Studio Brunstrum

Chatting with Artist Francine Turk

August 11, 2015

I first fell in love with Francine Turk’s artwork when I saw her amazing charcoal nudes at the Randolph Street Market where she used to sell her art.

Photo Courtesy of Francine Turk

I first fell in love with Francine Turk’s artwork when I saw her amazing charcoal nudes at the Randolph Street Market where she used to sell her art. Now I’m crazy about her more colorful and vibrant pieces too. She is a remarkable woman with an international clientele and a devoted following among interior designers, including me!

Photos Courtesy of Francine Turk

Her work has been featured in numerous publications, including Elle Décor, Traditional Home, the Wall Street Journal and Modern Luxury Interiors Chicago. You can see three of her pieces on the set of Fox Network’s hit TV show Empire and a 13-foot wide installation in the lobby of Chicago’s Hyatt Centric Hotel.

Photo Courtesy of Francine Turk

We caught up with Francine in-between studio sessions to ask her some of our most burning questions:

Susan: When did you first know you were an artist?
Francine: First grade, when my teacher, Mrs. McCarthy, yelled at me for using a purple crayon to shade a boy's hair and coloring outside the lines.

SB: I’m glad you ignored her! Tell us about a life-changing moment.
FT: From a career standpoint, it was when set designer Dan Clancy discovered my art at the Antique Market (now known as the Randolph Street Market) and put my work in the 2006 movie “The Breakup” with Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn.

SB: We understand that the fourth floor of your townhouse is a custom-built dressing room. Very cool! Who is your favorite shoe designer?
FT: Prada

SB: I love Prada! And your favorite handbag designer?
FT: I don't carry a purse but I love my Lanvin wallet.

SB: I’m crazy about Diego Rocha handbags. Who is your top clothing designer?
FT: I find Alexander McQueen to be the most inspiring designer but I just happened upon a couple of magnificent floor length skirts from DSquared.

Photos Courtesy of

SB: What is your personal style?
FT: Jeans and a t-shirt, covered in charcoal and paint, paired with a kick-ass high heel.

SB: Can you recommend a good book? Miles: (Davis) The Autobiography.
FT: I’m learning an immense amount about a prolific artist.

SB: If you could eat dinner with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
FT: It would have to be a dinner party with Pablo Picasso, Jimi Hendrix, Henri Matisse and Johnny Cash because they have been fearless in their pursuit of personal truth.

SB: Your charcoal nudes of women are well loved. Have you done any male nudes?
FT: Yes, I have drawn a series of male nudes.

SB: What would your friends say about you?
FT: That it's very difficult to get me out of my home or studio.

SB Why?
FT: I find comfort in surrounding myself with things that I love.  I love reading in bed with my dog and yes, doing laundry! There’s nothing like fresh laundry scented with lavender. I get in the zone at my studio surrounded by my paints. Great music always gets my juices flowing. I love the solitude and creating something from nothing.

SB: What’s your idea of a perfect day?
FT: Nature, reading, resting and creating something from nothing.  Of course, every perfect day ends with a bubble bath.

SB: Sounds lovely. We have heard that you don’t live with your own work. Why?
FT: Because once that energy channels through me it's over.  I'm then compelled to keep moving forward and onto the next.

SB: What is your interior design style?
FT: It depends on the architecture and location of space.  I would decorate a flat in Paris different than a farmhouse in Tennessee. That said, I would only surround myself with things that are meaningful and bring me joy.

SB: Favorite cocktail?
FT: Owen and Alchemy juice cleanses

SB: I wasn't expecting that! I really prefer Prosecco with a splash of St. Germaine and a lemon twist. Thanks so much for talking with me, Francine. I look forward to seeing much more of your work. Anyone interested in Francine’s portfolio can visit or you can follow her on Instagram at @francineturk.

Susan Brunstrum
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