Claire is one of the girlfriends in my book, but most of all she is the most extraordinary artist and to spend time in her home is to visit a different world where beauty and creativity are part of everyday living; where the château is so huge that a specific lifestyle is imposed; where the view takes your breath away and where time can apparently be manipulated and more achieved in a day than in normal life.
Claire’s signature style is her dreamy flowers on a background of clouds or gentle landscapes. Her botanical knowledge is faultless, no doubt helped by the fact that her home and studio are continually decorated by huge branches perched in glass vases; swathes of peonies, cow parsley and eremerus …. at times it is difficult to know where the flowers end and the paintings begin.
She used the same technique in her studio for her current show, and the soft white walls served well as a background both to her paintings and her bouquets of branches and flowers.
Claire and her husband Pierre bought the Chateau de Beauvoir nearly five years ago. They won’t mind me telling you that no sane person would have bought the chateau, which dates back to the 13th and 14th century. It is out-sized, impossible to heat, and quite austere to look at. When they bought it it needed a ridiculous amount of work.
Their combined talents and incredibly practical and pragmatic attitude have created a cosy, welcoming home, whose doors are regularly opened to visitors from all around the world. They have a gift for easy entertaining, be it for six or sixty, that makes normal mortals wonder why they stress about a dinner party for eight.
For her show every available space in the château was used to display her many canvases.
And if you are wondering whether I came away with a painting tucked beneath my arm , I’ll reply that there are several that caught my eye , although I’m not saying which, and now I just have to figure out where they could find a home here …. happy days.
If you would like to find out more about Claire and her paintings, check out her website below. You won’t be disappointed.