My desire for the creative life has led me to the streets of Paris, the boroughs of New York, the galleries of Berlin and always to the shores of the West Coast. I am inspired by living a simple life, rich in culture. I am drawn to cities where dogs sleep below cafe tables, where books and art grace the walls of homes and where the world slows down for a meal shared with friends.

I've made my home on beautiful Vancouver Island. My studio and home, a hundred-year-old character house, acts as the canvas for every photograph, recipe and dinner party. 

I invite you to read my blog, view my portfolio and please get in touch if you're interested in working together.

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Creative Q&A: Clare Elsaesser


Name, Location, Occupation
Clare Elsaesser
Jenner, CA

Please describe your workspace:
My workspace is a tiny guest cottage across the wooden driveway from my house which I share with my artist husband, Kai Samuels-Davis (his studio is downstairs). There's not much to describe because the space I work in is pretty miniscule, but it contains the essentials: my easel, lots of stacked up wooden panels to paint on and paints, and the printer and supplies I use to make fine art prints to sell on Etsy. Oh, but it does have an amazing view of cypress trees and the Russian River.


What are you working on right now?
I am currently working on a few paintings of groups of women with interlocking arms and colorful skirts.

What has been your most rewarding project to date?  
I am really excited about my newest project. It is a group of paintings I hope to have finished by May, and all together they tell more of a story than my paintings have in the past. I suppose it won't be rewarding if they don't turn out as I imagine, but right now I have my fingers crossed.

Who are you inspired by?
There is a really long list of artists and other people (a couple at the top right now are Mamma Andersson, Wangechi Mutu, Cecily Brown, Helen Frankenthaler and the writer Shirley Jackson), and a ton of my inspiration comes from talking about art with Kai, and daydreaming while I stare out the window.


Has there been a defining moment or turning point when you realized what you wanted to do for a living?
The first year I was able to financially support myself with my art was a great turning point. And as I continue to work, and figure out more and more what I want my art to be, I am growing to understand this is what I want to do for a living, for as long as I possibly can.

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What do you think is the most difficult aspect of your work?
Having confidence in my work is hard for me. I think confidence is integral to, and maybe even the most important aspect of being a successful artist, but so much of the artistic process involves self critique, and questioning. It is hard for me to be confident, when I am constantly finding faults with my paintings. Often, I end up with a finished painting I just hate, because I see all its flaws I couldn't figure out how to fix, and sometimes that makes it really hard to move onto the next one because I am filled with doubt.

What are you reading at the moment?
I just finished 'Agorafabulous' by Sara Benincasa. I really liked it, and would definitely recommend it! It's a really honest and entertaining book about dealing with, and overcoming the obstacles created by mental illness.


What websites do you visit for inspiration?
I have kind of been on an unintentional internet diet the past year because I've been crazy busy (I'm not complaining) though I still love checking in on Pinterest a couple times a week for inspiring images.

What are your simplest daily pleasures?
The basics! I love eating and drinking, and sleeping is probably my favorite daily pleasure! We just got a really cozy wool blanket, making it even harder to get out of bed in the morning.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?
 I hope to be making my income solely from painting in ten years, right now it comes predominately from print sales. And I envision painting in a studio about fifty times the size of the one I am in now...that might be too much to ask for, maybe four times the size would be more realistic!


Inspired by Grace

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