Iris Clelford is an extraordinarily talented artist. Through her talent, she has the ability to enchant viewers with captivating landscapes, capturing the serene beauty of the Cornish ocean or a sunset sky on canvas. Her artwork transports you to those precise moments in time and will immediately make you feel relaxed. With expertise in various mediums and techniques, Iris skilfully transforms these distinctive and breathtaking coastal scenes into wall art that complements any home and appeals to every taste.
Join us on this artistic exploration as we uncover the talent, passion, and creativity that define Iris Clelford's remarkable journey as an artist. Immerse yourself in the beauty of her artwork, where serene landscapes and coastal art intertwine to captivate the senses and inspire a deep appreciation for nature's boundless wonders.
Iris went to art school in Birmingham, but now lives and paints in Cornwall. Iris was taught to handle oils in the fashion of the old masters, and her love for the medium hasn’t diminished in over 40 years. Iris loves experimenting with new materials, including oils, acrylics and watercolours. She focuses almost entirely on landscape art, coastal art and occasionally animals and sailing boats.
"I can't remember a time when I wasn't either colouring, sketching or painting. From the age of 7, I was obsessed with 'Paint by Numbers'. As I grew older my passion for art expanded and going to an art school in Birmingham at the age of 11 encouraged me further."
Can you talk us through your method of creating a piece of artwork?
"I am inspired by nature and everything around me, my husband and I will go out almost every day in our camper van, and travel all around the coast with a picnic no matter the weather. It's great to be out in nature and that is what I love to paint.
When I was studying I didn't take very many photos because it cost a lot to develop them, so I would sketch and use watercolour when I was out and about so I could remember a scene and work on it later. Now I take thousands of photos everywhere I go and paint from the photos.
It is very rare that a day passes without me working on some work of art. I always travel with my camera, 2b pencil and paper and take my watercolours when away on holiday. I make notes about the light and tonal values of the subject that has caught my eye to help instil the memory, even though I still paint plein air (outside in the open), I prefer the comfort of painting at home."
What technique do you use when you create a piece of artwork?
"My preferred medium is oil paint. I love the creamy texture and vibrant colours, It may also be because I have a lifelong experience using them. I build my paintings up slowly using glazes, because of the necessary drying time required I tend to work on several paintings at a time."
What artists influence you?
"I like many artists, I love Vermeer as he built up his paintings with glazes. Picasso for his vibrant palette, and Monet and Turner for their original use of paint."
What are you working on at the moment?
"At the moment I am is loving how the bright rapeseed fields contrast against a dark moody sky and am working on some landscape art featuring this scene. I love being able to paint the dark colours with the light."
Iris likes to affect the mood of her paintings with her brushwork, which changes depending on the picture’s subject. Describing her work as ‘full of light, subtle colours, and showing subjects that sit easy on the eye’.
We have noticed a common trend of agapanthus flowers featured in your art, why is this?
"I just love them, they are such a unique flower to Cornwall and they are just beautiful. I grow many of them in my garden along with some other rare flowers such as black swan poppies. I have 'Peter Pan Agapanthus' that are beautiful but aren't quite bright enough for art so I tend to stick to blue and white agapanthus for my art."
"This coastal canvas art piece is the view of Perranuthnoe on the West coast of Cornwall, which is a coastline I adore and I added extra the agapanthus into the foreground."
Picture Iris' garden with the ocean in the background
"Sometimes I take flowers from my garden and place them on whatever coastal scene deserves them."
Browse and shop more of Iris Clelford's incredible artwork to brighten up your home at whistlefish.com