Although landscape remains my primary subject, I enjoy painting figuratives and street scenes in either oil or pastel. The range of texture, color and adaptability of oils is almost limitless. It can be maneuvered from a thin transparent wash to a rich, thick opacity. Pastel, a dry medium, is exciting in it immediacy, freshness and brilliance. Pastels are intense, vibrant and available in a vast selection of colors. When asked what my favorite medium is, I can't choose. I love them equally!
What attracts me to any subject are the shapes and values within it. I see objects primarily as a shape or form. Moving these shapes around to build a pleasing abstract composition is my first priority. I've been known to move mountains, trees and rivers to manipulate nature into a cohesive arrangement on canvas or paper! Beyond composition, color and values are my passion. Many of my works are more about these elements than they are about the actual subject. I've been called a colorist and my paintings are recognizable by my use of vibrant color and strong value patterns.
I know a painting has succeeded when it presents a subject stamped with my own authenticity, using exciting and harmonious color choices together with strong darks and lights. It needs to have an imaginative interpretation of the subject and my own personal vision, rather than a literal rendering. I hope to continue to grow as an artist; my learning and passion never ebbs. The destination is always before me and I never, ever “get there”!
Copyright 2017 Pikes Peak Pastel Society, P.O. Box 2443 Colorado Springs, CO 80901-2443
click on a thumbnail below to see an enlarged version.
Autumn on San Isabel Lake
Chapel on Old LaVeta Pass
Dodd moved to Colorado in 1983 after living in Manhattan, NYC for over thirty years. She studied for five years at the Art Students' League of NY under such masters as Isaac Soyer, John Howard Sanden, Daniel Greene, Robert Beverly Hale and David Leffel.
The first two solo exhibits of her paintings in 1981 and 1983 were held at the Salmagundi Club on Fifth Avenue, NY. The Salmagundi Club is the oldest professional art organization in America and where she was one of the first women artists elected into the previously all male membership.
For some years she had nurtured a goal of moving out west and that goal was realized when she relocated to Colorado. From painting the concrete canyons of Manhattan, she explored and painted canyons, rivers, valleys and mountains. She settled into a remote five acres in the Sangre de Cristo mountains at 8500' overlooking the vast San Luis Valley and built her own home without electricity or telephone. Water was trucked into her underground cistern. Heat was provided by a wood stove with timber she cut from the abundant pinion forest in which she lived.
Her new life was solitary and eventually propelled her to seek out kindred souls – a large community of artists in the San Luis Valley. She helped found the Associated Artists of the SLV and served as president for four years. As president, she led the group in pursuit of exhibits which resulted in shows in Colorado Springs, Pueblo, Taos and Santa Fe.
She lived and painted in her mountain retreat for eight years until 1991 when she met and married Allan McConnell who was then living in Colorado Springs. A job opportunity for Allan brought them to Pueblo West, where they continue to reside.
Dodd has had more than 20 solo exhibits over the years and has been the recipient of countless awards. In 1997 she was one of 21 artists in the USA and Canada invited by Forbes Magazine and American Artist Magazine to travel to France and paint as guest of Christopher Forbes at his fabulous Chateau de Balleroy in Normandy. This trip included one memorable day painting in Monet's garden in Giverny.
As past president and co-founder of the Pikes Peak Pastel Society she holds signature membership. She has taught Master Classes in pastel for the Colorado Art Education Association in Breckenridge, CO in 2002 and 2005 as well as numerous classes at the Sangre de Cristo Art Center in Pueblo and the Cottonwood Art Center in Colorado Springs. She continues to offer occasional workshops and classes out of her studio in Pueblo West.
She holds signature membership in the Pastel Society of America. In 2005, she was awarded the coveted Master Circle designation in the International Association of Pastel Societies. Other groups in which she is a member include the Oil Painters of America and the American Impressionist Society.
Dodd's oil and pastel paintings are included in the collections of Forbes Magazine, the Forbes family, MCI Telecommunications Corp., America West Airlines, Sangre de Cristo Art Center, Community Banks of Colorado, Colorado Historical Society, Parkview Hospital in Pueblo Co and numerous other corporate and private collections.
Galleries currently representing her work are:
Wilde-Meyer Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ.
John Deaux Gallery, Pueblo, CO.
Firedworks Gallery, Alamosa, CO.
Fran Dodd Studio, Pueblo West, CO.