Monday, July 28, 2014


What is your name?

My name is Francien Krieg

Where are you from?

I am from Holland.

Where do you live?

I now live since one year in a small village called Puiflijk in Gelderland after living for 20 years in The Hague.

When did you realize that you wanted to be an artist?

When I was 16 I quit high school because I got bullied a lot, and i was so sick of it..I started working in clothing shops for a year and had the time to really think about what I wanted to do with my life.I realized that the thing I enjoyed the most was painting and drawing, something that was doing a lot  since I was a child. To go to art academy I needed my high school diploma so I decided to finish high school at some special school for adults, I fitted much better in between these people and got my diploma with high scores. With this diploma I was able to start my education on the art academy The Hague.My father never enjoyed his work and was always complaining about it, because of this I decided to really do something I love to do and not just to earn money.

Who influenced you as an artist?

On art academy i followed the direction : monumental art and I made flesh sculptures , human skins, cocoons and animated movies of a meat head falling apart, now when I look back it this I clearly see a connection to what I am doing now.The degeneration process always has fascinated me.Kiki Smith was an artist I really admired. I felt really connected to her work.Later after graduating from art academy I started painting I found other artists which I found inspiring, mostly people I worked with at the free academy, people I knew personally and appreciated their way of painting. Nowadays there are too many artists I appreciate, to many to name one in particular, it always goes in phase which artist I admire.

What is your favorite medium?

I prefer to work with oil paint, I like the texture and the richness of the colors.

Do you have a studio? 
Where is it? 

My studio is in my house, one of the benefits of moving to a small town is to have more space, in and outside of the house. I used to have studios in The Hague at changing locations for a very low rent, changing the surroundings always had an impact on my work, I also really enjoyed that interaction.But now I can make more hours to work, since I have a son this is also very important, I can easily work an hour in between or in the evenings.

When did you become a mother?

Three years ago I became a mother of my son Tobias.I love being a mother , I cannot explain in words how deep that feeling goes. According to my painting career, that was on a lower level for a few is a small sacrifice for something so beautiful.Since one year now I have the feeling I am really into my work again and I have the energy and time to develop my work more to a next level.

What are your challenges as a mother artist? 

Tobias is going to the creche for 3 days a week, before my son was born I was always working, everyday and even weekends and evenings, so i really have much less time to work now.Somehow I don't really see this as a problem. Becoming a mother also gives a lot of peace inside, and gives more depth to my life and makes me realize what is important in life. I rather make less paintings but have better quality, I am more critical now to the work I make then before.

What has been the driving force behind keeping a balance between being a mother and an artist?

The desire to make art has always been the driving force for me , it makes me happy.

When do you spend time making art?

3 days a week and in the evenings as much as I can.

How many children do you have?
Do you want more?

I have one son and I would like to have one more child.

Have you ever considered giving up art in order to be a mother? 

I would never give up painting in order to be a mother , thank god  I don't have to make such a decision, I realize that I am very lucky with my life.

Do you have support from your family and friends to keep making art? 

My family has always supported me in my choices to become and being an artist , I come from a pretty artistic family were making music and art is normal. 8 years ago I met my husband and he has also always been very supportive, we actually met on a exhibition of my work, so he already had an interest in art. lucky me.

Do you feel like you are taken seriously as a mother artist? 

Sometimes I feel  like not to mention to much that I am a mother , because in the gallery world I did hear a lot that they prefer to work with male artists over working with female artist who have the risk they can became pregnant... I thought it was pretty shocking soo it did effect my attitude in this subject.I know it shouldn’t but it did.

Has becoming a mother influenced your art? 

Becoming a mother did affect my work, it made me think even more about death . I really hate the fact that everybody knows they will die one day but since I have Tobias I am much more emotional about death and scared of dying at a young age... I don't want to miss him growing up because I think it is so wonderful, so the urge to paint older people became even stronger. Every painting I make of an older lady I see as a self portrait.It is a way for me to try to accept the fact I will die one day and the fact the aging process you see on the outside is  the road to that point. Sometimes I see a lot of beauty in this aging process and sometimes I mostly fear and hate it... there are many sides to his subject and I try to capture these different perspectives in my paintings.Now I am in a phase I mostly want to show the strong active older ladies, I sometimes meet the most amazing elderly, people who are still very active,traveling , interested in culture, falling in love, having sought after and starting a new education... I have such deep respect for these ladies ,they are my role models, it seems they have no fear of death and life.I hope people can find this message in my work.

Do you think mother artists are taken seriously in society?

I think women are taken a little less serious then men in general.

What do you say when someone asks “what does your husband do for a living?” 

Normally I don't get that question… if they would ask that I would say he is an account manager.

Are you offended by such a question?

No, depends on how the conversation goes and what kind of vibes I get from it.Sometimes when people hear what I do for a living they first think that it is sort of a hobby, but when i explain it is my job and I am pretty ambitious about it they get more respect for it.

What have you learned about balancing motherhood and your passions?

Motherhood is also a passion, it is great to make a combination of these two passions , the private life is very important also.

What advice can you offer other mother artists about pursuing their passions regardless of their situation?

Go for it and fight for it! It is the most important thing to do something you really enjoy.

What do you want to be remembered for as an artist?

As someone who  tried to show compassion and non judgmental. Hopefully I can pass on those thoughts to other people.

To learn more about the work of Francien Krieg please visit :


*All photographs belong to and were submitted by the artist. 

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