surface.
Frances states that some artists believe they have to be insane, drunk, angry, depressed, political, negative, or high to create art. She disagrees! Being at peace with oneself and enjoying the process is essential in creating anything, especially art, which is Frances' credence. She declares "Creating something, anything, throughout my life, gives me pleasure and purpose."
To Frances' delight, her "playing" has earned awards and collectors.
My pleasure and purpose are ensured when I see someone, especially a child or a person visually impaired, smiling and playfully tracing the lines of my stone, bronze, or clay sculptures. I am struck by the power of the tool that allows me to change the Creator’s creation into my creation. It is exuberant! Art must be enjoyed by both the creator and the receiver. My cabin studio sits on the edge of a wild-flowered, tall grassed, forested mountain park. As I carve stone, push clay, or paint, I watch herds of deer and elk, a few(?) bunnies and chippers, birds, and sometimes a lynx strolling among the tall pine and aspen trees or a coyote chasing a wild turkey up a tree. Oh my, how can I forget the bears!
This is where I am filled with inspiration and joy. Living and creating her art in Colorado since 1978 is a blessing for Frances.
Frances carves stone using an air compressor and water tools, instead of electric, to minimize dust, preserve the diamond pads, and safety.
These are some of her tools:
two-stage air compressor,
air hose, hammers, and chisels,
diamond blades, buffers, sanding pads,
water hoses, waterproof boots, and gloves,
dust masks, earplugs, eye, and face shields,
umbrella, lights, sun, and sunscreen,
chalk, and markers,
wax, sealers, and more!
As an artist who creates sculptures and abstract art, Frances Listou uses many different mediums, such as clay, acrylics, stone, alcohol ink, and bronze. She believes that "working in a single medium is restrictive to her artistic processes".
Every piece manifests its style. Many times she is surprised by the results.
Frances finds it intriguing to explore new mediums. It must be her childhood curiosity.
Frances declares, "Art must be enjoyed by the creator and the receiver."
Frances Fine Art
Evergreen, Colorado, United States 1-303-526-9290 call/text Frances@Francesfineart.com
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