Frances McMahon

Wildlife artist

Passionate watercolourist artist of Australian native species

Wildlife watercolour artist on museum board

Frances received 1st Place in the Colour & Art 365 Online Animals art competition and an Award of Excellence in the Holmes Prize for Excellence in Realistic Australian Bird Art 2023 and was the prestigious winner in 2022.

Frances was born in Armidale in 1965 and began painting birds at age 5. Her undying and passionate obsession in capturing the beauty of our Australian native species is as strong today as it was in her youth. She is entirely self-taught and uses her own reference materials to create each exquisitely detailed original. Her technique has developed over many years and consists of airbrushed (liquid acrylic) backgrounds, with the main work completed in watercolour and gouache. Using a minute brush, her elaborate paintings take many hours of precise work to complete. Frances uses an initial pale wash that is then worked many times over with tiny strokes of the brush, building up depth and form. Many of the details are so fine they may only be seen with a magnifying glass. Some of her brushes only have a few hairs in them. Ensuring the longevity of her work, only the highest quality materials are used, including artist quality lightfast paints and 2000gsm (8 ply) museum board for the ground. This is an archival quality board, buffered against acid migration and deterioration and contains no optical brighteners.

Her originals hang in private collections in Australia, New York, America and Ontario, Canada.

Frances has won many awards over the years and has her art reproduced on jigsaw puzzles, prints and merchandise. Her original paintings are exclusively represented by Morpeth Gallery.