Thursday, October 2, 2014

Paige Clements, Artist

Molly and Paige
Photo by Gray's Photography
From Texas, USA, Paige Clements is a budding artist. Paige is known for her beautiful equine and western art, capturing truth and emotion behind every day scenes.

The daughter of a life-long cowboy and a supportive mother, Paige knows the value of hard work and determination. With her American Quarter Horse, Molly, Paige values creativity and integrity, and knows what it means to love a horse.

Welcome Paige!

When did you realize you wanted to be an artist?
I have always had a creative personality. My whole life I have been decorating, coloring, drawing, and making the most exciting posters in class, but it wasn’t until my Jr. year of high school that I was in a position to learn about classical art. I transferred schools that year and by accident my counselor put me in art class. I was determined to change out at the end of the day, but when I walked into this open, bright, music filled studio and spent the class period getting to know the instructor I was hooked. Over the next two years this teacher changed my life. He taught me so much, and gave me the confidence to pursue my art. However, my ultimate goal in life is to finish vet school, but I will always keep doing my art.

Describe your studio...
My main studio over the last two years has been my high school studio. Now that I am away at college it is a combination of my dorm room, and a quiet study room in my building. I am still trying to work things out and get started on some new works, but no matter where I find the room to set up, as long as I have good lighting and my music, its home to me.

Copyright Paige Clements

What mediums do you use?
My favorite medium to work with is Pastels. However I have found that incorporating a variety into my pieces can really add to the piece in the way of texture and intensity. I have a couple of pieces that are charcoal only, and several pieces that are pastel, spray paint, water color, and color pencil. I have never been into painting mediums, so no matter what I do it is primarily a dry medium.

Do you have a favorite piece of art of your own creation?
I have two. My first one is my “Cowboy’s Last Ride” still life, and there is a story there. When I first started it I designed the entire still life myself. Set up the lighting, placed all of the pieces, and sat down to start. Then I gave up. I was struggling with the complexity of the piece so I gave up and walked away. I finished two more pieces before I went to back to it, reluctantly. My teacher fought me the entire time that I was working on the outline, and thank goodness he didn’t give up on me, because when I finally finished the outline, things where looking up, and as I worked on rendering (shading) the forms, it really began to fall together. Now that it is done, I fall more and more in love with it daily.

'Cowboy's Last Ride'
Copyright Paige Clements

My other favorite is my “A single step” piece. It is the most special to me personally, simply because it features my beloved horse Molly, and tells the story of the journey that she and I have traveled from the day I bought a slightly crazy, completely beautiful, abused 5 year old, to where we are now, as best friends and partners.
'A single step'
Copyright Paige Clements

When was your first encounter with a horse?
When I was a toddler my dad day worked on a ranch in Oklahoma, and I grew up riding horses with him on the ranch. We moved back to the city when I started school, but the love never went away. When I was 9 my parents bought me my first pony, and it has taken off from there.

Molly seems to be the inspiration for most of your artwork. What is her disposition?
Molly is my muse, a registered American Quarter horse, and a very long story. I will try and shorten it a bit here. Seven years ago my brother bought her as a “finished rope horse” and by the end of the 2 hour drive home with her, we knew better. She was a barely green broke ranch horse. He quickly gave up on her and sold her to some friends of ours that I kept my pony with, but I was already in love with her. She was my dream horse. About 6 months, and three failed training attempts later, I convinced her owners to let me try to ride her. I promised to do lots of ground work, get to know her. They agreed thinking that I wouldn’t even be able to catch her, but I’m as stubborn as she is. I rode her that same day, a month later we won our first event together, and seven years, a few flying dismounts, and a lot of ribbons and buckles later, she is my other half.

Molly and Paige
Photo by Gray's Photography
Molly is 11 now and we have shown in everything from Reining, working cow horse, and showmanship, to three day eventing. We even spent a year on the high school rodeo circuit. We get some funny looks when I tell people that she jumps and chases cattle, but that’s ok, that’s why I love her. We have also done tons of trail riding, canyons, ranches, down the highway, you name it; she would walk through fire for me, and I would do the same for her. I think the part about her that inspires me the most is that by being there from the beginning, I have seen her go from being so scared of humans she would charge you in her pen, to I can walk out into the pasture to catch her she trots up to me nickering, just seeing how willing she was to change and trust me completely after everything she has been through, it just shows what a big heart she has, and I want to capture that heart so that even when she is gone, I can see it and remember to try and have that kind of heart myself.

Besides Molly, what else inspires you?
Paige's Art on Exhibition
Beauty. I love beautiful things. It may sound unoriginal, but when you look at something, or someone that is so free it gives you goose bumps, I want to capture that; sudden acts of kindness, old traditions being kept alive, people rising to the occasion after a tragedy, or just a landscape that takes your breath away. I want to save it forever, capture it, give it my own colors and view, I want to show the world the beauty that they are overlooking while rushing around, forgetting to stop and enjoy the world they live in. I try and tell a story with my work, make people stop and take a step back, realize what they are missing in their lives, show them what they are really looking for to be happy. I guess in a way, I am inspired, but inspiring others.

Who is your favorite artist? 
My favorite artist is by far Vincent Van Gogh. I love his piece “Starry Night”, and I have always felt a connection to the emotion that he puts in his art work. Even though there are all landscapes and still-life for the most part, his use of color and light often depicts a view of his personal life at the time. I just really love how such beautiful works came out of such a dark, twisted, scarred life. It really shows that no matter how bad things are in life, you can always give the world something beautiful.

Where do you foresee your creativity taking you in the future?
I have so many plans! Like I said, vet school is my main goal in life. But in many ways my creativity will help me with that. Medical professions might require lots of math and science, but there is also an element of the unknown involved, and the only way to come up with new ideas or cures, is to get creative. So hopefully my creativity will inspire me to invent something new in the Veterinary medicine world, but as far as my art work, I’m not sure really. I’m planning on spending sometime in Europe, and maybe south east Asia. I’d love to be able to sell a few pieces, It would help pay for college, and I’d really just love to be known for my work. Who knows, maybe it will take over and I’ll become a professional artist after all.

Picasso said 'Art is a lie that enables us to see the truth' - what does Picasso's quote mean to you?
I love this quote. It can mean so many things. I think that’s the best part about it. To me, with my art work, what you see is not always the entire story. When you create art, it is up to the artist what they do or don’t show. I can take a picture of a girl holding a rose, and make it show the world whatever I want it to. If I put tears down her face, it’s sad, if I give it a slight yellow glow, it becomes happy. Artists have a unique ability to show or hide whatever they wish in a work of art. You can embellish or remove to prove a point. So while what’s going on in a piece may be slightly exaggerated, or under-stated, the artist choice is done to make people stop and take note, put things in perspective, or make sure that no one can turn a blind eye to the subject anymore. So while the artist might be lying a bit, the effect is that people finally realize the truth about what’s going on personally, or in the world.

Connect with Paige…

Copyright Paige Clements
Copyright Paige Clements

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