Thinking, doing, making, teaching. Essentially I’m a painter at heart, and I paint mostly semi-abstracts. But I love to create, so I also draw, make patterns for wallpaper and fabrics, and work on private commissions.

After my undergraduate degree in Fine Art, I completed my Masters’ in Fine Art from Northumbria University in Newcastle, I continued my art practice in the north east for some years, before relocating to Yorkshire.  Until recently, I was a college art teacher for 15 years, and now work freelance for Globe Arts and others, delivering art and design classes and workshops across the region. My work embraces the rich and dramatic landscapes and seascapes of the north of England, concerning mainly ideas of memory and recall, but also natural history and ecology, politics and environmental issues. The pull of my heart to the north east coast is always present in my work, combining and harmonising with the dramatic and earthy landscape of Yorkshire.  At the heart of my practice, when I’m most happy with a piece, is perhaps when the elements – be they earth, wind, sky, sun or water – are successfully united, in a painting.  

When I am creating, and then reflecting on my work, I like to think about ideas of exposure and sanctuary, a sense of place, fleeting memories and illusion.  I like to find space when I travel, away from people, and I look for special corners of the UK and the world to explore and remember. Although I take many photographs of the places I visit, I never work directly from a photograph, preferring instead to consider the residual memory of a place, the sense of space, atmosphere, light, texture and shape that lingers after one has left.  I am looking at ways to almost patch together a recollection of a place, not merely to recreate a perfect representation, more a feeling or a fleeting recall.

I am very interested in the idea of recalling ‘authenticity’ through memory in a digital age, where we edit, select and construct an ‘ideal’ image through social media.  The idea that this might create a ‘false’ or ‘constructed’ memory, rather than the experiential sensation of actually being ‘there’.  Can this visual exploration lead to any connections with recall, dementia and temporary memory loss?  

I work mostly with oils and thinly applied watercolours over textured grounds, such as plaster and gesso, using a combination of thin washes, fine line and expressive paint application methods.  I explore working with varying scale pieces - some tiny canvases only 15cm square to a large scale 4-foot abstract canvas. 

You can see my paintings on permanent display (and for sale) in the Hope Gallery, Red Brick Mill in Batley, West Yorkshire, and the Fenwick Gallery, Warkworth, Northumberland.  Please contact me through the form at the bottom of the page for information about sales and commissions.  

Claire Murray | MA Fine Art | BA Fine Art (Painting) | PGCert Surface Pattern (Dist) | PGCE Art & Design