Flora & Fauna
Claire Reed is a professional artist in northwest Indiana from Valparaiso. Claire began focusing on painting marine life from a very young age.
The ocean has continuously served as a mystical place that Claire has always loved to depict the beauty of. This curiosity drove her to pursue the opportunity to become an advanced open water diver and study marine biology at the Marine Resources Development Foundation in the Florida Keys in 2010 and 2012. When she made the first dive beneath the surface, she realized the impact humans have on life beneath the waves. Claire went on to pursue a Bachelors Degree in Fine Art specializing in watercolor at the American academy of Art in Chicago, IL in 2013. In February of 2017, Claire was given the opportunity to have her first solo exhibition with Roots Cafe in her hometown. Shortly after, she graduated college in May 2017. She has since won a scholarship and grant from the Indiana Arts Commission, gained recognition with the Illinois Watercolor Society, and has shown in many galleries throughout the states of Indiana and Illinois.
When painting the aquatic world, I immerse myself into the artwork. I use watercolor to connect the unpredictable, free-flowing nature of water to the marine environment I depict. I am constantly inspired by the way light dances on the skin of marine species and the way they move through their habitat. I will often use vibrant, contrasting colors to showcase their undeniable, unique beauty. I will sometimes include in my paintings mediums such as gouache, salt, and other miscellaneous materials to enhance texture, help give the illusion of depth, or even to mimic debris found in natural surroundings.
To appreciate the beauty of nature, we must also do everything in our power to protect it and help tell their story. To understand the interactions of marine life and how they impact our global environment, I often utilize journalistic subject topics from news media and articles to document the global impact and environmental issues plaguing our oceans through my paintings.
Every one of my paintings intentionally exposes the layers of watercolor to showcase the bone structure and delicacy of nature. Beneath the waves lies an intricate framework of teeming life I believe needs to be celebrated and fought for. Each design creates a one-of-a-kind painting that speaks to the fading of a treasured past.
While there are new species being discovered every day, there are twice as many that are endangered and are being threatened into extinction. Every detail in my paintings gives my subjects a reason to stay a while longer. When I dive into my paintings, I am diving beneath the surface to bring these sea creatures and their stories to light. I aim to captivate and draw in the viewer by capturing the wonders and the hardships our oceans face.