Digital Art in Idyllwild

This digital art piece of Francoise's spans 5 feet wide

By Marcia E. Gawecki

“Digital art is original art,” said Francoise Frigola, an Idyllwild photographer.

She told us about a disagreement that she had with a previous gallery owner, who claimed that digital art was not original art.

“She kept insisting that it was just color copies,” Francoise said in frustration.

Digital art takes the same amount of time and effort that it would take to create a painting, she said. It’s just using a different medium.

Francoise is exploring the limits of digital art, and knows computers inside and out. In fact, she owns a computer business in Idyllwild in which she troubleshoots, fixes, and updates PCs. She even instructs others how to use PhotoShop and other software.

Even though digital art has been around for decades, there is still much confusion about it, Francoise said.


Digital art covers a range of artwork that use digital technology as an essential part of the creative process. Since the 1970s, various names have been used to describe it, such as computer art and multimedia art.

Francoise’s next exhibit, “ODA,” (short for Original Digital Art), will feature several of her recent and past digital art series, will open this Thursday, Jan. 6, at Earth n’ Fire in Idyllwild.

Several of her digital art series will be represented, including ‘Les Chats,” “Hymn to a Forest,” and “Squared Drops,” abstracts made from photographs of water droplets.

Francoise explained how she shot a series of water droplets on a glass plate, and then layered them to get the optimal effect.

“I take many overlapping photographs, and then seam them together, which is not as simple as it looks,” Francoise explained. “I only move the camera one-eighth of an inch at a time. ”

Francoise layered many photos of water droplets to create this digital image

She added that when the light changes, the seaming process of Photoshop gets lost and it doesn’t recognize adjacent images.

“I have to manually place them one-by-one,” she said.

After she prints out her digital images on canvas, she then applies impasto, which is similar to clear paint, which gives it an extra dimension and makes each piece unique.

Some of the pieces in the “ODA” show are smaller, such as “Le Chats,” or the cats, measuring 6 x 8 inches, while others are rather huge, up to five feet wide.

Luckily, Earth N’ Fire has very tall ceilings, and can hold such large images, Francoise said.

Over the years, Francoise’s work in photography, sculptures and digital art reflect her fascination of form, shape and color. Mostly self-taught, Francoise has explored many innovative techniques in darkroom processes, acrylic manipulation, and digital art. She has exhibited internationally.

Many of the photographs on her web site show her keen attention to detail from pine cone patterns to the whiskers on her cats.

Since the first time that Francoise arrived in Idyllwild, it was her dream to photograph the curved branches of the Coulter pine tree, which generally grows in the higher elevations.

Once while hiking, she came upon a dead Coulter pine tree, recently cut down due to the drought.

“It was my dream coming true,” she said. “I was able to get really close to shoot all of the details.”

From her "Hymn to a Forest" series

Everyone is invited to Francoise’s “ODA” opening this Thursday from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at Earth N’ Fire, located upstairs in the Fort.

To see more of Francoise’s work, visit

Copyright 2011 Idyllwild Me. All rights reserved.

Custom Search

the attachments to this post:











Comments are closed.