"Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time"
Francine Loparco has had a love for painting since her high school art class. Her art instructor encouraged her to find what inspired her and gave her the freedom to experiment with different paints and subjects. She was encouraged to express herself and find her own voice. She began working with watercolors and oils and was drawn to painting wildlife and nature scenes. In her senior year she expressed interest in becoming an art teacher, but was strongly discouraged from following an artistic path because art was viewed as more of a hobby and not a career. Instead of going to college when she graduated, she joined the workforce.
Many years later Francine decided to return to school as a returning adult and get a college degree. She met with an advisor and again expressed her desire to teach art. The college advisor convinced her that finding a job as an art teacher once she graduated would be most difficult. She advised her to teach academics and incorporate art into her lessons. Francine took this advice and earned her Masters Degree. As a teacher she did, in fact, include many hands on art projects in her instruction.
While she was building her career and raising her children, she stopped painting. There simply weren't enough hours in the day. As her children grew older, she began to paint again. She says it was as if she found herself and she didn't even know she was lost!
She has recently retired from teaching and is now a full time artist. She has a small studio space in her home which is surrounded by trees and nature; the perfect setting a wildlife artist.