The push he needed

June 3, 2014 § Leave a comment

Spinner | Francis Livingston

Spinner | Francis Livingston

From Southwest Art magazine:

One day in the early 1990s, Francis Livingston mentioned to client Thomas Reynolds, then editor and publisher of California Lawyer magazine, that he had painted some atmospheric scenes of the nearby old coastal town of Santa Cruz. “He came to my studio, and he wanted to buy them,” Livingston says. “But I didn’t want to sell them.”

Not long after, Reynolds phoned the artist. “He said, ‘Francis, I’m opening a gallery and want to give you a one-man show. And then I can buy your art!’ ”

That gave Livingston the push he needed to produce his first gallery works. In 1994, Livingston’s first show of moody Santa Cruz oils at the new Thomas Reynolds Gallery in San Francisco won him positive recognition.

Read more: “Francis Livingston: Realities Reimagined

‘I keep returning to it’

October 12, 2013 § Leave a comment

FRANCIS LIVINGSTON (above) on three decades of painting roller coasters and Ferris wheels. Below, a walk with the artist through his Fall 2013 exhibition, “The Color of Light.”

Ice cream!

May 1, 2008 § Leave a comment

The paintings for Francis Livingston’s new “Ice Cream” exhibition have begun to arrive …

Journey to the tropics

October 22, 2004 § Leave a comment

A catalog of Francis Livingston's paintings is available.

Trips to tropical islands to capture them in paint don’t always yield the best results. But a recent trip did. One of the major factors was that this was a combination travel event, with much time being spent with my son looking for birds and exploring their habitat. This exploration took me to different parts of the islands, introduced me to people and showed me small villages I probably would never have explored if my sole reason was to look for things to paint.

For two weeks we were in the rain forest, mountains and beaches. We also spent some time in larger towns. My mind is still reeling from the visual impact: the contrast of wealth and poverty and the wonderful graphics and colors on buildings in both rural and urban areas. The people and the color and light are inspiring a significant group of paintings.

— FRANCIS LIVINGSTON

Yesteryear’s amusement parks

October 15, 2001 § Leave a comment

Yellow Cristal | Francis Livingston

Francis Livingston is fascinated with dramatic architectural structures. Using oil on wood panels, he depicts antique roller coasters, rhythmic effects of water towers on old roof tops, unique configurations of yesteryear’s movie theaters and amusement parks, as well as the dramatic effects of scale as oversized construction looms over a subdued city.
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The lure of the boardwalk

September 21, 1996 § Leave a comment

Vanilla Ice Cream | Francis Livingston

Two Palms | Francis Livingston

His recent paintings of the Southwest had just gone on exhibit, but already Francis Livingston was driving south on Highway 1 headed back to Santa Cruz.

“It’s one of those places — there’s something there that pulls me back,” he says of his continuing fascination with the Santa Cruz boardwalk.

Livingston has been painting Santa Cruz since he moved to California in the 1970s. His Santa Cruz series — landscapes, figurative paintings and still lifes of ice cream cones and saltwater taffy — has drawn wide praise. Even after he and his family left California and moved back to the Rockies in 1994, Livingston has continued to find inspiration for his paintings in Santa Cruz.

“We had dinner out on the wharf when I was there in June,” he recalled from his studio in Sun Valley, Idaho. “The old fishing boats, with their old fading colors, were sprinkled out in the harbor. It was wonderful.”

Livingston admits he is a little surprised by his continuing attraction to paintings set in Santa Cruz. “Generally when I paint something, I’ve done it and I want to move on,” he said. “But not here. There’s something that’s comforting about getting back to it. It’s kind of like an old friend.”

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