In his role of Artist-Historian, Francois is working en plein air with easel and paintbrushes recording the cityscape as it evolves. His popular 'Americana Shopfronts" series shows how retail, restaurant and business facades enchant tourists and locals alike.
The Artist as Historian
Since 2001, Francois has been capturing images of the seacoast of Maine and New Hampshire. In the profile picture, he is holding a painting he was doing "on site." It is still wet. The image is of Harpoon Willy's dockside restaurant with the Moran Company Tugs in the foreground. The client wanted the painting done in a time when St. John's Episcopal church was still visible. This would have been more than 10 years ago- guess this is temporal artistic license
Street views done of Portsmouth throughout the years show the evolution of the city. Shops come and go, buildings are demolished and new buildings take their place. In many ways, Francois has become the unofficial historian of the Portsmouth cityscape.
Francois painted the highly successful "Americana Shopfronts" series en plein air, i.e., on location. Many mornings in the spring and summer of 2014, visitors and residents alike were fascinated with the image of the street artist- French easel, paintbrushes sticking out of jars, and a comfortable chair while Francois captured another view. Most of these paintings were commissioned or sold "wet." See the gallery"Artist at Work" for more images of this...
The term"Americana" refers to art which vividly depicts aspects of American life and culture.
Francois has show his art at many venues within Portsmouth, libraries in the area, the Conservation Center in Concord, NH, the Children's Museum of New Hampshire in Dover, Breaking New Grounds and The Sarah Orrne Jewett Gallery in South Berwick.
Permanent Displays of his work can be seen in the upstairs lounge of Michelle's Bistro, at Breaking New Grounds, the Dolphin Striker on Bow Street and the Children's Museum of New Hampshire.
He recently completed a series of all eight branches of the Newburyport Five Cents Savings Bank. These will be on display at the main branch of the bank in Newburyport, MA.
The images"Rainy Day at Congress Square" and the "John Paul Jones House" were featured in the "Artists of the Seacoast" Calendar of the Families First organization. Each was selected as one of the 13 images in the calendar out of 100 entries.
Francois maintains a retail presence in Portsmouth at three locations:
1) The Blue Grasshopper in Commercial Alley featuring cards, posters, prints and original artwork.
2) Tulips on Market Street which has a print series based on the paintings in Michelle's Bistro lounge,
3) and Tradeport Cards and Gifts on Pease which has cards and posters.
Should you wish your shopfront or business to become "Americana-nerized" by Francois, please use the contact information on this website.
Early paintings done in pastel and some oils and acrylics are available for sale. See the gallery called "Originals for Sale."