Artist Samantha French was born raised in Minnesota where she attended the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and now lives and works in Brooklyn. Her current body of work explores nostalgic memories from her childhood spent swimming in lakes of northern Minnesota. The underwater portraits portray people both in and out of water in the midst of perfect tranquil moments captured gracefully with oil paints. She says of her work:
My current body of work is focused on swimmers underwater and above. Using vague yet consuming memories from my childhood summers spent immersed in the tepid lakes of northern Minnesota, I attempt to recreate the quiet tranquility of water and nature; of days spent sinking and floating, still and peaceful. These paintings are a link to my home and continual search for the feeling of the sun on my face and warm summer days at the lake. They are my escape, a subtle reprieve from the day-to-day. At the same time, I am drawn to an idealistic time before my own, where swim caps and wool swimsuits were commonplace. This combination of memory, observation and photography has allowed me to preserve the transitory qualities of water and remembrance.
You can see many more of her works in this gallery, and prints are available in her shop. She also opens a solo show at Groveland Gallery on January 25th, 2014 in Minneapolis. (via This Isn’t Happiness, My Modern Met)