I was born in 1955. Brought up by the sea in Exmouth, Devon, I have always found time to draw and paint. A desire to be by the sea and the coast led me to choose to study in Aberystwyth, where my degree in Fine Art and French took me to France. There, I studied at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Limoges and I then returned to do an Art Teacher’s Diploma at the University of Bristol.
All of my work begins and is inspired by my love of the sea, walking the south west coast path and sailing off the coasts of Devon and Cornwall.
My aim is to make paintings which are physically exciting, which show my inclination to risk-taking and which involve a vast range of materials and techniques. My teaching, both in schools and in adult education, has kept me constantly searching for new ways of expressing my passion for the natural environment.
I have been Head of Art at Queen’s College in Taunton since 2006.
Alan Cotton on Claire Western:
‘Claire’s paintings are full of vibrant colour and energy. Typically, they are innovative with a daring use of materials
She is always moving on and willing to try out new ideas. Whatever the medium, she has a recognisable style – you always know when you are looking at a Western.’