Susan Clare is a representational watercolor artist whose style emphasizes the lush tropical beauty of nature, seen under the dancing sunlight of Jamaica’s North Coast. Her recent work shows an expanded array of subject matter and motivation.
Born and raised in England, Susan’s formal education was in sciences, but with an art teacher for a mother, and her interest in painting was maintained as a hobby. After moving to Jamaica in 1981, to pursue a career in scuba diving, Susan owned and ran a PADI 5 Star Scuba Training Centre in several prestigious resorts. Her artistic expressions lay dormant. In 1996, Susan revived her longtime interest in calligraphy and gold leaf illuminations, taking on part-time work designing menus and illustrating quotes and poems.
In March 1997, Susan decided to become a full-time artist and with self-study and the inspiring guidance of sculptress and watercolourist, Jannette Eyles, the dream became reality. She spent nine months working out of Jannette’s studio, painting the tropical plants, flowers, landscapes and still life of the luscious environment of rural Jamaica. Her aim was to let the viewer make a connection with the richness of nature and the values inherent in a simpler lifestyle. A year later, the artist started portraits of children, by commission. Nearly five years into her painting career, Susan has expanded her range of subject matter to include some nautical themes, from her past, and some spiritual ideas from a present and ongoing quest for personal growth. The latter incorporate gold work and calligraphic motifs and symbols, in an age old tradition, given a new flavor.
Susan finds herself drawn to the world within the picture frame. “The play of light over the subject is spellbinding, be it a still life collection of glass bottles, rustic stonework or the glowing complexion of a child.”
In November 1997, Susan showed a solo exhibition at Round Hill Hotel, which was extremely well received. Since then, she has participated in three group shows each year, in Montego Bay. Her work is also at Coyaba Resort, Mobay Hope, the Gallery of West Indian Art and Décor Gallery in Montego Bay, in Harmony Hall and Wassi Art, Ocho Rios, and at WB Framing in Kingston. Her work can be found in private collections in Jamaica, England, USA, Canada and Europe.