Clare McIntyre

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Clare McIntyre is a classically-trained artist and interior designer who lives in Toronto. The daughter of a professional singer, Clare spent her life around creative energy and the arts. Her combined talents in painting and design give her work a unique style that is centred around sensory observations. Her work represents everything around her from sounds and smells to texture and colour. Clare adds her own touch to realism by incorporating brushstrokes that give her art a sense of movement. She is particularly drawn to florals because the subject gives her an opportunity to bring things to life on paper by exaggerating objects and using colour to play with light, depth, and transparency. You will see the influence of Edwardian florals and early 1900s British and French design in Clare’s work. Time spent living in London informed much of her style, inspiring her to take a bold approach to colours and patterns. Clare’s love of traditional and vintage design is an extension of her fascination with the story of used, found objects and the opportunity to give them a second life. Clare began honing her craft as a child, taking courses at the Art Gallery of Ontario and continued her education as a young adult, earning a BFA from Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec. She has experimented with a variety of mediums and techniques but loves working with watercolour and gouache the most and has recently taken an interest in experimenting with them on nonstandard papers and other substrates. When Clare went back to school at Sheridan College for a degree in interior design, she found that she could bring artistry in the spaces she designed through impactful focal points and features. With this in mind, Clare has her own line of fabric and wallpaper for use in residential interiors. Clare is bringing her art to textiles and back again, recently painting on silk paper, which gives her work a different dimension, as well as sometimes depicting her own fabrics in paintings. Born in Newfoundland, Clare draws some inspiration from maritime artist Mary Pratt and Canadian folk artist, Maud Lewis. She is drawn to the intensely heightened observation of everyday life and natural elements found in their work. Spending time in nature helps Clare get into a state of creative flow. Being outdoors grounds her physically and emotionally and gives Clare the opportunity to absorb a sense of stillness that she hopes to bring to her easel. She aims to shed any frenetic energy before she paints and bring a calm confidence to her work. Clare creates in her home studio, where she likes to be surrounded by candles and black coffee. When she isn’t painting, she can be found exploring different corners of Toronto, collecting wildflowers with her daughter for their next project, or hunting for vintage picture frames.

ARTIST’S STATEMENT

My art is an extension of my connection to nature and my physical surroundings. The two go hand-in-hand. My process rarely begins in my studio — I spend time exploring my neighbourhood, a meditative practice that grounds me. Watercolour and gouache paints provide me a range of transparency to complete opacity which works well with my floral subject matter. I love to experiment on different surfaces and papers. Most recently I've been using heavy, handmade papers in different colours and even paper-backed silk. I often have unpredictable results using water-based paints on these different substrates to which I adjust with a playful approach. I am drawn to floral work because it involves so much light, depth, and transparency. I am able to make my paintings come alive by adjusting perspective, using lively brushstrokes, and incorporating deep jewel tones. I love the juxtaposition of the temporary nature of cut flowers with the permanence of what I paint. While my work may be considered still-life, it is never inert. I aim to breathe life into each piece. In all of my work you will see the influence of period homes, antique furniture, and textiles. I celebrate classic style by placing time-worn objects in many of my paintings while also trying to keep viewers in the moment by appealing to their senses. I see myself as a person who could float through time, finding joy and inspiration in many eras. By blending nostalgia with elements that compel people to stay in the present, I hope to rouse feelings of hope.