Francie Sanchez has been an artist since childhood
Painting has been part of her life, but for several years of her marriage, no one in her family knew she was an artist.
Francis Sanchez says she paints to relax – but she even sells much of her work to friends and family and through the gift shop at the Douglas senior center.
Sanchez said she stopped painting in 1960 when she married and started her family. She and her husband Frank have lived in Ruhenstroth for the past seven years, having come here from Southern California where she was a homemaker and nurse.
“From 1960 until 1978, I didn’t paint,” Sanchez said. When her youngest daughter was in junior high school, Sanchez bought some oils one day and started a painting.
Her daughter came home from school and saw the work. “Who did that?” she asked. Sanchez’s husband asked the same question when he came home from work.
They were flabbergasted, Sanchez said, at the painting. They encouraged her to continue.
“From then on, I was painting again,” Sanchez said.
She began to paint when she was just small, using children’s watercolor kits. At the age of 10, she asked her father for some oils, and that was when she started her love for the medium.
“My passion is for oils,” Sanchez said. She took a watercolor class at the Douglas senior center and enjoyed it, but she went back to her first love. She said she likes the way the colors blend and look realistic.
She began by painting flowers and progressed to ocean scenes and landscapes, but now that she lives in the Valley, she paints the mountains. She says she is “trying to master Job’s Peak.”
Wildlife is another subject, which fits right in to Sanchez’s other hobby, birding.
“I’m all into birding,” she said. “My whole family is, my brother and sister and kids, even my husband.”
She also raises bantam chickens and has planted over 300 trees on her acre plot of land.
“I’m trying to make this a birding yard,” she said. “I have a little pond for my ducks, and the birds love it.”
She also is a passionate gardener and paints ceramics at the Douglas senior center in Gardnerville.
Sanchez has pulled off a feat that has eluded many of us. Along the line she put on some extra weight. She said she felt all right, but wanted to get rid of the excess pounds. She joined Weight Watchers and lost 90 pounds – and has managed to maintain her weight for a year.
To help maintain her weight, she walks and hikes and takes part in walk-a-thons. She’ll be walking in the WalkAmerica March of Dimes walk-a-thon this month at Lampe Park.
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