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Born in Armidale NSW in 1965, Australian artist Frances McMahon has been painting birds since age five.

Indeed, it was at this tender age that she firmly decided that she was going to paint birds and since then has had an undying and passionate obsession in capturing the beauty of our Australian native species.

She has lived in Canberra for most of her life. Frances is entirely self-taught and uses reference material of her own.

She sold her first painting when she was fourteen, to renowned artist Paul Ashton Delprat, principal of the Julian Ashton Art School.

Developed over many years, her technique consists of airbrushed backgrounds, with the main work completed in watercolour and small touches of gouache. Using a minute brush, her elaborate paintings take between 30 and 230 hours to complete. Many of the details are so fine they may only be seen with a magnifying glass.

Ensuring the longevity of her work, only the highest quality materials are used, including artist quality lightfast paints and 2000gsm (8 ply) Rising museum board for the ground. This is an archival quality board, buffered against acid migration and deterioration and contains no optical brighteners.

All works are professionally framed to the highest conservation standards, using archival quality 100% cotton matting and museum glass or perspex, which cuts out up to 99% of damaging ultra-violet rays.

Her commissioned works hang in private collections in Australia, New York, Minnesota and Ontario, Canada.

Her original paintings are now exclusively represented by Morpeth Gallery, NSW, Australia.



Frances enjoys many other interests and hobbies in life. Between 2002 and 2015 she was a competitive adult figure skater, skating in competitions both locally and nationally.

After retirement from skating, Frances returned to Classical Guitar studies in 2014 (after a 27 year hiatus), and in 2015/2016 she passed both 6th and 7th grade AMEB practical exams with Honours. She also performed at the Melbourne International Guitar Festival and Competition (Advanced Division); taught at a local primary school; participated in summer schools; busked at local shopping centres and was conductor for The Canberra Classical Guitar Ensemble for one year.

Although not studying music anymore (devoting more time to her art) with her adored husband Mark (a renowned professional classical guitarist in his own right), she feels life has come full circle in happiness.

She also enjoys reading, sewing, cooking and spending time with her children, who are now all young adults.

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