Getting to Know Claire Cansick
Posted in In the Studio by Lucia Fischer on 21st October 2014
Experimenting with different styles and mediums, the one thing that remains consistent with Claire Cansicks work are her definitive lines and her experienced use of colour. Living in Norfolk one can imagine where her inspiration for her famous 'Landscape' series came from. Other than her beautiful compilations of nature she has also created a collection of emotive female figures that translate effortlessly to the viewer.
1. HOW DID YOU GET INTO ART?
Art came to me when I came second in a competition aged 8, the thrill was immense. But even before that I was taught by my sister how to draw ‘proper’ people as I was unconsciously drawing curly haired people with duck bodies- something I intend to return to one day! Hilariously I discovered Escher’s bird bodied creatures a few years later, which are the same but without the hair. It was then my attention was taken by what marks I was making and has been my escape ever since.
2. YOUR ART IN THREE WORDS.
My art in 3 words? Line, Line, Colour.
3. HOW HAS YOUR PRACTICE CHANGED OVER TIME?
My practice has evolved into intense bursts of work and lulls of only thinking about it.
I find I need a little pressure to push the work out- I’m easily distracted and procrastinate a lot. There are a hundred ideas that never make it to the hand because of this and I get easily despondent if the work I produce is not to my liking. Therefore I flit from one piece to another, having 6 or 7 on the go at once and probably throw 4 or 5 of those away. Its cathartic though and helps me to focus on the pieces that are working. I have found getting into a relaxed state of ‘play’ is the best for me as otherwise it gets too contrived and I think that shows in people’s work. After all it is play, scribbling, doodling and getting messy with paint is a really childlike thing to do.
4. WHAT GOT YOU TO FURTHER EXPERIMENT IN OIL-PAINTING DURING YOUR LANDSCAPE SERIES?
My landscape pieces are an experiment with colour. So much of my earlier work was monochrome or muted in colour and I wanted to push myself to use more vibrant colour. Nature’s million greens fascinated me and I liked trying to produce work based around that. I like to throw the palette by introducing an unusual colour and base the colours around it. My favourite results come from using turquoises and magentas which have such a complicated mix in themselves they throw everything in unusual directions. I like the unpredictable nature of colour like that.
However the line still dominates all my work- skeletal trees, angles, outlines, hard against the soft background...
5. WHAT KIND OF ROOM DO YOU IMAGINE YOUR ART IN?
I’d like to see my work hanging in an old granny’s living room. Patterned wallpaper, nick-nacks (spelling?!) etc. I have sold one painting to an elderly lady for who the piece reminded her of her childhood. Lovely.
6. HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO COMPLETE A PIECE?
It’s hard to pinpoint how long pieces take- it’s a question often asked but I struggle to answer. Sometimes only a few hours, other times months of to-ing and fro-ing, dabbing and washing over. Sometimes abandoned in a couple of hours, when a piece seems to just work as it is. There’s no consistency of time taken at all.
7. HOW HAS THE INTERNET AFFECTED YOU IN TERMS OF VISABILITY FOR YOUR WORK?
Gaining exposure for my work is quite often a secondary priority for me- as in my practice, I tend to work on it in fits and bursts and regularly ignore it completely...But it has been good for me. I started with eBay around 2001 when it first started and it gave me good experience for selling work online. Its is good for someone searching for art but there is so much choice out there now I think buyers must be bewildered. Ultimately there’s nothing quite like seeing art in the flesh in my experience.
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