This week we welcome back Claire Devine the Aussie-French Paintress behind The New Devine. Claire is french-born and Australian-made, her art is vibrant, unpretentious and inspired by our beautiful country. The New Devine has been part of the Finders Keepers community for over 3 years
Tell us a little bit about what you do and how you got started?
I’m a full-time contemporary artist. I was born in France and have married a hilarious and handsome Irishman. We have 3 wild boys under 5 and a ‘tame wolf’ together. I mainly work with acrylics on canvas and love to paint modern, impressionist pieces inspired by our beautiful country. I grew up in a family of professional artists – painters and potters. However, I went on to study music at university majoring in classical percussion (that’s fancy for ‘snobby drums,’ if you weren’t sure) and worked as a musician and high school teacher, only painting in evenings my husband was away for work to keep from being lonely. French is my first language but you’d never know thanks to my broad Aussie accent.
How has your business evolved over the past year?
At the start of 2020, our family was struggling with some bad news entirely unrelated to the global pandemic. My husband had just suffered a major seizure that robbed him of his ability to ever return to his previous job, he was also diagnosed with prostate cancer and our second son was diagnosed with albinism, a rare genetic condition that means he’s partially blind. We were landed with all of that a few months before the first major lockdown so when the lockdown came, I took leave from my much-loved job as a teacher to instead focus on looking after my family. The New Devine was bringing in a tidy little income before that but nowhere near enough to be our full-time, only income. With the lockdown though came endless support for small businesses and my art sales took off overnight. It now takes my husband and I and both my parents full time to run The New Devine and we’ve never been happier. We get to spend all our days together. Family matters most.
What keeps you inspired and motivated?
Ultimately, I feel immense sadness that my son will never see views and landscapes the way I do. So, I keep painting bold, bright, cheerful, textured pieces to show him the world through my eyes in a way he can see and touch.
What do you love about Brisbane and what other makers are you looking forward to visiting?
My mother used to work for Qantas, so I’m extremely privileged to have seen a great number of countries and cities, but Brisbane is always home. There’s a vibrant, close-knit creative community here and the sun is always shining so everything always feels relaxed, happy and hopeful. It’s a privilege to live in Brisbane – God’s own country, I say! I’m looking forward to seeing all the debut stallholders. I remember being one just 3 years ago and it was one of the most exciting and humbling weekends of my life, I love chatting to the debut stallholders and reliving that new, trembling, nervous, wonderful, unexpected, ‘Christmas Morning’ feeling with them.
What can shoppers expect from your stall at this event?
You can expect some stunning exclusive original artworks, prints, greeting cards, tea towels (all your Christmas shopping sorted in one go) as well as our new stretched canvas prints – beautiful ready-to-hang pieces that are just as vibrant and realistic as their original counterparts.
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