Artist SPOTLIGHT: Artist and gardener motivated by color
October 13, 2022
By Kathy O’Flinn
Claire Sayers creates big wide landscapes.
Currently she is working on a painting of a very large weeping willow on the water’s edge. “It’s 1.8 meters high and 2.4 meters long. It’s huge. You feel like you can walk straight into it and sit under that willow tree,” she said recently in a WhatsApp conversation about her vibrantly colored work.
Sayers lives in southeastern Australia. Gippsland, Victoria, to be exact. She has surrounded herself with gardens. “I’m drawn to English gardens,” she said and acknowledges that she has a green thumb.
Both in her garden and in her painting it’s color that drives her. Bright blues and fuchsia are just some of the many vibrant colors of her palette. The lakes, ponds and parks of Gippsland as well as her garden are where she finds her inspiration for her paintings. “The climate is quite cool here and we have lots of green rolling hills and farmland,” she said.
Before applying her paint to canvas, she works on Photoshop with photos she has taken for inspiration. She will then use a fine liner pen to fill the whole canvas with a lot of detail. “I don’t like negative spaces. I like to fill all those in with color,” she said.
She then builds up the canvas with texture using medium impasto gel and with her hands shapes the stems and trunks and flowers so it’s very textured before she paints. Then starting from the lower left-hand corner of the canvas and working from the bottom up she starts to paint — very much like gardeners working from the ground up.
“I use a lot of transparent oil colors onto a white canvas. The white canvas allows the lights to come through and it gives them a certain extra vibrancy. They’re luminous,” she said. Her main focus while painting is color. “They take a long time to do. I produce six to eight works a year and focus on one at a time.”
When asked what she hopes her work will convey, she said, “I would like to think my work uplifts people’s emotions. I have a lot of people who buy my work when they’ve lost somebody in their lives.” She hopes it will “bring some joy when they look at it, take them to another place, another emotion, another high vibration joy.”
What more could one ask for than to walk into a garden of joy?
To see more of her work go to eastwestfineart.com and visit East West Fine Art at the Mercato in Naples.