by: Ellen Gurley
Having gained much of his recognition in the late 1990’s, David French has sold over 30,000 Charlotteans prints of his local landmark paintings. The closing of Athens, prompted his first pop of local stardom and it was only the tip of the iceberg. His emotional attachment to past and present mainstays coupled with his knowledge of what the native loves has been a beautiful marriage of nostalgia and expertise.
French cannot count how many residents have commissioned him to do paintings of themselves and their loved ones. “You never want to end up in a basement or an attic. If you can give someone a painting of family, you become the creator of an heirloom.”
Will he paint your puppy? Sure. Will he create a painting of your home? Absolutely. But what French really sets out to do is to give you something that really knocks your socks off (complete with parallel universes in which your children are in the foreground interacting with their former selves). Will he talk you out of a certain commission? No, he won’t. But he will make sure that what you are getting is worth the investment; he will give you educated suggestions (i.e. better angles, more life, more aesthetic options).
In a short time, David French became a local household name and not without a lot of elbow grease. He is not a stranger to hard work and having to start from a blank slate. He has proven that time and time again with his career, his home and his family. He and his beautiful wife Molly are happily living in their NoDa home (another huge project turned wonderful delight) and they have made the best art of all together; three-year old Thayer (French’s middle namesake). All I can say is that French is an expert at starting from nothing and get that wonderful something.
Hire David French today for your home, your place of business or as that special gift that will stay in your family for generations to come. See French at www.FestivalInThePark.org this year and every year and anytime the Neighborhood Theatre has it’s All Arts Markets. His work can also always be found at Paper Skyscraper, City Supply Co., Green with Envy, the Beehive and Ruby’s NoDa.
Photographed here: David Thayer French and Molly Caldwell de French (by Ellen Gurley)
Paintings featured here: Festival in the Park 2014 50 years, the Diamond Restaurant, Athens Restaurant, Pops in the Park, Lang Van and the Charlotte train yard
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