June 29, 2007

Francie Wenner

I would like to introduce to you, Francie Wenner, one of our newest female artists at Gardenology. Francie creates a fantasy world under glass using pressed flowers and art paper. Her works of art have an etherial quality and delight the eye with color and texture. You just "fall into" them.

Francie was born in New York City, married in Vermont and moved to Kansas City in 1968. With three children grown and in school, she went back to graduate school and got a M.A. & Ph.D. She was in private practice as a psychologist for 20 years and then took early retirement in 1999 to have more time for other interests.

Francie has been an avid gardener for 30 years, a garden writer (published in Fine Gardening and Flower and Garden) and a garden lecturer and has written a column fo rthe Garden Center Association (an umbrella group for local gardeners located in Loose Park) newsletter for 13 years.

Francie says that her garden has been both therapy and a creative outlet - after her family, the love of her life. In 2006, she came upon a book on pressing flowers that had sat in her library for years and decided it would be fun to try. She loved it! She uses flowers, mosses, lichens, seed pods, etc. from her garden and anywhere else she can find them. She looks at plants slightly differently now - in terms of their likely success as pressed specimens. Francie is always searching for new and different materials.

A wide variety of papers are used to back the collages and pictures, many of them hand made. The papers have such great texture and richness. Some are bought locally, some found on the web. In addition to books on pressed flowers and collages, Francie finds inspiration in fabrics, paintings, mixed media and in other people's gardens. Francie says that her challenge now is finding time for her 2 acre garden, her pressed flower art and her 5 grandchildren!

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