My Favourite Colour Studio is a husband/wife team of artists living and working in Denver, Colorado. As full-time art teachers in the public school system, we have been left with little time to explore personal artistic ventures. Our days are filled with wholehearted efforts to discover and further the creative expressions of our students, engineering meaningful projects and empowering students to recognize the importance of art in each of their lives.
Now, by throwing sleep to the wind, we have managed to make time for both! MFC Studio, inspired by pastimes and traditions and driven by a passion for people and culture, aims to capture colourful moments ... integrating this into our personal work and the positive influence we hope to continue to have in the classroom setting.
We both spent years dreaming about starting an art business, influenced individually by various arts and music endeavors. Our journey finding each other and embarking on life together has been a catalyst for making our dream of creating and sharing art our reality. We met three years ago, for the second time ... Franky, freshly back stateside after completing a Fulbright teaching exchange in Hungary, and Annie, feeling deflated, struggling with her endeavors in juggling teaching and trying to create her own art. We shared the same love for both making and teaching art, and still just itching to be the artists we had dreamt of becoming as kids. This dream was reignited as we set off, hand in hand, traveling and learning about each other - we would talk and talk and dream and draw and talk and drink coffee and draw some more - always coming back to the idea of "let's make art, let's be artists!" We had both found our favourite colour in each other ... we fell in love and married a year and half later on cliffs of the Adriatic Sea in Italy. That following spring, ready to finally take action on a lifelong dream, Franky came home from teaching one afternoon and exclaimed it was time to start our art business, and it was going to be called: My Favourite Colour Studio!
From a very young age, I was encouraged to work hard, play hard, take chances, and be nice. These values make sense to me, and though my inspirations and experiences change, these are the things that remain most important to me as an artist and, now, as a small business owner.
I’m not sure which came first, my love of art-making or my passion for baseball… but, I know that they have always gone hand in hand.
As a youngster, I loved going to visit Nana and Papa because I always knew I would have an opportunity to do both. Papa would teach me how to throw a knuckleball and then we’d go inside and Nana would teach me how to draw with those scented Mr. Sketch markers. When I was in elementary school, I co-authored / illustrated a baseball magazine called Diamond Monthly. My friend and I hand-coloured and stapled each copy of each issue and marketed them to our family and other kids at school. It was fun and it seemed natural. I just loved making and sharing and making more and sharing more.
As I grew older, I knew I wanted to keep exploring, traveling, making… I wanted to be an artist. I went to State University of New York (at Fredonia) and came away with a BFA and a ton of new ideas about what I wanted to do and where I wanted to try it out. I soon found myself out in Colorado, teaching middle school art, and back at school myself (at the University of Denver) to get my MA in Art Education. It’s honestly the last thing I thought I’d ever do... and, yet it’s something I have felt so connected to for the past fourteen years. I found a way to link my passion for art with my desire to connect with other people. I know I have learned just as much from my students as they have from me. From teaching middle school students in the city, to high school students in the 'burbs, to university students in rural Hungary, all the way back to middle school in the city (where I am again now), I love the community we create in the classroom and am grateful for all I take away.
It wasn’t until I met Annie, the better half of My Favourite Colour Studio, that I was able to find the balance to make again. I’m inspired to get back to what I (still) love: art-making and baseball.
I grew up making art and loved any chance I had to draw or paint or cut or glue… any chance to MAKE! I have creative parents who always provided me with materials to create art. I was given a pair of scissors at the age of three and would make collages for my parents to hang all over my room. My elementary, middle and high school years were filled with drawing, painting, photography, and ceramics, with art educators who encouraged me to be an artist, keep a sketchbook and keep making art. My parents also encouraged me to pursue my passion, so I went to college to study fine art and earned my BFA in painting and then I became an art teacher. Currently I teach high school drawing and painting and have been teaching art in public schools for the past seven years, most of which was in elementary school.
I’ve learned more about myself and who I am as an artist from teaching art to kids than I did when I was just making my own art before.
I have always been inspired by kids’ artwork and being a part of the creative process… most of all, the younger artists in the primary grades. Watching as they make art without inhibition and judgment puts art-making into perspective for me. My work has always had a playful component and remnants of childhood. I realize that when I take myself too seriously nothing really gets accomplished. Recently, I have been enjoying painting foods, snacks, and objects from childhood. Picture books have been a major source of inspiration for me, and I dream of illustrating picture books someday. Illustrated pages can take us to another time or place, and this encourages me to tell my story and transport viewers there.
When I grow up, I still want to be an artist, so each day I wake up and believe I can be, then I go off to school and share my heart and passion for art with my students. Along my journey, I crossed paths with the most dynamic human. A man named Francis Scaglione (we will call him Franky for short) changed my whole perspective and energy on making art. Franky gave grown-up artist Annie a space to create, he encouraged me to create everyday, he inspired me and believed in me so much that I started to believe I AM an artist, and have always been.
Handmade Marriage is a series of mini documentaries by the mighty talented Ryan Kulp and his wife Monet Moutrie... interviewing, recording, and photographing married couples who work together in creative endeavors. They share stories of companionship and interconnectedness and hope to inspire others. We're so honoured that they took the time to get to know us as artists and people and document our story this winter...