Artist's Statement

       I feel the roughness of the cold press sheet of watercolor paper, open tubes of paint and look at the bright colors laid out before me. Excitement builds as I pick up my brush and begin to lay in a background wash. Water and color mix as instantly color begins to emerge spreading across the page. Watching the paper coming to life as layers of color are placed is to me the exciting part of painting and keeps me inspired.

          An outdoor person, I am happiest when I am exploring the rural fields, wild flowers, country roads, and streams of the prairie. I photograph what I see and interpret these discoveries with watercolors. The subject matter is deceptively simple: leaves reflected on a pond's surface, freshly baled hay, vibrant orange trumpet flowers, grazing cattle, stems of Johnson grass. I try to take what some people think is simple and mundane and hope to shine a light on its beauty. Because my paintings are about things I love and see everyday, my paintings become a part of me.

          My hope is to evoke a memory in the viewer. One viewer said, "I can actually feel your love for the prairie; it comes out in your art." A quote from an article in the newspaper about one of my exhibits stated, "It was a delightful exhibit of Black Prairie paintings. I enjoyed recalling and reflecting on similar scenes Hairston had painted. The images she created recalled the flowers, fields, and scenes of which I am so familiar."



              Frances Hardwick Hairston, born near Vaughan, Mississippi, grew up in the Mississippi Delta in Belzoni but has spent most of her life near  Crawford, Mississippi in the Black Prairie.  As a child, she was surrounded nature. "I was always roaming around noticing trees and flowers and making flower arrangements from these found treasures  Nature is second nature to me."

Later as an adult, Hairston developed this love of flowers into the Tussie Mussie, a nosegay of dried Mississippi flowers which was sold all over the United States.  Her sense of color, shape, and design still left her wanting to draw and to paint.  She returned to her alma mater, Mississippi University for Women, to earn  a Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting in 2013.

A mother of three children and a grandmother of seven grandchildren and one great grandchild, she is very involved with the community.  She serves on the Columbus Art Association Council where she helps set up monthly exhibits.  She is a member of Mississippi Association of National Women in Art, church   choir, and is chair person of Art and Environment in her church.  In addition, she is a member of PEO, a docent at the S. D.Lee Home in Columbus, Mississippi. Her paintings have been accepted into juried shows.  Her first solo art exhibit was September, 2015 at the Rosenzweig Art Center in Columbus, Mississippi.  Her paintings were exhibited at a gallery at the Columbus Air Force Base, and an exhibit in May, 2016 at the Wade-Cullis Depot Gallery on the Mississippi State University campus. She has recently exhibited in the Oddfellows Gallery in Hattiesburg, MS.

My mission is to document flowers and icons in the Black Prairie in Mississippi. This area is rich in many wild flowers which go unappreciated and unnoticed. I want to preserve their images.




      1534 Tarlton Road, Crawford, MS 39743 Home 662-272-5770 Cell 662-312-2763

       Website: prairieartist.bizFrances Hairston, Watercolorartist     ___________________________________________________________________


          2013            Mississippi University for Women, Bachelor of Fine Arts

          1973           Mississippi University for Women, Master of Arts

          1961           Mississippi University for Women, Bachelor of Arts

Professional Workshops

          2014           Hilary Parker, Botanical Watercolor Artist



        2018            Solo Exhibit, Mississippii State University, Union Gallery, Starkville, MS

        2018             Showcase Exhibit, MSCNMWA, Meridian Museum of Art, Meridian, MS

        2017-2018    Solo Exhibit, Louise Campbell Art Center, West Point, MS

         2017            Solo Exhibit, Four Seasons Art Gallery, Birmingham, AL

         2017            Juried Alumni Show, Mississippi University for Women

          2017           Oddfellows Gallery, Hattiesburg, Mississippi

          2016            Solo exhibit, Cullis Wade Depot Art Gallery,Mississippi State Uni                           

          2016            Solo exhibit, Columbus Air Force Base, Columbus, MS

          2016           Mary C. O'Keefe Cultural Center, Ocean Springs, MS

          2015           Solo exhibit, Rosenszweig Art Center, Columbus. Mississippi


          2014-2017   National Museum for Mississippi Women in Art




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