Mari French RI is an abstract mixed media painter with a particular interest in the liminal landscapes of coastline, salt marsh and moorland, plus a passion for abstract florals. Confident use of layering and markmaking create a rich surface history in her artworks, while a limited palette gives them harmony and coherence, resulting in work that stands alone but still owes a debt to its subject.
French was born in Manchester in 1957, where she studied Art and Design, followed by a 20 year career in graphic design. She spent 15 years on the Isle of Skye, developing her abstract landscapes. She now lives in Norfolk, working as a full-time artist, from her studio on a former 1930s RAF airbase. Her design background often emerges in her work through effective colour combinations, strong composition and use of typography.
French has exhibited widely in both group and solo shows. Her work has been regularly selected for the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours (RI) at the Mall Galleries, London, 2016-2022; She exhibited in the Royal Watercolour Society’s ‘Contemporary Watercolours’ show at Bankside Gallery, London, 2018, 2019; was a finalist in the Sunday Times Watercolour Competition in 2014, and finalist in Artist & Illustrator Magazine Artist of the Year in 2016. Her work is held in private collections worldwide.
In 2022 Mari French was elected a member of the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours (RI).
SELECTED EXHIBITING HISTORY:
Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours, Mall Galleries, 2016-2022.
Gallery Different, London, ‘Synergy II’ group show (with Sheridan Russell), 2022.
Sheridan Russell Gallery, UK art fairs, 2014-2022.
Little Buckland Gallery, Broadway, Cotswolds, group exhibitions, 2021-2022.
Gallery East, Woodbridge, Suffolk, duo & group exhibitions, 2019-2021.
Royal Watercolour Society ‘Contemporary Watercolours’, Bankside Gallery, 2018, 2019.
Babylon Arts, Ely, Cambridgeshire, group exhibition, ‘No Frost at Night’, 2021.
Grapevine Contemporary, Burnham Market, Norfolk, solo/group exhibitions, 2009-2022.
Cricket Fine Art, Summer exhibition, Chelsea, London, 2017.
Thompsons Gallery, Aldeburgh, Suffolk, mixed exhibitions, 2013-2017.
Artists & Illustrators Artist of the Year, Finalist, Mall Galleries, 2016.
Cley Contemporary 16, North Norfolk Exhibition Project, 2016.
The Sutton Gallery, Edinburgh, mixed exhibition, 2015.
Sunday Times Watercolour Exhibition, Finalist, Mall Galleries, 2014.
Highgate Contemporary, London, ‘Inside Out’, duo exhibition, 2012.
Inchmore Gallery, Inverness, solo & group exhibitions, 2006, 2007.
An Tuireann Art Gallery, Isle of Skye, group exhibition, 2005, 2006.
SELECTED PRESS & PUBLICATIONS:
EAVA zine ‘Pilgrimages’, @eavazine, June 2021.
Artists and Illustrators magazine, Fresh Paint feature, September 2020.
‘The Woven Tale Press’ Literature & Fine Art Magazine, featured artist, October, 2019.
‘Painting clouds and skies in oils’, guest artist, Mo Teeuw, Crowood Press 2017.
The Artist Magazine, featured artist, July 2016.
‘Blyth Spirit’, Alan Marshall, Mascot Media 2014.
KL magazine, featured artist, 2014.
‘How artists see East Anglian Places’, Green Pebble 2010.