As a child, Claire constantly engaged in craft activities, always wanting to use her hands to create. However, it was not until she was starting a family in her early 30’s following a marketing career as a brand manager in the cosmetics industry that she actually turned her attention to painting. For years prior to this, Claire was drawn into art galleries, wishing that she too could produce beautiful works of art as she saw displayed on the walls. It was the exhibition of one artist who typically depicted children running across the canvas that brought about her decision (with blissful ignorance) that painting would be her second career path, even though she had never studied art or tried her hand with a paintbrush.
Claire’s preferred medium has been oil since the day that she decided to become a painter. Originally, she picked up the palette knife to loosen her background painting technique. With a brush in hand, Claire was often tempted to agonise over the detail. She loves the loss of control that the knife provides and the application of oil paint with its buttery texture and beautiful surface shine when not overworked. The result has been a unique signature style, and a greater mastery of “alla prima” painting that gives her impressionist works spontaneity and freshness.
Claire’s colour palette is limited, and one that she uses consistently. Brushes or knives are chosen as large as the canvas allows to achieve an expressive feel. The human figure captured in everyday moments is her constant inspiration. Typically, it is a figure turned away from the viewer in a candid pose. The viewer is invited to complete the story – to fill in the blanks about time, place, thoughts and emotion.
There have been no formal art lessons in Claire’s time as a painter, only a few demonstration workshops by a select few “painting heroes”. Her greatest teachers have been the artworks of the impressionist masters of yesterday and today. As a visual learner, the written word has meant truly little in Claire’s journey, but the images of bold impressionist strokes, rich colour and bright lights have been everything.
Claire is a signatory member of the Australian Guild of Realist Artists (AGRA) and has achieved success in several exhibitions, notably winning the prestigious Melbourne Clifton’s Art Prize. Recently, she was chosen as one of 20 finalists in the 3rd edition of the International ‘Boynes Emerging Artist Award’, to add to a growing list of achievements including 4 ‘Best in Show’ awards, 19 category awards and 5 finalist places in Victorian award exhibitions. Claire was also awarded a solo exhibition titled ‘Child’s Play’ at the prestigious Montsalvat Gallery, Eltham in 2015.
I am hoping to expand my horizons beyond Victoria, Australia to broader national exposure and beyond to the international market. In the long term, I aspire to promote my work at global art fairs and in the short term, I have been approached by a high-profile gallery in the UK to become one of their represented artists. I am so honoured that my work has caught their attention and philanthropy will assist me to not only purchase art materials and pay studio costs but most importantly shoulder the cost of shipping my work internationally.
Within Australia, I would like to gain exposure across all states where several high-profile exhibitions and award exhibitions will showcase my art to a broader audience. I would love to have the resources to create a significant body of work so that I can be represented simultaneously at several events as opposed to only a selected few exhibitions each year.
At home in Victoria, I have been invited to take up featured artist positions at local exhibitions and plan to further nurture my online presence with the rise of online gallery representation and partners such as Bluethumb.com.au and ArtLovers Australia.
These exciting goals outlined above can be achieved with philanthropic resources. My canvases are custom-made, my oil paints are expensive but applied liberally to achieve a textured effect and my framer needs to be paid for his attention to detail and expertise. Every show has entry fees and a commission to be taken from the artist, courier charges and framing required. Apart from the obvious costs for an artist including studio rent, supplies and framing, there’s many hidden costs to be covered – photoshop subscription, online marketing subscriptions, postage, printing, shipping, parking, advertising, painting tools….and the list goes on. Artists will always find a way to keep creating but with your philanthropic support, the pathway to sharing our work with the world is that bit more achievable.
All philanthropy benefits are at the discretion of the individual artist.