Born in Ayrshire, Claire grew up on the Moray coast, before graduating with an MA in Fine Art from the University of Edinburgh and Edinburgh College of Art with distinction in painting in 1997. She has shown her paintings professionally throughout the UK since 2008 and works from her home studio in the Scottish Borders. Inspired by her local landscape her paintings are in many private collections in the UK and across the world, and have been shown several times at the Royal Scottish Academy, the Royal Glasgow Institute and the Society of Scottish Artists. She was awarded the first artist residency at Marchmont House Creative Spaces in the Scottish Borders in February 2020 and in 2021 was awarded a Visual Arts and Craft Maker Award to develop new work created as a result of this residency.
Landscape is the main source of inspiration for her work in oil which almost always feature solitary motifs such as trees or tree groups, hay bales, islands and hills. Claire is interested in the possibilities surrounding a singular focal point, especially of trees, their presence and sculptural form, and their role in our lives and imaginations especially as a vehicle for pause and reflection.
Claire continually looks at the colours within a colour and layers them up on her painting surface to create subtle depth and impact. A grassy field has undertones of russet and yellow and pink. A treeline has turquoise and indigo and magenta – all very low key, but still there, fizzing away. Like the meditative and reflective spaces she visits and that are familiar to her, Claire wants her work to have a sense of contemplation and calm but also, like a memory or a moment that comes briefly into focus, she wants the work to resonate and to glow.