Samantha French embodies our clutch to nostalgia through her oil and gouache paintings. Specifically, she relays her own sentimental memories of summers in the lakes of Northern Minnesota as a child. There is something about swimming that crystallizes points in time and the carefree feelings that subconsciously dig deep, forever harbored in our depths. French paints the experience of being engulfed in water, totally submerged into a part of reality that feels ruminative.
It is as much a physical experience as it is an abstract one, and this artist executes all of its complexities in immaculate detail. This can be seen from how the ripples of water contort the world above with every kinetic motion, not to mention the bubbles that are gracefully figured in multitudes and done so organically. You could practically hear and feel the water immersing you into a state of muffled yet blissful existence.
The serenity is fully tangible and totally intimate. French works from a very introspective space that welcomes her to revisit her cherished memories via the painting process. Her work is a service to what it means to feel human, the individual seen drifting and wading through water. Even with paintings showing people above water, there is a subtly magnetizing attraction seen between the subjects and the body of water illustrated.
This relationship taps into something innate within all of us when viewing the many splendid paintings by the artist. Samantha French expresses a poignant feeling that reflects in her aquatic paintings, exhibiting the absolute fluidity and reminiscent qualities of water.