Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Inspiring People: Frankie M

My Grandma has and always will be such an inspiration to me. She has the most beautiful, kind heart, always putting her family and others before her. She is so loving, giving, wise, and an incredible artist. I could not think of a more wonderful person to interview to start off my new series on the blog - Inspiring People. It was such a pleasure getting to know my Grandma a bit better through this project, here are the questions I asked her.


Tell me a little bit about yourself - where are you from?

I was born in Chicago; Illinois, so was my Father and two sisters. My Mother was born in Russia and came to the US at 10 years of age. For 14 years we lived on the west side (15th and Crawford). When I was 15 we moved to the north side (Budlong Woods) Foster and Lincoln. I went to William Pen Grammar School, Farragut High School, Von Steuben High School. Started college at William Wright Jr., College in Chicago, McHenry County College, WM Harper College, School of Interior Design, insurance classes, Art Institute, Indiana University, Real Estate School. I went to a lot of different colleges. When I was little I took dance and piano classes, when I was about 10 years old I became interested in art.

When I was in school I only worked part time jobs. I also went to Patricia Stevens for 6 years (where models were taught and given jobs.) I loved it, and when I worked for Albert Inc., I did all the work for Sears throughout the world, and was one of there models. I met your Grandfather when he got out of the army (Korean war). He was going to school to be a teacher and worked at a hot dog stand and at a shoe shoe. When I introduced him to my Father's business he fell in love with it and because I knew the business I worked with him. We opened the first Dollar Store in Joliet.

When your Mom was born we moved to Glenview, I got a job at The Stars of Glenview and also helped your Grandfather get a job there too. I worked at Robert Hall Village as their display manager for their 7 stores in Illinois. When we moved to Indiana I started to paint more and I also hooked several rugs. When I moved to Woodstock, Illinois I took stained glass classes at the local college. Over the years I have done several other projects. A man that your uncle Dean knew asked me to do a stained glass piece for him that he wanted to give as a present ( which I did). He gave me a picture that he took of 3 horses that I copied in glass: and I was paid for that.

What kind of artist are you?

I have no idea what kind of artist that I am. I just do what I like when I want to.

Are you self taught or have you taken any art classes?

I had special art classes in high school, for all four years, I also went to the Art Institute for awhile and McHenry County College for classes in stained glass. and there is more than one way to do stained glass and I only do it the way I was taught, ( I like that way better ). I also learned how to crochet from a book.

What sort of things inspire you when you're working on a new project?

For a painting I get inspired by something I see and think I can do something with it. For stained glass it's either something I would like to try, something new or sometimes someone will ask me to make something for them.

Are there any new projects you're working on at the moment?

I just finished a painting and have started another. Also there are small stained glass items that I have started and have not finished yet.

Who are a few of your favorite artists?

I have always liked Henri De Toulouse, Latrec, and Georgia O' Keefe. Maybe it's because the way they can paint what they see in a bright vibrant way.

Do you have a favorite piece of art that you've created? If so why is it your favorite?

Everything I do is my favorite, because when it's finished I usually feel it's always better than I thought.

What advice would you give to an artist just starting out?

After you take a few classes you should do and feel what you like; I use oil paint, but there are other mediums, but if you want to sell your art, have a good agent.

Anything else you'd like to add?

Yes, enjoy your hobby(ies). As a business you have to to decide what and how you are going to make it work for you.


  1. This post warmed my heart SO much!

    My grandmother, too, came from Russia at 10, only to New York City with her family. She wasn't an artist in the sense your Grandmother is (by the way -- your grandmother's art is just breathtaking! Oh my word!), but she was a singer and a dancer. She actually almost had a recording contract but the depression happened, her parents passed away tragically and suddenly and she was left at 18 raising all of her siblings alone. My fondest memories were listening to her sing and it's my biggest regret I never made any recordings. How amazing your Grandmother paints such beautiful works of art to cherish forever!

    I loved reading her interview! What a fascinating woman.

    1. Thank you so much for your sweet words Lindsay! It sounds like your Grandma was an incredible woman who sacrificed so much for her family!

  2. Hello! I'm stopping by from the I Love My Online Friends 'GFC' Blog Hop. I'm having a blast checking out some new-to-me blogs and meeting new people :)
    I love that you interviewed your grandmother - what a wonderful way to preserve your heritage!
    Hope you'll come visit me at http://jugglingactmama.blogspot.com
    Happy Tuesday!

    1. Thank you for stopping by and becoming a new follower!

  3. Oh my word, I love her! Her art is amazing, and her words about art and her background were really great! I'm so glad you decided to share her with the rest of us!

    1. Aw thank you Stephanie, so glad you enjoyed learning more about my Grandma, she is a wonderful woman!