Sunflowers Oil Painting – West Sussex Artist and Surrey and Sussex Art Tutor Claire Harrison

Sunflowers Oil Painting – West Sussex Artist and Surrey and Sussex Art Tutor Claire Harrison

Art, Painting Commissions and Prints from Sussex Artists

Artist: Claire Harrison

Artist: Claire Harrison

Sunflowers Oil Painting - West Sussex Artist Claire Harrison

Sunflowers

This painting is all about the twisting forms the petals create as Sunflowers die.

The painting shows three Sunflowers in the different stages of life, from a bud just opening, to the fully open to the bloom that is fully over and its petals hang forward.
The colours are inspired by an article I read about the insects that see plants in UV light, turning the sepals turquoise and the petals pinky magenta.

The ‘Fading Blooms’ series is not about the sadness of a dying flower but the hope that it gives, because dying flowers form seeds and seeds create new plants and new life.

Image Size: 120cm x 70cm / 47″ x 27.5″
Art Medium: Oil on Board
Original Painting Price: £3,750
Limited Edition Prints: from £125

Commissions Invited

Contact The Artist

Claire Harrison

Horsham, West Sussex

Artist in Oils and Art Tutor

Exploring the hidden world of nature: flowers, plants and insects.

Phone: 07973 410 111

Please mention the Sussex Artists website

Email: art@claire-harrison.co.uk

Website: www.claire-harrison.co.uk

Gallery Of Art

About The Artist

I am an artist based in Horsham, West Sussex, specialising in oil painting of flowers and insects, sharing my passion for nature and the environment with my followers and clients.

I was aged just three when I painted my very first watercolour. My mum went into the garden and said “choose a flower and let’s paint it”. I chose a purple flower, which for those who know me, I’m generally dressed in purple and turquoise, and my paintings are often of a similar palette!

Before the computer revolution, which now appears to consume most of our lives, I spent my childhood painting and illustrating my own stories in the garden. I loved flowers and plants and most of all growing things. I think it was because I followed my father around the garden with my miniature wheelbarrow. I helped out to the best of my ability and - although I doubt whether I actually did much helping - I was inspired by the bugs, grew mustard and cress from seed on the shed windowsill, and grew Asters in a terracotta pot!

I now have my own garden of course, where I grow lots of flowers - mostly those that are based on Daisy formations. These include Rudbeckias, Heleniums, Ox-Eye Daisies and of course a lot of wildflowers, Cornflowers, Corncockles, Geraniums and Teasel. Teasel is one of my favourites because of the wildlife it attracts, especially in Autumn, where I like to see the Goldfinches feeding, pulling the Teasels over as the seeds pour out.

Looking back in retrospect, I can see where all the influences in my artwork come from - my fascination with pattern, insects and flowers. They were all part of my childhood and what I loved to do.

West Sussex Artist Claire Harrison in her art studio 1
West Sussex Artist Claire Harrison working in her art studio
The majority of my inspiration comes from the local Sussex landscape and my garden. Over the years it has become obvious that the seasons are moving. Spring comes earlier and earlier and Winters are extremely mild. I believe this is an indication of global warming and so many of the scientists and media provide us with information regarding this issue, on a global scale, but what is happening on our doorstep? What invertebrates and wildflowers are threatened and how does that impact on us?

As I write this, we are currently experiencing a heatwave and my crops this year are thriving because of the exceptionally low population of slugs and snails – a gardeners dream perhaps, but also an indication of pressure on the water supply, due to lack of rain. The scarcity of these unpopular molluscs also has an impact on the birds and mammals, such as hedgehogs and thrushes that feed upon them.

I started my “Art Seasonally” blog on my website, to start documenting and comparing the changes in the local climate in Sussex. I draw what I observe each week from life and these are not only for the project, but are also used as research and inspiration for my oil paintings. To read my “Art Seasonally” blog please visit my website.

