After leaving Birmingham School of Art and moving to London in the early 90’s Clae continued to study, moving to life drawing and painting having trained in sculpture. Largely self taught in painting, Clae began a career in portraiture around 2014. Initially working almost exclusively to commission, she now concentrates on her own work and more specifically the Painting the Poets project over the last few years. Exhibiting and organising events around the project, as the collection of portraits nears completion, has set her career on a different path, opening doors to collaboration with other artists and exploring other art forms.
“Portraiture is a challenging discipline and while its popularity has grown in recent times it is still one that often evokes thoughts of tradition and history rather than contemporary art. The portrait, however, is as popular as ever, using all manner of media, I believe it demands its existence more than ever before.
For each portrait I look for those elements that must balance in harmony, a sometimes elusive proposition. While a desired outcome might be physical resemblance, as the artist I am looking for much more. It is only through the communication between sitter and artist that this can be found. It is the story that generates the painting, not just capturing the characteristics but what is being invoked and communicated emotionally.
It is the story of these peoples lives that I come to know, collecting each element that will suspend that life in time. “
Clae lives works between her studios in London and Shropshire. She also runs regular portrait painting workshops.