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Featured Shop: Samantha French

Jul 26, 2013

by Samantha French

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

My name is Samantha French, and I’m an oil painter. I live in Ridgewood, New York and work out of my studio in Brooklyn.

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My work starts by taking thousands of photos, which I then edit and cull down. I make mock-ups of images I want to work with by choosing elements and piecing them together, which I eventually paint from. I have slowly been scanning all of my larger paintings on a large format flatbed scanner; this means that, even at the largest size, the detail is incredible. I’ve put a lot of time (and money) into researching and finding the highest quality equipment and print materials. Each print is made at my studio on thick velvet fine art paper. I personally inspect, color correct, sign, pack and ship each one.

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I’ve always loved painting the figure, and the first “water” piece I made was a painting from an old photograph of my mother and aunt at the lake when I was a baby. With that element of nostalgia, as well as the beautifully abstracted reflections in the water, I knew I had found something that deeply resonated with me. My work then was slightly more ethereal and less structured than it is now, but the progression to underwater swimmers was organic. Every painting lends something to the next. The more I work, the more I learn about what I want from the next piece and the better my technique becomes. I’m still learning every time I go into the studio, and I try to keep pushing myself further.

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I studied at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, and I found painting to be the most challenging medium I studied, but essentially the most rewarding. I grew up in a small town, and although I loved to draw and create, I never really thought of it as a career. It didn’t seem like there were many opportunities outside of teaching or advertising; being a full-time fine artist wasn’t even on my radar. But once I saw that it could be a reality, I worked as hard as I could to make it so.

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Etsy has changed my idea of how you can make a living as a fine artist. My parents own a coffee shop and roastery in Minnesota, and they also had other small businesses while I was growing up. This made it seem pretty natural for me to own my own business – creative or otherwise. I’ve been selling my paintings and making prints since my first year in college. Being an artist is being a small business, and it feels very organic to me. At this point, I’m not sure what else I could do.

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I have been fortunate to have the opportunity to control my own business; it suits me perfectly. My original paintings are at a price point that isn’t affordable for a lot of people, so making my work accessible via prints is important to me and the growth of my name. So many of my patrons have reached out to me, and when I hear why they bought a certain piece it can be really moving. You can’t work in a vacuum. This constant connection to my patrons and collectors keeps me in my work and helps me to understand what my paintings are doing.

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Though I mainly sell prints on Etsy, my true focus is on paintings and the act of painting itself. Prints are a way of connecting my work with a larger audience, but they aren’t meant to be the end product. I put a lot of time and energy into each piece before they are even conceivable as prints. I’m not following trends or trying to make quick images that are easily sale-able. I’m just doing what I love, doing it the best I can, and hoping others enjoy it as well.

Maker photographs by Aaron Hauck, studio and listing photos by Samantha French.

