After some excursions into the wider world, Claudia returns here to her roots. Best known for her work with small details and hidden corners, she takes the same approach with slightly larger subjects. Sure, there’s some weathered timber, but there are also buildings, seashores and even street corners.
The book is loosely grouped into headings like Nostalgic Buildings, Wild Wanderings and Out in the Weather. Nice general headings that don’t act as a straitjacket. Within them, Claudia paints what takes her fancy, so that you get reflections and highlights in water, wild berries in winter, a sunset and even “how to paint a flat wash”. The last isn’t a subject, it’s even, in its context, a surprise, but that’s the point. This is a book you could read from cover to cover, but which is much better dipped into for the gems it throws at you. Discover Painting Night Lights (a townscape) or Funny Fat Frogs (when else would you suddenly decide to paint a frog?) Stumble on a short section on Populating the Scene – as good a guide to putting people into a composition as you’ll find.
This is a book of ideas. Some of them are discoveries, so are short technical guides, but all of them are delightful and you find yourself sharing Claudia’s joy at finding them. I’ve always admired her work and I think that, here, she’s at the top of her game.