Claudia McGill makes handbuilt sculptures and tiles in clay, paints in acrylics, and creates collages and mixed media art. She also does other things – writes poetry, runs, mows the grass, and reads a lot. Loud sudden noises bother her, and she’s not that fond of candy.

Why does this blog exist? You can ask her – but here’s what she said in the first post:

I came to making art later in life, and it’s more than my other self by now – my paints, papers, clay, glazes, and brushes are familiar friends and essential to me. I do some art pretty much every day in one form or another, and now I wonder how I got along before I stumbled into this way of life.

I enjoy the process of making art. Once it’s done, it goes out into the world and then it belongs, in every way, to someone else. But it leaves behind the memory of its creation, the satisfaction in doing so, and the motivation to repeat the process in one form or another.

My motto is,
“Give it a try and see what happens”.

45 thoughts on “About

  1. Anna

    I love the picture of the figures in the kiln. I wonder if they are discussing how hot it is going to get, or a way of escaping.

  2. Claudia McGill Post author

    I think the more of these figures I make, the more I feel I am being observed. and coming up short, too. I had the feeling when I opened the kiln that these figures felt they had been interrupted and were not happy about it.

  3. becreativemary

    Wow. Your work is so much fun! Quick question. Have you ever tried Coloraide paper? It is super expensive but the quality and color make me squeal! I could totally see your style lending itself to this paper. Also origami paper? I also thoroughly enjoyed your clay work. The tiles are fascinating…I must say, you make me want to try them! Thanks for touching base. It always forces me out of my cocoon to open my eyes to what the rest of the world is doing!

  4. Claudia McGill Post author

    I feel the same way – seeing others work give me such inspiration. No, I haven’t tried Coloraide paper. Sounds wonderful and I’ll look it up. I have used origami paper and I like it. What nice texture it has. Thanks for the info and for liking my work.

  5. Starralee

    I so relate to what you said about art being your other self, familiar friends–that’s how I feel about my writing! Your work and your blog are very lovely.

  6. Claudia McGill Post author

    Thank you so much for asking! I am slowly getting better. Feeling more myself, though I have some way to go. My hand is doing very well, the rest of me is progressing. I have worked on some paintings in the last week. I think they are not so good, but, I was happy to be able to do some work. I hope to be back to posting more very soon – I have some photos of things I did before I was so ill, and then these new things.

    So I hope I will have something interesting to show pretty soon!

  7. nannus

    That is good to read. Just keep painting even if it is not yet so good. It might be a good training as rehab. I am looking forward to see some pics again, old and new.

  8. tedgiffin

    I wanted to share my thoughts on your Art. I love your attitude, to just do it, play with the art, and see what happens. Your small color works translate into your hand-built clay pieces, like characters interacting with each other from within your imagination. All these bright colors and happy themes, translated into pottery on rocks, and apparently things you find. My family is from Belmont County Ohio. I know the area around Allentown. So much blown out factories and tons of coal mines, shells of coal mines. Your take on it is a little different from mine. I used to work in clay, doing raku fires. I never really became proficient with throwing on the wheel, I guess I should just use the Light Side of the Force on it. Clay is so messy, and there is this weird time constraint with moisture and all. Gotta do it in stages. I suppose I will stick to my pencils. Appreciated what you have done!

  9. Claudia McGill Post author

    Thanks so much for taking the time to look at my work and to give me such nice comments. I really enjoy all the things I do and that’s why I do them, and it means a lot to me when someone sees them and appreciates them. Art has really saved my sanity, I think, and there is always something new to try. Experimentation and the unknown keep me going!

    I understand what you mean about clay and its messiness and then as you said, the time element and the many stage work has to go through. In a strange way I like all this about it – it’s different from the other things I do. Keeps me practicing patience! And seeing things progress step by step, with some successes and failures standing right next to each other in the kiln.

    Thank you again for looking at my work and taking the time to let me hear these nice things.

  10. tedgiffin

    Art for me, even when I was a child in preschool, was a healing catharsis. I am enjoying the online community of artists throughout the planet. Of course, it does not replace person to person communication. I can say confidently that Visual Art is alive and can even be made for a decent living. take care!

  11. Kim Ruby, Willow Grove Bible Church/FRESH GROUND Coffee House

    I think you are awesome – would love to know you are doing!

  12. Claudia McGill Post author

    Hi Kim, this made my day. I have thought of you often. I will write an email to say hi in the next couple of days. Thank you so much for remembering me!

  13. Claudia McGill Post author

    Thank you. I don’t participate in awards as far as the answering questions and so on, but – I am very touched and grateful for your selecting me, and I want to say thank you. !!!

  14. Claudia McGill Post author

    Oh, you have just made my day. Maybe my week! I have written poetry all my life but only in the last 2-3 years did I have the time, inclination, and courage to actually put a focus on it. And it’s made a real difference to me. Having readers like you is something I still can’t believe is happening. Thank you!

