Bold exotic art made into beautiful things.
The Fran Zone is an art and pattern design label inspired by all things botanical. It was founded in 2019 by Dutch artist and designer The Fran.
The Fran Zone’s designs are all based on original oil paintings by me. In 2019 I launched my first Majorelle Collection (summer) and two Hortus by Night Collections (autumn and winter). At the moment I am working on the 2020 fruit and gravity inspired spring/summer collection.
The Fran Zone offers paper products (postcards, greeting cards, birthday calendars) and limited edition fabric products (silk and cashmere scarves, canvas and satin cushions, organic cotton table linens) Besides my own products my designs are also available as custom made carpets at TON Design, The Netherlands.
I love to create art and add my touch of beauty to this wonderful world, but I do not want to ‘stufficate’ it, so to speak. That’s why I only make high quality eco-friendly products. Choose well, buy less, enjoy a life time. (Or as my husband likes to say ‘get scarved for life’ XD).
To stay updated about new products and designs: follow @thefranzone_art on instagram.
ABOUT THE FRAN
Hi, I am Francine, aka the Fran and I am the creative beating heart of The Fran Zone. I didn’t paint until I turned 30. But after that there was no turning back. It was time to create!
Curious by nature I kept developing the idea of art on fabric, resulting in scarves, cushions and cotton with my art designs printed on them.
Fascinated by the nature of the world and the world of nature I am currently exploring the art of evolution, gravity and physics. This leads not only to inspiration for my art and new collections for The Fran Zone. On a more personal level I am working on a interdisciplinary way of looking at environmental and community issues. For starters I am studying physics, evolutionary and plant biology. Right now I am matching my new perspectives with my background as a historian.
If you’d like to know more about this personal ‘mission’ so to speak: you can read my blogs here (in Dutch).
MY ARTISTIC APPROACH
My artistic approach can be summarized by three themes: energy, the boldness of nature and this human life.
As a child with a restrictive religious upbringing I wasn’t allowed to go to art school nor to pursue any kind of creative career. Obviously not a very rebellious child I obeyed but I got very unhappy with life, myself and the choices I made. After graduating it took me 6 years to discover I had to shake off all these restrictive convictions about what life’s supposed to be. So I didn’t paint until I was 30 and since then I feel this sort of incredible urgency in creating, in catching up with myself. That urgency gives my work energy and electricity. It makes my work pure, spontaneous, direct and bold.
The boldness of nature
Nature inspires me with her unapologetic colours, shapes, diversity and versatility. The same kind of inspiration I find in the work of Swedish artist Malin Gabriella Nordin and Canadian artist Sarah Hughes. Nature is the only place where I can feel truly relaxed and energetic at the same time. It inspires my work as well as my artistic approach. It teaches me to not try to fit into styles or boxes but to grow like a massive rhododendron tree and reach up to the sky.
Nature also inspires me to create my own universe, just like Yayoi Kusama. That’s why I translate my paintings into fabric patterns and print them on carpets, fabrics, scarves and cushion covers. That way people can really immerse themselves in the exotic bold energy of nature. I try to capture that energy in all colours I am able to create with my three primary colours + black and white. Mixing colours is one of the core practices of my work. It takes me away to coral reefs, botanic gardens and tropical forests. So while creating my own colourful universe I travel the whole wide world in my mind.
This human life
In my artistic energy I feel like the love baby of Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso. With my work I want to dance between the total bliss of carefree joie de vivre and the inevitable pain and sorrow that come with living this human life. I wish to lift people up and comfort them. We are together in this and all emotions are valid to feel and express.
I believe in getting on the side of nature. I support eco-friendly living and connecting with nature on a personal, day to day level. In stead of differences I see connections. Through my art I wish to show a new way of life, connected to nature and to our community. A way of life in which we are nurtured by nature in stead of forcing it to take the shape we like it to have. An educated world with the human measure as a starting point.
I work together with talented female designers (such as Studio Glashelder) and with organisations that love to work together with nature as well (de Hortus Amsterdam).
Through my work I invite all women to broaden their minds, to find their joys, follow their hearts and use their voices. To highlight and guard all that they hold dear on this good earth.
MY ART STUDIO
On a small space of 12m2 in the city of Den Bosch, The Netherlands I paint, draw, sew, work with fabrics and explore other creative skills. One of my goals in 2020 is to expand my creative skills and to learn how to throw clay and to make wooden sculptures.
My ultimate dream is to one day have a small cottage in the Northwestern Scottish region of Wester Ross. Build a small shop next to it and create a great garden in front of it with a tiny tea house. That way I can combine all things I love to do: make art, create beautiful things, cater to plants and make people feel at home with a nice cuppa!
Once a year I take a creative retreat somewhere in Europe. In 2019 I painted the 2020 spring/summer collection in Catalonia while staying at an old ‘hacienda’ located on the slope of a hill in the country side near Olot. Sounds romantic right? Let me just say: I am not build for temperatures above 27 degrees Celcius. So I was very happy when I got home XD