Artistic adventure for Claudia

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A Selkirk born artist is getting ready to take her passion for landscapes a step further by embarking on a painting tour from Holland to Norway.

Claudia Massie is now based in Perth, but spent her childhood in the Borders and is a frequent visitor to the region as her parents still live here.

But her latest project – Painting the North – will take her further afield.

On July 3, Claudia will journey to Newcastle to catch a ferry to Holland and from there she will drive through Germany, Denmark and Sweden, before reaching Norway, a destination she’s visited before.

Claudia spent some time in the Scandinavian country last year after being offered a stint as artist in residence at the Radøy Kunstsenter Art Centre and she’s excited at the prospect of going back.

“I had such a good time over in Norway last year that I’m really excited to be doing it all again,” she told us.

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“But what makes the thing more exciting is the fact that I’ve never been to any of the places I’ll be going through; it’ll be a completely new experience.

“I predominantly do landscapes and after doing some research on Google I’ve seen lots of potential places and things to paint.”

A month-long jaunt across Europe doesn’t come cheap and apart from a grant from the Norwegian art centre, Claudia has funded it in a rather unconventional manner.

Rather than looking for sponsors, Claudia, who graduated from Edinburgh College of Art a decade ago, has been inviting people to request her to do a painting for them in return for a donation.

She set herself an initial target of £2,500, which she thought was ambitious, but has now more than doubled it with her current total standing at a very impressive £5,095, with 19 days still to go.

Claudia launched the campaign on www.indiegogo.com, a website she stumbled across after requesting a painting from one of her peers.

“I have some artist friends, one of whom is Patrick Thomson, originally from Selkirk. He set up a page on indiegogo a few years ago. He and his partner needed to raise a lot of money for a project, so asked for people to donate something in return for a picture.

“I thought that was a really great idea, so thought I’d try it myself, but never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d raise as much as I have.

“The bulk of the requests have come from people I know, but there are a few from complete strangers which I find rather shocking; in a good way, of course.”

The amount of requests for paintings that have come her way is the only thing that has left Claudia slightly nervous as she makes the final preparations for her trip.

“I am rather anxious about the fact I have to produce a certain amount of paintings to meet the requests, but at the same time I don’t feel any pressure to produce a particular thing for a particular person.

“I’m hoping I’ll produce a lot more than I need to ... that’s the plan, anyway.”

Phone signal allowing, Claudia hopes to update her progress via her twitter page which you can follow at @claudiamassie. Alternatively, if you want to make a request/donation visit www.indiegogo.com/projects/painting-the-north and if you want to view examples of her work log onto www.claudiamassie.co.uk