Photo by R. Burrell

Photo by R. Burrell

Claire Bowman is a painter living in El Cerrito, California, native to Davenport, Iowa. She creates deeply subjective impressions, whether they be intimate, seemingly mundane household scenes, or dynamic vistas that evoke a potent yearning for exploration.

The compulsion to roam fused with the urge to preserve significant moments comes from an uprootedness that has impacted much of Claire’s adult life. She and her twin sister Sarah form the acclaimed music duo, The Bowmans, which, over a period of several years, toured continuously throughout the U.S. and Europe. During this nomadic period, Claire resided in multiple locations, notably New York, NY; Bern, Switzerland; and briefly in Los Angeles, CA. Before that, she called Pittsburgh, PA, and subsequently Baltimore, MD, her home while earning degrees in philosophy and psychology. 

Art, for Claire, has a grounding effect. For her, painting is the anecdote to transience, which she describes as a ceaseless habituating to new territory and circumstance. Uneasy with the fluidity of perceived reality, she aims to isolate what she discerns in the moment as an evolving emotional interpreter. Her landscapes portray a sense of intrepid wanderlust and reverence for nature’s dominance, in which she chooses to either feature or omit human-made constructs. Her figurative works contemplate instances of acute and imminent loss, love, resilience, and raw grief. Applying a slightly different approach, her comics and drawings surreally depict the inner world of the trauma survivor. Overall, her works aim to distill experience rather than provide objective commentary.

Claire has exhibited in group shows in New York City (2012), Richmond, CA (2017), Berkeley and Santa Ana, CA (2018) and held a solo exhibition in Stans, Switzerland in 2014. Her work has also appeared in various print and online publications in Europe and the U.S. In 2013, Claire authored and illustrated the acclaimed children’s story, “Mert, the Anxious Evergreen.”