I’m originally from Pershore in Worcestershire but settled here in Henley on Thames in 1998, primarily because I was a competitive rower at the time. I was also a teacher here at the local sixth form college.

Life has changed quite a lot over the past 4 years. I have given up teaching, I am now on a new career path focusing on careers coaching, business psychology and hypnotherapy, so the art now fits in quite well around my schedule.

I was not formally trained in art sadly. I achieved an A grade in my O level when I was only 14 years old and this is because I had a brilliant art teacher at school. She brought out the natural talents I had inherited from my mother. I was originally thinking about studying for an art and design degree however a bitter lady who had gone into that industry put me off the idea. As a teenager, you listen to your elders and I was persuaded to opt for a safer career route in business rather than going towards my natural talents.

Fast forward in time to when I first came to Henley. Once I had finished with competitive rowing, I was able to pick up my art again through photography. I studied for a City & Guilds in Black & White Photography qualification at evening classes. I enjoyed the processing of films and the prints in the darkroom and although digital photography has taken the place of film, it’s not the same. When you are taking photos using film, you have to think more carefully about the composition of the shot. It’s about waiting for the right moment.

With digital, it is far easier to take thousands of shots in the hope of getting lucky. Sadly, the art of photography is now getting undervalued. I remember exhibiting and a passer-by my stand said “I could take that” and not appreciating the skills, the ‘eye’ and patience involved.

Recently I have resurrected the paint brushes with a new passion and ‘flow’. Although I do love architectural drawings and paintings, I have found a love for painting wildlife and animals in general. They have expressions too and capturing the look in their eyes is just as important as painting a person.

The bulk of my painting is currently pen and ink, watercolours and pencils on black paper. However I do paint in acrylic and oils too.

As I mentioned earlier, I am also a hypnotherapist focusing on helping clients move their lives forward (www.wellinmind.co.uk) and a business psychologist/career coach (www.learn2evolve.co.uk).

I hope that you enjoy looking at the paintings and photography.

Clare Forgie

(March 2021)

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