Claudia Pettis


PET 0203 Flock at High Noon Claudia Pettis 40x40


Bio: Realist, allegorical, narrative—all describe the painting style I do. There is a story in the works that the viewer and I share. Narrative illustration however is quite a different thing from this as I begin with feelings, and feeling alone guides me throughout the entire work. The ideas and words come later, as the feelings take forms, and those forms have relationships that stories grow out of.  I agree with Corot, “Reality is one part of Art; feeling completes it…abandon yourself to your first impression. If you have really been touched, you will convey to others the sincerity of your emotion.” 

The materials I use are important to me—they have textures and smells and origins and histories. I use Belgium linen and elegant materials—fine ground pigments, Italian earths, ambers, chemically complex glazes. I take great joy in the process of mixing and discovering, of putting on paint and taking it away. I seldom frame and think it is unimportant. Yes, when in a private room and home a painting can be enhanced, but I like the viewer to see a work the way I see it, and in doing so they can take part in the process by discovering the way I got there. There are drips and clues in the exposed piece—the canvas texture, the edges, the wood stretchers. I put together each piece thoughtfully.

I am a shepherd and I serve my sheep flock daily. They in turn become my subjects. I also do Vipassana meditation, which is at the very heart of everything I do. This gives me some degree of balance and acceptance.

When a work is complete enough to view, it is my hope that the story and conviction in the piece will captivate and inspire, or as Corot puts it, that you will be “touched”.     

I thank The Art Spirit Gallery and Steve Gibbs for giving me this setting and opportunity. There are few galleries that care so much about how work is displayed and know how to do this as well and sensitively as it is done here.