watercolor

Studio Tour

Studio Tour :: Francesca Lancisi

Francesca on her terrace in Florence, Italy.

Francesca on her terrace in Florence, Italy.

Shop:: Francesca Lancisi

Owner:: Francesca Lancisi

Location:: Florence, Italy

Meet Francesca, owner + artist behind Francesca Lancisi. Her art shop contains beautiful original watercolors and prints. Many pieces are inspired by nature and a love of color.

Florence, Italy :: home to Francesca's studio.

Florence, Italy :: home to Francesca's studio.

views of Florence from the Giardino Bardini

views of Florence from the Giardino Bardini

Where is your studio located?

My studio is located on a sunny terrace, in the centre of one of the most beautiful cities of Italy and the main one in Tuscany, Florence. I know there is no need to tell you how magically full of art and beauty Florence is, and how lucky I am to live in such a precious place. People from all around the world come to Florence to admire its cultural heritage or to enjoy a break in one of Italy's most beautiful countrysides. Whenever my daily routine gets tough, especially after working hard, I treat myself to a simple stroll in the city centre, visit an exhibition or one of the many extraordinary museums, have a coffee with a friend, and immediately feel better. An exceptional place that I especially love is the Giardino Bardini, where you can admire the city from above while sitting at the cafè or work in the park. I love walking to calm and silent locations where I can get relaxed and inspired, and bring some work with me.

working on the terrace

working on the terrace

stamping the back of a piece of art

stamping the back of a piece of art

The Ocean Collection 2014 

The Ocean Collection 2014 

How did you get started in your craft + what inspires you?

I studied Foreign Languages and Literature at the University of Florence and specialized in teaching Italian to foreigners, which which I have thoroughly enjoyed. But shortly before the birth of my child, I decided to devote all my time and energy to my new family and to painting, my lifelong passion, and turn it into a profession rather than a simple hobby. I've been trained in watercolor painting by Daniel De Angeli, a very talented artist. I'm inspired by nature and life, people and emotions, colors and philosophy.

cutting paper

cutting paper

brush, paper and paint

brush, paper and paint

What are the top 3 tools that are most important to your craft?

High quality paper, brushes and colors really make a difference. I only use 100% cotton paper, sometimes handmade, and buy pigments that have a high resistance to time, lightfastness and durability. In this way not only am I sure to achieve a much better result, but I also know I'm creating something that will last for a very long time.

Francesca's terrace and outdoor studio

Francesca's terrace and outdoor studio

a sunny day at the studio

a sunny day at the studio

a sampling of plants on the terrace

a sampling of plants on the terrace

What's a typical day like in the studio?

Actually, there is no typical day in the studio! Each day is different according to what my goals are: taking photos, making parcels for my clients, cutting and preparing paper, working for an exhibition or accomplishing custom orders. I love being that active, but I also appreciate those rare days without anything special to do, when I can simply relax, listen to my favorite radio station, audiobooks or music and experiment on new forms and colors. I often have a break taking care of my plants, watering, transplanting, preparing cuttings to give as presents to friends. 

Also, I sometimes work together with my son, he creates beautiful artworks, very free and personal, in the way only children can. We enjoy staying in the studio together, talking about what happened during the day or singing, but he also loves taking pictures as an undercover superhero.

artwork by  Francesca Lancisi
watercolor by  Francesca Lancisi

watercolor by Francesca Lancisi

artwork and a stack of frames

artwork and a stack of frames

What are the greatest rewards of creating something handmade?

The first reward is a deep sense of meaning, a very special, satisfactory emotion that I'm sure everybody feels anytime they prepare even the simplest thing with their heart for a special purpose, like a meal for the ones they love or a gift for a friend. 

Moreover, I love the empowering boost of energy when people meet my work and find something of themselves in it, or catch a glimpse of something that's important for them through my paintings. They are usually struck by a certain sense of tranquillity, the details and colors. 

But what I love most of creating things with my hands is the time I can take with myself, a time dedicated to calm and meditation, which I need in order to keep my mind and my heart free and clean. 

What comes out of long and slow handmade processes might seem to be just a drop in the ocean, if compared to what can be created commercially, but surely has a great value and an uniqueness that makes it special. I'm so grateful I had the opportunity and the courage to live out of this passion, it makes me feel incredibly happy and content.

Francesca at the Giardino Bardini

Francesca at the Giardino Bardini

Some of Francesca's favorite places in Tuscany and Puglia

Some of Francesca's favorite places in Tuscany and Puglia

San Giovanni Fireworks June 24th

San Giovanni Fireworks June 24th

A big thanks to Francesca for sharing her studio and inspirations with us!

Also, Francesca would like to thank Maurizio Picci for the beautiful photographs.

