FFRF Member Jacques Le Fresne, whose beautiful watercolors are fea-tured in FFRF’s new 2022 wall calendar, is still painting one or two landscape watercolors a week.
Born in Fougeres, France, in 1930, Le Fresne worked in leather goods until moving at age 31 to New York City. There he went to school to become a hairdresser and “worked in one of the best beauty shops” in New York. “I had never used a phone before moving to New York City. Can you imagine?” Le Fresne marvels.
He lived in New York City until his only child, a daughter in her 30s, tragically was killed by a drunk driver who ran a stop sign in 1989. Always a doubter, that tragedy cemented his lack of belief in a deity. “She spoke four languages, was a Black Belt in karate and had everything going for her.”
He and his mother moved to St. Croix, where he opened up his own hair salon, serving both men and women. His mother worked until she was 89, and died in 1994. He eventually moved to North Carolina, then settled in Ocala, Fla., in 2001.
Le Fresne first took up painting in his retirement. Loving music, he also studied guitar and plays Flamenco music. He has used oil in some paintings, but found it messy and full of fumes, so now works entirely in watercolor. A typical painting takes him a day.
Le Fresne says he is “always busy,” playing music, painting and walking every morning.
He found out about FFRF through his late friend Irene Stephenson, a former Life Member who founded a method of personality analysis called “biorhythm.”
Le Fresne became a U.S. citizen about five years after moving to the States. Friends who’ve visited and returned have told him “There is more freedom in France.”
Despite all his beautiful paintings, he has never had a showing. An exhibit in the works was foiled due to the pandemic.
“I am bowled over by Jacques’ artistry and generosity,” says Annie Laurie Gaylor, FFRF co-president. “We’re delighted to exhibit Jacques’ landscapes showing the seasons in our new calendar.” The calendar traces birthdates of famous freethinkers and some major freethought events.
FFRF first became aware of Le Fresne’s artistry when he won a contest many years ago for a new winter solstice card to be marketed by FFRF. Le Fresne’s “Train in Snow” card won. That beautiful card is being re-issued this year, along with several other winter scenes Jacques has kindly donated.
Buy the FFRF calendar
FFRF is offering its elegant and functional 11”x 8.5” 2022 wall calendar chronicling famous freethinkers by birthdate. Learn freethought history while marking off dates.
Go to ffrf.org/shop and search for “calendar.” $12.00