Artist Spotlight: Samantha French

As you know by now, Stripes & Sequins has an fab new contributor… my sister, Becca!  Her blog, (extra)ordinary wonders, is pretty much awesome… and she has an incredible eye for art + design.  Every week, she’ll be introducing us to a different artist… showcasing their amazing work.  I truly love this column – and now, thanks to my sister, learn a little something new about art every week.

When I first stumbled upon Samantha French’s paintings I was instantly drawn to them.  Her paintings capture the feeling of being in the water, which is for me one of the best feelings there is.  I love the colors, as well as the abstracted pattern created by the ripples of the water.  They are nostalgic, but refreshing.

{Colony Palms, 48×48″, Oil on canvas, 2012}

Where did you grow up, and where do you live now?

I grew up in Nisswa MN, a small town in MN surrounded by gorgeous lakes and trees. I currently live in Ridgewood, NY with my studio in Bushwick.

Rise and Sink, 48×48″, Oil on canvas, 2012

Where do you find your inspiration?

I feel like my work has naturally progressed over the years because I keep looking for more challenges and keep trying to improve the outcome and my techniques. I keep coming back to swimmers and water as subject matter because it resonates so deeply with me and people easily identify with it. But I feel like I haven’t finished it yet, there are so many more paintings I would like to do. Each piece seems to lead me to another. So a majority of my inspiration comes from the work itself, if that makes sense.

How do you stay creative?

As counter intuitive as it sounds, I’ve found that keeping a steady routine and going to the studio at least five/six days a week keeps my creativity up. However, making sure I take breaks (this is easier said then done!) is definitely an essential, it’s hard to be creative when you’re stressed out or over worked. NYC always has something going on.  For me, taking the time to attend openings, keeping up with other artists I admire or just spending the afternoon walking around the West Village can really be rejuvenating.

{Three feet below, 36×48″, Oil on canvas, 2011}

What advice would you give to other artists and designers?

Just keep working. As long as you love what you’re doing you’ll find other people that do too.

What are your goals this year?  Do you have any exciting new projects coming up?

I’ve been working on new paintings for a solo exhibition at Minneapolis’ Soo Visual Arts Center, which is opening June 2nd and will also have work in a few other group exhibitions later in the year. I’m just really excited to get the work out of my studio and to show it to the public.

{Deep dive, 36×36″, Oil on canvas, 2011}

What is your favorite food?

It’s a tie between Three Twins organic lemon cookie ice cream and coffee (that’s considered a food right??)

Leave a Comment

Leave a Comment


  1. Rachael Novak:

    I love her work – thanks for treating my eyes again with her beautiful paintings! And that lemon cookie ice cream sounds ridiculous – yum!

    5.1.12 Reply
  2. anna_sterretje:

    it looks a bit like david Hockney (:

    x Anna

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  3. Alexa:

    Ah I love Becca! She is so creative. You both are! 🙂 These paintings are so lifelike. The details on the water are incredible.

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  4. Denise Atwood:

    these are beautiful, I wish I could see them in person to get the depth, the colors int he water amaze me, thanks for sharing!

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  5. sarah | chevrons & stripes:

    I love Samantha French! I’m fairly certain these are the perfect paintings for a beachy summer home.

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  6. christin:

    omg these are INCREDIBLE. i feel like im in the water with them. 

    5.1.12 Reply
  7. Liz - So Much to Smile About:

    Love the paintings and learning more about the artist! Great post!

    5.1.12 Reply
  8. Anuschka:

    your sister’s blog is seriously awesome! 

    5.1.12 Reply
  9. Lisa // Elembee, Etc:

    These are absolutely amazing. Thanks for introducing me to her work!

    5.1.12 Reply
  10. Gabrielle | Savvy Home:

    I love Samantha French! Thanks for reminding me of it 🙂

    5.1.12 Reply
  11. Amy@HealthyGrits:

    Check out her work in action over at YoungHouseLove !

    5.2.12 Reply