1. Sandra Robinson: As a gift to my family I asked Clare to create a pastel portrait
of my deceased brother. Upon seeing the completed portrait for the first time, I lost my
breath and started to cry. Looking back at me from the canvas was not just a likeness of
brother, but his essence and soul; it was as if he had returned for a visit. Clare had never
met my brother yet relying solely on photographs she was able to capture exactly the man we
loved. She is a phenomenal artist with a very rare gift that allows her to uncover and
beautifully portray the inner personality of her subjects.
2. Avria Shier: When I walked into Clare's studio, the first thing I saw were the
portraits lined up along the wall. Each face was alive with a story it reached out to tell.
I knew immediately that I wanted a portrait done of my mother. Clare worked from a
photograph. She captured my mother's essence, without ever meeting or talking to her. She
looked into her eyes and found the warmth and positive energy that make her shine. Clare
said she had to wait for my mother's smile to speak to her before she could get the mouth
just right. My mother's smile is a slight curve at the edges that speaks volumes. Clare got
it just right. My mother, Janet, is 93 years old. She is radiant and full of life. You would
know that about her the moment you see her portrait. What does Janet think when she looks at
her portrait? She says it's like looking into a mirror that shows not only what I looks like,
but also what I'm feeling. Thank you, Clare, for giving me this keepsake of my best friend
3. David Marmorek: Here we sit, looking at Clare's beautiful drawing of Owen at
three and a half years old, his lively eyes staring out at us through his thick glasses, a
slight smile on his lips at seeing us. He seems to be pausing for just a brief moment, before
quickly moving on to the next toy or book or Duplo creation. He was indeed a very busy,
curious little boy, and it was around this time that he once exclaimed "I need a distraction!".
And though he's much bigger now (6' 3"!), he is still a very busy and curious fellow,
intensely playing a series of classic rock riffs on his synthesizer as I write this (Traffic,
Santana, Doors, Who, Eric Clapton). It seems that we get very absorbed into the current ages of
our children, and their past personas fade far into the distance. Clare's drawing takes us back
so powerfully to that time 14 years ago, chasing our busy little boy hither and yon, and
feeding his hungry brain and tummy. Looking at this drawing, we see the continuity of Owen's
spirit, but also his tremendous maturation and growth, now a calm high school graduate heading
off to university and the next set of distractions! Owen likes it too - it connects him with
that little boy who lives inside him, so similar and yet so different from who he is now.