Interview With Impressionism Painter, Silver Francis

Over years of experimentation, Silver Francis developed a unique style of contemporary impressionism in which layered strokes of paint flow seamlessly into one another, slowly taking form to produce bold and alluring works of art. Silver refers to this incredible technique as fluid impressionism.

Silver studied fine art throughout her childhood, exploring its various themes and mediums through years of independent art education.

We had the immense honor of interviewing Silver and learning more about her journey in becoming one of the most renowned impressionism painters in the world!

Tell us about your background and the road that led you to pursuing and practicing art.

I definitely had a unique upbringing! I was homeschooled by my mom in an art-based independent learning program. I showed a strong interest in art, and my mom nurtured that from an early age. Looking back, it felt like my entire education revolved around art! I studied art history and practiced the fundamentals for hours every day.

We lived in a small clearing in the middle of a forest in the rural midwest. I was quite literally surrounded by nature! We would spend countless hours exploring the dense woods, and I’d often sit out in my favorite trees sketching the natural environment around me. I developed a deep connection with nature, and actually went on to get my degree in Environmental Science from the University of South Florida. After graduating from college, I decided to work towards becoming a full-time painter.

How would you describe your approach to impressionism?

I adore impressionism, and have been studying it ever since I could read. I understand impressionism as both a movement and a painting style, with nearly all depictions incorporating visible, textured brush strokes that come together to create form.

Over the past few years, I have developed a unique style of contemporary impressionism in which layered strokes of paint flow seamlessly into one another. I call this technique fluid impressionism, as I allow the shape and movement of my subjects to inspire how each stroke flows into the next.

When exactly did you develop Fluid-Impressionism? How, in terms of your own work, has this style evolved over time?

I was actually a hyper-realism painter before delving into the world of impressionism. I think that I only stuck with it for so long because I was really good at it, but it always made me feel restrained and uninspired. One day (about four years ago), I decided to just grab a brush and let my hand do whatever it wants. Out came the very early stages of fluid impressionism, with wide textured brush strokes flowing wildly into one another. It felt free, natural, and true.

SInce then, I have transitioned from working with acrylic to oils, and my style has evolved and matured alongside my own creative practice. I’ve learned how to shape and mold the swirling strokes around my subjects to more effectively translate my desired visual. To this day, fluid impressionism surprises me, and I feel like I am still in its early stages. I’m excited to see where it takes me!

You note nature as your lifelong muse. What do you love most about this beautiful theme?

I love everything about nature, but I am particularly fascinated at how much more is revealed when one zooms in and focuses on the details. We can easily become numb to how incredible the little things really are until we pause and take a moment to observe how much beauty and intricacy is contained within a single leaf or flower petal. The closer you get, the more you see! I imagine I’ll be exploring it through my art for the rest of my life.

Personally, I am fascinated with skulls. My home’s decor is 80% skulls honoring Dia de Los Muertos. We would love to learn more about your connection to this theme as well.

When I first discovered the latin term Memento Mori, I was struck by the simple and eternal truth of its message. I am going to die. I was scared at first. It’s definitely a strange and uncomfortable feeling to be reminded of the inevitably of one’s own mortality. As I reflected, however, the tone began to change.
I am going to die, and that is beautiful. Life is more important because we are doomed, because any moment may be our last. Our mortality is what gives us meaning.

I paint skulls as a visual reminder that we are bones and must all succumb to the reality of nature’s elemental theme: with life must come death. My skeletal work reminds me of this every day, and it inspires me to live a true and meaningful life. To use my gifts to make a difference in the world. To love and to connect. To create.

There is as much beauty in death as in life, in the darkness as in the light. One cannot exist without the other. The power is in their contrast.

Tell us about some of your recent projects and/or upcoming shows. Are you accepting new commissions?

I’m currently studying florals and fungi, and am actively working on collections around both.

Commissions are open until July 1st, 2023, so feel free to reach out!

What other aspects of your life influence your art?

I think every aspect of my life influences my art to some extent – my hopes and dreams, my fears and anxieties, my relationship with the world around me and the world within me. My work is an extension of who I am and everything I have experienced.

Who were your inspirations growing up? And who do you admire today?

If I’m being honest, I can’t remember who inspired me growing up. I really didn’t have much exposure to the outside world (no TV, magazines, phones, or computers!).

The first person that comes to mind today is Yayoi Kusama, a Japanese contemporary artist who absolutely transformed the art world! She revolutionized an extremely male-dominated art scene and overcame so many obstacles along the way, all while creating and contributing some of the most important work in history. I admire her perseverance, dedication, fearlessness, and honesty.

What advice can you offer aspiring women-identifying artists starting out in this field?

Art is one of the most competitive fields to work in, and for good reason! As my mom always says “If it were easy to make it, everyone would be doing it”.

You’re going to face a lot of obstacles (financial instability/risks, criticism, not being taken seriously, etc.) and you’ll have to put your all into it for years before seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. The only thing that will get you through the hard times is believing in yourself.

Trust me, I know it sounds easier than it is. I have an embarrassing amount of snapchat screenshots of me crying to my best friend about the difficulties. The important thing is that I kept going. I kept painting every single day, putting countless hours into building a sustainable business, studying the greats, practicing, and experimenting. Now my best friend sends me those screenshots saying “Look how far you’ve come”.

It’s not going to be easy, but it can be done. And you can do it!

What is your interpretation of a Raw Femme?

A raw femme is authentic, passionate, and powerful. She uses her gifts to make the world a better place.

Follow Silver on Instagram and email her directly if you’re interested in customized work.