Mari French RI is an abstract mixed media painter with a particular interest in the liminal landscapes of coastline, salt marsh and moorland. 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, where she began to develop her abstract landscapes. Now living in Norfolk, working from her studio on a 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) annual exhibition at the Mall Galleries, London, since 2016. She exhibited with the Royal Watercolour Society at Bankside Gallery, London, 2018 and 2019; was a finalist in the Sunday Times Watercolour Competition 2014, and finalist in Artist & Illustrator Magazine Artist of the Year 2016, both of which were held at the Mall Galleries. Her work is held in private collections worldwide.
In 2022 Mari French was elected as 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.
Royal Watercolour Society 'Contemporary Watercolours', Bankside Gallery, 2018, 2019.
Gallery East, Woodbridge, Suffolk, duo & group exhibitions, 2019-2021.
Little Buckland Gallery, Broadway, Cotswolds, group exhibitions, 2021-2022.
Babylon Arts, Ely, Cambridgeshire, group exhibition, ‘No Frost at Night’, 2021.
Grapevine Contemporary, Burnham Market, Norfolk, solo & group exhibitions, 2009-2019.
Gallery Different, London, group exhibition (with Sheridan Russell), 2018.
Sheridan Russell Gallery, London, art fairs, 2014-2017.
Cricket Fine Art, Summer exhibition, Chelsea, London, 2017.
Black Barn, Cockley Cley, Norfolk, group exhibitions, 2017, 2021.
Thompsons Gallery, Aldeburgh, Suffolk, mixed exhibitions, 2013-2017.
Artichoke Gallery, East Sussex, 'Across the water', group exhibition, 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.
Greyfriars Art Space, King’s Lynn, solo exhibitions, 2012-2014.
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