Francis Riley

Francis Riley: Paintings, Drawings, and Prints

Francis was born in Sheffield, England in 1936. He loved painting and drawing from an early age, but first studied part time at the Sheffield College of Art. He soon became a full time student, and upon his
graduation, won a place in the Slade School of Fine Art, UCL in London.

After he received his degree from the Slade in 1960 he began teaching in Derby, England. There he met his future wife Anne, a fellow teacher, and they married in 1961. During the 1960’s Francis taught in Adelaide, South Australia; Sheffield, England; the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax, Westport in New Zealand and then in 1968 began teaching in Saint John N.B., where he remained for the rest of his career.

Francis enjoyed encouraging his students to do their best in as many mediums as practical: drawing, painting, sculptures with clay and paper maché, linoleum prints, with the incorporation of perspective and othertechniques all being part of his lessons. From the time he was a student, he had a strong interest in art history and often related art and architecture to influences and styles recent and ancient.

During his life Francis always worked on paintings or sculpture when he had the time. His painting subjects were often portraits or landscapes, usually sketched first, but relying on light and shade to establish form when finished. There was a period in the 70’s where his spare time was fully occupied building his own home entirely using hand tools. In his retirement he worked on detailed illustrations for a children’s book.