Links to Clare’s stories online:

          Tunnel Tales

            Marina's BATB fanfic page

            Lesley's site (archived)

          Links to Clare’s art online:

            Marina'sBATB art page


Who are you?


Tell us a little bit about yourself and your interests in general.


I am 53, single, and live with two Wiemeraners (dogs) and a female mutt, named Teddy, Daniel and Bitsy.  They are my joy.  I have three brothers and six nieces and nephews.  I was raised on Long Island, NY, and I now live in Roanoke, Virginia.  If I were independently wealthy, I would probably spend all my time reading, mostly science fiction.


What drew you to the Beauty and the Beast TV series, and why did you/do you feel the need to express yourself in B&B art? Had you worked with art before being involved with Beauty and the Beast or did your artwork develop from it?


I was captured by B&B from the first broadcast of the pilot episode.  I never missed an episode after that.  I remember speeding in my car one time, in order not to miss the start of the show, and thinking that I was being a fool for putting myself in danger for the sake of a TV show.  I bought a TV house antenna and then got cable, for the express purpose of getting better reception for Beauty and the Beast.

    One of the many things that attracted me to the series was its visual beauty.  The cinematography was gorgeous, and I was constantly seeing fantasy images that were beautifully composed, atmospheric, and romantic.  I was, to be corny about it, inspired. (grin)  I had been involved with the original fan-run Star Trek conventions, and had done a few paintings for them.  So when I heard about the B&B convention that the Creation Company was running in NYC, and that they were going to have an art show, I painted "Vincent's Oil Portrait".  I experienced my 15 minutes of fame at that con.  I was an instant celebrity, and my cheeks ached from the smile I couldn't get off my face.  And the rest, as they say, was history.


How long have you been drawing/painting/sculpting, etc? If you started when you were a child/teenager, do you still have some of your work from that time? Did you share it with your friends then?


I've been doing crafts as long as I remember, but it was in 7th grade that I realized I had a little talent for drawing.  I still have a piece or two from my teenage years.  My friends and family knew I drew and painted, and I gave some pieces away, but I didn't share the way you mean - like we do within the B&B community.  I didn't have that kind of opportunity or venue.  When I went to college, I trained to be an art teacher.  It was there that I was introduced to sculpture, which I discovered I enjoy.  I soon learned I was not cut out to be a public school teacher.  I love to teach - one on one.  But a public school art teacher is really a combination baby sitter/policeman, and I was terrible at it.  I went into commercial art instead.  That was mostly putting together the elements of print advertisements and packages.  Then I became a freelance illustrator.  I wasn't very good at that either.  I am bad at the business end of things, and I don't enjoy drawing what other people want me to draw.  You wouldn't be interested in seeing the art I produced then - dull as dishwater.  My B&B stuff is really the best I've ever done, because it was done out of love and inspiration.  Rather late in life I've learned to go back to my roots.  I am happiest being a crafter.  I think of myself more as an artisan than an artist.



Who most influenced and/or encouraged your talent? What training have you had for techniques in art, and where, if it was formal training - or are you self-taught, working from instinct?


I didn't get encouragement from anyone really.  I was just not discouraged by anyone.  General praise of any of my work from anyone was the reward I sought.  As I said earlier, I did major in art at a liberal arts college.  Perhaps I would have learned more had I gone to a real art school - but I was preparing to be an art teacher, not an artist.  While I was at school, I found that I learned more interacting things from my fellow students than I did from the teachers.  Though I did have that formal training, I'd say I was more self-taught than not.



When you draw, paint, etc.:


Describe the space in which you do most of your work.


Now I'm going to make you all green with envy.  The major reasons I moved from NYC to Virginia was to take advantage of the difference in real estate values, so my dogs could have a decent sized back yard, and so I could have a bigger art studio.  I personally knocked down the walls between two bedrooms in my house, and did the construction to join them into one 11.5' x 23.5' space.  Then I tore out the closet doors and shower stall from the former master bedroom's 8.5' x11.5' bathroom/dressing room.  That is now my mess room, where I have a source of water and can do plaster work and store and use tools that make sawdust.  I also have a spray box in there to spray paint, spray glue, and other nasty smelling things.  That's where my big, LOUD air compressor is.  And I can close the door, and shut all that off from my main studio. 

I have many different kinds of horizontal work space, and storage and cabinet space all around the walls of my studio to accommodate every art supply you can think of, with room to grow.  I have two drawing tables along the walls and another large table, with a giant dog bed under it, and an easel in the center of the space.  All the tools I use on a daily basis are within arm's reach of my main drawing table.  My other drawing table holds my cutting box, where I use a dentist's drill, powered by my air compressor, to carve eggshells and wooden gunstocks.  I use a cutting box because it is not healthy to breath eggshell dust.  Think of a small version of Homer Simpson's radioactive handling chamber.  I also have a tape recorder and headset within arm's reach, so I can listen to books on tape, as I carve.  Both rooms are all white, so as not to interfere with my color perception of my work.  But the mess room's walls are covered with B&B and Star Trek movie posters behind plastic.  I have to confess - I stole one of my B&B posters from a NYC subway car.  There are splashes of color in the main studio, provided by prints of my four favorite B&B pieces and my Superman oil portrait.  I've designed all the cabinet tops to line up at the same height and I have strange still-life arrangements displayed up there. They go all around the room, and include, among other things, my Vincent bust, a skull, silk flowers and Styrofoam eggs.

