The Art of Chris French FGAvA

Professional Aviation and Military Artist

News from the Studio

June 2022

I had a 'mind's eye' idea for a painting depicting a Sunderland flying boat moored up in the early morning mist and finally got round to painting it! Click here to view. Now it's back to the commissions with a new work about to get underway depicting a WWII Halifax bomber. I'll get it onto the site once completed.

May 2022

I've just completed another two naval works depicting Royal Navy ships. One is a 'ton' class minesweeper, HMS Iveston, take a look here; and the other is HMS Exeter, a Type 42 destroyer click here to view.

March 2022

The large painting depicting the beginning of the MacRobertson Air Race is now complete and shipped off to the client. Staged in 1934, the race was from the UK to Australia with prizes sponsored by an Australian entrepreneur whom the race was named after. Click here to take a look. I've also completed a commission depicting Douglas Bader's Spitfire. Famous for having lost both legs in an accident before the Second World War, he went on to be a high scoring RAF ace pilot. Take a look here. Another recent work is a BOAC Super VC10 departing Heathrow Airport in the 1960s. Click here to view.

January 2022

A recent commission depicts an RAF Britannia transport aircraft from the mid 1960s flying over mount Kilimanjaro. Click here to view. A work was also done for the Objektschutzregiment (the German equivalent of the RAF Regiment) to mark their 15th Anniversary. Take a look here. I'm currently working on a large painting depicting the beginning of the MacRobertson Air Race. Staged in 1934, the race was from the UK to Australia with prizes sponsored by an Australian entrepreneur whom the race was named after. I'll put this up on the website once completed.

November 2021

A couple of new commissions now done. One was for the Malta Aviation Museum Foundation depicting the famous Gloster Sea Gladiators, instrumental in defending the island during the early phase of the conflict during WWII. Sales of limited edition prints from this painting are raising funds to restore one of these aircraft to flying condition. Click here to take a look. The other was for a client who was an RAF engineer and is into motorbikes. The specific elements he wanted were a 237 OCU Hawker Hunter, 208 Sqn Buccaneer and two of his 1970s Kawasaki motorbikes, a Z900 and a KH250. Click here to view.

October 2021

A recent commission depicts a Douglas DC-4 operated by Invicta International Airlines at Manston in Kent in the mid 1960s. My client wanted me to recreate a scene from his memory when he used to cycle to Manston as a boy to watch the aircraft. Click here to view.

I've also done a couple of watercolour studies of two of the grandchildren. There are two more to do when I get a chance! They can be found on the 'People' page.

August 2021

I've done a couple of birthday 'surprise' which have had to kept under wraps until given to their recipients. One depicts a restored Austin 'Champ' vehicle of 1950s vintage - Click here to view. The other depicts a retired RAF Navigator in front of one of the aircraft he flew in during his service. Click here to view.

The Guild of Aviation Artists virtual exhibition is now live and displays almost 300 paintings. Click here to view. There are a couple more commissions, one for the German Air Force and one for the Malta Aviation Museum Foundation which I will be able to reveal soon. Watch this space!

April 2021

I've completed a couple more painting commissions since January. One has local interest for me, depicting a WWII B-17 that crashed here in Braintree in 1945. Click here to view. The other depicts an RAF Chinook helicopter landing at Stanley in the Falkland Islands. Click here to view.

The Guild of Aviation Artists is hosting their annual exhibition online this year and it will 'go live' on the 19th July. I've submitted three paintings; "Pathfinder Training", "Lusty" and "A Sudden Downpour", all of which can be viewed on my 'Originals for sale' page.

January 2021

Whilst still under 'lockdown' here in the UK, I'm continuing to keep busy. I've just completed a painting of the first US jet transatlantic passenger service in 1958. The work depicts Boeing 707, N711PA operated by Pan Am over Paris. Click here to view.

December 2020

I'm busy with commissioned work well into the new year. Let's hope 2021 sees Covid-19 vaccines rolled out globally to return us to something closer to normal life. Two more commissioned paintings have been added to the website. The first depicts a unique aircraft; the Short Mayo Composite. Developed as a 'piggy-back' concept by Short Brothers in 1938, the idea was to carry a smaller aircraft on the back of a larger flying boat with the former being released in mid air. Click here to take a look. The second depicts RAF Vulcan bombers on a snowy pan somewhere in southern England. Click here to view.

September 2020

Two more commissions have been completed and I'm working through another one at the moment. The first is of a Handley Page Hastings belonging to the RAF's Inspectorate of Radio Installation Services in the 1950s. Click here to take a look. The other one depicts RAF Jaguar aircraft of 226 Operational Conversion Unit being towed back to their hangars at Lossiemouth. The client particularly wanted to show the persistent wet weather there as it is a personal memory for him. Click here to view.

June 2020

A couple of new paintings have been completed. One depicts RAF Tornado jets over their base at Br├╝ggen in Germany during the Cold War. Click here to take a look. Another RAF Wethersfield scene depicts US 9th Air Force medium bombers. These are Douglas A-20 Havocs of the 416th Bomb Group returning to base in the Summer of 1944. Click here to view.  Three of my paintings are featured in a new book from Burnt Ash Publishing; "Britain's Airline Entrepreneurs". Link here.

May 2020

A new painting depicting the Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious has been finished. I have depicted it during the Joint Force Harrier era c. 2005. Click here to take a look. I'm currently working on another scene from RAF Wethersfield (close to where I live) and will put up here as soon as it is complete. I've also created a painting that changes depending on whether you view it from the left or the right. It's called 'Painting for a Narrow Hallway' and there's a video of it on Youtube here.

March 2020

The Coronavirus pandemic is having far reaching consequences for just about everyone. One of the main changes to my planning for the year is the postponement of the Aviation Paintings of the Year exhibition originally scheduled for July. Chances are this event now won't happen this year at all with the 2021 exhibition hopefully going ahead as normal. One painting I have completed which was intended for the exhibition depicts Short Stirlings at RAF Wethersfield. Click here to take a look. I will continue to generate exhibition work as and when I can.

January 2020

Happy New Year! I've completed the second in my new series of Royal Navy maritime paintings. It depicts the amphibious assault ship HMS Fearless. Click here to take a look. I'll soon be thinking about aviation subjects for the Guild of Aviation Artists' 50th anniversary exhibition which will be at the Mall Galleries in the Summer.

All images copyright Chris French FGAvA.

Professional Aviation and Military Artist

The Art of

Chris French FGAvA

Professional Aviation and Military Artist