HELLO! I am so glad you stopped by.
My name is Fran Mason and I grew up in a rural community in southeastern Michigan (USA) and it was there that I happily spent my days climbing trees, riding bikes, running through the sprinklers, playing with stray dogs and barn cats, and hunting for salamanders. We were forever digging holes in our yard (much to the dismay of my father) looking for buried treasure or, perhaps, the way to China!
This was a magical time for me. Parents were not present, nor were any other adults. We were left to our own devices to imagine and create. We discovered abandoned shacks, meandering creeks, nature in every form: leaves, flowers, rocks, and small animals. It was enchanting! This time (and place) is where my creativity was born and nurtured.
I received my B.A. in Art Education and Sculpture from Colorado State University. I taught elementary, junior high, and high school for 8 years before leaving to pursue an advanced degree. I earned an M.A. in Art Education and Painting-Printmaking from Rhode Island School of Design. I have made art, primarily illustrations, paintings, and prints, and have taught the Visual Arts, for the past 20+ years.
During those 20 years, I lived and traveled all over the country (7 states, 32 different addresses!). I met people of every color, religion, ethnicity, and profession and it was wonderful! My son and I now live and work in Canton, Michigan.
My work is the blend of childhood inspirations, COLOR•COLOR•COLOR, and a sort of off-kilter, oddball perspective on life. I create fine art pieces in paint and collage as well as illustrations for (primarily) the children's and greeting card market. The individuals and companies and I work with value my unique, humorous, sometimes cheeky sometimes philosophical take on a subject, project, or assignment.
I am particularly inspired by the work of fine artists Jean-Michel Basquiat, Jean DuBuffet, and Alice Neel as well as illustrators Quentin Blake, Henrik Dresser, Oliver Jeffers, and Melissa Sweet. I am also very much influenced by children’s art, anything funny, oddball stuff, and Primitive/Outsider art.