At age 9, Florence’s parents recognized her interest in art and enrolled her in the California School of Fine Arts, known today as the San Francisco Art Institute.
She took private art lessons in high school, enjoyed fashion design, using watercolor and ink. Following high school, she attended Dominican and Notre Dame colleges, where she majored in fine art, and interior design.
Several years and three children later, while living in Mill Valley, she was inspired to paint scenes of the bay, and joined the Mill Valley Outdoor Art club. Later her inspiration continued with the seascape environment in Victoria, B.C., where she studied at the Victoria College of Art, including a variety of media, which expanded to life drawing and gouache, and later joined the Victoria Artists Association and the Oak Bay Sketch Club.
While in Victoria, B.C., she became fascinated watching the pigments explode on the wet paper. It was through the expertise of marine painter, Don Radcliffe, that she developed a passion for the challenge of seascape painting. While on an extended visit to Colorado Springs, she entered a workshop with Gerald Brommer, painting in the Breckenridge area of the Colorado Rockies.
A year later, while on sabbatical leave in Santa Cruz, she painted with Lee Blair, a Walt Disney animator. The sabbatical leave convinced both of Florence and her husband to return to their native California, where they now reside. At that time, she took employment and became interested in computer art while working at Serra Center and later, California State University, Hayward, where she produced pamphlets, brochures, flyers, graduate handbooks, and programs for the Departments of Theatre and Dance and Speech Communication.
Since leaving California State University, Hayward, she has returned full time to her first love – watercolors! She joined the Fremont Art Association, and paints on Mondays at Jan Schafir’s watercolor studio in Fremont. She also holds a membership in the North Tahoe Art Association Recently, she has been painting with oils in the studio of Chris Walsh. She delights in the challenge of painting what she sees in nature. From a photograph of an Italian Villa, to the challenge of mountain streams, the beauty of the conifers in the Sierras, the smell of the pines, and the turquoise blue of the Lake are intoxicating. She hopes to continue developing and growing in her interest in watercolor and oil painting. Somewhere, there is an expression, a part of her spirit, begging for release!
For more information, please visit FlorencePaintings.com.