Frances (Franny) Howatt first trained in art at the Chaffee School For Girls under Madame Cheruy in her hometown of Windsor, Connecticut. She continued her studies as a pupil of Umberto Romano of the Umberto Romano School of Art in Gloucestor, Massachusetts.
In 1946 Howatt relocated to Saint Augustine, Florida, and became the student of John Pratten, formerly of Elizabethtown, New York, studying portraiture under him for three years. She received still life and landscape instruction from Charles Johnston. The scenes of Saint Augustine appear in many of her paintings.
In 1962, Howatt was credited with developing a new painting technique she tagged “intalgios in oil.” This process involved a combination of carving and painting. Howatt distressed wood panels by gouging and scraping with chisels. The rough surfaces were painted complementary to the designs created in the panels. The works were suitable for interior or exterior and most had historical or literary themes. Howatt was invited to show her intalgios in an invitational exhibit at the Lillian Phipps Gallery in Palm Beach, Florida.
An ardent supporter of the Saint Augustine Arts Club, Howatt and artist Tod Lindenmuth were members of the council that sponsored the first Arts and Crafts Festival in 1966. The festival’s mission was to foster the growth and development of the arts in Saint Augustine by providing a reciprocal exhibition to the public. The Arts and Crafts Festival continues to be a major event sponsored biannually by the Saint Augustine Art Association.
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