Claire MacLean- Early Background
My introduction into the art world probably started before I was even born, seeing that my mother was a professional artist. But without deep hypnotism and a rebirthing session even I can’t go back that far.
My first memory with art would be drawing on the new 1970’s paisley yellow and white Simpson Sears wall paper or finger painting my sister’s white cat. Both were unacceptable artistic ventures. The critics can be so cruel! If I wasn’t creating new art at home, I was being dragged to half of the galleries in the Maritimes where I whined endlessly that I was bored. Though, I was mildly cheered to go to Zwicker’s Gallery where I planted myself on the gray carpeted stair landing, with my Snoopy bag, a cookie and juice from Mr. or Mrs. Muncaster and joyously petted the gallery cats.
Fast forward through eight years of school art classes and community art lessons, my mother tells me we are making a trip to Montreal to visit her gallery. Perhaps this is where I first started to acquire skills as my mother’s agent. I have a distinct memory of entertaining a tall gentleman in a blue suit that smelled of cigars and cherry Halls. I dazzled him with my vast knowledge of how to paint in a dry brush technique, how to prepare a masonite board or explaining how to mix oil for the perfect blue sky.
While in Montreal, my mother took me to see the Impressionists and the accompanying exhibition of Picasso. The Impressionists had always been my favourite art form and until then, their art had only been a flat page in a book or a poster on the wall. It was now in front of me, with the pastel colours and textured swirl of paint and expression. I had been interested in this art form for years, but never until this moment did I realize the feeling that can be produced through a line and a colour. It was amazing.