West Sussex Artist Claire Harrison working in her art studio

I began my career in 2001 after graduating with a Fine Art degree, by hiring a local, large gallery space without any completed art works. I had 6 months before my opening, so I needed to create some work! A loan from the bank and a course on self-employment later, I launched my career and created 40 works to exhibit. These were photographic and digitally manipulated works, as I didn’t have a studio. From the success of this exhibition, which was featured in the local press and following an interview on the local radio station, the Director of The Farnham Maltings Arts Centre at my private view, offered me a studio space - and so my art career was born!

Since then, I have exhibited in the UK and abroad, in both solo and selected group shows and I have often been featured in both public and private collections. I sell to clients in several countries including the UK, China and Canada.

I am passionate about art, nature and the environment! I also enjoy sharing my enthusiasm and experience with the local community and I run courses at Guildford Institute and teach on a one-to-one basis.

I have been teaching art techniques, how to develop creativity and how to overcome creative block to children, amateurs and fellow artists for over 15 years. I have found that the artist and their creativity is still shrouded in mystery and thought of as a product of genetic fortune. However, like any other professional, I believe that being an artist is about hard work and practice, just like any other successful business owner or athlete, therefore, I started my “It’s All About Art” blog to try and demystify the creative process, to explain why I do what I do and how I do what I do, with the objective of de-mystifying the role of the artist and motivating all those art students out there.

So many students arrive at classes saying “I will never be an artist” or that they can’t be one, because they don’t have any talent. I believe that everyone can be taught the skill of drawing and painting, but some will ultimately have a natural flair for it. For those who want to become artists, all they need is the persistent drive and motivation to do hours of practice and work to create artworks, in whatever form that may take. “It’s All About Art” blog can be read on my website.

Dandelion and Fly - Claire Harrison West Sussex Artist

Concept: The Ideas Behind My Work

I am inspired by the landscape around me and much of my work is based upon the plants in my garden that I have nurtured from seed. I have never grown out of the wonder of plants appearing in bare earth. I encourage insects by tending a wild area of garden which grows many indigenous plants that have self-seeded from the local landscape.

My work consists of large brightly coloured oil paintings, highlighting the miniscule on a large scale. I am passionate about colour and emphasise those that I see, which are created by the changing light during the day. I want vivid colours to glow from the canvas, because I want to show that the tiny wildflower or bright beetle in a grass verge, is like a jewel amongst the undergrowth. I explore the miniature, miniscule and microscopic, of both the floral and insect world, and I will often attempt to crawl under the smallest wildflower and photograph from below as if I am an insect looking up. I am fascinated with camouflage, and I often hide insects within my work by using tone to conceal these little creatures. Just as you need to search to find minibeasts in a field, I want the audience to pause to find all the hidden dimensions in my work. This is because the bright colours are merely the surface; I want to combine both impact and detail.

I include a lot of texture in my work; I like the underlying surface to disrupt the outward appearance of the painting. It is a metaphor for the real landscape; we see calming rolling hills or ordered equally spaced trees. There is so much that we do not see, for example, the fragile intertwined relationships between all creatures in the ecosystem.

My fascination for patterns is shown in my intricate ink drawings and watercolours, where I often depict the many spirals found within the centre of daisy-like flowers. Having studied plants under a microscope for many years, I attempt to show that they are not all that we perceive; instead I draw the intricate detail from both the microscope and the naked eye. I want to show that nature, however small, is magnificent and important. Nature is not just a vista, or a landscape, it is the interdependent relationships between all creatures, flora and fauna. Nature is a perfectly ordered mechanism that we dismiss as an overgrown landscape full of creepy crawlies, where in fact it is a complex, beautiful ecosystem of each organism reliant upon another.

Sunflowers in the Breeze – Watercolour Painting – St Leonards on Sea East Sussex Artist Sheila Martin

Sunflowers in the Breeze – Watercolour Painting – St Leonards on Sea East Sussex Artist Sheila Martin

Art, Painting Commissions and Prints from Sussex Artists

Artist: Sheila Martin (St Leonards on Sea, East Sussex)

Artist: Sheila Martin (St Leonards on Sea, East Sussex)

Sunflowers in the Breeze - Watercolour Painting - St Leonards on Sea East Sussex Artist Sheila Martin

Sunflowers in the Breeze

Image Size: 660cm x 480cm
Art Medium: Watercolour
Painting Price: £250

Commissions Invited

Contact The Artist

Sheila P Martin

St Leonards on Sea, East Sussex

Original Art For Sale
Art Tuition For Children

Phone: 07377 400083

Email: sheilmrtn@icloud.com

Please mention the Sussex Artists website

Web: henrose.co.uk

About The Artist

Sheila Martin has been painting avidly for 12 years. She retired from being a chef 6 years ago and had been working in offices previously. Sheila lived in Kelvedon in Braintree Essex and attended various art classes and progressed from there, before recently moving to St Leonards on Sea, East Sussex.

