About the Art and Artist


Painting a landscape is like exploring the place I’m painting, and using my knives and brushes to tell everyone what I see.

All paintings are painted either from life or from my own photographs. The locations are places I’ve seen, where the beauty of light and color has captivated me enough to explore the scene with paint. The exceptions to this are custom paintings and Let’s Paint New Mexico challenges.

 The beginning stages of my paintings are done alla prima, or wet on wet. These initial layers are applied with brushes and painting knives,then crafted into the scenes you see. After the paint dries, I enhance parts of the artwork with glazes. This process creates tantalizing tidbits of intense color.

I use Windsor & Newton and Grumbacher oil paints. I paint on different brands of gallery wrapped canvases. In general, the more money I spend on a canvas, the better quality a painting starts with. That means better art for you.

A Short Biography of John French, Artist


Can folks tell where an artist has been by looking at his work? A viewing of Michigan artist John French’s palette knife oil paintings reveals a great deal about the artist’s passions; getting out and about, and painting the places he goes.

John French’s bold use of color and strong composition convey the intense beauty the artist sees in the world around him. His paintings invite the viewer on a journey to ponder a more peaceful and quiet part of the world, away from the bustle and worry of everyday life.

Born in the 1970 in Santa Fe, NM, John received inspiration at an early age. “My aunt was an artist,” French recalls. “When I was about three years old, she drew a picture of me holding a toy shovel. I was amazed, and hooked! I’ve been spending my life trying to do what she did.”

When John was a little boy, his parents divorced. His mother remarried a United States Air Force serviceman, who adopted him. The Air Force sent the family to Italy. John’s formative years were spent viewing and studying the art and architecture of the Renaissance.

After four years in Italy, the family was transferred to KI Sawyer AFB, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Though beautiful, the frozen north was very different than John’s beloved New Mexico. “Even after thirty-plus years of living here, I’ve never gotten used to the cold.”

John’s art is shown at Michigamme Moonshine Art Gallery. He also participates in group shows in Michigan and New Mexico, and sells at local art fairs throughout the year. His work can be seen from anywhere at ArtofJohnFrench.com

John likes to donate his talent to local non-profits, including the The Marquette Symphony Orchestra, the U.P. Children’s Museum, and Marquette County Teaching Family Homes.

John still lives in Michigan with his wife and son, just minutes away from Lake Superior. However, the ties that bind him to New Mexico are strong!  He visits the Land of Enchantment as often as he can, and brings home inspiration, memories, and photos to paint, awed by the vast landscapes of New Mexico

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