American Painter & Photographer -- Francesca Spille (1962- 2017)
Francesca Spille was born in Los Angeles in 1962. Because of her father's work in animated films, his jobs enabled him to travel and work in Europe. In 1969, her family left California,and settled in Europe, first living in the South of France, and then later to England, where Francesca was enrolled in a traditional English girls school. Her life at school in England was so hellish, that when her parents decided to move back to France, she begged them not to send her to a French school and instead studied by correspondence.
By 18, Francesca moved up to Paris where she did her Foundation Art at Parsons School of Design. This lead to further studies in Provence at the Sarah Lawrence branch of The Lacoste School of the Arts, run by New York artist, Bernard Pfriem. Her connections with this school gave her the opportunity to work with the artist, Ruth Franken in her Paris Atelier, before moving on to study printmaking at the Dali Workshop in Barcelona. By 1984, Francesca returned to London and completed her studies at St. Martins School of Art, where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree.
In 1988 Francesca left London and traveled south to Mallorca, Spain, where she met the elderly poet, Paul Roche, a well published writer and Greek scholar, who had been model and muse to the painter, Duncan Grant, of Bloomsbury fame. He was to be one of the greatest influences on Francescas life, and with his help and generosity, inspired Francesca to paint, and for the next 15 years, she lived, painted prolifically and sold her work on a regular basis.
However, in 2005, Francesca decided to sell her house and move back to France to be closer to her family.
Francesca's work has since continued to metamorphose and has changed from painting back to photography. "Photography was always my first love. When I was sixteen I discovered a book called 'Love on the left bank' with black and white photos by Ed Van der Elskin which portrayed the underground art scene in Paris in the 1950s. I knew from then on that I wanted to be an artist. My parents house always had an abundance of beautiful photography books lying around, so I was brought up with the likes of Beaton, Irving Penn and Jaques-Henri Lartigue. These were to be profound influences and concequently, my preferred subjects are people.
I would like to think I could introduce a different way of seeing to my viewers; a way that would make them walk away feeling intrigued, yet inspired."