Hello. My name is Clothylde (pronounced “clo-tild”, or “clo-tilled”) and I’m a painter.
I was born and grew up in the South of France a long time ago. Drawn to art from an early age, I started painting more seriously when I first came to live in England in 1978. I have lived and painted in and around Whitby since then.
After years of study, from night classes in batik and ceramics to a psychology degree, I became a full-time artist in 2004, selling through galleries in Robin Hood’s Bay and Grosmont. Now living on the northern edge of North Yorkshire, I still exhibit exclusively in the Yorkshire area. Some of my paintings are now in private collections in Australia, Canada, France and the US, as well as in the UK.
I think of myself as facing North, twix land and sea.
On my back is the warm sunshine of yesteryears. Robin Hood’s Bay is my South, where so long ago I fell in love with that village and a beautiful man, though my roots originate much further South.
On my left are those awesome moors, clad in purple cloaks in Summer and a white mantle in Winter. There, is glory. And there, sweet sorrow buried on a hillside.
And on my right, the ebb and flow of the North Sea. Its gentle waves and fearful tempests, its constantly changing light, the chiming sound of waves over a shingle beach, those deep and rhythmic blues, the feel of soft sand, and those big skies…
The range of colours and forms found in nature draws me in to explore, express, and thus hopefully share their essential qualities. Interested in gardening and botany, working with different media allows me to approach flowers in varied ways. Thus pen and ink favour precise botanical studies and watercolour adds to their fragility to achieve a realistic and accurate representation, whilst gouache, oils and acrylic add a bolder dimension to flowers and landscapes.
My work currently focuses on landscapes in North Yorkshire, whether the open and empty stretches of Moors or the crowded semi-symbiotic relationship of cottages and sea on the coast. Most of my work is in oils, for I love their rich intensity and depth of colour. Inspired in practise by my experience of stained glass, whereby colours are contained within boundaries, and conceptually by Paul Klee’s notion of “taking a line for a walk”, these landscapes are personal and stylised interpretations, evolved from quick sketches outdoors and elaborated in my studio.
An artist once wrote to me : “Your paintings have extracted the childlike simplicity and fairytale tranquillity from the scene. I empathise with you, your paintings and writing which are the essential ingredients to appreciate the integrity and wholeness of your existence (…) you touched me with your magical images. Your love of landscape, trees and vernacular buildings is apparent and you have captured that peaceful and idealised sentiment so very well. “
I hope he will not mind me using his words, for he expresses better than I could what I would like people to feel when they see my paintings.
As well as paintings, I produce cards and prints. The people who print my work are based in Yorkshire, and hold FSC certification (the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) promotes responsible and sustainable management of the world’s forests). I would love to plant trees, but lacking the funds to buy land, I am going to join a scheme which will enable me to plant a tree for every painting sold. Trees. Simply wonderful.