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  16. Claudia McGill Post author

    Thank you. And I LOVE IT. Both as a pair and standing on its own. The arrangement of the features, I really took the time to see how they were placed, because they are just perfect, in making it look real and yet – so – out there. And then the way the hand is incorporated, it is part of the face. But not. I’m still puzzling over this and in a good way. Wow! Thank you.

  17. Kathy Urban

    Hello Claudia, I hope this finds you well. I enjoy your tiles, and thought perhaps you could make an orienteering tile for me (as a paid commission, of course).

  18. Claudia McGill Post author

    Hi Kathy, how nice to hear from you. Thanks so much for your compliments, I appreciate it! I’m sorry, I don’t do commissions anymore, I just find that it’s stressful and I don’t want to disappoint anyone, so I don’t do them anymore. But thank you for asking. And I look forward to seeing you in an orienteering event pretty soon, now that the weather is getting cooler! Claudia

  19. Victoria Dillard

    I really enjoy your art. I would like to try visual art. I have been in many forms of art, from theater, to writing and dancing but I have always wanted to explore visual art. I see art everywhere. My imagination plays games with me, sitting in the bathroom I see faces and landscapes in the tiled floor but there are so many roads to venture down. Where do you suggest I might begin?

  20. Claudia McGill Post author

    Thank you. I’d say, think about what medium interests you, read up on it on the internet or get a book or two – see what you think. Buy a few supplies and actually try it. I think trying things is the only way to really know what will work for you. You could also take a class, if you see a topic that strikes you.

  21. Laura Black

    Hello Claudia,
    I’ve recently discovered your art work. It’s so uplifting and beautiful. I have a short story website called Fictive Dream. Could we please talk about the possibility of using an image of one of your works to accompany a story?
    My website: fictivedream.com
    My email: fictivedream@gmail.com
    Thank you and I’m looking forward to hearing from you.
    Laura Black

  22. Doc Kandinsky

    Hi Claudia
    I’ve been following your blog for a few weeks now and enjoy every new post. After looking at your figurines pages tonight I just had to write to you to tell you how much I love and admire your artwork. There are 2 main reasons for that. The first one is the excellence you have while choosing the colours of your work, the second reason has to do with a statement you made in one of your replies saying that when it comes to creativity it’s all about the journey not about the aim you want to reach. The result is pure beauty.
    I fully agree with that. Unfortunately when it comes to my own creativity there’s still that aim question I struggle with. So seeing your work is giving me the hope that I will eventually manage to free myself from it.
    Thanks so much for sharing your beautiful art.

  23. Claudia McGill Post author

    After reading this I am kind of choked up. Thank you so much for what you said, and for all your attention to my work. I know what you mean about the struggle and the self-doubt and questioning, I consider it a triumph over those things every time I pick up a brush or pen or whatever. Because just taking the risk to express yourself is hard and does not get easier. For me it’s the pleasure I take in doing art that keeps me going that, and the idea that by doing it I gain something even if I fail to make anything much. And, I have also found so much support here in the blog world. Not just what people say about my work or to me but also the examples of others also creating and defying the things that discourage it. Keeps me going. Your encouragement makes my day. Thank you.

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  26. Claudia McGill Post author

    Hi, thank you! I don’t do awards, but I appreciate your thinking of me, and I will make a mention of your blog on my next Art Diary (today). Thank you again!

  27. Alanna

    Claudia, I also came to art late in life AND writing. I must ask…how much time do you devote to your art every day? You are very prolific. What are your avenues for giving your art new homes? what do you do with your artist’s trading cards? Just curious!

  28. Claudia McGill Post author

    Let’s see. As far as time, I would say I spend about half my time either writing or art each week, on the average. Maybe more. Probably more! The balance between the two varies depending on what I’m working on or if there are deadlines. I will admit to being super-organized by nature and also I have a lot of energy that needs to go somewhere! I have sold my art for the past 20 or so years at street fairs and art in the park events, pretty much – I haven’t been interested in gallery life though I’ve had a few shows here and there, it’s pretty much all been by my own efforts (I enjoy shows, too, not so much gallery stuff). As for ATC’s I used to trade a lot through the IUOMA –
    http://iuoma-network.ning.com/ (if you try this out you will never lack for mail art sending to and fro) and I also taught classes where we traded them at the end, but at the moment I just make them and keep them.

  29. Ashley

    So it is possible to write and do art! I used to draw a lot then writing came along, mostly poems, but now I don’t seem able to get back to drawing. i wanted to illustrate some of my poems but I’ve become stuck in writing only! Is there a special key to unlocking the creative sides of my character?

  30. Claudia McGill Post author

    I think sometimes it comes down to setting a time and date and forcing yourself to start. Once you get going, it carries itself along. At least that is what I think!

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