At four years old, Elaine Franks was learning to paint and draw at the same time as read and write, and by the age of eight, she had become preoccupied with painting and exploring the natural world.
Having spent much of her Carmarthenshire childhood either on the back of a pony, with a pencil in her hand or her nose in a book (and sometimes all three together…) her art college foundation year took her into a new landscape, exploring the wildlife of the derelict areas of inner city Nottingham, before completing an honours degree in Graphics (Illustration) at Exeter College of Art & Design.
It was this move to Devon that introduced her to The Undercliff, a unique SSSI on the Devon/Dorset border, where she was to work as a volunteer recorder for the next two years, the results of her research being published as ‘The Undercliff’ by JM Dent, also by a number of other publishers in several American and European translations and editions.
This was to be the first of some twenty or so books that she has illustrated and written on various aspects of natural history and gardening, notable titles including ‘West Country Wildlife’ with well known naturalist and author Kelvin Boot and ‘Watching Wildlife’ with author and journalist Geoffrey Young, the founder of WATCH.
For many years now, Elaine has been living and working in mid Wales, having returned to the area where she spent much of her childhood.
She has made a number of television appearances, and her artwork has been exhibited throughout Britain and is held in public and private collections world wide.
As well as the natural history work for which she is known, Elaine also enjoys working on a variety of community art projects and teaching students of all ages.
For Elaine, painting is about communication, exploration, discovery and above all, celebration:
“I’m trying to share the joy I get when I walk out of my door into the amazing world we live in, share a celebration of the things I encounter in my daily life.
My paintings are not about contriving ‘art’ or ‘expressing myself’ – who or what I am, is hilariously and wonderfully irrelevant…..
My paintings are simply about celebrating the miraculous in the every day, about saying
“Look! just look at that……..”
We have a selection of her work on show here
For more information and to purchase please see her website https://www.elainefranksartwork.co.uk/Elaine_Franks_Art_Work/Welcome.html