Clare is a multimedia artist specialising in drawing, painting and jewellery making. She owns and runs Six Foot Gallery, and formerly taught botanical illustration for both Glasgow University and The City of Glasgow College.
How did your artistic journey start, Clare?
My artistic journey started when I was 7 or 8. I used to love drawing and would find objects around the house to create my own simple still lifes with. Flowers in a jar or vase were a favourite, which many years and a Masters in drawing later led to my teaching career in botanical drawing at Glasgow Uni and the City of Glasgow College, amongst other art subjects.
How did you arrive at the theme of your exhibition?
Originally this was going to be a collaborative exhibition with my friend and master in drawing tutor Angela Eames, called Daytripper, and it was our take on what ways we recall going for a day trip. Unfortunately, Eames had to postpone her collaboration with me and that exhibition is now scheduled for April next year, so keep an eye out for that! I changed the name of my now solo exhibition to Compositions In Black because most of my work starts as a black space.
What’s your favourite piece in the exhibition?
I like Himalayan Poppies.
Can you walk us through your creative process?
For this exhibition, I wanted to catch a glimpse of things I might see on a day trip so I worked from photographs I took on various days out such as shells on a beach, flowers I spotted on a walk, etc.
How has your practice changed over time?
My work has gone from fully abstract when I came out of Glasgow School of Arts painting dept, to semi-abstract when I studied for my Masters in London, to not having much time to paint while teaching and running Six Foot Gallery. Now that I have more time to paint, I’ve been deeply influenced by botanical drawing over the past twenty years of teaching this subject and that has fed into my practice, making it altogether more analytical.
How do you overcome creative blocks?
Cover the canvas in black or white, set up a still life, or even do some jewellery making as I have a degree in that too!
Who influences you? Which other artists work do you love?
I love quite an eclectic mix of artists. People like Agnes Martin intrigue me. I love the seeming simplicity in her work, the paring away of everything but line and colour. Very tricky to do and make it look great. Minimalism is something I aspire to but never manage to pull off.
What advice would you give to artists who are just starting out?
Just to keep going doing what you love. The art world doesn’t come knocking on your door so you have to find ways of showing your art through competitions, annual exhibitions, etc
Is there anything else you would like people to know about the exhibition or your experiences as an artist?
The paintings on show here have been edited from a larger amount of works, many of which I didn’t feel were resolved enough for exhibiting. For me, it’s all about the process.
Compositions In Black runs at Six Foot Gallery until 13th June.