I have a few small paintings available on my website at the moment. They are 60cmx60cm acrylic on canvas.
I have a few small paintings available on my website at the moment. They are 60cmx60cm acrylic on canvas.
Yarra is now open at Cambridge Studio Gallery in Collingwood until the 26th of March. The gallery is open Wednesday to Sunday from 12-5pm.
Here is an excerpt from the curator Susan:
Not everything is always as it seems
Contemplative and reflective, Clair Brenner’s images are inspired by nature, bringing the outside in. She captures the essence of a landscape, stylizing it and making it her own. She employs colour, pattern and repetition to portray the layers of foliage and vegetation that can be seen within the landscape.
Her inspiration comes from the Upper Yarra river catchment area. The Yarra River is an icon of Melbourne, it winds its way through the city and is often described as disgusting, dirty and poisoned. However, Clair’s images tell us a different story. Travelling just over an hour out of Melbourne and into the Yarra Valley we find an entirely different picture. Here the river is clean, picturesque and beautiful.
“This is the Yarra that I see every day, a river that I want people to experience. It has a pristine, untouched beauty to it that is a total contrast to the polluted murky Yarra that we see closer to Melbourne.”
Clair’s work is a celebration of this unlikely aspect of the Yarra. She shines a light on a vibrant, verdant Yarra. Her images are surprising and beguiling. They remind us that not everything is always as it seems.
I've spent the last few months working on lots of landscape inspired paintings for my exhibition. While I do love a good landscape, after a while doing the same thing gets a bit draining. So now that I've finished I've started playing around with some still life paintings instead. I wanted them to be quite loose and expressive and I wanted to work in some softer more pastel shades.
Sometimes a slight subject change is all that's needed to inspire creativity again. I spent some time working out a limited colour scheme to begin with then I spent no more than 40min on each painting. The first was on a small canvas I had left over and the other two were on paper.
These small studies will be added to my store in the original paintings section once I have a few more to add to the collection. I will be doing a few larger versions as well once I get through a few private commissions that I have lined up.
Here is a quick little peak into my process. The paintings for my upcoming exhibition were all directly inspired by the Yarra River. Some were sketched interpretations and others, such as this one below, were inspired by photographs.
I never try to copy a landscape exactly, I always like to use my own interpretation which gives my paintings their imaginative and dreamlike quality. As you can see, although I was directly inspired by the photo, the finished painting has taken on a whole new feeling of its own. I tried to emphasis the feeling of the sun going down and the last warmth from the day hitting the riverbank to the right.
Last Light (152cmx101cm Acrylic on Canvas) will be in display during my exhibition Yarra, which is being held at Cambridge Studio Gallery in Collingwood from the 8th to 26th of March. There will be opening drinks on the 12th of March from 2pm, it would be lovely to see you there.
My next exhibition will be held at Cambridge Studio Gallery in Collingwood, Melbourne. There will be an official opening on Sunday the 12th in the afternoon from 2pm where you can come and view the work, enjoy a drink and have a chat to me.
This collection of work is inspired by the Upper Yarra River catchment area. The Yarra River is an icon of Melbourne, it winds it's way through the city and is often described as disgusting, dirty and poisoned. However if you travel just over an hour our of the city and towards the Yarra Valley and entirety different picture is shown. Up here the river is clean, picturesque and beautiful. This is the Yarra that i want people to see and enjoy.
Now, of course I am not trying to make a political statement about pollution, I'm just hoping to give you something beautiful to look at and to help bring the outside in. I have thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of creating a series of works focusing on the beauty of the river. As well as working through the challenges of blending more traditional landscape compositions with my more stylized expressive style of painting. I hope you will join me on the 12th.
Wanderlust 2017 has already begun but it's not too late to join in. You can still purchase your membership and catch up on the lessons that have begun. My video tutorial showing some techniques i use when creating my own paintings will be released on the 17th of February. In my class you will learn some simple observation techniques and brushstrokes that you can use to create your own botanical inspired art. I take you through a step by step tutorial on how i create an abstract painting as well as a landscape painting.
You get an exclusive look into my techniques and some helpful tips on how to express your own creativity inspired by nature. But the best thing is, that by signing up you don't just get my help...you get the help of a whole bunch of other professional artists and teachers who each share their knowledge with you over the next 12 months. As well as access to a online community of like minded people that are also along for the ride.
I look forward to seeing you there!
