Francine Gravel's fantastical scenes of music, joy, and celebration draw from a variety of sources, including mythology, theater, and puppetry. The paintings often teeter towards the surreal, with a fairy-tale vibrance that takes the viewer on a journey through the imagination and dreams of society's inner-child. It is clear that music plays a large role in the artist's life, not only in the dancers and musicians featured in her pieces, but in their construction themselves. The lyrical scenes, full of life and emotion, tell stories in their details the way a symphony does in its movements.
Though she utilizes a variety of media in her works, Gravel approaches her paintings with the methodical, dedicated approach of the Old Masters: layer upon layer, stroke after stroke. Each piece is the product of a long process requiring a "stubborn concentration," with color schemes inherited from the seasons of the year. The way in which she melds reality and dreams, figuration and abstraction, is reminiscent of Egyptian, Mexican, and Medieval art.
Francine Gravel was born in Montreal, Quebec, where she studied at the Ecole des Beaux Arts. She enjoys an international reputation, with collectors and exhibitions all around the globe. In addition to painting and printmaking, Gravel is also a proven poet, often displaying her poetry and paintings side-by-side.