Continuing on with Sunday Artist Interviews – many are lined up, so keep checking back, I think we need a few more distractions from the rather scary times we’re all living in right now! – Here’s Clare to tell you a little about herself and her work…
First of all, who are you?
I’m Claire, the artist behind the easel at Wirelife. For the last two years I have solely concentrated on capturing wildlife and pets in oils and mixed media that truly show all of their characteristics right down to the last strand of fur after over a decade of being an art tutor / artist. I create my work in a little 6” x 4” room thanks to an extension on our house in Derby that I share with my hubby and two boys.
When you were asked (all those years ago!), “what do you want to be when you grow up?” What did you answer?
I wanted to be a vet. I even volunteered at a local vets for three years on a Monday after school and did my work experience there. Unfortunately, I realised that my grades just weren’t going to be good enough so I then concentrated on my art.
What is the funniest thing as an artist that has ever happened to you?
When my boys were in school, I would often find myself having to quickly throw down my brushes and dash to pick them up, only to find out when I got home that my face had a random streak of oil paint somewhere on it. Embarrassing for me, but probably quite funny for the other parents in the playground.
What is the hardest part of being creative?
I’m a very sensitive person so life events can often have a major knock on effect to my mojo and I can’t create or even think about picking up a brush, but those are the times, that I end up reverting to my art as my own art therapy to help sort my brain out. Orders and stock lists are put aside and I just paint for me and no one else.
What advice would you give to an artist just starting out?
Don’t spend time comparing yourself to other artists, or try to do what they are doing. You are unique and need to create a system / path that works for you. That is what will make you stand out from the crowd.
What subjects inspire you?
The animal kingdom and the universe itself inspires me. I don’t plan what I’m painting next, I just flick through references until I spot an image that makes my brain click into gear.
Who are the 3 greatest living artists in your opinion? (they don’t have to be famous!)
Due to my own advise, I don’t know of many artists, but I do follow the work of Alexandra-G, Sam Cannon and Emmanuel De Sousa Fernandes. I really admire their skills: Alexandra’s with the human form, Sam’s with watercolours / words and Emmanuel’s with compositions.
Who are the 3 greatest dead artists in your opinion?
I’ve struggled answering this question as I don’t really know my art history or been inspired by famous artists and in the past I have often felt I couldn’t call myself an artist because of this. So instead of frantically looking on the web for three artists that catch my eye, I’m just going to say they are all great in their own way and that’s ok.
What is your favourite work of art you have ever produced?
There are so many wildlife pieces that I could choose to answer this question as they all have a special meaning to me with the message they bring from the universe and the animal spirit world for the time that I painted them. My rhino ‘Kifaru’, worked from a David Salter photo, is the one that stands out for me at the moment. Not only for it’s size at 18” x 24” and it’s representation of my slightly OCD need for detail, but because it represents trusting my own inner wisdom through the animal totem of a rhino.
What was the last piece of art you sold?
My latest piece of art to have sold was one of my miniature art, animal spirit pendants It was a lion, representing courage.
And finally… Because this is really important….
What’s the best type of cheese? (haha)
You can’t beat a piece of mature cheddar in my opinion……….boring I know, but I will often nibble on a slice whilst cooking tea.