Depicting Venice – Clare Caulfield

Depicting Venice – Clare Caulfield. This post focuses on the Venetian work of the British contemporary artist, print-maker and educator.

Concentrating on architectural subjects mostly of iconic cities around the world, her love of drawing and use of line; also lends itself perfectly to her work as a printmaker. Essentially, it could be said that she “brings new life to old buildings”.

Her distinctive and illustrative style, is highly recognisable; displaying spontaneity and a sense of life; that magically captures the essence of Venice and all its “hustle and bustle”.

Clare works mostly from initial sketches and photographs made during her travels, which she reworks back at the studio. She works with a variety of media, including pen, watercolour, acrylic, pencil and collage and incorporates printmaking techniques, such as screen-prints and dry-point, within her work.

Producing mixed-media paintings, original handmade prints, limited edition prints and art cards; her artworks are sold directly through her website, selected galleries and the online site “Etsy”. Clare also regularly exhibits her work, throughout the U.K.

  • Introduction.
  • Biography.
  • Books published.
  • Links (internal – external)

 

Clare Caulfield in her studio. 


 

Introduction

Clare Caulfield is a Yorkshire based artist, printmaker and educator, whose work is inspired by her travels to some of the world’s greatest cities; some of which she returns to again and again, drawing on new ideas each time.

Her collection includes Venice, Paris, New York, Rome, Prague, Istanbul and Sydney. The magic of each location being recreated in Clare’s very distinctive and illustrative style of working. Drawing has always been a very important part of Clare’s work. Her fascination with  the architecture of Venice, is exemplified in her interpretations of classic views of the Grand Canal and the Basilica and the Café Florian, both in St Mark’s Square.

Clare’s love of drawing and use of line lend themselves perfectly to her work as a printmaker. Whilst paintings are made in her own studio, Clare produces her handmade original prints at the West Yorkshire Print Workshop; where she also teaches weekend screen print courses. Screen printing allows Clare to transfer the lively original drawings, often taken directly from her sketchbook produced whilst on her travels; onto both paper and canvas enabling her prints, to maintain this great sense of spontaneity. Many of her screen prints, are combined with the use of acrylic and watercolour media; resulting in each print being a truly individual piece in itself.

She also produces dry-point prints, a method of “intaglio” printmaking; as she enjoys the rich velvety line quality it achieves. Some of these prints also combine elements of “chiné-colle”; allowing Clare to introduce more subtle areas of colour and texture into her compositions.

 

Clare Caulfield, Artist - View from the Academy Bridge, Venice.

Clare Caulfield. View from Academy Bridge, Venice.

 

Depicting Venice – Clare Caulfield. Biography

Clare Caulfield was born in Bradford, West Yorkshire in 1978 and currently lives and works in Bingley close by.

Clare recalls that even in her early years, the creative spirit had always been within her and that her developing artwork was not influenced by her parents, or other family members.

In 1997, she completed an art foundation course at Bradford College, then studied “Surface Pattern Design” at Staffordshire University; graduating with a 1st Class Honours Degree in 2000.

Clare specialised in screen-printing and during her final year, as a result of a drawing project; she won a trip to Venice and decided to use it as the focus for her “end of year” show.


(Note. Nearby to Bingley, is the remarkable Saltaire Village on the River Aire, where Clare lived and worked between 2010 and 2019. It is named after Sir Titus Salt, who built a textile mill, known as “Salts Mill” and the village itself. Designed by architects, Lockwood and Mawson, Saltaire has beautiful Italianate architecture and a rich history. It was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2001. Saltaire is a village where people live – you don’t have to book to come here and Salts Mill is free to enter. The Mill, houses the 1853 David Hockney gallery, which displays the world’s largest permanent collection of work by the  Bradford-born artist.)


