Brian Sinfield Art Gallery
Clare was born in Guildford, Surrey in 1961. She studied Law at Downing College, Cambridge, Fine Art at Harrogate College and Portraiture at the Charles Cecil Studio, Florence.
Recent trips to India have had a powerful effect on her and have lead to her producing a body of work which responds to the wonderful aura of the country and its people. Clare paints mainly in oils and is inspired by landscape and figures. She endeavours to capture the atmosphere of her subject using colour and line.
Clare has exhibited widely, and has completed numerous works on commission including notably portraits of the President of the Law Society which now hangs in the Law Society's Hall, Chancery Lane and the Marquess of Downshire. She has exhibited widely, including four One Man Shows and for the last two years, at the Society of Women Artists Annual Exhibition.
Image illustrated Morning Ride | oil on canvas | 70 x 70 cm
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Roses are the protagonists in my paintings and they are the main inspiration for my work. For me, painting roses is the best way to express my own deep feelings about life. The impact of my paintings is determined by the tension between the figure’s physical presence and the spatial flatness of the setting, between realism and abstraction, between impression and expression. The figures are forcefully defined and positioned three-dimensionally in a setting free of other details to achieve maximum impact with minimum effort.
I paint the roses from different angles, as if they might be engaged in a ceremonial ritual, demanding the viewer’s attention. The bright light gives colours an almost transparent quality, revealing their sensuality and allowing the petals to dance freely in the air. The background merges into a distribution of colour and the landscape is transformed into abstract patterns, with simplification of an artistic strategy creating a sense of majesty. My paintings are ephemeral portrayals of the rose, whose short life is intertwined with mine.
What really concerns me above else is expression. Expression for me is not merely a question of passion that might be visible, it is the entirety of the painting of the figures with space around them, contributing to the whole. The tension may still remain unresolved in the same way as I imagine Monet might have felt about his paintings of water lilies.
Illustrated: Too Complicated | oil on canvas | 101 x 76 cm
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The nature of art in all it's complexities has one constant theme: it has to move the viewer in some way, be it frightening, relaxing or challenging; it is the artist's job, or hope, to make that contact. In John Mawell-Steele's case, he makes it very plain that his paintings take you by the scruff of the neck and give you a good shake. Paintings that possess such dynamic energy as these, are bound to elicit a strong response in the viewer. One can almost hear the excitement of the artist as he slaps on the painting, layer upon layer of colour, immersing himself in the landscape, almost part of it. These paintings have little to do with depicting a particular subject, everything to do with the feeling evoked by landscape in its more extreme form. They are inspired by the artist's move from Knowle, near Birmingham to the wilder shore of Cornwall. They move from the land to the sea finishing with 'Towards Sennen' (illustrated - mixed media on canvas - 87 x 87 cm), near to his home. Brian Sinfield
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