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A Subtle and Dreamlike Journey with Clare Elsaesser

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Today I invite you to a subtle, slightly dreamlike journey with an artist Clare Elsaesser and her paintings ranging from abstract to figurative.

I discovered Clare’s art through Etsy, where I first saw a slightly blurred portrait of a girl hiding her face behind a bunch of flowers. I liked the idea of flowers covering up, you would think, such an important part of the painting and making it a little bit surreal and dreamlike. This detail takes it towards an abstraction, as many of her other artworks.

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As I looked through the Clare’s shop I found that all of her art pieces have some sort of mystery in them, something hidden. And that is what I like about her works. These art pieces leave space for imagination. I always wonder about how those hidden faces would look like, and try to recognise objects in her abstract paintings. Apart from that, I love the colour palettes and subtlety of Clare’s art.

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Here is a short interview with an artist:

What do we need to know about you?

My name is Clare Elsaesser, and I am thirty two. I live and work in a tiny seaside town called Jenner, (population around 100 people) an hour and a half north of San Francisco with my artist husband Kai Samuels-Davis.

What are your daily inspirations? What motivates you?

I am inspired by the expansive nature outside my window, books about sea exploration, movies, my husband and his artwork, and a large number of other artists both past and contemporary. I am motivated to work and paint by a desire to create and further understand different visual and aesthetic phenomena.

Describe your creative process. What is your favourite part of it?

Recently my process has become loose, and my artwork more abstract. I start with random black and white marks on the surface, and try to weave these together to make shapes and forms, bringing in different colours and finding a balance between figurative and abstract. This process feels new and exciting, and the frenetic way of working keeps me energized and happy while I work.

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How does your work space look like? What do you like about it? What would you change?

My studio is very tiny. I think it the 1930s it was probably a one car garage, which at some point was converted into a little guest cottage, which I am trying not to get too messy with paint, since we only rent our house and studios. I love my studio’s one big picture window overlooking cypress trees and the river below our house, but I really wish I had more space to work on larger paintings.

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Describe your typical day.

I start my day with business work for my Etsy shop: email correspondence, and printing and packing print orders. After lunch I paint as long as I can until it is too dark or I am tired or hungry.

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Your tips for fresh artists, designers and makers.

Well, I’m not sure I have good advice to give, or that anyone should trust me for advice, but I would say a few things that have helped me are working as hard as I can, exploration, observation and not giving up even when I feel like this is the only option.

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To see a wide range of Clare’s art pieces for sale please visit her Etsy shop. Also I invite you to have a look at her website, blog, InstagramFacebook and Pinterest pages. All of the images used in this post were combined together from all these online platforms Clare uses.

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