Posted on March 27 2017
We have a super soft spot for Clair Bremner as she was the first ever artist to join our EFD family. Clair’s very unique style had us hooked from the beginning and its been so fantastic to watch her career grow over the years, I still get goosebumps when I walk into her solo exhibitions.
Clair let us peek into her new studio and we harassed her with all the questions we have been dying to ask.
What led you to becoming an artist?
I have always been creative and I have loved painting and drawing from a young age. I grew up wanting to be an artist but I never really knew what that looked like or how I was suppose to get there. It wasn't until I was well into my 30's that I decided it was time to focus on my art 100%. In the end I just kind of fell into it. I started creating paintings that gave me joy and that I loved and I found that others were loving them as well so I kept going.
How would you describe your style?
This is a tricky one because my art doesn't really fall into one specific style. It's definitely unique. I have been told my art reminds people of Hockney smashed together with Monet... which totally blows my mind.
I tend to refer to it as abstract impressionist, or even expressionism to some degree. I also float between abstract and landscape quite often. I will go through stages where my paintings are very literal landscapes and other times they are totally abstract.
What inspires your work?
I am inspired by nature, I love landscapes, rivers, trees and flowers. I live in the Yarra Valley which is a beautiful area of Melbourne surrounded by bush, wineries, rolling hills and the Yarra river and a lot of my art is inspired directly by my surroundings.
I like to create artworks that make you want to look closer. I don't want to create realistic interpretations, instead I prefer to take inspiration from nature that I then use to create dream like worlds.
What is your creative process like?
Erratic! I work in bursts of energy, I work quickly and I don't like to spend too much time on each painting. I find that if I spend too much time fussing and playing around, the painting looses its energy.
Has your style changed over the years?
I have seen slight changes over the last few years. The subject matter hasn't changed but my colour palate has shifted back and forth and I seem to add in more detail now compared to a few years back. I think that changes in style are to be expected, no one stays the same. Especially if you are creating new things everyday, as an artist you have to accept the change in order to grow.
What do you believe is a key element in creating a good composition?
It needs to keep the viewer interested. It should draw your eye in and around and then back in. It's a tricky thing to do. I spent many years working as a photographer so the rules of composition are imbedded into my brain. If I could give anyone one main tip it would be to never put your horizon directly into the middle of the painting.
What is a typical day for you ?
I'm up at about 7, I get my three kids ready for school and drop them off by 9. From there I head back into town where I collect our mail from the post office, I grab a coffee then head to my studio which is in Warburton. I work there from about 9:30-2pm. I'm either painting, packaging, planing or procrastinating.
Then it's a quick trip to the shops to buy any groceries we need and time to pick up the kids again. Then we head home and Mum-life takes over.
I use to have my studio at home, but for the last 4 months I've been working on a dedicated studio space elsewhere and I'm finding that I am a lot more productive now. I use to waste a lot of "work time" at home doing anything but work.
Do you find it difficult some days to get your creativity happening?
Absolutely! Some days are a real struggle and I don't feel like I have achieved anything. I have learned that sometimes i just have to leave early and go eat cake instead and that is totally ok. There is no point forcing it. However, even if I am not feeling particularly enthusiastic I will still turn up to the studio and do something, even if it's just mixing colours.
It must be such a great feeling when you receive photo’s of your work up in peoples homes and spaces?
I love seeing photos of my work in real homes. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy knowing that someone chose something I have created to hang in their homes and to be a part of their space. And often the painting takes on a whole life of its own once it's up on a wall compared to in the studio.
It's also sometimes a bit surreal seeing something I've created out in the real world.
Any exciting projects coming up that you can spill the beans on?
I always have things going on and projects that I'm working towards. At the moment I'm working on a few pieces that will be turned into a series of prints for the interior of a cruise ship. I have a few small shows planned for later in the year and I'm also taking part in the Yarra Valley Open Studio Tour later in November which will give people the opportunity to come and see me working in my studio and see my work up close.
“Rain In The Air’ original acrylic by Clair Bremner 2.1 x 1.1mts is available now in store or online. https://www.establishedfordesign.com.au/collections/art/products/rainintheairoriginalbyclairbremner
Check out Clair’s Facebook time lapse videos, they are always amazing to watch - the process, layers and details. https://www.facebook.com/pg/ClairBremnerArtist/videos/?ref=page_internal