Claire Henley

Claire has created a series of original paintings for Portside Gallery depicting scenes of Clifton. She explains:

When choosing what to paint for a collection, I simply walk for ages with my camera and a sketchbook. If I am stopped in my tracks at the sight of something, that’s often what I end up painting.

I always begin with a rough pencil layout on a scrap of paper, then plan out the finished painting very loosely on gessoed board or canvas. I’m too impatient to draw everything out meticulously, so the painting evolves and often takes on a life of its own.

I use acrylic paint which is forgiving enough for me to use layering techniques as well as scratching, sanding and spattering. Collage, crayons and pens also put in an appearance. Absolute precision isn’t important to me as I prefer a bit of a relaxed feel to the final piece.

Claire has had a varied career as a professional artist and illustrator. After studying graphic design at college in London, she began work as a designer for a textile company in the Midlands.

Once freelance, Claire began designing in a variety of fields such as stationery, giftware and toy manufacture before becoming a book illustrator. To date, she has been responsible for the illustration (and sometimes writing) of over a hundred children’s books.

See Claire’s Work