HELLO! Welcome...I am so glad you stopped by.
My name is Fran Mason. I am an author, illustrator, and fine artist. I grew up in a rural community in SE Michigan (USA) and it was there that I happily spent my days climbing trees, riding bikes, running through sprinklers,
playing with stray dogs and barn cats, and hunting for salamanders. We were forever digging holes looking for
buried treasure and perhaps the way to China!
What a magical time!. No adults were present. 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 was where my creativity was born and nurtured and I've never lost that sense of wonder.
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 (RISD) I've taught the visual arts to PK-graduate students and have created art, including illustrations, paintings, and prints, for the past 20+ years.
Right now, I am working on my first two books. The first is a book of outrageous poems for children with companion ink, watercolor, and collage illustrations. The second is a middle grade novel about an artistic fifth grader, which will have spot illustrations done in pen and ink..
My visual work is the blend of childhood inspirations, COLOR•COLOR•COLOR, and a sort of off-kilter, oddball perspective on life.
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 Drescher, Oliver Jeffers, Valeri Gorbachev, Lynda Barry, and Melissa Sweet. I am very influenced by children's art, oddball stuff (think: Old-time carnivals!), and Primitive/Outsider art.