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Portrait of a Dorset Artist – Clare Shepherd

Clare-ShepherdArtist Clare Shepherd has lived in Cranborne Chase for 28 years. The colours and wide expanses of the area inspire her to respond with paint, both out on location and back in her studio. She loves the gentle quality of her local countryside and the shape and scale of the surrounding hills.Ackling-Dyke-by-Clare-Shepherd

“I feel incredibly lucky to be part of the cycle of Dorset life and to see, year by year, the seasons come and go,” says Clare who has recently helped to establish The New Dorset Art Group, which collaborates in mixed shows and small open-studio events.

She studied at The Slade School of Fine Art under Lawrence Gowing, Mick Moon and John Hoyland. It is now, with hindsight, that she sees the influence of Hoyland’s use of colour reflected in her own work. She was awarded The Slade Prize on graduation and has exhibited widely winning many prizes since then. Clare was commissioned to produce a large painting for The Blackwater Stream, JD Wetherspoon pub in Lower Blandford Road, Broadstone where she made reference to the broad stones that had once crossed the nearby Blackwater stream.

blackwaterstream-by-clare-shepherdMuch of Clare’s work is based on the landscapes of her favourite places including The Klein Karoo in Africa, Osaka in Japan where one of her sons lives, Exmoor in Somerset where she spent much of her childhood and the Cranborne Chase. The subject matter in Clare’s work is diverse and includes commissioned portraits, life studies and large political pieces among other things.

She has a private gallery at home which always has a current exhibition on show; visitors are welcome by appointment. She teaches some weekly courses and a vibrant summer school plus occasional Sunday workshops. “I believe in teaching structured, challenging and interesting lessons,” says Clare.