Brush with Art: Fine art photographer creates outstanding results

Brush with Art: Fine art photographer creates outstanding results
Francine Filsinger is pleased when her photographic images touch viewers on an emotional level. Photo courtesy of Steve Filsinger

There’s no doubt about it, Francine Filsinger is having a positive influence on the arts in San Diego.

Working in multiple arenas, she creates invariably remarkable results with her widely ranging projects. She makes things happen.

Within her first six months as member of the Commission for the Arts of the city of Encinitas, Filsinger had successfully completed the production of the first Encinitas Student Film Festival.

Her background in filmmaking and membership on the executive board of directors for the San Diego Filmmakers Association allowed her to rally many award winning associates to work with area high school and college students for a engaging film symposium, culminating weeks later in the screening of the students’ short films and a red carpet awards ceremony.

Serving as area coordinator for the Encinitas Alliance for Art Education, a subsidiary of the California Alliance of Art Education, Filsinger stimulates the vital presence of the arts in local schools.

The recent juried art exhibition “A Woman’s Journey,” in which Filsinger displayed work from two of her photographic series exploring women’s issues, was a first step towards another important project. In partnership with the offices of County Supervisor Dave Roberts, Assembly Member Rocky Chavez and the Community Resource Center, Filsinger is currently coordinating a symposium on domestic violence with a concurrent art exhibition in collaboration with Oceanside Museum of Art, planned for spring 2015.

Filsinger spent most of her professional career in international business. She states, “Being exposed to different cultural perspectives helped to equip me to look beyond the surface, to look for a deeper understanding of what was before me. I also found myself having to separate my perceptions from my own cultural biases.” She finds that in her artistic pursuits this approach helps her view a subject with fresh, unconventional and unconstructed vision.

A native of Newport, R.I., Filsinger began formal piano training at the tender age of 8.

She reflects, “It seems that my entire life has been spent cradled in the arms of artistic expression. I began my adventure as a child studying the classics, falling in love with the piano as the perfect conduit for connecting the child artist with her innermost feelings.”

She continues, “It was there that I learned to perceive the world around me through rhythm. I soon discovered rhythm is everywhere. It’s found in sounds, in shapes, in light — all moving in unique patterns that intertwine with one another to tell a story. I’ve pursued that sense of chaotic order ever since.”

In considering her artistic evolution, Filsinger tends to think in terms of mediums.  Having developed a proficiency in a number of disciplines including music, writing, acting, decorative arts and fine art photography, she finds that they are interdependent, with each discipline giving insight into the others.

Filsinger explains, “l Iook at photography as the medium which best allows me to apply the important characteristics of the others for the greatest effect. For example, from my education in classical piano, I learned to look for harmonious and dissonant chord progressions and how their phrasing choices changed the entire feel and perception of the piece.”

In her photography, Filsinger most often contemplates a subject for quite some time before actually beginning to photograph it.

She muses, “In that quiet interlude, I find the rhythmical message of the subject — how it moves, how it speaks.

“As I apply light to it, its innermost expression is exposed or hidden, depending upon how I feel the message is to be communicated.  Some images shout and others whisper; the light is the conduit of revelation.  Very much in the same way I shape the expression of a musical composition, it is the same end goal but just a different process to achieve it.”

A published national and international award winning fine art photographer with credentials too numerous to list, Filsinger relates intimately with her subjects.

Oceanside Museum of Art Executive Director Daniel Foster describes Filsinger’s works as “quiet and understated photos that speak loudly.”

Her images are simultaneously mysterious and familiar, inviting the viewer to delve deeply into them.

Filsinger states, “If my imagery stays with you long after it has left your sight, whispering a message only you can hear, then I will have achieved my purpose.”

A selection of Filsinger’s photographic images will be on view July 14 through Aug. 24 in the Zooinitas Exhibit in the Encinitas Library Gallery, with a reception July 26, from 1 to 4 p.m., benefitting Rancho Coastal Humane Society’s Animal Safehouse Program.

Learn more about Francine Filsinger and her fine art photography at

Kay Colvin is director of L Street Fine Art Gallery in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter, and specializes in promoting emerging and mid-career artists. Contact her at


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