Nick Claiden United Kingdom
I am an artist painting on glass and paper to create 2d and 3d works. My work is strongly narrative and explores the interaction of people and landscape aided by birds. My starting point was as a painter using watercolours and mixed media, around 2000 I began to study stained glass and I have continued to develop approaches to painting and sculpting with stained glass and paper.
I live in Leeds and work in half a double garage. I come originally from Devon; my father was a sculptor and my schooling was very art based. So I rebelled and went to University to study Social Administration and Politics. I decided after my degree to accept fate and took up painting. I did not go to Art college but I have attended classes in life drawing and etching. Over the years my style of painting has evolved continuously, from strong colours, textures and complexity to a much simpler more muted palette. But the incentive to produce artwork has always had a common theme. . Finding glass was a revelation, it gave me the opportunity to paint in light and create sculptures with colour, and it enabled me to use layers in a way I could not do with painting alone.
My work on paper uses watercolour, crayons and pencil. I would not describe myself as a watercolorist as I use a lot of layering and spraying of colour and then finding the images by lifting the paint out and incorporating other media including collage.
The stained glass sculptures incorporate stained glass painted using traditional techniques, ( the paint is fused to the glass in a kiln, the imagery is however totally modern and I occasionally engrave the glass before painting to give it more of a texture) and incorporate fused glass as well. I use both lead and zinc, as well as copper foil to construct my sculptural pieces. To hold them upright I either use a wire structure or set them in concrete or wooden bases. I have recently been looking at ways of combining my paintings and my glass. I etch images onto the picture glass, use stained glass panels to replace the picture glass. Both of these result in some fascinating interplays with the painted image, shadows and reflections.
I am a member of Roundhay Artists and take part in their Open Studios as well as other group exhibitions. I am also a member of CGS (Contemporary Glass Society) and have exhibited in 'Glorious Glass' in The World of Glass at St Helens as well as taking part in other exhibitions. I regularly exhibit at Staithes in their Art and Heritage Festival. I have had work at Cupola Gallery in Sheffield, Kunsthuis Gallery in Crake North Yorkshire and Primavera Gallery in Cambridge as well as taking part in Art Trails, Fairs and Exhibitions in and around Yorkshire.
I undertake commissions for windows, free standing sculptures and panels. I have a window in the Linton room at Brentwood as part of the Musical Rocks installation.