Get in touch with Francesca::

Shop

Facebook

Blog

a sampling of original artwork from Francesca's shop :  cellulle ,  mappe ,  botanica ,  pebbles

a sampling of original artwork from Francesca's shop : cellulle, mappe, botanica, pebbles

Francesca at home.

Francesca at home.

Join us next month for another studio tour and hopefully you enjoyed this magical space that Francesca

has shared with us!

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Meet the Makers

Meet the Makers || Created by Storm

Sarah: nature lover, mad scientist and the artist behind  Created by Storm

Sarah: nature lover, mad scientist and the artist behind Created by Storm

Hello I am Sarah Storm, the artist behind Created by Storm. I create paintings, textiles and paper goods that are inspired by our natural world, drawing from my love of wildlife and nature. I live in the foothills of the spectacular Rocky Mountains outside of Boulder, Colorado. I like simple things like garden fresh ingredients, tea with honey, early morning walks. I am happiest when I am working with my hands.

pitcher plant watercolor  painting  by Sarah

pitcher plant watercolor painting by Sarah

When and why did you open an online shop on Etsy?
I opened my shop in 2010 after I was involved in a car accident and was unable to work as a horticulturist. I took the opportunity to start painting, which had been a long time love of mine but one I did not have much time for. I could have never imagined how much joy opening my Etsy shop and getting back to my art would bring me. I am delighted to have an outlet that unifies my creative and scientific sides. Being able to share my work and connect with so many talented and supportive people from around has been incredible gift.

garden melodies  print

garden melodies print

A  painting  of a lady slipper in process.

A painting of a lady slipper in process.

a sampling of nature just outside Sarah's door: ferns and mushrooms near Boulder, Colorado

a sampling of nature just outside Sarah's door: ferns and mushrooms near Boulder, Colorado

What got you started in your craft?
I have always enjoyed having a craft project and picked up painting at a young age. I love all types of paint but watercolor has stuck with me because it is one of the most versatile mediums to work with and has a mind of its own. It can be controlled and detailed, or loose and impressionistic. I start out with a plan for my paintings either in my head or in my sketchbook, but as soon as the water is added the painting evolves and the final product always surprises me, which my favorite part.

nature in hand

nature in hand

a trip to the botanical gardens and butterfly sanctuary near Sarah's home

a trip to the botanical gardens and butterfly sanctuary near Sarah's home

snow covered Rocky Mountains

snow covered Rocky Mountains

Who or what influences your style the most?
My parents have influenced by style in many ways. Avid gardeners and naturalists, they taught me from a young age how to live off the land, which cultivated a deep respect and appreciation for nature and lead me lead me to pursue degrees in biology & ecology and a career as a horticulturist. 


I grew up around artwork by Albertus Seba, John James Audubon & Albrecht Dürer. These artists and my scientific background greatly influence my art. The use of white space in their paintings creates an elegant look that helped me to realize the importance of a clean design. I also really enjoy incorporating typography and calligraphy into my paintings like many antique scientific illustrations.

I am blessed to be able to walk out my door and be surrounded by wild and undeveloped lands. If I am looking for additional inspiration I visit our local Botanical Gardens and Butterfly Sanctuary. A type of Japanese gardening known as Kokedama, meaning “moss-covered ball”, inspires my latest paintings. There is such beauty in these string gardens I could not resist painting them.

a sampling of items from some of Sarah's favorite artists and makers on Etsy.com

a sampling of items from some of Sarah's favorite artists and makers on Etsy.com

Sarah's Favorite Etsy Shops:

There are numerous of shops I admire but here are a few of my favorites
1. Stone and Violet 
2. mayumi yamashita ceramics 
3. The Arminho
4. Boxwood tree 
5.Marble and Milkweed
6. Day three creations
7. Erin Spencer
 

nature and color inspiration sketch book

nature and color inspiration sketch book

nature inspirations: butterfly  print

nature inspirations: butterfly print

nature as inspiration   

nature as inspiration

 

My creative process always involves a pot of strong tea and photographs from my outings and little treasures I have gathered. I believe workspaces should be just as creative as your work. I surround myself with living things to creative an environment to bring good energy to my work. 

I have recently discovered an even deeper appreciation for our natural world by being able to view it though my son’s eyes for the first time. Nothing makes me happier then seeing his fascination with wildlife and bugs. Our backyard is part of the Pacific Flyway and we have such fun viewing the different kinds of birds that stop by while migrating this time of year. Our next adventure will be exploring the tide pools of Hawaii next year to see what magical critters we can find!

Keep in touch with Sarah:

Facebook

Twitter

Blog

Instagram

A huge thanks to Sarah for sharing her story and the things that inspire her! 

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