• Claire Burke

Let the blogging begin!

Updated: Oct 30, 2020

Hello and welcome to my new blog about my art-making journey. I was discussing email Newsletters in the garden with my techie husband whose niche IT consultancy use every method I know of - and more - to communicate, and he looked at me like I was nuts. Newsletters, apparently, are old school. Blogs are the way to go.

So here I am ready to give it a shot - hoping my blogs might interest visitors and give an insight into what being An Artist is all about for me. This one's a bit of a bio but the aim going forward is to take you along with my inspiration, what I'm working on, creative influences, tips for artists and any other gems (or pitfalls) I can put out there!

Born in the UK, 20 miles south of London in 1969 to great but busy parents and with two older brothers, I had a lot of spare time and found a lot of it was taken up with making and doing. Not particularly sporty or bookish, and a zillion years before the internet, I was happiest keeping my hands and mind busy creating, and spent a lot of my teens making clothes, soft toys, jewellery, cooking, cake decorating, drawing ...... you get the picture. My O Level Art teacher was only interested, it seemed, in the three or four really good arty kids in the class and my confidence was bruised with comments like 'Claire you are better than this....' but no encouragement or constructive help followed, and that, it seemed, was it for my art education.

I completed a Business degree in Bournemouth, and worked busily in IT for years before realising there was something missing from my life: the role I had created and shaped had stagnated, the excitement of the environment too, and the thought crystallised that it was all a bit pointless. Enter Creativity, stage left.

New friends at the time were two enormously hardworking craftsfolk, one using steel, one using wood, making in the week and selling at the weekend. Hand to mouth in quiet times, hard work but fulfilling. A lightbulb shone, a change of direction. For nearly two years I made mosaics for a living (fraction of the salary but happy days!!) then a house move, three children and domestic duties once again interrupted my productive flow. Raising the kids was often creative (cookies, cupcakes, button necklaces) and certainly exhausting but what could I do in 15 or 30 minutes here and there? Certainly not mosaics....!

I took part time work when our youngest started school and worked in a classroom with 5-year-olds for a speedy decade. But I touched a flame to a long fuse when I simultaneously started an acrylic workshop course in 2010 and have never looked back.

In ten years my creative journey has brought me a loooong way....more of that in another post. Suffice to say that I finally took the plunge in March 2020 to become a ' Full Time Artist ' ..... this was a Big Deal

These show the earliest of my paintings when I started in 2010/11, working from photographs and taking meticulous hours of painting until each one looked just like my source photo.

I still love these paintings but I don't work like this any more.... never say never, though, eh :)

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