My primary medium is acrylic on canvas or wood panel. I am from Virginia, until the age of 23 living near Washington, D.C. where I frequented the galleries and museums from an early age. I attended Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Va. Where I received my Bachelor’s degree in Painting. After graduation, I moved to San Francisco, where I worked as an archival picture framer while continuing to paint in studio warehouses and storefronts. After working for several years as curator for a nonprofit art gallery, I attended San Francisco State University, receiving my MFA in painting. I moved to Florida soon after, and taught Art at Daytona State College, and high school and middle school for the Volusia County School District. I feel that my art is as much a reflection of our times, and my experiences in life, as it is a love of color relationships, atmosphere, and striving for visual unity. I am a member of Florida Artists’ Group, (FLAG).
My purpose in making the current body of work is to use the medium of paint to capture significant moments in an environment that is changing more quickly than it appears to be, as it relates to human existence. This reality that our world is changing noticeably due to the effects of climate change is caught in the metaphor of the act of the sun setting each day. Most recently, I have been going to Lake Monroe at sunset to photograph the changing light reflected on the trees that form a dense subtropical forest near the lake. As the sun draws closer to the horizon it casts beams of light through the trees, creating glowing orange and lemon-yellow shapes that slide across the tree trunks and branches, creating a riot of warm and cool light dancing on the magnolia leaves, articulating the knife-sharp edges of the palmetto fronds, replacing their dark green with the sun’s yellow to orange hues. and which are otherwise enveloped in the moody shadows of the forest. The photographs that I take with my I-phone seem to capture an other-worldliness that I don’t always notice as I watch the light change. As I zoom in on images, biomorphic shapes created by intense sunlight not only become components of the visual composition, but they seem to have a radiant, mysterious, spiritual life of their own as they pulse, travel slowly, glow and fade through the trees. These are the inspiration for my current paintings, which have the working title of “Trees on Fire.” The trees, photographs, and finally the paintings, seems to express that our natural environment, our planet, is changing quickly, and for me, it is a profound experience to paint the last moments of the day. I have been creating paintings with the theme of the Anthropocene, the era of human impact on our planet, all of my adult life, but over the last ten years or so the message has become more and more clear. All of the work on my website, www.clareradiganart.com has been completed since 2013, and I have designed my it in a way that, I think, pretty clearly summarizes my concerns in my work. As you will see, some of my work contains not-too-subtle references to climate change. However, with the body of work I began in 2018 and keep returning to up to the present moment, by the shore of Lake Monroe, I find great solace, and hope to share this with others through my work.