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Frances Powers displays digital art at All Angels By the Sea

The local artist combines digital art with a traditional form to create vibrant works.

Frances Powers stands next to her digital paintings at All Angels By the Sea Episcopal Church.
Frances Powers stands next to her digital paintings at All Angels By the Sea Episcopal Church.
Photo by Sidra Wali
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Digital art has been gaining popularity in the last decade, but combining it with a traditional form creates a new path to self-expression. 

Frances Powers, a local artist, has been creating art all her life. Her art exhibit will be displayed at All Angels By the Sea Episcopal Church in Longboat Key until June 29. It offers a vibrant view of the familiar and unfamiliar to form something anew. 

“I have a bachelor’s in fine arts as well as a master’s in painting and animated filmmaking,” said Powers. “I was one of the original founding members of HERA Co-Operative Art Gallery in Rhode Island.”

Her work has been shown in galleries and museums throughout the country and encompasses organic forms derived from nature.

"Gold Moon" by Frances Powers
Courtesy image

Powers was creating abstract landscapes when Microsoft Paint first came out in 1985.

She opened the program and immediately began her journey into digital art.

“The work I do is mixed-media. I’ve always done nature landscapes incorporating flowers and animals. My later works are becoming more and more fantastical. It’s digital art that I create using a digital pen and tablet,” said Powers.

The electrifying colors in Powers’ work jump off the canvas as if looking at a screen.

“I start most of the time with photos I’ve taken and then use them to create digital art on the computer using a specific software. I then print it out and finish the piece by using colored pencils, adding in highlights and accentuating the colors,” said Powers. “It’s almost like ‘paint by numbers’ just for me.”

Although Powers creates digital paintings, no one painting is ever the same.

"Beyond the Mist" by Frances Powers
Courtesy image

“After I print my work and add the finishing touches with the colored pencils, even if I printed it out again and added the highlights afterwards, it would be different. Once someone has bought the digital painting, it’s done. I wouldn’t reprint it or enter that piece in a show or exhibit,” said Powers. 

Powers explained that she can be far more creative with painting digitally.

“I can try different colors and different techniques without the painting getting muddy because I’m combining different colors compared to a traditional painting,” said Powers. “If you make a mistake, you can just click ‘undo’ and start over again. When I was creating traditional paintings, I wasn’t a loose painter. I painted tightly and deliberately.”

Powers explained that the shift to fantastical art organically evolved over time.

“I have people tell me that they loved my art from years ago, and I tell them that I can’t go backwards in art. You have to keep moving forward.”



Sidra Wali

Sidra Wali is a staff writer for the Longboat Key Observer. She's worked as a newspaper reporter and written for several publications and organizations as a freelancer.

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