Q: How did you get started in art?
A: In college, I studied graphic design, drawing and painting. Iíve always done art projects throughout my life and for a time I was a calligrapher. Iíve made my living as a graphic designer and I run a small design studio with husband, John Webster, called Abacus Graphics. About 12 years ago, I was introduced to pastels and fell in love with them and that has been my creative passion ever since.
Q: What has inspired you recently?
A: My love for the wilderness continues to inspire me on a daily basis. Iím considered a plein air painter, which is a French term for those of us who love to paint outdoors. The benefit of painting onsite is that I get the most accurate information from the scene in front of me. One sees the subtle nuances of color in light and shadow areas that photographs canít capture.
Q: What do you hope your work communicates?
A: My goal is to capture the emotional reaction I feel when looking at a scene. That is a very elusive goal in painting but a challenge that is so rewarding when I achieve it. I hope that my work creates an awareness of our local wilderness areas and the value of preserving those unique and valuable places.
Q: What are you most proud of?
A: I was granted an artist residency, called the Artist-Wilderness-Connection, in the Bob Marshall Wilderness during the summer of 2017 along with my painting partner, Gini Ogle. We spent 11 days at Granite Cabin on the upper middle fork of the Flathead River. The year following was spent creating a body of work to reflect our time out there. Gini and I called our exhibit ď2 Sides to Every Story.Ē It was an amazing experience of growth and I completed 17 paintings for the show at the Hockaday Museum of Art. In addition, I wrote a blog in 24 weekly installments detailing our adventure with photos and video: www.francescadroll.com/blog.
Q: What is your next big project or focus?
A: Iíve been honored with an invitation to participate in the Hockadayís prestigious Timeless Legacy show in 2020. Timeless Legacy honors women painters of Glacier National Park that have emerged from obscurity thanks to the preservation efforts of the Hockaday. Iím painting landscapes of Glacier National Park that I hope capture my unique vision of our most beautiful Crown Jewel.