Category: blog

States of Being Live at “Does Live Art…”

Thank you to everybody who came out and supported the Does Live Art Have to be Experienced Live performance series at SOIL over the Seattle Art Fair weekend. It was great to see all the visitors to the gallery and wonderful to meet the other artists involved in the performances. I especially want to thank all who volunteered to model. And, Morgan Cahn, who conceived, curated and organized this set of performances and the subsequent show is a superstar, and I am happy to know her better through the production of “Does Live Art…”.

This project was a performance of life-size-life-drawing at the SOIL Gallery in Seattle, WA during the Seattle Art Fair 2016. For three days, August 5, 6, and 7, I drew volunteer models. Each day I worked from 1pm to 4pm. Models were people I didn’t know who were visiting the gallery, other people involved in “Does Live Art…” and friends who came to participate in my project. Altogether, I drew 20 people into one canvas.

Usually getting ready for a show involves heavy stress to finish artwork on time. It was a refreshing change to begin a show with a blank piece of canvas. From installation on, being a part of “Does Live Art…” reminded me a bit of my college days in stage production—from the down-time camaraderie to the days of performance adrenaline, the similarity was distinct, and welcome. I’d forgotten how much fun—and how much work shows involve. The aftermath is great too, I was exhausted, but uniquely satisfied by the combination of working with people, making something, and feeling the energy of the Seattle Art Fair weekend.

See below for photos of the performance. And, scroll down below the gallery to see a timelapse video of the performance weekend at SOIL.

Timelapse video of the entire Does Live Art Have to be Experienced Live performance series, August 4 – 7, 2016, at SOIL Gallery in Seattle.

Retail Therapy Show

September 2016
I’m pleased to announce that I’ll be showing my work at Retail Therapy this September!
Join me for the opening on during the Capitol Hill Art Walk, September 8, 2016.


Claire Brandt’s paintings and drawings wrestle with tensions between singular and multiple—in both form and meaning. This takes shape in her work as either single figures that hold multiple meanings, or as works with an accumulation of figures. Multiplicity will feature her projects States of Being Live and Bra Portraits.

Exhibition: September 8 – 30, 2016
Opening: Thursday, September 8, 2016, 5 – 9pm, Capitol Hill Art Walk
Location: Retail Therapy, 905 E Pike St, Seattle, WA 98122
Get Directions

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Open Studios Photos

Photos from the day
I generally work either from small images to make life-size drawings or paintings or from life-size models to make small drawings. During open studios earlier this month I asked visitors to my studio to pose for me while I drew from them in real life, at life-size scale. I was nervous. However, people were excited to pose and other visitors enjoyed watching the process. I generally drew for about 10 minutes per person.

Poem for Today, by Mirabai

Use the Geometry

He left His fingerprint on a glass the
earth drinks

Every religion has studied it.
Churches and temples use the geometry of those lines
to establish rites and laws and prayers
and our ideas of the

I guess there is just no telling how out of hand—and wonderfully wild—
things will get

when our lips catch up to

Mira, or Mirabai (1489 – 1550)

I came across this poem in a book called Love Poems from God, Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West, edited by Daniel Ladinsky. Mirabai is new to me, she was a woman who lived a long time ago, and according to Ladinsky Mira “is the most renowned woman poet-saint of India, her songs sung by Hindus, Muslims, and Sikhs alike.”

I opened the book this morning to this poem. I’d marked it before. But it struck me today as it simply puts something I believe passionately—that religion gives us rules and roads, the “geometry of those lines” to lead towards faith and the more-than-us, but that these rules and roads are not actually either faith or more-than-us.

In this poem and in the few others of Mirabai’s that I have read, there’s a metaphor of embodiment and an allusion to sexuality to make her point about god, or, the more-than-us. Besides our through embodied selves, how else do we know anything? If we are lucky, we know that we come from love, that we are made to love, that love is our way to more-than-us. Our bodies—all bodies—are intricately tied to love.


In the wake of the Orlando massacre, made in the name of hatred, and against acceptance and freedom to love, specifically in the LGBTQ community, I am trying to see beyond the fingerprints on the glass.

I am so sad, so disappointed in our world where we continuously war and destroy people we fear and who we don’t understand. I am trying to see beyond the fingerprints on the glass.

I talked to a man from Tel Aviv last night, and Orlando came up. He said, what’s happening here, now, reminds him of growing up in Israel in the 80s and 90s. This horror show of guns and hatred and control isn’t new, but it is happening more often and more visibly in the United States. I am trying to see beyond the fingerprints on the glass.

I am trying not to despair. I know that there is potential for the “wonderfully wild” in us. But I think we all need to believe in it more and to try to catch up to god.


Summer Open Studios!

Find me in Studio #113 on the first floor.
Come and see my new work! Model for me! Snacks!
Sunday June 5, 2016, 1 – 6pm.
Be an artist model for short time! I am practicing drawing from life at life-size this summer, and I need volunteer models. I will be drawing in my studio, #113, and would like to work with anybody willing for about 20 minutes at a time. Clothed models only!


Twice a year Inscape Arts and Culture opens the doors to you to come and see what the 200 artists who work in the building are up to. We have painters, photographers, bike makers, robot builders, puppet makers, print makers and every form of expression under the sun working here. Check it all out—walk through this amazing historic building.

Free Admission

815 Seattle Blvd South (formerly Airport Way South)
Seattle, WA 98134

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Inscape Arts Winter Open Studios

Come and see my new work, I am in Studio #113 on the first floor.
Sunday December 6, 2015, 1 – 6pm.
And, visit the Wing Luke Museum’s permanent exhibition on the history on immigration in Seattle! Explore more than fifty studios where artists will be showcasing a wide range of media, including jewelry, metal work, painting, ceramics, sculpture,  video, photography, animation, architecture, and more. There will be plenty of opportunities to find the perfect give for all of your loved ones this holiday season and support Seattle’s local art community!

815 Seattle Blvd South (formerly Airport Way South)
Seattle, WA 98134


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I spent eight full days in Venice, Italy this past September/October. I had been to Venice previously for about three days, a few years ago. And, prior to that I have long had a fascination with the place—thanks in a large part to The Passion, a magic-realism novel set in Napoleonic Venice, France and Russia, by Jeanette Winterson. This last trip timed so that I could see the 2015 Venice Biennale (I will do a separate post about that).

In addition to the art—contemporary and historical—of Venice, the place itself is beautiful beyond words. The water that defines the city sits in the air and softens the light, diffusing the color so that glows. The lagoon is otherworldly, even when the sky is at its storm-darkest, the lagoon seemed to be lit up from underneath.

Venice Watercolors

I took a small watercolor sketchbook and travel set of paints with me to Venice. I’ve drawn while traveling before but never painted. It took me a couple of days to find my stride with the painting. Once I did, I found I wanted to paint every day. I almost don’t need to say it but Venice is beautiful place and the colors are almost otherworldly. How many artists have gone to Venice and fallen in love with the color and the light? Countless, and now I am added to their ranks.

Click on any image below to launch the gallery.

Vermont Studio Center March 2012

While I was at Vermont Studio Center in 2012 I spent some time experimenting with my large, life-size animal cut-outs. These built on the installation I did at the Red Poppy Art House in San Francisco at the end of 2011.

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