We had the good fortune of connecting with Megan Frances and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Megan, why did you pursue a creative career?
I vividly remember, even as a very young child, the resounding sense of gratification I felt from creating something entirely from my imagination. I also recognized early on how absorbing the process of creating could be. I loved that feeling of being transported. Even if I didn’t analyze it as a little girl, I instinctively knew I wanted to keep going back to the act of being engaged in the creative process. I’m still fascinated by the process. It’s a magical quest to bring to fruition something that starts as a flicker in the imagination. I thrive on the challenge of combining an intriguing original idea with the technique, perseverance, resourcefulness and drive to bring that idea to life.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’m currently working on my series of paintings, Allegorical Landscapes, in preparation for my upcoming solo show at Gallery 825 (October 30 through December 5, 2021). Primarily abstract, my paintings feature symbolic thematic shapes referring to the beauty of nature. Stylized leaves, plant motifs and allusions to landscape, pay homage to the environment. The paintings extol the fragility and beauty of the natural world, and my efforts to preserve it, if only in two-dimensions. My work is profoundly influenced by my formative years when I lived in the Bahamas. The undiluted light and saturated colors of the sub-tropics infuse my palette, and the dramatic setting of the islands informs my vision. Regardless of detours along the way, I’ve always had conviction about being a painter and I’ve always come back to my art. What excites me most is the seemingly infinite number of new directions and ideas that emerge in the course of doing the work. It’s a thrilling adventure. I never know where it will lead next.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Inspiration is a catalyst for creativity and vital to an artist. For me, the top three sources of inspiration in LA are its outstanding art scene, soul-enriching hiking trails with spectacular views, and nearby ocean and beaches. I would take my friend on a personalized tour of some of my favorite art galleries. Downtown highlights would include Night Gallery, Wilding Cran, Hauser & Wirth, Susanne Vielmetter and the new Luis de Jesus space. Then, we might wander around Highland and La Brea – Various Small Fires, Kohn, David Kordansky, Regen Projects, Launch LA, Shulamit Nazarian, as well as the new Rele Gallery on Melrose. In Culver City, Blum and Poe, Walter Maciel and Honor Fraser, among others. William Turner and LA Louver in Santa Monica. One of the museums I follow closely is the Hammer, and I’m always intrigued by the program at the Fowler on the UCLA campus. My paintings are very much fueled by nature and I go hiking almost every day, so I would take my friend for an early morning hike, maybe on one of the Temescal Canyon trails. Then we’d pop down to the beach in Malibu to absorb the inspiring energy of the ocean – and maybe jump in!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
It’s not surprising I gravitated toward art, given that I was immersed in the arts very early. My parents took me to museums throughout my childhood in Canada, experiences I soaked up. I also took regular art classes as a kid. Shoutout to my mum and dad! The summer I was eight years old, we went to Europe. I’ll always treasure the memories of the great art we saw on that trip. Can I do a shoutout to a place? I’ve lived in places that have been especially meaningful to me and have had a significant impact on my art. We moved to the Bahamas when I was growing up. The breathtaking setting and rich culture of island life have played a defining role in my art. The experience of attending art school in France also made a powerful impression. For a more conventional shoutout, I have to acknowledge a few of my exceptional art teachers who gave me both the technical grounding as well as the foundational grasp of what it means to be an artist. Brent Malone, a brilliant Bahamian painter, was one of my art teachers in the Bahamas when I was a kid. Another of my most inspirational teachers was Dennis Burton, a luminary Canadian painter who, along with his wife, artist and educator Diane Pugen, were important guiding forces in my art and life. I’m also blessed to have the boundless support and encouragement of my fabulous son Shane, who has pursued a creative career in music as a producer and songwriter. I dedicate this shoutout to him!