I am inspired to paint by my immediate surroundings, poignant memories and current affairs where I like to explore transposing colour to express my connection to the landscape.
I am a self taught painter having specialised in printmaking at university, and find the endless possibilities of oil paint a great challenge which in turn motivates experimentation upon the surface. It is a real workout for the mind. Using a limited palette of four colours, sometimes with one addition, I experiment mixing them into seemingly endless combinations which in turn results in a natural colour cohesion in each painting. I use my own photos as source material often drawing from them first, which begins the abstraction and interpretative process, before translating into paint . There always comes a point when I discard the source and the paint takes over and I go with what’s happening on the surface. That is my favourite moment and I delve into the imagination from there on.
Nature is the only consistent running theme in my paintings as I work in a non formulaic way generally not repeating images but maybe loosely repeating ideas or colour combinations.
Motivation to create comes from a desire to relate to others on a deeper level, something I can’t seem to put into words as I’m quite an introvert and I have been told my lone figures, that sometimes enter my landscapes, express that. Painting landscape for me has long been about putting a frame around my experience of who and where I am and what I remember about my place in the past and sometimes my dreams of the future. Artists communicate themselves whatever the subject is and it is utterly impossible separate this from the work they produce. Indeed I want to put more of myself in, it doesn’t ever feel like enough of me is going in to my paintings, I can only keep trying express and communicate more. As painting is interpretive and doesn’t communicate an exact representation of my perspective, I keep trying to close in on my point. That is where the drive to make work comes from, my attempt to be perceived clearly.
It has been said about my painting that there is an element of darkness around them and I want to delve into this important element further. It is a symptom of romanticism that alongside the celebration of beauty and the sublime comes the acceptance of the sinister, eerie and melancholy. My paintings reveal a melancholic sentiment when exploring landscape through the neutral skies, paintings of night and dusk, predominantly winter scenes which appeal because of their softer light and calm blueish tones. This in turn has led me to explore the darker side of nature, its force and unpredictability, over which we have no control, and relish in its unexpected beauty. From this I have embarked on a year long climate project for 2022.
I was born in Great Yarmouth into a working class family, none of whom are artists but I remember watching Paint Along with Nancy and Tony Hart on tv as a child which is where I first fell in love with visual art. Also I found I was good at it, it came easily and I had a wonderful high school teacher, Mr Hill, who gave me masses of encouragement. Art took on more meaning as a teenager, becoming my means of communication, relaxation, meditation and worth.
Lyne Grove High School 1987
Gt.Yarmouth School of Art 1991
Norwich University of the Arts BA Printmaking 1996
Riverside Art & Glass Manager 2104 – 2017
Gallery in the Lanes Manager 2014-2017
‘Claire’s stylised take on our natural and human world creates beautiful compositions that lure us in. The dappled light in her forest scenes appears tangible and seductive, while her towering female figures provide another eerie perspective on the familiar.’ Adriana Marques
Victor Pasmore, Cy Twombly, David Hockney, Gary Hume, Tracy Emin, Ben Nicholson, Ben Crawford, Yves Klein, Katherine Bradford, George Shaw, Mark Rothko, Egon Schiele, Susan Rothenberg, Edvard Munch, Sandro Botticelli, Alfred Wallis, Antony Gormley, Milton Avery, Billy Childish, John McAllister, Ken Kiff, Max Seckel, Daniel Heidkamp, Peter Doig, Felix Vallotton, Frank Bowling, Kim Dorland, Matthew Wong, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Ishii Nobuo, Tom Hammick and Alberto Giacometti. And a thousand more.