Claire Redford and I go way back, she is in fact my oldest friend. We’ve been together through everything - kindergarten, primary school, high school, university and all the years beyond that. No matter if we are in the same city or on opposite sides of the world, she’s that great friend that is always by your side, having a laugh or joining you in a cry, through all the ups and downs life throws at you. Claire is one of those epic humans, she makes the world a better place and when you meet her, you’ll know just what I mean.
As you can tell, I adore her, and I’m so excited to introduce her to you as our new Resident Artist.
Claire has created four beautiful works inspired by our new collection Here & There. I sat down with her to chat new season, her artworks and what’s inspiring her right now.
Tell us a little about yourself and how long have you been painting?
I first remember painting at Playcentre, when I was an early 90’s kid with a terrific looking mullet! I continued to paint up until I left high school - where painting was my favourite subject.
I didn’t really do much painting at all from 18 till earlier this year. I’m now 33. That was a very long time between picking up a paintbrush.
It has always been on my list of things I would do more of next year, then next year, then next year.
My partner, Tom, always supported and encouraged me. Tom purchased me an easel and nice painting products for so many birthdays - so sweet!
Late 2019 I returned from living in the UK for 5 years, and am now a full-time carer for my 15 month old Iris. In between her naps I started creating some pictures for her room. We are currently renting so we can’t stick picture hooks up on the walls, so I just created wee doodles on paper that we could stick up with Blu-Tak.
Claire with her daughter Iris
What’s inspiring you right now?
I am totally loving the 70’s and everything that goes with it! The colours, the fabrics, the music, the hair, the food (fondu - oh yeah!).
Tell us about your paintings?
When Annabelle told me about her theme for this season I went on a tour of Europe by tapping on my laptop keys. Being a keyboard traveller was a welcome escape from my living room, which I have spent so much time in this year!
I chose to use acrylic paints inspired by the king of drawing pools - David Hockney.
David Hockney sitting by his pool in Los Angeles, c. 1993, Photo by Mary E. Nicols
Palm reflected in Pool, Arizona, 1976, David Hockney & Portrait of Nick Wilder, 1966, David Hockney
I then worked on top of the dried acrylic with watercolour pencils and pastels to add some further texture and colour tones to the paintings.
My main focus was on ensuring the colours conveyed a bright summery vibe for the lovely WT shop.
For the meadow painting I was inspired by botanical wildflower posters.
Wildflower posters from Pinterest
What does Here and There mean to you?
When I think of Here - I am fascinated by how attached people are to the neighbourhoods they call home. Also, how a city, or even a particular street, can lift your spirits after a long day, or inspire you to try new things.
When I think of There - True joy can come from looking at beautiful vistas, and new views.
For me Here & There means being so happy with being Here (I mean how great is New Zealand!) but also letting yourself have daydreams about There (the places and spaces you would love to visit one day!).
Testing out compositions and techniques - Claire Redford
What are your favourite styles from the new season?
I am totally loving the wonderful floral prints and the gorgeous linens used in Annabelle’s latest creations. This collection will make you look and feel great when you are Here & There!
To check out the full Here & There collection click here
We can't wait to see you in-store soon to check out Claire's beautiful works in person!
Reading is something that always helps to keep me sane. It can be great to help us understand more about the world and people around us, or to escape them entirely! Personally I’m a big fan of escapism…
Grace shares her favourite lockdown reads (and listens) for you all to enjoy.
|Size||Bust (cm)||Waist (cm)||Hips (cm)|
There are three body measurement points that you need to know to ensure a great fit – bust, waist, and hips.
When taking your body measurements, wear the undergarments you normally wear for the most accurate results. Use a flexible tape measure, or a piece of string and ruler, and hold it around each body point so it is comfortably snug. If the tape is cutting into your flesh, it is too tight.
To ensure an accurate measurement around your body, keep the measuring tape as level as possible from front to back. We recommend measuring yourself in front of a mirror so you can check this from a side view. If you can, get a friend to help you to ensure the most accurate measurements.
Bust: Wrap the measuring tape around your back and where the tape meets across the fullest point of your bust is your bust measurement.
Waist: Wrap the measuring tape around your natural waist, the slimmest part of your torso, pulling the ends to the front. Where they meet is your waist measurement.
Hips: Wrap the measuring tape around the widest part of your bottom – this is usually low down towards your thighs. As with your bust and waist measurements, where the tape meets is your hip measurement.
Length: To measure the length of individual garments against your body it is best to measure down the centre of your back. To do this, start the measuring tape at either the base of your neck for dresses and tops, or at your waist for skirts. Measure down your body to the measurement listed in the garment description. This will show you where the garment comes to on you. When you are measuring for length, remember to make sure you are standing completely upright – it is best to have someone help you with this. Alternatively, compare the measurement with the length of a garment you already have.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Annabelle – firstname.lastname@example.org, she is here to help.