Born in Cambridge in 1890, Frances attended school in central Auckland in 1900’s, where she showed a natural talent as a painter. She had to return to the farm upon the death of her father, she laboured the family farm until her brother returned from serving overseas in the war. Frances and her mother moved back to Auckland in the 1920’s, where she began to continue her development in art. She took watercolour classes at Frank Wright’s academy in Victoria Arcade, producing a romantic style approach to topographical watercolours of areas around Auckland. These were exhibited at the Auckland Society of Arts which later awarded her with a membership. She was then elected to the National Art Association of New Zealand. After years of travelling in Europe, she returned to study at age 41 at Elam School of Fine Arts. Following this she became a professional painter, and painted continuously over the next decade.