Clare ran her own successful gallery in the Highlands before “retiring” to concentrate on the development of her own work at her studio near Beauly. She originally studied textiles and painting with the Open College of the Arts and has won several accolades including the prestigious JD Fergusson Arts Award, presented in memory of the Scottish Colourist painter. She has been an invited artist at the Discerning Eye Exhibition in London, and exhibits widely in Scotland and beyond.
I am a landscape painter and in the tradition of many Scottish artists I am inspired by the physical qualities of oil paint and the possibilities it provides in terms of colour, movement and texture. I am completely in awe of the astonishing forces of nature here in the Highlands and I like to get out amongst them, working en plein air as much as I can, often coming home with plentiful small oil or watercolour sketches which are the starting point larger works in the studio.
My finished works are not primarily about the locations that inspired them (whose names I usually forget) but more about what I felt when I was there on that day. The painting also needs to stand apart from any source or connotations as a satisfying visual combination of canvas, composition and paint.
I work fast and largely instinctively and I generally put on a lot of paint and remove even more. I have been described as a “gestural colourist who enjoys moving paint around the canvas”. Well, that’s what painting is, and I suppose a bit of gesturing often comes into it!
My simple and sincere objective is for honesty in my work in making paintings that convey the exhilaration I feel as I explore the Highland land, sea, wind, rain and sun. I am thrilled if others can feel it too, but it requires no analysis or justification. I am a painter, not a writer.”