Road to Tollard Royal at Minchington Cross
By Clare Shepherd
A limited edition print of 350 copies signed and numbered by the artist, finished size 19 x 7ins from an original oil painting of 48 x 18ins and printed to Fine Art Trade Guild standards.
Oil on Canvas
Clare Shepherd is an artist who lives and works in the Cranborne Chase area of Dorset. Cranborne Chase, once the King’s hunting ground, is rich with evidence of its own history, filled with ancient tracks, iron age burial mounds and earthworks and many Roman remains. In Tess of the d’Ubervilles Thomas Hardy describes Cranborne Chase as ‘a truly venerable tract of forest land, one of the few remaining woodlands in England of undoubted primeval date, wherein Druidical mistletoe was still found on aged oaks, and where enormous yew-trees, not planted by the hand of man, grew as they had grown when they were pollarded for bows’. This very clearly describes the area around Tollard Royal as it is today.
Clare’s painting revolves around her interest in the surrounding landscape and the impact of man both in history and now. She likes to take an image of a view which includes elements of the past and the present (such as ancient roads and modern farming tracks in the fields), and using layer on layer of paint create the painting as a response to the view. This means that while her paintings are recognisable as being of a certain place, they may have an abstract quality to them. For Clare, the laying down and sometimes peeling back of the paint is entirely in keeping with the idea that so many layers of history lie evident on the Cranborne Chase. Clare likes evidence of all the layers of paint to remain to a greater or lesser extent on the surface of her paintings.