Art is all about emotion, feeling and giving to others. It is such a wonderful thing to do to start from scratch and build up a painting for people to enjoy. So Sheila never did art for a living prior to retirement, but has been able to recently enjoy success and build a reputation to be able to hold solo exhibitions.

She likes to paint in all types of media, she uses pebeo golds and silvers, glitter and masking fluid. When she went to school there were never all these wonderful art colours and medias to hand. Flowers and forests are her main works.

Sheila Martin  - Sussex Artist at Stoke Mandeville Hospital
Please enjoy Sheila's art and if you would like one, she would only be delighted to paint for you or to teach you her techniques.

Art Groups

I belong to the Battle Art Group (East Sussex) and have had 2 solo exhibitions this year.
Member of Colchester Art Society, Essex.

Art Tuition For Children

I am now doing demonstrations in Hobbycraft in Chelmsford, Essex. I have done 4 now. The children come up and help me paint.

I have a CRB and would like to take them for 2 to 3 hours on a lesson. I feel that what I do helps the brain to focus and stops boredom by painting pictures. I have been commissioned work by various people over the last 2 years

Art Exhibitions

2021

30 October to 7 November - Tree Show at the Star Brewery Gallery, Castle Ditch Lane, Lewes, East Sussex BN7 1YJ
A group exhibition celebrating trees in reality and the imagination.
Artists: Peter Messer, Andrew Fitchett, Tom Benjamin, Marco Crivello, Rachel Plummer, Carolyn Trant, Paul Newland, Michael Munday, Rue Asher, Nichola Campbell, Sheila Martin, Mark Munroe-Preston, Emma Jamison, Pauline Devaney, Chris Hill, Harry George Brayne, Sarah Ffitch-Heyes, Tate Paviour, Keith A. Pettit (courtesy of Sarah O’Kane Contemporary Fine Art), Neeta Pedersen

2020

FEBRUARY 2020 - LEVEL BEST ART CAFE AUGUST LOPPING HALL
I have taken all kinds of art techniques from the courses and use masking fluid and vitro acrylics made by Pebeo to do all kinds of affects with acrylics and watercolours. Mirrored papers and gels to do all sort of 3D Work. Sunflowers, forests, houses.

2019

January 19th - Hobbycraft Demonstration, Chelmsford, Essex
April 20th - Hobbycraft, Chelmsford, Essex
May 24th to June 21st - Exhibition in Level Best Art Cafe, Colchester, Essex, in aid of Dacon Trust Limited
July 12th - Exhibition with 20 of my pictures in Lopping Hall, Loughton, Essex
August 31st - Taught patients at Horatio Gardens in Stoke Mandeville Hospital another one booked for 27th October
October 13th - Demonstration at 'Colourful Weekend' Event at Green Island Gardens, Colchester, Essex

2007 - 2018

2007 Visited Carcassonne France and did a course on Watercolours
2009 Dartmouth Devon Paul Riley Art Course Watercolours
2015 St Ives School of Painting - Studied oils with Gary Long
2016 April - Art Course with Susan Boddy
2016 May - Tuscany Italy with the St Ives School of painting with Gary Long
2016 April - Solo Exhibition in Colchester Library 20 paintings
2017 August - Art Demonstration in Tindells
2017 June - John Birch lessons in watercolour and watercolour pencils
2017 Course at St Ives Cornwall Painting School - Turner style
2018 August - Art demonstration Hobby Craft Epping Forest, Essex
2018 Studied with Michelle Webber Watercolours
2018 August - Hobbycraft Demonstration
2018 November - Hobbycraft Demonstration