The creative spirit is inspired by that which surrounds it. As a plein air painter, that is most especially true for me and northwest Montana. I love this landscape—the rugged mountains, the pristine lakes, and the lush farmlands. I feel connected to it on a deep, spiritual level. I come from a lineage of mountain people, both my parents immigrated from Switzerland. You could say mountains are in my blood.

With that deep connection to the land, I’m endlessly inspired to discover and become familiar with the variations and nuances of this landscape. Pastels are my chosen medium. They allow me the ability to use bold flourishing strokes as well as subtle blending to convey mood and motion in the composition. Pastels encourage my exploration of vibrant and colorful expression.

Plein air painting informs my work with an accurate view of the natural world, much more so than painting from photographs. That’s why I put up with the weather, the bugs, the wind, and the inconvenience while painting on location. The sense of bliss I feel in viewing a scene bathed in light and shadow is what I hope to convey to the viewer. If a work of art can foster connectivity with the viewer, it becomes more than art, it becomes an asset to their quality of life.

My background includes over 30 years as a graphic designer running an intimate design studio, Abacus Graphics, LLC, with my husband and partner, John R. Webster. We are located in Bigfork on the stunning shoreline of Flathead Lake.

Francesca’s Instagram Feed

Day 18 #stradaeasel
“Sweet Peas”, 8” x 6”, pastel
A friend gifted me these happy little flowers. I hope I did them justice.

#pastelpainter #pastelpainting #pastel_society_of_west_coast
#artforsalebyartists #montanaartscene
#flatheadlakemontana #ladyothelake #glaciernps #bigforkmontana #for.fineart #montanalife #pleinairpainter #pleinairathome
#pleinairmag
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Day 11 #stradaeasel
Luckily it rained last night and this morning and cleared out the smoke. Today I worked in the studio, producing a fairly accurate rendering of these unusual salt and pepper shakers. I set up a strong light source from the left but there was also light coming from the right. By paying attention to how light and shadow fell on the forms, I worked to create volume in the objects.

#pastelpainter #pastelpainting #pastel_society_of_west_coast
#artforsalebyartists #montanaartscene
#flatheadlakemontana #ladyothelake #glaciernps #bigforkmontana #for.fineart #montanalife #pleinairpainter #pleinairathome
#pleinairmag
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