Clare Russell was born in Perth in 1972. Walking in the countryside and observing nature was an integral part of growing up in rural Pitlochry, Perthshire.
Although she loved art as a child, she pursued a career in science, studying Physics at Dundee University before moving to Fife to work as a software engineer. Unfortunately this didn't leave any time for creativity.
In 2006 Clare developed lupus, a chronic autoimmune disease which can flare up causing inflammation of the joints and extreme tiredness. It was during a period of recuperation that Clare managed to attend a local watercolour class and started producing artwork again. After making a good recovery and with a new appreciation of life, she realised that being an artist was what she truly wanted to do.
Clare admits that taking the self-taught route has been hard (especially when still doing a day job).
"Art isn’t a straight learning path like science - you have to find your own way - often going sideways or retracing your steps. It's taken a huge amount of hard work and determination to get this far."
Fortunately she’s been helped on the way by two excellent mentors to whom she is very grateful; artist Colin Ian Christie has been providing encouragement for many years and Paul Mowat at Edinburgh Drawing School helped Clare develop the series method of working that she enjoys.
In April 2017, Clare finally made the move to work on her art full-time. She is now based at her home studio in Fife, near the shores of the Firth of Forth.
The Quay Gallery
Aberdour Art Festival, July 2018
Fife Open Art Exhibition (commended 2017)