Here is a little peek into the studio and what I've been up to lately. If you want to see more behind the scenes stuff make sure you subscribe to my instagram account.
I've started another piece for my new series. This will be in my show in March titled Yarra where I will be focusing on the local river scenes.
I finished (and sold) this pretty piece.
I also completed this commission that was started before Christmas. I usually don't take that long to finish commissions but I have been away a fair bit these last few weeks.
I have a big pile of canvases due to be delivered soon so it will be a busy few weeks. If you would like to pop into the studio to view anything in person then feel free to message me. I haven't forgotten about that Open Studio day either... it will happen soon!
I know there hasn't been much action around here the last few weeks, I've been kicking back with the family enjoying some holiday time.
First we had a lovely Christmas then spent a few days down at the beach with my parents
We spent a quiet New Years at home and most of this week lounging around avoiding the heat. Next week we are off on holiday again to NSW which will be lovely.
All this relaxing and lazing around has meant that I have been very unproductive when it comes to painting. The downside of having a studio away from home is that during the school holidays it's a challenge to go there for 5min let alone 5 hours.
I have however found a way to release some creative energy as well as use up some of my yarn stash.
So much fun! It's like painting with yarn!
Anyway, until I get the chance to pick up my brushes again this is feeding my creative urges quite nicely. Once I do get back in the studio I have lots to work on. I have some commissions I need to finish (and start) I have a new series to work on ready for a show in March. I have a workshop in Geelong in that has sold out and I need to prepare for and all this is just in the first three months of the year.
so if you don't mind, I'm going to enjoy this time off for at least another week and a half before I get stuck into 2017.
I have just updated my store with a series of five small original paintings on canvas. These pieces are only 45cmx45cm (18inx18in) and are the perfect size for a gift, as a feature in a gallery wall or to brighten up a corner of your home.
They are all following a bit of a night time theme and feature abstract floral trees and a star filled sky. I painted several larger pieces like this a while ago and decided it would be fun to revisit the idea.
You can find them all in the shop originals section of my website. The price includes express shipping within Australia and if you purchase before the 14th it should arrive well before Christmas.
I mentioned on here a few weeks ago that I was planing on moving out into a new studio space. Well the time has arrived. I picked up the keys to the new studio last Thursday and I've been slowly moving in over the last few days.
I have been a full time professional artist for about three years now, however now that I have a "real studio" I actually feel like a real professional now. So silly but that's how my brain works.
I'm really excited to see where this next year takes me and to see how having a studio outside of my home for the first time ever changes the way I work. I'm hoping that I will be a bit more productive during the week. I find it hard to not procrastinate doing other things when I'm at home, it's always much more tempting to just sit on the couch with my knitting and Netflix. Hopefully having official working hours and a place to go every day will make me more accountable and productive when I need to be.
It will also be awesome to be able to welcome clients into my studio without having to lead them through my lounge room and messy kitchen first. I am happy for anyone to pop in and see me whenever I'm there (which will be quite often during the week and by appointment on weekends).
After the Christmas and New Years break and once I have settled in I am planing on holding an official opening/open studio day. I'll let you know when that's happening via Facebook early in the year.
I recently completed another large scale commission for a client in Melbourne. This piece was inspired by a combination of two previous paintings that the client really loved. I'm really happy with the finished piece and I love working on this scale.
The canvas is 2mx1m and makes a fantastic feature up on the wall.
This is the second last commission that I'll be working on this year. I have one more to squeeze in over the next few weeks then I'll be taking a break from commissions for a few weeks while I focus on creating a new collection for a show in March.
If you would like to talk to me about commissioning and original artwork for your home or business next year then send me a message via my contact page.
Every few months I get together with some lovely friends of mine and we head away on a girly craft weekend somewhere. This time we headed to Airleys Inlet on the other side of Melbourne. We sit, eat, knit, sew, crochet and watch tv. It is awesome.
Its the perfect little break away from the daily grind.
Many beginner artists start painting because they enjoy the process. They enjoy the feeling of mixing and adding colours to canvas, the challenge of representing something in paint, of creating something from scratch and saying “I did this”. It’s for the love of it.
If that desire to create goes further and they begin to feel as though this is how they want to make a career, a whole other world of problems are opened up. When moving from the world of amateur into professional suddenly there is a whole new set of expectations put upon you. Suddenly you can’t just create something just because you want to, because people will begin to ask that one elusive question…why?
