Fanch Ledan Reveals His Interior Life on the Behind the Artist Podcast
Francois “Fanch” Ledan has been a professional artist since the 1970s, even though he’s never had any formal training. But that hasn’t stopped him from becoming a prolific and incredibly popular artist with a strong international following.
Park West Gallery Director Morris Shapiro—who has known Ledan for more than 35 years—says that Ledan “imbues his work with wonder and imagination, creating most often what he, today, refers to as ‘Interiorscapes‘ into which we are invited to step and leave the tribulations of our day behind to savor his peaceful, articulate, and poetic world.”
Shapiro recently sat down to talk to his old friend Fanch for a new episode of Park West’s “Behind the Artist” podcast. You can find the episode now on the Park West Podcast page or download the episode on iTunes or Stitcher.
During their friendly chat, Ledan discusses how he transitioned from a business to an art career, how he came up with his trademark “Interiorscapes,” and how technology is changing the world of art.
Enjoy these excerpts from their conversation:
Fanch Ledan on the benefits of being a self-taught artist:
I didn’t go to any art school, and I think the benefit of that is that I was not formatted. I was not formatted by any teacher that would tell me “Look, this is how you draw, this is how you approach this subject matter.” So I approached my style and my artwork from a very personal place.
Fanch Ledan on the origins of his “Interiorspaces”:
I was living in a nice house overlooking Mount Tamalpais in the back of San Francisco Bay, near Sausalito. I had high ceilings… that was my studio. I painted in the living room there. It sort of created a frame for that scenery from the windows behind me. Someone walked in, a friend of mine, and I was there at my little table working on paintings. He said, “Well, you know, it’s just occurred to me that you should paint that scene. From this angle, it looks good.”
Fanch Ledan on how he learned the art of lithography:
I said, “Okay, I love a challenge.” And I really learned to be precise about colors, registration, harmony. All those things that, you know, come up naturally when you do a painting, but, when you do a graphic, it’s a different approach.
It’s kind of a challenge. It’s interesting. You build up that image until you get some kind of result that you’re either satisfied with or it’s a disaster. But I never had a disaster really, but they’re not easy to print.
Fanch Ledan on where he gets the concepts for his paintings:
I have in my mind preliminary studies, sketches, ideas. I go into my studio and think, “What am I going to paint today? Where am I going to be traveling? Where am I going to dream that I would like to be? Am I going to Greece? Am I going to Italy? Am I going to Paris, New York, San Francisco?” The world is my oyster.