An interview with award winning artist Francie Davis winner in the Carousel Artwork Contest in April of this year.

In looking at your portfolio on FAA and SmugMug it is evident that you are an accomplished photographer.  How long have you been
working at this art form and how did it begin?
I've always liked taking photos, from way back when I had a Polaroid Swinger camera. It was more a hobby for the better part of my
life, mainly because I was always told that you can't earn living as a photographer. It's only been the past 2 years or so that I've
become more serious about it; maybe because I now have more time to devote to it.  

What inspired you to take the photos of Trimper's Carousel?
During a family outing in Ocean City, Maryland last May, I was enjoying watching all of the children having fun on the rides. It hit me
how detailed the animals on the carousel are, each time they came around, and knowing how historical this carousel is, I just shot a
few photographs while standing there. I've always loved that carousel and to this day, I still ride it! The funny thing is, I wasn't sure
I'd ever be able to use the carousel photos, but I just couldn't bring myself to delete them!  

Can you tell us when and how your beautiful photograph of Ricketts Glen was selected to be included in the Visitor's Guide for
Endless Mountains of Pennsylvania?
I'm not really sure what made them select it, just that I was thrilled when they told me. I had entered a photo contest for the Endless
Mountains, after visiting there the summer of 2010. When I was told that I hadn't won, but they would like to use my photo in their
Visitor's Guide, I was ecstatic!! I was honored that they felt it was good enough to publish!

Your photo of Lilac on Black won second place in the flower category at the Delaware State Fair.  What do you think it was about this
photo that made you stand out amongst the others?
Again, I'm not of sure why they selected it as second place, but I can tell why I decided to enter it. I had several flower photos that I
was trying to decide between. My son liked the lilac saying that it had a slight painted look to it. At the time, I knew nothing about
digital painting, it's just the way the shot turned out against the black background. But the more I studied the photo, the more I
agreed with him. Even up to the day before taking the photos to the State Fair, I wasn't sure if I had made the right decision. But
when I saw that second place ribbon, it blew me away! It also showed me that I should listen to my son from now on!    

What is your favorite thing to photograph?
I love photographing landscapes, flowers, clouds, and my kitties, but if I had to choose one thing, it would be trees! My preference
would be bare trees. I think the limbs and branches are fascinating and they tell a story about the life of each tree.

How do you handle the business side of your art?
You'd have to ask me that later on down the road. To be honest, I am just now starting this venture as a business. My websites are
up and ready and my Facebook page is waiting for me to click "like" and send invitations to friends to check it out. I hope to sell
prints and greeting cards, which I hope to be able to incorporate the poetry of both of my sisters. That's where the "3roses" part
comes in; my favorite rose is yellow, my youngest sister's is pink, and my other sister's is red. I've named the business in honor of
our relationship.    

What advise would you give other artists?
Just to keep at what makes you happy. There are so many different forms of art and photography right now, that it constantly
amazes me. I've started to dabble in digital art and it's fun, but my best work, I feel, is still in landscape photography. There is room
out there for every preference and every art form. Find out what you like, what you're best at, and give it your all........don't stop
dreaming or believing!
And can be found on Facebook by searching 3roses photography.
In sponsoring contests on Fine Art America as a prize to the winners I offer an interview with the artist
that will be shared here with you for at least one month.  

For September I sponsored a contest for artwork suitable as an Autumn Season greeting or note card.    I
did not have any work in this contest as I am the sponsor. My note card gallery can be viewed by clicking
the link found on the Prints page here on this site.  Please click this link view:  
Autumn Season Greeting

I think you will enjoy the wonderful images presented and may even find a terrific card for you to use in
the holiday months or any time of the year.

There was a tie for both first and 3rd place and those winning images are shown here below.  You can
click on each image for a larger view and to visit the website of each of the stellar artists.  Read the
interview from first place winner Maxine Bochnia below.

In looking at your portfolio on FAA and MFDDigi-Art it is evident that you are an accomplished photographer but also a music producer,
instructor, a pilot and now an author.  How do you manage your time?
My answer may sound funny.. But the real answer is.. By getting old.I decided with each passing decade to take on something new... And
something challenging.  Early on in my 20s, I was a full time parent and a part time music teacher.  During those years I did a lot of song
writing. (In college  I was an art major and a music minor.)  Parenting took a chunk of time out of my life but as my children grew and became
self sufficient,  I found I had more time on my hands to take on NEW things.  I spent most of the 80s and early 90s traveling around the world.
And during this time I also learned to fly.  Most of my USA travels were done in a private plane.  (I did not fly a small plane to Europe).

In the late 90s I was fortunate to meet a fascinating man, who was a master of so many arts and skills, that tagging along with him became an
education in many new ways. He was a recording artist, and I told him I would love to produce a small album for him, if he would record one or
two of my songs...He did, and we became good friends (still are) and I went on to produce several more albums for him.  I also produced a one
man stage show, and booked it in old art deco movie houses all around the Northeast. It was a fascinating journey.

I was working a small retail business at that time,too,  to fill in the money gap.. And then came the terrible events of 9/11.  The retail market
crashed badly and I had to find a new way to bring in money.  I decided to become a licensee of a small company named Digi-Art..  (hence
MFD/Digi-Art)  I have been doing digital art since 2001.  I shoot at dog and horse shows, and of course privately.

What inspired you to convert your winning photo of Wall in Fall to a digital painting?  
Sometimes a photograph just has a special quality.. All by itself.. Before you ever do ANYTHING to it.. This particular photo image seemed to
be a painting before I ever enhanced it. Truly, what I did to it was minor.. And I loved it's calm serenity.. I have it  printed as a large canvas, and
framed in my home.. It takes me to a much calmer place. The photo was taken in Maryland.  

On your website MFDDigi-Art there are many wonderful dog portraits.   
How often and how far do you travel in order to capture these?I travel the dog show circuit all over the Northeast.. Occasionally getting as far
south as Florida and as far West as Kentucky. During the winter I am usually booked pretty much every weekend (some are long 3-4 day
weekends) in the Summer, I take off and shoot images for the joy of it.

How do you handle the business side of your art?
I find that as long as I am me.. And don't get too swelled a head, people like having me shoot them, their animals, and children.  I have a good
sense of humor and let it run loose.. I find the business of photography is best handled with humor as well as skill. My regular base of
customers are very loyal.. They know my skills and feel relaxed when I am going to be doing  a shoot for them.  I do not charge inordinate
amounts for my images.. Or for my editing skills. There are enough high priced photogs out there doing that. And I sadly have to say, that
when I became one I found that many portrait photographers  have the same tainted reputation as used car salesmen.. So I keep it fun, keep it
affordable, and love what I do.

Is there anything else about your artistic and current life journey that you would like to share here?
I spend my quiet down time, at home in PA, with my 2 Greyhounds, enjoying the rural Amish area that I moved to 15 years ago. It's a wonderful
place to come home to after a long week or two of travel.

Lastly, I would love to figure out how to get my time on FAA to be a bit more financially viable.  Perhaps, entering contests is one way. I would
hope that this winning image was one that some people would like on a small canvas or note cards.. But I guess I will take it as it comes.
Thank you for allowing me to tell a bit more about myself. I enjoyed this contest, and (very much .. ) the results.

More of Maxine's work can be viewed by clicking the following links:
Fine Art America Portfolio
Gadfly Note Cards