Collectors, critics and fans will begin to want to know why you are doing something, what is the deeper meaning behind it. What message are you trying to get across? What point are you making?
To begin with I really struggled with this. Even way back when I was completing a Diploma of Visual art (back in 2002-2004) I would be asked by my tutors “what are you trying to say with this piece”…my answer would be a shrug of the shoulders followed by “I dunno”.
I was never interested in creating a political argument with my art. I never had religious views that I felt needed to be expressed or a statement that I was trying to make. As a result I always felt inferior and as though my work wasn’t worthy of anything important because I wasn’t trying to make a point or send out a message. Everyone around me was creating artistic statements and deep hidden messages within their art about the environment, racism, social issues, feminism…the list goes on. There is of course nothing wrong with that, but I personally really struggled with it…because I didn’t have any. Even back then, all I wanted to do was make pretty paintings, but that never seemed to be enough.
So does every painting need to have a story?
It has taken a very long time for me to realize that the answer to that is…no. It is ok to create purely for the love of creating. It is ok to not have a deeper meaning behind each stroke of the brush. There is nothing at all wrong with painting JUST because you want to paint. Does that make my art shallow? Not at all!
The purpose of my art is not to make a statement, first and foremost I want my paintings to be seen as beautiful. I want the viewer to look at it and say “wow…that’s so pretty!”. I want to create a reaction within them that sees the piece for exactly what it is….a pretty picture. I want the colours to be pleasing to the eye, calming and attractive. I want the shapes and composition to remind the viewer of nature and tranquility. I want the details and textures to be noticed once the view comes closer and becomes engaged in the piece. I want them to be able to look into the layers of colour and pattern to see the work and process involved. I want them to WANT to have this hanging on their wall in their home and not have to explain the deeper meaning of it all to everyone that comes over.
In my opinion, creating something that is beautiful, peaceful and calming to look at is just as important as creating something that is challenging, thought provoking and has a strong message to put across. There is a space for both within the art world.
Now all this being said, some of my paintings do have more of a story to them than others but that story usually has more to do with what inspired the piece than a particular subconscious message I’m trying to make. For example if someone approaches me to create a painting based on a mountain view near their home, and I am to include the flock of pigeons that the neighbor releases each afternoon into the skyline…then obviously this piece now has a story connected to it.
Or if as I am creating a painting, the images that are coming forward remind me of a particular time or place or event then I can happily match up that piece with such story and give the painting more meaning. But at the same time I no longer feel the need to do this with ALL my paintings. Sometimes it is just what it is and nothing more. The piece was created spontaneously with little to no thought and it is now just a pretty picture.
What do you think? Do you have trouble finding meaning in your work? Or do you totally disagree with me and believe that if there is no meaning behind it then there is no point creating it?
Blank canvases are scary. Anyone that has stood in front of one will know this. The stress that you can feel sometimes is crazy. You worry about ruining that perfect white flat surface. You don't want to mess it up. What if you make a mistake? What a waste!
Then you have to think about what you are actually going to paint. How do you decide? How do you pick one idea out of a million that are in your head?
Its a struggle.
The easiest way to get over this overwhelming fear is to just do it. Pick a colour (or three) and cover up all the white. Just slap it on. It doesn't matter how just cover it up.
There you go... the white is gone. The canvas has been messed up and now it doesn't matter what you do next.
Even now, after painting pretty much my whole life I still have that fear and anxiety when starting a new piece. Even when I know exactly what I need to do, I procrastinate starting because I worry that I will ruin it. But as soon as I cover the surface with paint the feeling disappears and I can focus on getting the work done.
I have been working on another big commission over the last week that is now finished. This one was 2mx1.5m and inspired by the colours used in another painting of mine.
Some paintings are easier than others but this one practically painted itself. Everything just came together naturally and it wasn't a struggle at all which made it a joy to paint and I think it shows through in the painting.
If you are interested in commissioning an original artwork for your home I am now taking bookings for next year. You can contact me through my website to discuss prices and details.
I will be moving out of my home studio into a space in town in a few weeks and i need to clear out some old stock. With this in mind, I have just reduced the price of the following two paintings for 48 hours only. This price includes shipping within Australia (international customers please contact me for a shipping quote).