 

Quotes

Clare’s approach is revealed in quotes, taken from her interview with Helen Mead, found on her website:

“I loved drawing as a child and that has never left me,” she says. “The early work of artist Stephen Wiltshire is a big inspiration. The architectural line drawings he produced during his childhood, of London and Paris, have a very loose and fluid quality. They’re very beautiful and expressive.”

(Note. Stephen Wiltshire is a British artist who draws and paints, incredibly detailed cityscapes. He has a rare condition called autistic savant syndrome, which gives him an extraordinary memory and drawing skills. He was awarded an MBE for services to the art world in 2006.)

 

Clare Caulfield, Artist - Grand Canal, Sunset, Venice.

Clare Caulfield. Grand Canal Sunrise, Venice.

 

The inspiration of Venice…..“The Venetian buildings were a huge inspiration. I developed my drawing style during that time and it pushed me into a new way of working.”

She adds….. “Venice is a very special city for me as it’s where my passion for drawing architecture began. It’s such a beautiful city, there is nowhere quite like it. Both New York and Paris follow closely.”

On her fascination with architecture……Be it the jumble of apartments, storefronts and skyscrapers in Manhattan or the elegant splendour of Venice and its canals, or simply capturing Parisian life outside a brightly canopied pavement café.”

“I love the detail and structure of buildings, the repetition and pattern to be found within their design,” she says. “I closely study their detail and character but when I begin to draw, they almost seem to take on an identity of their own as I interpret them in my own style.”

“I love the challenge of trying to capture the life and vibrancy of big cities. The feeling of bewilderment and the unknown when you arrive in a new place, then gradually getting into the flow and seeing the patterns and energy of life. These are the things that excite me and which I hope to get across in my work.”

“It’s about my reaction to a place. If I love a location and respond emotionally to it, then my work flows naturally.”

 

Clare Caulfield, Artist - St Mark's Square, Venice.

Clare Caulfield. St Mark’s Square, Venice.

 

Clare Caulfield. Cafe Florian, St Mark's Square, Venice.

Clare Caulfield. Cafe Florian, St Mark’s Square.

 

Clare Caulfield. Arriving at Piazza San Marco, Venice.

Clare Caulfield. Arriving at Piazza San Marco, Venice.

 

Clare Caulfield, Artist. "The Bridge of Sighs", Venice.

Clare Caulfield. Bridge of Sighs, Venice.

 

Clare Caulfield. The Grand Canal, Venice. Dry-point.

 

Clare Caulfield. St Mark's Square, Venice. Dry-point.

Clare Caulfield. St Mark’s Square, Venice. Dry-point.

Books published

You might like to take a look at two books, which Clare co-illustrated with other artists and illustrators from across the world.

‘Everyone Loves Paris’. Published by teNeues (Edited by Leslie Jonath), 128 pages, Hardcover with jacket, 85 colour illustrations.

‘Everyone Loves New York’. Clare’s work with the iconic “Statue of Liberty”, features on the on the cover and also inside. Published by teNeues (Edited by Leslie Jonath), 128 pages, Hardcover with jacket, 85 colour illustrations.

 


 

LINKS (internalexternal)

Clare Caulfield – Website       

Clare Caulfield – Stockists   or   Clare Caulfield at Etsy

Saltaire, Yorkshire, UK. – World Heritage Site (saltairevillage.info)

Nick Tankard – artist and print-maker  (Clare’s talented partner)

West Yorkshire Print Workshop     Read all about this great facility

 

A few external links to help you understand and appreciate the processes of Screen printing, Dry-point and China Colle.

What Is Screen Printing? A Step-by-step Guide | Custom Planet

A beginner’s guide to drypoint – Artists & Illustrators (telegraph.co.uk)

Chine-collé – Wikipedia

Intaglio Printmaking Made Simple | Here Are The 5 Key Processes (artistsnetwork.com)

 

Art Music Literature (General)

Photographing Venice – Ian Coulling


 

Depicting Venice – Clare Caulfield    Depicting Venice – Clare Caulfield    Depicting Venice – Clare Caulfield

 

 

 

 

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