Meet the artist: Iris Clelford

Hi Iris, great to speak with you. Where are you based at the moment? 

I live and paint at home in a lovely little village called Perranuthnoe.

We know Perranuthnoe well, it is a gorgeous little Cornish place. How would you describe your home?  

My home is modern, linear lines and glass, highlighted by large brightly coloured Abstract canvases.

I love cooking in my kitchen and enjoy creating dishes from around the world. I'm trying to perfect Chinese at the moment

We love a good Chinese meal here! What drew you to becoming an artist?  

From an early age I had crayons in my hands and I was obsessed with 'Paint by Numbers'. At the age of 11, I passed an entry exam to an Art school in Birmingham, being immersed in all things 'Arty' was heaven to me. I have always been drawn to Figure Painting but since moving to Cornwall 20 years ago I have become fascinated with capturing the colours on the coastline.

It sounds like it's been your passion from the very beginning! What mediums do you prefer?

I love painting in all mediums but find that the subject tends to dictate which to use. Oils are my first love and I build up the painting in a series of glazes, because of the drying time between each layer I tend to work on several paintings so that whilst one picture is drying I'm working on another, it just means you have to keep in mind the end effect you are looking for in each picture. With delicate subjects such as Flowers, Horses and Dogs I prefer to use Watercolour, I'm always delighted to see the picture emerge so quickly as if by magic! Recently I've turned towards Abstract and love the freedom it allows, acrylic is my prefered medium for this, I also add inhibitors, glass beads and anything else that will enhance the picture.

That sounds like a really enjoyable way of creating. Where do you get your inspiration from?  

I'm inspired by many things, there just doesn't seem to be enough time to paint it all, for now I am concentrating on my love of the sea but think I may need another lifetime to capture the beauty of it's colours and the complexity of it's reflections.

I have travelled all over the World, many of the places were remote wild and inhospitable but I always take my watercolours, oil crayons and camera (which is a valuable part of my equipment) enabling me to capture as much subject matter as possible for when I'm back home.

Wow that sounds like an incredible way to live! Where's your favourite places here in the UK?

I was born in Birmingham but lived and worked in London, which I love. I return as often as I can to visit friends and of course any art exhibitions, but my heart is always happiest back in Cornwall.

We completely agree, nothing quite matches being back here in Cornwall for us either. Outside of Perranuthoe do you have a favourite place in the Duchy? 

I love all of Cornwall. The North coast for it's ruggedness , the South for it's tranquil coastal villages, but all must feature the sea.

Nothing beats being by the coast, we could spend all our time by the sea! What’s your most ‘pinch me’ moment so far? 

Without a doubt sailing round Cape Horn, it was simply spectacular. 

We bet, that sounds simply incredible! Thanks for your time Iris, we can't wait to see what you create next!


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