Berry Artist of the Week – JANET CLAYDON

How long have you been an artist?

I’ve been trying to create I think for as long as I can remember. I’m pretty sure it started in my cot at about 2 years of age! I get told the stories about painting it …. We won’t say any more about that!

My mother was in the hobby text movement of the 70’s. I was strictly forbidden to touch. I think this is when I really developed a love of creativity. But of course, when mum wasn’t looking Janet got busy!

Have you entered any competitions or exhibitions?

I had been selling my work for a while so I thought I would enter a few competitions. I thought that surely if my work sells, I could win some extra cash…. but no such luck! I was so disheartened that I just stopped entering, but kept painting and selling work though holding exhibitions. Recently I entered two works in a local show and to my surprise I won first prize in landscapes and a highly commended in a seascape. Bonus! some extra cash in my pocket.

What do you love about art? What is your motivation?

What I love about art is that I’m not one of those people that can talk all day till it wears me out. When I paint it’s my true form of expressing myself and I could paint all day and all night if not for other earthly duties. My motivation is the end result. I;m not happy until I have put life into the subject I have been working on. I know when it happens.

How would you describe your style?

I don’t think I really have one style as I usually work on a lot of different things. I guess expressionism/realism. I sometimes use bold strokes and other times gentle strokes, then sometimes I think I’m just winging it. A lot of people say my work looks like a photograph, but that’s not what I’m trying to achieve. I mainly use oils, I love them so much - the smell, the feel the texture, the work-ability of oils. I dabble in handmade crafts as well that I sell through a local gift store.

Who/what are your influences?

My work is influenced by my surroundings, the movement of the sea and any artist that paints the ocean. They make me want to get straight back to my studio and get busy.

What are some of your favourite personal works?

I have a lot of personal favourite paintings. They have all sold. I suppose I should keep some myself, but knowing that someone else loves and enjoys them, I let them go to a new home.

What is your creative process?

My creative process starts by searching through piles of reference photos, choosing whatever jumps out at me. Staring at the blank canvas, visualising the finished painting, choosing colours, mixing, then the miracle of painting begins.

What are your goals?

My goals are to be able to capture the viewer if only for a brief moment. Enough for them to stop and take a second look. To give the viewer the gift of triggering a memory or some beautiful feeling from long ago or even the present. If I achieve this I feel I have humbly succeeded in my work. I aim to be the best darn painter I could possibly be… the never-ending pursuit.


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