Candy Clarke has been painting for over 25 years more or less continuously since graduating from art school in 1983 where she majored in graphics. She balances this with her work as a freelance graphic designer.
Her style is post modern pop/abstract expressionism inspired by New Zealand artists like Dick Frizzel, Colin McCahon, Toss Woolaston, Peter Robinson, Richard Parker and Scott McFarlane and by the colours of the Fauves and German expressionists and the colour and style of Gauguin.
She paints her works in acrylic on acrylic, using everything from sheets of Perspex to moulded shapes and small blocks to more conventionally framed sheets. Because Candy paints on the back of the perspex you look through the sheet to the image. This means she is painting backwards to build up the layers of paint in the reverse order – for example, cloud first then sky etc. This makes any editing of the piece a lot trickier as you can't just paint over to make changes but you need to carefully scrape through the dry layers and then blend the paint in again.
Scraping through the layers is also used for artistic effect to create fine scratched lines such as the ladders in her Ambition work and large gestural marks in her The Vernacular work.
Painting on perspex is Candy’s point of difference and it is this looking through to the image 'trapped beneath the screen' that adds to its allure. It has a reflective value and a glow that is attractive and an elusiveness that is synonymous with the virtual world so many of us live in, akin to viewing of images through computer, TV, camera or phone screens. Since she began working on Perspex, which was somewhat of a happy accident, she has focused on using Resene testpots to give her consistency of colour and a good flow especially for editing large blocks of colour. Her favourite Resene colour is the very bright red Resene Havoc and she has recently discovered Resene Jewelled Yellow from the Karen Walker Paints collection which she finds a fabulous flowing gold.
Email Candy or visit her website.