Nature inspires the work of Frances Ryff, but only selected particles or small components from which new visual scenes arise. The artist explores and likes to combine art styles and techniques. She borrows from the world of fantasy and legends that have contributed to her identity.

Alenka Černelič Krošelj, Lecturer of Art History, Ethnologist and Cultural Anthropologist

Frances was born in1974, Box Hill, Victoria
Professional Art Training, Art Workshops attended:
Completed VCE Graphic Communication course
Diploma of Computer Aided Art and Design (1st year only)
Watercolour workshop
Exhibitions Entered:    Box Hill Secondary College Year 11 & 12 Art Exhibition
Swinburne TAFE Wantirna Campus (Open Day Exhibition)
Slovenian Association Melbourne
Slovenian and Religious Cultural Centre, Kew
Major Awards/Prizes:    Student of the Year, Box Hill Secondary College 1992

“I create pieces of artwork as a hobby. I find it relaxing and a way of taking my mind off the regular goings on in life. I also paint so I can display my own artworks in our home, then as a family we all can enjoy and share them together.
From a young age, I was observing my mum. She would then sit with me and teach me what she could. It was our time together. I enjoyed these times immensely.
I would have to say my mum Draga Gelt has inspired me to create artworks. I would watch her with admiration and wish that I could do what she did. She was always patient with me, when I got frustrated if I thought a piece was not working, she would say
“ Stand back! Now what do you think?” She would always encourage and motivate me throughout school and even now. I will always be grateful to her for all the time she spent with me. She is my mum, teacher and my inspiration. Thank you, Mum!

Creating art has taught me that I need to be patient with myself. A piece of art is not something that is created easily. Like anything in normal everyday life, we have to persist and be patient with oneself and others.
I mostly now work with soft pastels, and have done some work with watercolour and pencil in the past.
I love to use pastels because they are very subtle and suit the style and subjects I choose to do, like flowers and nature.
I believe in simplicity. I am experimenting with acrylic as well.

I was taught that a picture does not need to have every detail. Some things can be left to the imagination. I learnt this in the many precious moments spent observing and practising with my mum and while studying. I still believe that simplicity is the key to a good piece of art.
My upbringing was one of togetherness. There were many times spent in the garden planting flowers with my mum and dad. Spring was like a breath of fresh air. The colours of the different flowers brought happiness into my mind. I feel that spending these times in the garden has inspired me to create them on paper, which I now share with my family.

After visiting Slovenia recently, and seeing how the gardens and window sills had an abundance of flowers, made me realise that my Slovenian background is here with me today within our home on the walls with my artworks and outside in the garden. The colours and fragrance brings life to us all.”


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