Fernande, born of French and Russian parents, was a child in Shanghai, China, when World War II broke out. Before arriving in the United States she spent her young years living in France and Cuba. Her family moved to San Francisco before finally settling in New York.
She studied fine art at Pratt Institute in New York and launched a career in oil and acrylic painting, interspersed with forays into terracotta and metal sculpting, as well as clothing and ceramic designs. Her artistic life was dramatically altered when she was commissioned to create an oil painting depicting the events of The Gulf War in 1991. This endeavor led to a series of prints of the unique art work. Many were acquired by individuals in the worlds of entertainment and government and ultimately the initial print was selected by President George Bush I for his Presidential Library. A photo of the art work was also chosen for viewing by the West Point Military Academy.
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