Mari French was born in Manchester and studied at Stockport College of Art and Design in the 1980s. Her subsequent career as a graphic designer led her to relocate to the Isle of Skye in 1995, where she divided her time between her position as senior designer at a marketing and advertising consultancy and her main passion - interpreting the landscape in paint. In 2009 French relocated to Norfolk to work full-time as a contemporary mixed-media artist. She has been exhibiting throughout the UK for the past twelve years and has work in private collections worldwide. In 2014 French was a selected artist at the Sunday Times Watercolour Competition, with her work being exhibited at the Mall Galleries, London; and in 2016 she has been selected as a finalist in Artists & Illustrators Magazine 'Artist of the Year' competition.
The inspiration for French's energetic, yet intimate artworks comes from landscape: rural, coastal and industrial. She abstracts her paintings to the essence of pattern, texture and sophisticated colour, resulting in complex, evocative works. Light and atmospherics are significant factors in her finished paintings, which are built up through layering and wiping back media to expose the under-painting. Her current series of work concentrates on the wild expanse of the north Norfolk saltmarsh coast, where she spends many hours walking and sketching, and has culminated in an ongoing body of mixed-media abstracted paintings which suggest the shapes, colours and textures of the marshes and reedbeds, placing them in the wider coastal environment.