Featured Shop Archive

Dive in, float: 11x14" Archival Print - Signed
Dive in, float: 11x14" Archival Print - Signed
SamanthaFrench
$90.00 USD
Slow breathing: 16x20" Archival Print - Signed
Slow breathing: 16x20" Archival Print - Signed
SamanthaFrench
$195.00 USD
Dive in, float: Matted 11x14" Archival Print - Signed
Dive in, float: Matted 11x14" Archival Print - Signed
SamanthaFrench
$105.00 USD
NEW: Perfect Silence, 16x20" Archival Print- Signed
NEW: Perfect Silence, 16x20" Archival Print- Signed
SamanthaFrench
$195.00 USD
Three feet below: 16x20" Archival Print - Signed
Three feet below: 16x20" Archival Print - Signed
SamanthaFrench
$195.00 USD
NEW: Aqua Sunrise, 16x18" Archival Print- Signed
NEW: Aqua Sunrise, 16x18" Archival Print- Signed
SamanthaFrench
$195.00 USD
Three feet below:  7.5x9.5" Archival Print -  Signed
Three feet below: 7.5x9.5" Archival Print - Signed
SamanthaFrench
$48.00 USD
Three feet below: 11x14" Archival Print - Signed
Three feet below: 11x14" Archival Print - Signed
SamanthaFrench
$90.00 USD
Three feet below: 11x14" Archival Print - Signed
Three feet below: 11x14" Archival Print - Signed
SamanthaFrench
$90.00 USD
Slow breathing: Matted 11x14" Archival Print - Signed
Slow breathing: Matted 11x14" Archival Print - Signed
SamanthaFrench
$105.00 USD
Refresh: Matted 11x14" Archival Print - Signed
Refresh: Matted 11x14" Archival Print - Signed
SamanthaFrench
$105.00 USD
Emerge, clear waters: 11x14" Archival Print - Signed
Emerge, clear waters: 11x14" Archival Print - Signed
SamanthaFrench
$90.00 USD
NEW: Above and Below, 16x20" Archival Print- Signed
NEW: Above and Below, 16x20" Archival Print- Signed
SamanthaFrench
$195.00 USD
Emerge, clear waters: Matted 11x14" Archival Print - Signed
Emerge, clear waters: Matted 11x14" Archival Print - Signed
SamanthaFrench
$105.00 USD
Deep Dive: 11x11" Archival Print - Signed
Deep Dive: 11x11" Archival Print - Signed
SamanthaFrench
$90.00 USD
Dive in, float: 7.5x9.5" Archival Print - Signed
Dive in, float: 7.5x9.5" Archival Print - Signed
SamanthaFrench
$48.00 USD
Slow breathing: 11x14" Archival Print - Signed
Slow breathing: 11x14" Archival Print - Signed
SamanthaFrench
$90.00 USD
Breakthrough: Matted 7.5x9.5" Archival Print - Signed
Breakthrough: Matted 7.5x9.5" Archival Print - Signed
SamanthaFrench
$65.00 USD
Breakthrough: 7.5x9.5" Archival Print - Signed
Breakthrough: 7.5x9.5" Archival Print - Signed
SamanthaFrench
$48.00 USD
Mid Morning Light: 7.5x9.5" Archival Print - Signed
Mid Morning Light: 7.5x9.5" Archival Print - Signed
SamanthaFrench
$48.00 USD
Breakthrough: 11x14" Archival Print - Signed
Breakthrough: 11x14" Archival Print - Signed
SamanthaFrench
$90.00 USD
Lake Waters: 11x11 Archival Print - Signed
Lake Waters: 11x11 Archival Print - Signed
SamanthaFrench
$90.00 USD
Breakthrough: Matted 11x14" Archival Print - Signed
Breakthrough: Matted 11x14" Archival Print - Signed
SamanthaFrench
$105.00 USD
Mid Morning Light: Matted 11x14" Archival Print - Signed
Mid Morning Light: Matted 11x14" Archival Print - Signed
SamanthaFrench
$105.00 USD
At the edge stripes and flags: Matted 11x14" Archival Print - Signed
At the edge stripes and flags: Matted 11x14" Archival Print - Signed
SamanthaFrench
$105.00 USD
Dive in, float: 16x20" Archival Print- Signed
Dive in, float: 16x20" Archival Print- Signed
SamanthaFrench
$195.00 USD
Dark Waters: LARGE FORMAT Limited Edition & Various sizes
Dark Waters: LARGE FORMAT Limited Edition & Various sizes
SamanthaFrench
$550.00 USD
Dive in Float: LARGE FORMAT Limited Edition & Various sizes
Dive in Float: LARGE FORMAT Limited Edition & Various sizes
SamanthaFrench
$550.00 USD
Slow Rise Five Feet:  LARGE FORMAT Limited Edition & Various sizes
Slow Rise Five Feet: LARGE FORMAT Limited Edition & Various sizes
SamanthaFrench
$550.00 USD
Up from below: LARGE FORMAT Limited Edition & Various sizes
Up from below: LARGE FORMAT Limited Edition & Various sizes
SamanthaFrench
$500.00 USD
Two Archers:  42x42"  Archival Print - Signed Limited Edition
