NEXT EDITION: February 2nd to 19th 2017, Enquiries Welcome

Painters 2017

Claire Bianchi

Claire BianchiFascinated by reflections on water, Claire is usually focused on painting the ponds around her home in Fountainbleu outside Paris. Her first time in Lamu was a revelation and she found herself challenged by the vibrant colours and the huge variety of subject matter. Of her first visit to Lamu Town, she laughs as she says “I was so busy looking at all the potential things to paint, I didn’t realize I had stepped in a pile of donkey poo!”.

After a career in graphic design in Paris, Claire moved to Fountainbleu after the birth of her third child. She discovered her ability to teach and opened an successful art workshop for students.

Claire always maintained an innate French elegance, despite the humidity. She did admit that she initially felt out of her comfort zone. “Lamu came as a big shock to me.” She also found it a challenge to paint as part of a group. When she became familiar with the artistic community, she found it to be a stimulating atmosphere. She says that she learnt a great deal from her fellow artists, especially Natalia Dik.

Her stay on Lamu clearly inspired her work. “You can paint things here that you will never be able to paint again.” She says, “the people were so great to draw and the colours were incredible.” Like many of the other artists, she was taken by the attitude of the local villagers. “They were so kind-hearted and lively.”

Adept at using oils on canvas, Claire produced a series watercolour and pencil sketches that demonstrate her background in graphic design and a strong confidence in her use of colour.

As well as painting plein air, she also kept a private sketchbook, journaling her time on the island. Exquisite watercolour sketches complete with notes, encapsulate a particular moment in time in way a photograph never can.