Painting, Stippling, and Layering: Claire Brewster’s Unique Artwork

Claire Brewster’s work starts with the tantalizingly forbidden act of cutting up maps, books, and magazines. Using figures cut from glossy magazines such as VogueHarper’s Bazaar, and Tatler, she collects pictures of women, taking them from their original context. Her process then involves collage, painting, pouring, stippling, and layering paint on paper or card.

Her magazine paintings aim to liberate and transform the figures she collects beyond recognition to create ethereal yet provocative works that question notions of identity and how women are perceived and perceive themselves. “My aim is to test the limits of the paper and paint,” she explained in a piece she wrote for Create Magazine. “I am looking for reactions between the paint and the paper and how one layer of paint is impacted by the preceding layers.”

According to Brewster, there is often buckling, cracking, and distortions in colors. Such unpredictability is thrilling to her. “I am always testing the materials, colors, and textures to act beyond what I expect and can control,” she writes. “I encourage the paint to do things it’s not supposed to do to create happy accidents.”

Ironically enough, her cut-up paintings and collages have been published in many glossy magazines themselves, including Vogue, World of Interiors, and Marie-Claire Maison. Her work has also been exhibited widely – from Manchester Art Gallery to Sydney, Australia.

But you can also follow her online: