Clare Brownlow's Pheasant Feather Art
I'm so excited to be writing this piece!
When I first moved to London a few years ago I remember discovering the country lovers dream... Farlows, I was blown away by the fact that all my favourite country brands could be found in the centre of London. Overwhelmed by the choices, I walked away with a stack of Clare Brownlow's Pheasant Feather Art post cards and I've been sending them out ever since.
It was then a year or so later that I watched Clare on Countryfile one Sunday evening, showing her studio and artwork. I just loved the simplicity of creating these beautiful pieces of artwork with a feather and how it makes each original piece unique, and I seeing the space in which she works and the beautiful arty organised chaos. It's the kind of place I wish I could spend my days, rather than behind a computer.
Fast forward a few years and I am so lucky to have been gifted two stunning prints from Pheasant Feather Art. One being the bumble bee!
We've spent the last few weeks turning the new cottage from a sea of beige, to a more classic grey and white combination, and I'm so excited to finally be able to put up our new prints and add a pop of colour. I love keeping the general feel of the house very simple, clean and in keeping with it's character, adding a few prints from Pheasant Feather Art gives it some more personality.
I'm very fortunate to have been able to get a closer insight in to the life of the artist herself, Clare Brownlow. She gives a personal account of how her passion has grown in to a fully fledged business!
1. Where did it all start?
I have always painted since I was a child. I went to art school and did large landscape pieces in oil after my husband and I got married. We found out I was pregnant and had Harry a week after the end of year exhibition. We then moved to the Scottish borders when he was 9 months old and whilst visiting my folks in Norfolk I just picked up a pheasant feather and started to play with my dad's fountain pen ink and the rest as they say is history. I took the idea back to the borders and continued to play at the kitchen table and did commissions for people and then my friends said that I should do post cards, so I did and then I did local fairs and continued to listen to what people wanted and the business grew and grew.
2. Which is your favourite piece?
My swans I love, as they were always flying down the river at home and the fields by the house were full of them. I love the contrast with the grey, white and the splash of orange. I also love painting bees and love the colours of the pheasants.
3. Biggest moment in your story so far?
There are two which I am so proud of. The first was when I donated a painting of an elephant to the Born Free Foundation and met Virgina Mackenna who was so sweet and kind about my work and the most amazing woman in all that she has done. The painting was in the live auction and went for a record amount 4 times as much as the estimate. The other moment was when I was on Country File last February. It was the most amazing experience and I loved every second and the response from it was incredible! Through that 5 minutes on screen I was asked to do the most incredible and meaningful commissions for some amazing people. It took my business to the next level.
4. Which piece has been most popular?
People love my bees, I think they make people smile
5. What the biggest challenge with painting with feathers?
You never know where the latter goes and it can all go wrong just as you think you have finished… you can get a splatter across the whole piece. so I just have to breath, and start all over again.
6. How long on average does it take to create a piece?
A lifetime. People don’t understand the process of art I don’t think. Some paintings take longer than others. With some paintings I have tried a few times before the finished piece is produced so it all depends really.
7. Where does your inspiration come from?
I live in the Scottish Countryside so I am surrounded by wildlife. I see all sorts of wildlife outside my studio windows. We have a friendly heron and pheasants and loads of hares and ducks.
8. What’s next for Pheasant Feather Art?
I am having an extremely exciting exhibition at Patrick Macros flag ship London shop in September with all works being of my trip out to Kenya where I stayed at Lewa Wildlife Conservancy. That's the charity that I am supporting with my work.
9. Do you have any advice for someone who may be starting a business but unsure whether to take the leap?
It's so hard really I never planned for my work to become a business it just happened organically. I would say that it helps if you have a USP. Like my feathers….no one else does what I do. There are other artists that paint what I paint but no-one with pheasant feathers.
I want to thank Clare for gifting me two gorgeous prints
Hope you're all having a wonderful Sunday!