Sunday, 27 May 2012

Artist of the Week - Emma Franks

Emma Franks creates works of art which are beautiful but also introspective and melancholy.  Her paintings are dreamy and magical, with the viewer never quite knowing what the figures are thinking or feeling.  Emma hopes that her paintings will draw the viewer in and give them a sense of calm and inner peace.

Where did you train? What did training teach you and what do you wish it had taught you?
I trained at Brighton University.  The training taught me that I love painting as at the time conceptual art was more popular than painting on the painting course! Myself and the other painters found ourselves really fighting its corner!  I wish there had been life-drawing taught.

Is being an artist your only job, or do you have other employment?
Being a painter is my only job, however I am also a qualified art therapist and now my youngest child is starting school I will be starting to work again in this area for one day a week. 

One favourite living artist?
Tracey Emin as her work is honest, tender, funny and moving.

One favourite historical artist?
Mark Rothko.  I discovered Mark Rothko during my painting degree and instantly fell in love with his work.  His depth and use of colour and ability to make me feel lost in his work is inspirational.

What is the most interesting / fun job you have had?
Not sure interesting or fun are the best words to describe it but working on Brighton Pier selling ice-cream was a job I will never forget.  Especially when there was an electric storm over the horizon one night and trying to pull the perfect cornet was always a challenge!

If you could collaborate with anyone living or dead, who would it be and what would you do?
I would love to work with Tracey Emin, just to have a conversation about work would be incredible.

At age 16 who most influenced your style?
Frank Auerbach, the first and only ever time I have used a lot of paint.

Last book / film that blew your mind?
Marley, a film about Bob Marley, he was an incredible man who has touched so many hearts with his music.

What music are you currently listening to?
Too many to mention but I will, Kimya Dawson, Jens Lekman, Rufus Wainright, Neil Young, Bob Dylan. I am at my happiest when I am painting to music.

How many hours do you waste on the internet each day?
I am too embarrassed to say.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be and why?
Somewhere hot with a beautiful view of mountains. 

Where and what is your studio?
My studio is my loft at home in North London.  It has incredible light and I can dip in and out which is brilliant.

Do you have a good work/life balance?
I have 3 children under the age of 10 so trying to work is always a challenge.  It is getting easier but I feel very lucky that I have a studio and a family who respects my need to paint.

What one word would describe your feeling of doing your work?

What would your dream commission be?
Working for the V and A

If you could exhibit in any gallery in the world which would it be?
The Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark, an incredible collection of modern art in a stunning location.

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