Mari French

Like the landscapes that inspire them, Mari's abstract mixed media paintings are not static; there is a fluidity and softness to their makeup. She strives to evoke the constant shift of weather and light on a place and this is reflected in the sense of movement and change in the work itself. Billowing colour, a play of line and mark, and the layering and wiping back of paint, give a sense of seeing through and beyond the surface.


Places that prompt her artworks range from the North Norfolk saltmarsh coast or the rugged coastline of Cornwall or the North York Moors, to the light-filled stretches of the Venetian lagoon. Often found sketching on location but in the studio Mari is an intuitive and experimental painter working from memory, using a variety of media to evoke her experience of a place rather than a recognisable representation.


Mari grew up in Manchester close to the brooding Pennine hills and studied art and design at Stockport College in the 1980s. She moved to the Isle of Skye in 1995, where she lived for 15 years. Inspired by the incredible landscape Mari increasingly painted and exhibited her abstracted artworks. She now lives in Norfolk, working full-time as a contemporary mixed-media artist, inspired by a very different but no less exciting landscape of saltmarshes, coastline and reedbeds. 

In the last few years Mari has exhibited several times at the Mall Galleries, London: in the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colour exhibition 2016, 2017 and 2018; as a finalist in Artist & Illustrator Magazine's 'Artist of the Year' 2016; and a finalist in The Sunday Times Watercolour Competition 2014. She has also had work selected for the Royal Watercolour Society's Contemporary Watercolour Competition 2018 and 2019 at the Bankside Gallery, London. She has exhibited throughout the UK and her work is held in national and international private collections. 

She is a member of the Institute of East Anglian Artists (IEA).