Fran Elliott 2013

I have an Art History degree and then trained as a Prints and Drawings conservationist at Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts. My first job was with the British Museum conserving key pieces from their collection of Egyptian papyrus. But, finding this less creative than I would have liked, I transferred into PR at the Museum after seeing a chance to develop a less specialist career and I went on to study for a Diploma in Publishing Studies at the London College of Printing.

I have since worked for many years in PR and Public Affairs and, with my family now grown, I am focusing on my personal passion – painting and drawing. An access course at Leeds College of Art in 2009–2011 challenged me to experiment with different techniques and reinforced my love of painting with watercolour and acrylics, and of experimental drawing and surface pattern.

I am very interested in pattern-making and particularly admire the current trend for conversational patterns in textiles using figurative drawings of animals, figures and scenery. I am adapting and developing the textures and images created in my original paintings and drawings into digital designs and developing a collection of surface pattern design for textiles and print.

Living on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales inspires me to paint local scenes and subject matter. I enjoy searching for dramatic effects of light and shade on the landscape to translate into paint. This year I have entered the Royal Academy of Arts Summer Show for the first time. I constantly look at the work of other artists for inspiration and, of the masters, I particularly admire Edouard Manet’s portraits, Gustave Klimt’s later landscapes and watercolours by John Singer Sargeant.