CLAIRE HARRIGAN RSW was born in Kilmarnock in 1964. She grew up with both parents as art teachers and painters – her mother, Elspeth Harrigan, a respected botanical artist and her father, James Harrigan, the acclaimed landscape artist. Her childhood environment was full of creative stimulation and inspiration.
Claire studied at Glasgow School of Art from 1982 – 86 graduating BA Hons in Fine Art (Drawing and Painting). Since Art School she has worked as a full time painter and travelled widely for inspiration, particularly in the West Indies, France, Portugal and Italy. In 1989 she was elected a Professional Member SAAC and in 1990 was elected a member of the RSW (Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour.) In 1992 (and subsequent editions) she was listed in "Who's Who in Art" (published by Art Trade Press Ltd), and in 1990, in "20th Century Painters and Sculptors" by Frances Spalding.
Claire has been the recipient of many major awards.
1990 - Lily Macdougall Award, SAAC
1992 - James Torrance Memorial Award, RGI
1996 - Latimer Award, RSA
2002 - Artists Discovery Commission Award, Club Med
2004 - Glasgow Arts Club Fellowship Award, RSW
In 2007 she wrote and had published “Abstract and Colour Techniques in Painting”.
Her painting style is vibrant and bold in use of colour with a high key palette a permanent feature of her work. She paints distinctively with colour and abstract elements working well together in clever and mature compositions. She uses predominantly mixed media with acrylic, watercolour or gouache as a base platform upon which to build imagery in collage, pastel or other media.
The key characteristics of my work are colour and light. I am not trying to recreate what is there, and although the subject matter is important as the instigator of the painting, gradually it becomes less significant as the emphasis changes to composing with colour, shape and texture.
Claire Harrigan has work in many collections including those of Adam & Co. Bank, The Fleming Collection, Bank of Scotland, Heriot Watt University, South Ayrshire Council, Wigtownshire Educational Trust and Club Med.