Francesca Shakespeare lives and works in Oxford, England, where she has been based for the last 20 years. Her paintings are created on the spot during her travels or back in the studio in her garden. She works in a variety of media including gouache, oil and watercolor, but she also experiments with other materials such as waxes, pigments and plasters. Full of colour and texture, her work communicates those aspects of life and nature common to all humanity: market scenes, fishermen, children playing on beaches and timeless, unspoiled landscapes
In addition to her own painting, Francesca currently teaches at St Clare’s Oxford and runs Life Drawing at The Ruskin School of Art and projects and workshops in the Ashmolean Museum and other venues such as On Form at Asthall Manor. Her recent venture is online workshops with daughter Phoebe, see Shakespeare Art Studio. She has also produced decorative maps of the River Cherwell and The Thames for Underhill’s Maps.
Back in the 80’s Francesca graduated with a BA in Fine Art and Italian from Exeter University, and after several years of living and working in Italy, she started a business as a Muralist and Decorative Painter in London. Projects included rooms based on Leighton House in Kensington and the Duke of Devonshire’s study in Chatsworth, Derbyshire. Other commissions were for The US Naval Headquarters in Grosvenor Square and Earls Court Exhibition Centre. Her work was featured in various books and magazines.
Francesca believes in the importance of art in the community and has lead several large-scale projects such as ‘Spoon Race’, an installation of over 1000 wooden spoon people exhibited in Modern Art Oxford in 2007. For the last 18 years, she has been part of a small group running a pioneering after school art club in a local primary school.