Francine was born and educated in New York. She earned a BFA and completed post graduate studies in the studios of some of the greats of Abstract Expressionism -- Rothko, Rheinhardt, Still, Ernst, Diller. She drew upon their emotional use of color and then moved on to the familiar feeling of light in the nature that surrounds us.
After graduating, Francine entered the world of decorative design for the home furnishings industry, creating many fabric, party goods and table top collections.
After getting married and having two babies within a year of each other, Francine left the design world and turned her focus back to fine art painting. She worked in a studio in her home with her young children playing at her feet. Her husband Leo, a successful business executive, became her "Medici" and remained so for the rest of his life. Her paintings have been exhibited at juried shows, galleries and museums across the country where she has won a number of prestigious awards. It is her paintings that are showcased as giclee prints on this website.
As her children got older, Francine turned her attention to further study in the fabric and design centers of Europe which led to the addition of hand painted tapesties and needlepoint to her portfolio. She operated her own business, Franley Studios, a retail and design studio that featured her custom hand painted needlepoint canvases and other gift items. Located in Cold Spring Harbor, on Long Island NY, she exhibited her own work, as well as that of other contemporary artists. Francine built a wholesale arm to this business with a roster of clients that included leading national retailers such as Bloomingdale's, Lord & Taylor and Bonwit Teller.
Francine was commissioned by the US Government to design for the historic home of Theodore Roosevelt. Other commissions have come from synagogues, churches, hospitals, corporate offices, architects and interior designers.
Francine drew further inspiration from her own paintings of greenhouses and interiors which feature many windows and reflective glass surfaces. This inspired her to paint actual pieces of glass, the result of which is her beautiful collection of hand painted glass vases, platters, candle sticks and the like. This work was first introduced at the American Crafts Museum in New York, NY.
A love of greenhouses and all manner of flora and fauna has now turned Francine's attention to the many botanical gardens that she loves to visit, photograph and paint. She has created exclusive collections for various botanical gardens around the country, such as the New York Botanical Garden, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Longwood Gardens, Chicago Botanical Garden, Wave Hill, and the Hammond Museum. Much of this work is in the galleries on this website.
The babies who once played at her feet are long grown up and Francine is now working with her daughter Margo, formerly a senior marketing executive in the beauty, fragrance and fashion accessories industries. Together they have built SOKOL ARTWORKS, a showcase for the rich and varied world Francine created.
© 2014 Sokol Artworks, LLC