The Rebel: What have been the highs and lows of 2011?
Clare: "It has been a year of the most extreme highs and lows, the lows were my husband being very ill and my son not getting a secondary school place. The highs were my husband getting better and having success with his painting and my son getting into a school where he’s really happy.
Art wise the high points: I had my first solo show that some people who I really admire seemed to like (or at least that's what theysaid). Low points: a run of shocking paintings in the studio earlierin the year."
The Rebel: Next year you're exhibiting at Studio 1:1 in Redchurch street - what kind of work will be in the show?
Clare: "Thats something I will find out probably not long before everyoneelse. I have been working on pieces that aim to be more spare andreductive (although this is not always the outcome in fact sometimesthe opposite occurs). I have been experimenting with a more classicalpalette and oil paint and have just returned to my original landscape format but with reconsidered digital drawings that form the basis forthe paintings. There is a lot of shifting in my thoughts about the paintings and how I want them to be. I will just have to wait to seehow these manifest themselves in formal terms."
The Rebel: The titles of your paintings often sound like song titles. Do you like to have music on when you work?
Clare: "It depends, often I do as the sense of immersion in the music mirrors the sense of immersion in painting. I also like to listen out for snippets of lyrics and words poignant/pertinent to the work to stealfor titles. At present, however the paintings are using every bit ofmy brain and so I am working in silence. It also depends if anyone’s in in the studio next door."
The Rebel:Do you think Spain is more sexy or romantic than England?
Clare:" No England is the sexiest and most romantic but I like the weather in Spain."
The Rebel:Does your mother like the work you make?
The Rebel: Are there any old masters or art legends that you just don't get? Is there anyone that just leaves you cold but that everyone else seems to rave about?
The Rebel:If you could have a lost weekend with any comedian who would it be? Is there anyone from showbiz that you've always had a crush on?
Clare: "Peter Cook. A girl crush on Patti Smith, the ultimate poster girl for the unconventional woman."
The Rebel: Does your mood change your work? Have your best paintings come about when your a bit lost and heartbroken or when your feeling strong and confident?
Clare: "Lost and heartbroken does seem to have the advantage of enhancing thework, it’s good there’s an upside to that. My work is pretty emotional and raw at times which is probably dreadfully unfashionable,although I have learned over time not to worry about these things toomuch. I’m not sure if strong and confident are feelings I am familiar with in the studio but I’ll let you know how it goes if that happens."
The Rebel: Are there any bus routes you know like the back of your hand? Which bus do you think you've been on the most?
Clare: "Loads I am a bit of a geek about these kind of things, the 37 and 38and 37A Lymm to Altrincham and Lymm to Warrington gave me my escape routes to Manchester and Liverpool as a youth so these I will always hold dear. I think the number 12 from Peckham to the west end has to win theprize of most often travelled on, a deep mental groove has been worn through repetition of that route in my life (especially when it was aroutemaster the bendy bus was less alluring). I also know the 171 the36 the N12 the 345 ,78, 68, 159,73, 343 I could go on but I’m starting to scare myself."
The Rebel: Whose the best tutor you've had?
Clare:"David Moulson a painting tutor on my foundation at London RoadStudios, Mid Cheshire College in Northwich. He was incredibly inspirational and lit the touch-paper for my already smouldering love of painting. He was energised, painting incessantly himself, its no coincidence that I have met many amazing artists over the years who also were under his tutelage. He was mad about 1950s abstract painting and there was a lot of throwing buckets of paint at canvases going on amongst his students. He ruled over a wonderful victorian purpose built painting studio with stained glass windows and amazing speed life drawing, he was great. (Berndt Koberling at the Academy in Berlin comes in at number two hemade quite an impression on me when I was 20 in a heavyweight German painting professor kind of a way. He said it like it was and it was not always comfortable but it was always right. I remember a lot of what he said to this day)."
The Rebel:Describe what it was like making a painting that represented your mother?
Clare:"Quite intense and weird.
The Rebel: Are you getting more driven and ambitious as you get older?
Clare: "It seems that way."
The Rebel: If we were to go for an Indian meal together what kind of curry would you most likely order?
Clare:"Chicken Shashlik and tarka Dhal and maybe sag aloo (I’m pretty greedy)oh and pilau rice."
The Rebel:What is your idea of beauty in nature?
Clare: "The things that spring to mind are a Cornish seascape on the Lizard,forget-me-nots and English wild flowers. Any kind of a dramaticlandscape with a sense of purity gets me every time, especially ifthere are mountains involved."
The Rebel:When are you at your most relaxed?
Clare:"When watching Coronation Street."