Monday, September 22, 2014

Monsters and Airplanes - An Interview with David French

Remember memorizing state capitols, birds, mottos, etc.?  I was always grateful these lists did not extend to cities.  However, if there was ever such a thing as a "city artist," it would be David French of Charlotte, North Carolina.  David is the most collected artist in Charlotte (confirmed by the artist) as he lovingly chronicles Charlotte landmarks. 

Charlotte's 50th Festival in the Park begins September 19th.  David, of course, will be there. And if you think I'm exaggerating David's connection with the city, the online exhibitor's page begins David's bio with:
"David French's 225+ paintings of Charlotte cover every corner of the city that resides in our hearts ..."
2001 Central Skyline (Charlotte)
by David French
Let's chat.


Q1.  What is your first memory of art?

A1.  Sitting on top of tables at my mom’s laundromat. I remember drawing stick figures and houses when I was very young.

Suarez Choices
by David French
Q2.  What is the first work of art you created?

A2.  Where does a river begin … [Editor's note:  Generally there's a tributary  . . .] 

Visulite Theatre
by David French

Q3.  Was there a point in your life when you decided to try art, or were you always an artist?

A3.  I have drawn my whole life and used to sell my drawings of monsters and airplanes to my classmates in elementary school for a nickel or dime.

South End Exchange
by David French
Q4.  What inspired you to concentrate on images of Charlotte (North Carolina)?

A4.  There is a great old art saying that says the medium creates the artist. I love my job because I get to make people happy. I think what makes people happy the most are seeing the places they love illuminated in color.

Last Call at Connolly's
by David French
Q5.  Are there specific triggers that cause you to race to a blank canvas/paper or do you impose a certain discipline on yourself?

A5.  I really try to focus these days on what I think the public really, really wants.

UNCC 2013-2014
by David French

Q6.  When you are working on a piece, is there a point at which you realize you have a masterpiece taking shape on the canvas/paper?

A6.  I don't know about a masterpiece but there is a point in some of my pieces where I get a really, really great feeling... where I stand back and wish I could keep it.

Winter Sunset
by David French
Q7.  Are there any artists you find particularly inspiring? 

A7.  So many, so many. Van Gogh, Edward Hopper, Maxfield Parrish … etc., etc.

The Way to Charlotte
by David French

Q8.  Are there any non-artists you find particularly inspiring?

A8.  My wife and baby boy are a true source of inspiration. 

West Side's DQ
by David French

Q9.  Please answer a question I didn’t ask.

A9.  I love a great carnival and hope to paint some in the future.

Lunch at John's
by David French
Q10.  Where can we see (and purchase) your work?

A10.  Start with or David Thayer French on Facebook.


Thanks for stopping by, David.  There’s always a beagle to pet and a cup of hot tea at the ready in Lakewood.  Don’t be a stranger.


  1. what an amazing mind these words come out from. absolute gems. this article was such an amazing read i would love to keep visiting because the posts are amazing

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