Two Archers: 42x42" Archival Print - Signed Limited Edition
SamanthaFrench
$1,350.00 USD
Mid Morning Light,  16x20" Archival Print- Signed
Mid Morning Light, 16x20" Archival Print- Signed
SamanthaFrench
$195.00 USD
NEW: Dark Waters,  16x20" Archival Print - Signed
NEW: Dark Waters, 16x20" Archival Print - Signed
SamanthaFrench
$195.00 USD
Endless Summer: 11x14" Archival Print -  Signed
Endless Summer: 11x14" Archival Print - Signed
SamanthaFrench
$90.00 USD
Endless Summer: 16x20" Archival Print- Signed
Endless Summer: 16x20" Archival Print- Signed
SamanthaFrench
$195.00 USD
Somersault: 11x14" Archival Print -  Signed
Somersault: 11x14" Archival Print - Signed
SamanthaFrench
$90.00 USD
At the edge stripes and flags: Matted 7.5x9.5" Archival Print - Signed
At the edge stripes and flags: Matted 7.5x9.5" Archival Print - Signed
SamanthaFrench
$65.00 USD
No Diving: Matted 7.5x9.5" Archival Print - Signed
No Diving: Matted 7.5x9.5" Archival Print - Signed
SamanthaFrench
$65.00 USD
Sink in Float: LARGE FORMAT Limited Edition & Various sizes
Sink in Float: LARGE FORMAT Limited Edition & Various sizes
SamanthaFrench
$500.00 USD
Three feet below:  LARGE FORMAT Limited Edition & Various sizes
Three feet below: LARGE FORMAT Limited Edition & Various sizes
SamanthaFrench
$550.00 USD
NEW: Up from below, 16x16" Archival Print- Signed
NEW: Up from below, 16x16" Archival Print- Signed
SamanthaFrench
$195.00 USD
Synchronized: Matted 11x11" Archival Print - Signed
Synchronized: Matted 11x11" Archival Print - Signed
SamanthaFrench
$105.00 USD
Mid Morning Light: LARGE FORMAT Limited Edition & Various sizes
Mid Morning Light: LARGE FORMAT Limited Edition & Various sizes
SamanthaFrench
$550.00 USD
NEW: Breakthrough, 16x20" Archival Print- Signed
NEW: Breakthrough, 16x20" Archival Print- Signed
SamanthaFrench
$195.00 USD
Two Archers: 11x11" Archival Print - Signed
Two Archers: 11x11" Archival Print - Signed
SamanthaFrench
$90.00 USD
Above and Below:  LARGE FORMAT Limited Edition & Various sizes
Above and Below: LARGE FORMAT Limited Edition & Various sizes
SamanthaFrench
$550.00 USD
Breakthrough:  LARGE FORMAT Limited Edition & Various sizes
Breakthrough: LARGE FORMAT Limited Edition & Various sizes
SamanthaFrench
$550.00 USD
Breakthrough: 32x42" Archival Print - Signed Limited Edition
Breakthrough: 32x42" Archival Print - Signed Limited Edition
SamanthaFrench
$950.00 USD
Sink in, float: 16x16" Archival Print - Signed
Sink in, float: 16x16" Archival Print - Signed
SamanthaFrench
$195.00 USD
Somersault: Matted 7.5x9.5" Archival Print - Signed
Somersault: Matted 7.5x9.5" Archival Print - Signed
SamanthaFrench
$65.00 USD
Dive Immerse: LARGE FORMAT Limited Edition & Various sizes
Dive Immerse: LARGE FORMAT Limited Edition & Various sizes
SamanthaFrench
$550.00 USD
Rise and Sink : LARGE FORMAT Limited Edition & Various sizes
Rise and Sink : LARGE FORMAT Limited Edition & Various sizes
SamanthaFrench
$500.00 USD
Endless Summer: Matted 11x14" Archival Print - Signed
Endless Summer: Matted 11x14" Archival Print - Signed
SamanthaFrench
$105.00 USD
Colony Palms: 11x11" Archival Print - Signed
Colony Palms: 11x11" Archival Print - Signed
SamanthaFrench
$75.00 USD
Refresh: 7.5x9.5" Archival Print - Signed
Refresh: 7.5x9.5" Archival Print - Signed
SamanthaFrench
$4,800.00 USD
Single swimmer black: 11x14" Archival Print - Signed
Single swimmer black: 11x14" Archival Print - Signed
SamanthaFrench
$90.00 USD
Single swimmer black: Matted 11x14" Archival Print - Signed
Single swimmer black: Matted 11x14" Archival Print - Signed
SamanthaFrench
$105.00 USD
Deep Dive: 8x8" Archival Print - signed
Deep Dive: 8x8" Archival Print - signed
SamanthaFrench
$48.00 USD
Three feet below: Matted 11x14" Archival Print - Signed
Three feet below: Matted 11x14" Archival Print - Signed
SamanthaFrench
$105.00 USD
Twist, let go: 16x16" Archival Print - Signed
Twist, let go: 16x16" Archival Print - Signed
SamanthaFrench
$195.00 USD

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