Over her lifetime Frances Carlson has accepted the idea that fleeting observations can offer points of entry into big stories. The question of how to expose the truth beneath the small detail has bedeviled her for as long as she can remember. As a child she drew a lot. At university she studied art history and literature with the hope of learning how to put words to her observations. She went on to earn a Bachelor of Science Degree and a career in Pediatric Occupational Therapy where her ability to read and understand movement, central to her work, had a precise vocabulary and focus. She has come full circle, returning to the simplest way to tell a story, through pictures.

Ms Carlson has lived with her family on the Sun River in Montana for twenty-four years. It is a place well suited to her needs in its openness and the generosity of its people. Initially focusing on illustrations, Ms Carlson has moved into a wider exploration of what it is to tell a story. She has been juried into a number of shows both in state and on the West Coast and has received local and national recognition for her work.

Ms. Carlson works primarily in pastel and charcoal, though she constantly explores new media.

Artist statement
Each of my paintings or drawings tells a story. By balancing the simple and the complex, line and mass, Eastern and Western thought, I try to make my images invoke what went before and what is to come. I hope when you see them you create your own story– different from mine, of course– with the static image as your starting point.

Frances Carlson
September, 2013

You may download Ms. Carlson’s complete resume here.