Tag Archives: buildings

My hero


So my husband gets called out on a job this evening (Saniflo engineer) and is on his way to the next town when he gets a phone call. It’s the wife.

“There’s a big spider” says the wife in a pathetic voice, not taking her wide, frightened eyes off said spider just in case it runs. She can’t go near it herself but needs to watch where it goes so that it can be tracked down and removed from the house before bedtime. The fear of a big spider roaming the floors, walls, ceilings, her pillow, her bed covers, her face during the night is enough to keep her from sleeping…ever again. Until its capture, the wife is a total basket case.

The husband is already too far away to turn back for a rescue mission.

So my son is going out for a meal and is getting himself ready at his house about 7 miles away when he gets a phone call. It’s his mum.

“There’s a big spider”….

He couldn’t come to rescue me either, not for another 40 minutes.  As a last resort, I decided to ring our neighbours.  I could have simply nipped to their front door and knocked on it but, that would have meant taking my eyes off the spider. Just as I’m about to tap their number into the phone, a knight in shining Fiat Scudo van pulls up outside. My husband had driven all the way back from Boroughbridge to catch the spider. Best husband ever.


Haven’t taken any work in progress photos for the last few paintings because, basically, I’ve been concentrating so hard on getting them finished that I keep forgetting to whip out the camera.

Prince Street


Been thinking back to when I taught myself to paint 18 years ago. I’d just had a baby so any spare cash went on nappies and other infant related stuff. All I had to start with was a tiny little palette with about ten colours in it and the brush that came with it which was about 3 inches long. I recommend limited equipment to anyone who’s teaching themselves. At the time I didn’t appreciate it but it forced me to learn to mix colours (didn’t even have a black in my palette) and to use that little brush to make every single stroke from fat lines to fine detail. To learn the method, I copied paintings that I had hanging in the house, stroke for stroke, colour for colour, and it could take weeks just to finish one painting. By the end of that year though I’d have made a pretty good art forger! Tomorrow, when there’s someone around to save me from spiders, I’ll dig out all my old portfolios and see if I can find that very first painting.

Believe it or not, my toughest challenge over the years was teaching myself to paint in a naive style. My brain kept telling me to straighten things up and put them in perspective. Making things look unreal, for me anyway, was a lot harder than making them look real. Today’s painting, “Prince Street” is my first crowd scene. When I started it, as I mentioned in my previous blog, it didn’t look naive, possibly because I was (loosely) working from a photo. Once I put the photo away and let my imagination fill in the blanks, it began to take on the appearance of my usual style.

“Prince Street” By Claire Shotter. Up for auction @ http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/180861046453?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649

Doodle and my son Ben on the windowsill of my studio. Neither, I’m afraid, are up for auction.

The devil’s in the details


My studio had got in such a pickle that I called in reinforcements in the form of my lovely daughter, Harry (short for Harriet). Hello Harry. Took her over two hours to transform it from a Claire-ed room back into a studio. The pile of empty crisp packets alone was a major job. (It’s true; I have a crisp dependency). Thank you Harry.

As I’ve said before, I normally price my 12″ X 9″ paintings at a starting price of £10.00. My latest offering is priced at £15.00 instead because it took a lot longer. Feels like a month or so but it’s probably only been 3 or 4 days.

Once again I’ve been inspired by photographs taken by http://barbaraelka.com/2012/04/07/empire-dreaming/ . I adore her city crowd scenes and, as I’m in a scribbly mood, it seemed the right time to attempt my own crowd scene. So far it’s looking a bit “grown up” and not the naive style that I prefer. Only time will make the difference between it turning into a painting or a disaster. Looking forward to the challenge.