NZ Artist Clare Wilcox
I use painting to tell my stories in I suppose a same way a writer uses words, they are all related to our wonderful land and how we fit into it really. My expression is through composition, texture and colour.
When I’m starting a piece and have the image in my head my first task is the composition and how it will sit on my canvas with balance and movement, then I move in with texture and lay down sometimes 2-3 layers of different texture. Some that will show through the finished work and some that will be absorbed along the process.
When I start the colours I always under paint the entire canvas with a strong base colour so that when I place the next colour on top I have in instance depth or glow. My painting moves through different phases of layering paint and rubbing off paint from areas depending on the mood or atmosphere I trying to create. I find myself using charcoal a lot too, working it into the paint layers (although I do seem to get more all over my face than anywhere else).
The layers of colour that I put down often don’t really show until I coat with resin at the end. This is the glass like finish which is a type of fibreglass product really. Its really slow drying 72 hours) so can cause me sleepless nights when using as I’m generally checking on it through the night. Any insects in the area seem to be drawn to it, and dirt/dust/hair is a nightmare.
Some of my recent works I’m experimenting with painting between the layers of resin which is giving me a new depth again… sort of like the layers in the earth.
The hard part is knowing when I’ve done enough to an individual piece, and to think whether it is speaking the story I intended. “Does it lift me up and sing to me”.
My other belief is that although a painting tells my story it doesn’t have to be the same story that a viewer sees. What is wonderful is everyone views different things in Art.
Examples of Clare’s artwork can be viewed at Mobile Art Gallery, 23 Edwin Street, Mt Eden, Auckland.