(please note: these paintings are available to buy on other websites however this sale price is only available through me and by clicking on the links provided)
A Place of Secrets (SOLD) is the last piece available from my A Years Growth exhibition earlier in the year. It is 122cmx107cm, acrylic on stretched canvas and was originally $1700, now it has been reduced to $1200 for 48hrs only.
I have also placed Shades of Summer on sale, this piece has been taking pride of place on my studio wall for long enough. It needs to find a new home. It is Acrylic on Stretched Canvas, 137cmx101cm. Original price was $1800, it is now reduced to $1200 for 48hrs only.
To purchase click on the buy now links or send me an email (please note: these paintings are available on other websites however this sale price is only available through me and by clicking on the links provided)
Several months ago i was contacted by an interior designer, Andrew, who worked for Victoria Racing designing marquees for the Flemington racecourse Spring Carnival.
He asked me to create a painting that would be converted into wallpaper to be used in one of the marquees for the infamous Birdcage area of the Melbourne Cup. Well the cup was held on the weekend and it was very exciting to see glimpses of my beautiful wall paper in the background of people enjoying the day.
Here is a little sneak peek of how the room looked while it was being put together a few weeks ago.
I have asked for some final photos to be sent through to me so i can share them with everyone, who like me was not actually privileged enough to spend the day at the races LOL. As soon as i receive them i will post them up on here.
If anyone happened to see this marquee and you took photos feel free to send them to me or tag me in Instagram so i can see them.
The time has come to start planing for the silly season. I'm usually pretty good at getting myself organized early. I HATE feeling stressed out a week before Christmas because I haven't finished my present shopping. Now is the perfect time to sit on the couch and do a bit of online shopping. I've put together a few suggestions from my online store as well as RedBubble who offer a fantastic range of products that are perfect for gift giving.
I have also recently added some new paintings to my RedBubble portfolio so you have more designs to choose from.
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A selection of paintings are available as Fine Art reproductions. These prints are available in three sizes and are printed in Australia on 300gsm cotton rag paper. You can find them in my print section here and between now and the 6th of November you can use the code 25OFF during the checkout process to receive a 25% discount on all prints.
It's show time! My new exhibition opens at St Michaels gallery today (the 16th of October) and will run until mid November. The Exhibition consists of eight paintings and all are available to purchase via the gallery.
Internal Worlds is a collection of paintings inspired by nature and the cycle of time. The small worlds of overlapping foliage show depth and details that are not noticed fully until you approach the works closely. This is a reflection of my own inner struggle, the constant tug of war between being an introvert and wanting to be left alone – while simultaneously wanting to reach out and connect with people and maintain meaningful relationships.
St Michaels Gallery is located at 120 Collins Street, Melbourne. You gain access to the gallery via St Michaels Walk which is just off Collins street. The opening will begin at 11:30 am today until around 1pm, i will be there and i would love to have a chat to you.
I am happy to arrange free shipping Australia wide on any painting purchased interstate, just let Erin know over the phone where you would like it shipped to.
Ok, so I have had a massive influx of followers on my Instagram, Facebook and blog this past week and I credit it all to the wonderful Danielle from The Jealous Curator who was kind enough to feature my work on her blog earlier this week.
It is totally surreal because I have been following her blog for at least five years now and always dreamed that one day she will pick me to be jealous of... Never actually expecting it to happen (not because I doubt my mad skills but because there are literally millions of awesome artists out there to pick from).
On Thursdsy morning, I woke up... Got the kids out of bed and sat down to eat my breaky. I popped into Facebook like usual and noticed that I had 45 notifications. Now usually I'll have one or two... So clearly something was up... The first thing I saw when I opened it up was..
"The Jealous Curator has mentioned you in a post"
I clicked on it thinking that maybe she just shared or liked one of my photos... But no... She had posted about me IN HER BLOG.
I had emailed her a few months ago to let her know how much I loved her blog and podcast and I mentioned then that I was an artist. She replied wishing me luck for my upcoming show (because she rocks) and that was that. I was listening to her podcast the other day again and she had an Aussie guest (Rachel Castel) and so I sent a quick message again just letting her know how awesome it was to hear an Aussies voice and how much I loved the episode. She replied again...because she is lovely... And I thought nothing else about it until Thursday morning.
Since then I have gained about 200 new Facebook followers and 300 new Instagram followers.
So anyway, if you found me through her blog then thank you for popping in.
I feel like an absolutely legit artist now. Life goal compete. 👌