Meet Fran Dorr, an eclectic artist who loves working with paint, fabric, jewelry, and VIDA’s winner of the January Artist Challenge.
Growing up in a family of artists, dancers, and writers, Dorr naturally had a love for textiles. Throughout high school, she had a great interest in attending art school and later becoming a designer. Instead, Dorr attained a degree in Home Economics, ran a nutrition program and served two years in the Peace Corps in Guatemala, C.A. Despite establishing a profound and professional career, Dorr continuously took art, quilt, and doll making classes from national and international teachers.
Dorr has continuously strived to refine her artmaking techniques through constant cycles of “making, tweaking and polishing.”She pursues floral, abstract, representational, caricatures, Southwestern motifs and scenery themes. To gain greater insight, VIDA shines a spotlight on Dorr’s voice as an artist and her collection pieces:
Tell us about your journey to becoming an artist?
- As a child, I loved art, especially paper mache, and handcrafts like making doll clothes, embroidering, and painting. I took art classes at Rhode Island School of Design in my teen years, and other colleges mostly through adult education. After a few years, a friend referred me to the SaddleBrooke Art Guild, where three of my paintings would be purchased by a valued customer. The next level in my career was reached when I joined and was juried into shows with the International Society of Acrylic Painters and the Acrylic Painters of the USA (formerly ISAP-Florida). I also joined the Southern Arizona Watercolor Guild a few years ago and am now a “Saguaro” member which is the third and highest level in that guild. However, I must admit that joining the VIDA artists’ team has been the third most important stage in my art career.
How do you work? Tell us about your process.
- Although the place most inspiring place to me Santa Fe, I prefer to work in my art room early in the morning or late into the evenings with Native American flute music, guitar, or piano music, and my two cats sleeping nearby. I like to go to our SaddleBrooke open studio classroom where I can spread things out and do my initial work on several pieces and then take them home to work on them individually.
How has your practice changed over time?
- By taking classes with national art teachers, I’ve seen a great deal of improvement in my art. I include the use of other types of media now like alcohol inks, gels and other acrylic mediums and yupo paper.
Tell us something about the world that makes you happy and/or gives you hope.
- Back in the 50’s or so, there was a wonderful photography exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum in New York City entitled “The Family of Man.” What it taught me was that no matter how we look or where we live, we are all alike. We all experience emotions of love, hate, joy, pain, fear, sadness, etc. With the introduction of high speed internet, we are all learning about each other and while our democracy is far from perfect, people, especially women are learning that they have rights and that they can make change (including here at home) if they work together.
As for Dorr’s experience with VIDA, Dorr reveals that she shares her artwork with the world through local art and craft shows but further builds customer rapport by openly embracing her collection. She greatly looks forward to advancing seller and customer relations and believes in the former and the latter’s constant connection. When asked how she felt about the VIDA community, Dorr showed much appreciation for the constant diversity circulating in the workplace along with the company’s motto to strengthen one’s education skills, and in turn, improve family affairs at the core.
Fran Dorr is an artist breaking barriers and living proof that art is truly a universal form of beauty that allows one to further enhance and explore the emotions of pain, fear, happiness, and awe. She is currently working on an ink drawing of Frida Kahlo, has two paintings in the Arizona Aqueous Show in Tubac, Arizona, and is getting ready to ship her “Path in the Woods” painting to the Acrylic Painters of the USA for their show in March.
In Dorr’s words, “Whatever medium you use [may it be] painting, photography, sculpture, etc., the work will talk to you as you do it. You will react intuitively and then you will say, “Wow, we did it!”