Bending Hectic painting by Claire Cansick

Bending Hectic


Very pleased to have been invited to show a painting in Silent Disco, an exhibition of painting excellence curated by Graham Crowley, the winner of the John Moore’s Painting Prize 2023 and former head of painting at the Royal College of Art.

25 August 2024

Greystone House, 87 High Street, Wickham Market, Suffolk IP13 ORA

Graham has selected my painting Bending Hectic, the title ruthlessly nicked from a song by The Smile who’s sound accompanied the painting of the work.

Weird song, weird painting, weird tentative shadow, ready to vanish as the sun moves behind a cloud. Weird sky coloured in violets and yellows above an impending wave upon a green sea, caught somewhere between a dream and reality.

I read that Lucien Freud said every painting is a self portrait, what else could it be? Through the conduit of paint and the subject of sea is the theme of my path through the world and representing myself without a direct self portrait. Selfies are something I’m not keen on, so my self, my shadow self to be more precise, is cast upon a wave, representing an ever changing being in a perilous place, about to be engulfed but standing still, frayed at the edges. I want to meld into nature by yielding to its power. Shadow self is also a term which alludes to the darker side of one’s nature, which we all have, yes even you.

An exploration of the sea continues from swimming in it to the studio within the hour, a celebration of its greenness which I exaggerate being tired of blue sea paintings. It’s only blue when mirroring a blue sky and when I swim at dawn it is rarely a clear sky. Violets and yellows reflect in its surface from moody strips and foggy blurs of grey, framing passing cargo ships and tankers.

A muted palette serves the North Sea murk and my introverted nature well. I am a messy palette painter, letting the colours and mixes bump into one another I think gives unexpected shifts in a painting. Sometimes it is a pain and I have to renew the palette so there is some control issued over the chaos of colours.