Françoise Nielly


French painter: present

Françoise Nielly is a French artist whose striking paintings utilize bold colors,  thick waves of oil paint layered like frosting, and sharp lines. But it’s her technique that is truly intriguing: Nielly is famous for painting nearly exclusively with palette knives, a tool common in an oil painter’s kit but not commonly used exclusively.

Nielly grew up in the south of France, between Cannes and Saint-Tropez. Her father was an architect, whom she credits for her her sense of space and construction. Though her childhood had its share of difficulty, she speaks fondly of her environment growing up. In an interview on her website,, she says, “I have vivid images of colors, of brightness. Yellow, sunshine, blue, heat, cicadas, pine smell, light… all of that classical imagery of South France is very alive as an experience inside of me.”

francoise_04“LES DIABOLIQUES” EXPOSITION, 57.5X38.2 inches, oil

UNTITLED495, 76.8X38.2 inches, oil

francoise_03DG 320, 39.4X39.4 inches, oil

95BARACK OBAMA, 57.5X38.2 inches, oil

francoise_01UNTILTED 529, 39.4X39.4 inches, oil

Spectacular use of color, texture and layering, and all of this done with a knife? The novelty of technique adds an interesting twist to the appreciation of her artwork. Check out how she does it:


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