Colette Clegg is an Irish artist based in the UK. Inspired by life and the world around her, she strives to make the ordinary, extraordinary using resonant colours, bold handling of paint and freedom of interpretation.
2013 SAOS Brusary Winner: Colette Clegg
SAOS summer studios openings: June 8 & 9
Evening of June 13. All day June 14/15/16
Evening of June 20. All day June 22 & 23
Studio venue: Blackmoor Farm, Ockham Lane, Cobham KT11 1LZ
What does Open Studios and the bursary mean to you?
I am very excited about participating in SOAS for the first time and being awarded the bursary is a great compliment to me and validates my commitment to painting as a full time activity.
How did you first get interested in art?
I grew up in a large family in Ireland. My mother was a Home Economics teacher and she encouraged my sisters and I to be creative from an early age. We always had projects that we were working on, not just painting -â?? embroidery, patchwork, silk painting, knitting, crochet, dress making and cooking. It all helped with my painting as I am obsessed with colour and texture and I have a big collection of patchwork quilts and fabrics. Art was one of my favourite subjects at school and I spent a year at Limerick School of Art in the early 1980s. I have painted throughout my working life and spent some time at Bejing School of Art in 1993. I am so lucky now to be able to paint full time.
To someone who had never seen your work before, how would you describe it?
I am passionate about colour. My work veers from representational to semi abstract using resonant colours to produce an emotional response to the world around me. I live in a very beautiful part of Surrey and every day I am influenced by the ever changing light and the seasons have on the local landscape. I revisit the same subjects over and over again - still life with flowers and fruit, fish, horses, atmospheric landscapes, trees, big skies as I am constantly looking for new ways to make something extraordinary from the ordinary. I love the seductive quality of oil paint, often using a palette knife to create sculptural textures.
What'â?¬â?¢s your favourite piece of your work?
A piece called Seated Nude. I am endlessly fascinated by the female form and paint it as often as possible. I attend as many life drawing sessions as I can. The female form holds endless possibilities for me.
What do you love most about being an artist?
Painting is now my passion and I paint every day. My time is my own. Every day holds a new challenge and it is a fabulous feeling at the end of the day to look at a painting and think -â?¬â?? that didn't exist this morning, I made that happen. Paint is such an extraordinary medium that you never quite know what it will do so every day is an adventure.
Where do you seek inspiration in the local area?
I live very near Ockham Common. I often walk there as the trees, light reflections on the water and skies suggest lots of abstract possibilities. Also the huge skies on Wisley airfield, reminiscent of Turner, holds a huge fascination for me as the light is changing all the time and the cloud formations offer many abstract ideas.
Which is your favourite Surrey art gallery?
The Art Works, East Horsley.
What would you say to any artists starting out?
Join SOAS or similar in your area.
Draw everything and every day.
Take your painting seriously and treat it like a job.
Use social networking to promote your work.
Don'â?¬â?¢t get discouraged if some people don'â?¬â?¢t like your work. There are enough people out there who will.
Find like-minded people to paint with or meet up with regularly to discuss your ideas and work. Painting can be a very solitary activity and the social interaction is good for your creativity.
Are there any other Surrey artists you particularly admire?
Ann Heat, Julie Collins, Sally Martin.
Commissions welcome and artwork for sale
Visitors welcome by appointment
tel: 01483 281787
mobile: 07771 722874