Francis works directly from life with all subjects. He particularly enjoys the urban scene as in the cafes, the underground trains and rush hour of Farringdon station in London.
In the windows of the shops and cafes, he reflects the city beyond, fascinated by the double image, combining different spatial distances with changing crowds.
His enjoyment of strong composition, rich colour and contrasts of light and tone run through his work. These are heightened in his more theatrical subjects of the circus.
Most of his recent paintings reflect his interest in people and portrait to be found in everyday urban situations. Francis is unusual in favouring working directly from observation and not through photography. This will mean often working in uncomfortable situations on crowded pavements and stations.
He maintains this is an essential experience in finding his subject.
BORN: 1949, Dorset
1965 – 1967 Bournemouth College of Art
1967 – 1970 Wimbledon College of Art
1970 – 1971 Hornsey College of Art
1975 – Edward Harvane Gallery, Bourne Street, London
1978 – Brunswick Gallery, Judd Street, London
1988 – St John’s Street Gallery, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk
1990, 92, 95, 98 – The Heffers Gallery, Cambridge
2010, 13, 15, 17 – The John Russell Gallery, Ipswich, Suffolk
Catto Gallery, London
Bruton Street Gallery, London
Eaton Gallery, Duke Street, London
Eagle House, Jermyn Street, London
Cannon Gallery, Petworth, Sussex
Business Arts, Islington, London
Cockpit Theatre, Marylebone, London
Phoenix Gallery, Lavenham, Suffolk
Fulham Gallery, London
Histon Gallery, Cambridge
The Old Fire Engine House, Ely
Fermoy Gallery, Kings Lynn
City Art Gallery, Peterborough
Conservatory Gallery, Cambridge
Pictures for Schools, Welsh Arts Council
Pictures for Hospitals, Nuffield Hospital
The Gallery, Fen Ditton
Cambridge Laing Art Competition
The Heffer Gallery Bury St Edmunds Art Gallery, Suffolk
30th Anniversary Summer Show, The John Russell Gallery, Ipswich, Suffolk
1970 – David Murray Studentship for Landscape Painting, Royal Academy, London
1988 – Cambridge Arts Prize, Business Arts, Cambridge
1988 – John Player National Portrait Competition, National Portrait Gallery, London