Contemporary Artists

Working in mixed media on linen, McClary creates layers of texture with organic forms including flower petals, leaf shapes and seaweed fronds. The work is inspired by the Lizard Peninsula in Cornwall, so have the feel of being surrounded by water: tides, rivers, sea and mist.


Louise portait
catalogue cover

McClary - pdf catalogue

calalogue cover 2012

McClary - pdf catalogue 2012

With its thickly wooded tidal creeks, all gleaming, silvery mud flats and tangled sub-tropical plant life, and rolling granite uplands, spare and wind-blown, The Lizard Peninsula in Cornwall represents one of the most mercurial of English landscapes. For Louise McClary it is, quite simply her painting ‘ground’, the place where, as she puts it she “has her life’s work at hand”, those very elements of mutability within it, of light and colour, landscape and geography, becoming the very form and feeling of her paintings. This makes her a rather different kind of artist to many working within this same landscape, the rich and subtly painterly means by which she gives voice to it owing rather more to the luminous abstractions from Nature of American abstract expressionists like Joan Mitchell or the minimalist austerities of Agnes Martin than the sharp-edged, clear-coloured formalism of post-Ben Nicholson St. Ives School.

McClary Studio
Ebb Tide

Seeing them as encapsulating “that shift in the landscape when winter ends and spring comes” these are works that, while conveying a parallel journey of complex feelings that come out of a year or more of quite intense personal emotion, at the same time order this flood of landscape/nature imagery and poetic feeling into an artistic language both grave and exhilarating. In doing so she transcends the boundaries of the local, immediate and personal to arrive at paintings which seem to arrive quietly at something more universal. In short she is, I believe, one of the most thoughtful and significant younger painters at work in Cornwall today.

Nicholas Usherwood

McClary CV

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