Menu  ☰

Mary Claire Smith

Mary Claire Smith’s practice starts with hand-drawn marks on paper. The outcome, whether a drawing, collage or print, concerns itself with the recurring motifs in her work: circularity, linear repetition, undulations and the pattern of natural and architectural forms, at times sited in imagined landscapes, at others focusing on the vernacular of everyday buildings, like greenhouses, garages and sheds.

Paul Klee’s description of his work in the title of his book, ‘Taking a Line for a Walk,’ is apt: repeated marks, often as part of observational drawings, meander through Mary Claire’s work. Klee is an influence, as are the designs of Annie Albers, the drawings of Mary Martin, the prints of Helena Markson and Munakata’s woodblocks.

In her own woodcuts, Mary Claire uses a traditional Japanese method of printing: hand-burnished using a ‘baren’ on thin handmade washi paper. Her drawing technique also remains rooted in the tradition of the hand tools using a dipped nib and ink. Her screen print technique of multiple layers to create litho-like textures has been developed with The Print Block.

Mary Claire’s background is in fine art, followed by postgraduate printmaking and illustration at Central Saint Martin’s. She worked for two London print studios, Paupers’ Press and Hope Sufferance and taught art and design in various colleges, before becoming a full- time illustrator. In 2006 she set up a gallery/shop—Frank— in Whitstable, Kent. Throughout this time she has continued drawing, printing, looking.

Instagram: @mcprintworks