Featured Artist… Francis Sills!

FrancisSills Entrance2013 fs

Entrance by Francis Sills 

One of my favorite painting subjects… the interior… It’s like being invited into someone’s home… You get to “visit” places you may never really end up. Kind of like going on a home tour… LOVE those! So very interesting to see into other peoples lives. This painting by Francis Sills is a perfect example… What a cool house!

I had heard that Francis has recently started showing his work at Horton Hayes Fine Art, a fabulous gallery in Charleston, SC – if you haven’t been… G.O. It is FILLED with fabulous artists. The “Horton” of Horton Hayes Fine Art,  Mark Kelvin Horton, as well as Chris Groves, Larry Moore, Elizabeth Pollie and Nancy Hoerter, just to name a few! Check it out if you’re in town!

In addition to showing his work at Horton Hayes, Francis has got his work hanging for a show that is part of their continuing series of independent artist exhibitions at Jericho Advisors in Charleston, SC… the show will be hanging through July 4, 2013.

Now this is the type of bio I enjoy reading… a blip about Francis from Horton Hayes website:

Francis Sills was born in 1974 and raised in central New Jersey. Exposed to the wonders of the natural world at an early age through hiking and fishing, his childhood was spent drawing and constructing things out of cardboard. Both his grandfathers were good with their hands; one as a watercolorist, the other with carpentry and building. In high school, he was exposed to new techniques and became aware of the masterpieces from Art History. Art became a magical world of possibility, a place where one could create an illusion of reality.

In 1996, Sills received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree (in Painting) from Syracuse University. While he was there, he had the good fortune to study under the renowned figurative artist, Jerome Witkin, who shaped his devotion to the practice and craft of painting. Trained in the work of the Old Masters, students were taught to draw from life, and in particular the model. What Witkin offered was an example of a life dedicated to the serious pursuit of painting, shaped by one’s own experiences and personal narrative.

After graduating from Syracuse, Sills moved to New York City, and settled in Brooklyn, where he continued to hone his skills with paint. “Day jobs” included: mixing colors for a wallpaper company, creating faux finishes on furniture and lighting fixtures, working with decorative plaster finishes, and painting murals.

In 2001 Sills received his Master of Fine Arts degree from Parsons School of Design. While there, he experimented with different styles including collage, drawing installations and gestural abstractions. This work generated new ways of expression and allowed for a fresher, loosened handling of paint. After Parsons, however, the pull back to perceptual painting became too strong to deny; Sills’ heart was in realism and capturing the reflection of reality within the confines of the canvas.

Gradually Sills’ work became increasingly focused on the genre of landscape, and in particular, the urban and industrial scenes that surrounded his studio in the Gowanus area of Brooklyn. Finding beauty in the decay of post-industrial Brooklyn offered endless possibilities in form, surface and light. By working from observation, his painting began to take on the specificities of time and place.

In May of 2011, after nearly 15 years in New York, Sills relocated to Charleston, South Carolina. Since then he has generated a completely new body of work while exploring the Lowcountry and the amazing beauty that Charleston and its surrounding areas have to offer. In addition to painting, Francis is an adjunct faculty member at the College of Charleston where he teaches drawing. Sills has exhibited both nationally and internationally, and his work is in many private collections. He lives with his wife, Faith, also an artist, and their three children in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina.

Catch you back here tomorrow!

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