Frances Melvin, née Briggs, of Hopewell, New Jersey was born and raised in New York City. She attended LaGuardia High School of Music and the Arts, earned a BA in Fine Art from Hampshire College in Massachusetts, and an MFA in Fine Art from the School of Visual Arts in New York City. She worked with, and was influenced by, her teachers, realist Marion Miller, abstract artist Denzil Hurley, feminist and social artist Nancy Spero, and sculptor and installation artist Petah Coyne.
After teaching art for several years, in New York City, Frances pursued graphic arts and video production. She created a small company called North Star Imageworks (northstarimageworks.com) and made websites and graphic design; she created promotional and informational videos for a number of companies including Lord & Taylor, PETA, The New York Times, Rough Guides, Hint Water, Bracco Diagnostics, Dunn & Bradstreet, ETS Princeton, etc., as well as working for various small film projects and creating a few short films. Frances also produced a film festival called FUNFEST, in NYC’s East Village, which was a well-attended monthly event where both new and experienced filmmakers could show their work.
Frances moved to New Jersey with her husband Iain Melvin and then gave birth to her Milo several years later. A few years later, she returned to painting. “I feel that painting enriches my family life. A child can communicate and receive stronger impressions through fine art, compared with digital communications, especially at a young age. At this point in my life, I feel called back to my early attraction to painting, I don’t know where it will lead me.” Frances’ work embodies a love of Color Field painting combined with realism and story-telling. Frances’ early facination with the color theory and work of Josef Albers and with Rothko’s work, as well as Wolf Kahn’s naive landscapes, inspire her work.
The practice of meditation also informs her painting. Frances’ current work describes the motif of meditation. She has observed that a room can become peaceful and serene through the subtle influence of a painting describing meditation in one way or another; that a work of art can bring a quality of stillness and contemplation to a space. She strives to bring these vibrations, to inspire an attitude between people, and between societies, of peaceful co-existence and humanity.