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, developing her abstract landscapes. Now in Norfolk working from her studio on a former 1930s airbase, her design background often emerges in her work through 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) at the Mall Galleries, London, 2016-2022; She exhibited in the Royal Watercolour Society’s ‘Contemporary Watercolours’ show at Bankside Gallery, London in 2018 and 2019; was a finalist in the Sunday Times Watercolour Competition in 2014, and a finalist in Artist & Illustrator Magazine Artist of the Year in 2016, both at the Mall Galleries. Her work is held in private collections worldwide.
In 2022 Mari French was elected a member of the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours (RI).