    Those are the only rooms in my house that I've "done".  The rest of the house looks like I moved in yesterday.  But I have ideas!  Oh yes, I have ideas! (grin)


You work in many different kinds of media. Please tell us something about them, and if you have a favorite media or style.


My favorite media is usually the one I'm into at the moment.  One of my downfalls is that I never concentrate on one media enough to really master it.  By professional standards, my technique is not outstanding in any of them.  My style in all of them is photorealistic.  This is more a result of uptightness and a failure of imagination and courage than anything else.  Photo-realism is always safe.


Do you like to try new media? What kind of research do you need to do before starting a project with them?

Oh yes, I never know when something new will catch my eye.  It usually starts with finding a new "how-to" book, which excites me by the possibilities of a new media.  As I said, this is not always a good thing.  I often run into technical problems because I'm using something new, or using a media in a way it was never intended, and don't know enough to know when I'm getting in over my head.  I use up an enormous amount of time and effort on failed experiments.

But I can always make the new media perform in a photorealistic way.  That does not depend on the media; it depends on the artist having trained her eye and mind, to be able to measure and analyze the shapes and colors of her reference, in order to reproduce it accurately.  In that respect, drawing, painting, and sculpture are not that different from one another.  New artists should not be afraid of trying new media.  If you do well in one, it's likely you can do well in another.  One should especially not be afraid to try oil paint.  It is very forgiving, and it can be used with many different techniques - all of them technically correct.  On the other hand, a seemingly simple media like watercolor, can take a lifetime to truly master. 

I can credit B&B for getting me involved in a number of new media.  In the early years, we artists were mostly dependent on a very limited number of publicity stills for our reference.  In order to paint the beautiful scenes that had inspired me from the show, I had to depend on very poor quality photographs taken off of the TV screen.  I had help from other fans who took photos for me.  I wish I could remember all of their names, so I could give them all credit here.  Each of us had video taped from the broadcasts (there were no commercial tapes yet) on different VCRs.  We were using different TVs and different cameras, so we all captured slightly different versions of the same shots which provided me with more visual information that way.  What I couldn't see in one photo, I could in another.  But the reference I had to work from still stunk!  Oh to have high quality screen captures from commercial DVDs!!

Anyway, the first such scene that I tried to paint was "But How Could I Forget Thee" - wherein Catherine is reading to Vincent in his chamber, at the end of "No Way Down".  My usual painting style of tight detail wouldn't work, because there was no detail in the photographs I had to work from.  So I thought of using colored chalk, or pastels, instead.  It's almost impossible to draw tiny details with pastels because it's very hard to keep sharp edges and points on chunks of chalk.  I was trying to make a virtue of necessity.  I owned pastels, but had never used them much before this, and doing this piece was a revelation to me.  I now prefer pastels over oil paint.  Despite the colored dust that you create in your work space, it is a less messy medium.  You don't have to spend a lot of time setting up and cleaning up.  One has to constantly search among the chalks for the right colors, but you don't have to spend a lot of time mixing the right colors.  And, although they are a dry media, there is still a painterly quality to their use.  In fact I call those art pieces "paintings", rather than "drawings", which technically they are.  At first I used the pastels on colored charcoal paper.  But I sometimes had a hard time getting certain areas of color to cover completely.  So, after a few pieces, I learned to airbrush different base colors on different areas of white paper with watercolor, in order to make my own custom-colored pastel paper.

Another time, I was watching a craft show on TV, and saw a technique for embossing velvet.  It gave the velvet a two-toned appearance.  I decided to design a black and white B&B image, emboss some luscious colored velvet with it, and make a pillow.  This was one of those ideas that I thought would allow me to make multiple copies of a piece of artwork.  Ha!  Little did I know what I was getting myself into.  The technique is meant to be used on a very small, simple scale, so of course the very first time I tried it, I Embossed Velvet Pillow.gifmade a very large, elaborate design.  I won't go into all the technical problems this created, all the time it took, and all the expensive velvet I ruined.  In the end I used the least flawed piece of embossed velvet to make the pillow.  Now that I've overcome all the technical problems, I know how I would create the piece if I were to start over from the beginning.  But don't hold your breath.  It's not going to happen.


At the end of one con, as we were packing up, I saw a large quartz crystal in Lyn Musacchio's hand.  I asked what it was for, and she said she bought it on impulse, thinking one of the artists might find a use for it.  I swiped it from her hand, said "thanks", and walked away. (grin)  I was thinking of the glass B&B mugs that Sandy "Chandler" Shelton had etched with a hand stylus.  I thought I'd use my dental drill to do something similar with the crystal.  For once I allowed myself some imprecision in the finished image, because the technique is in miniature, does not allow for much in the way of intermediate grays, and most crystals have cloudy imperfections within them that interfere with the visual image.  For once I had come up with an art form that did not take enormous amounts of time, and created a charming finished project.  And of course I have B&B to thank for the discovery.


Etched Clear Glass Plate.gif.




How do you work - start from an image, a thought... have an idea that tugs at your mind and practically draws or creates itself… or does it just depend on the individual work? Do you always know what you want to achieve at the end? Do you ever end up with something entirely different from what you started, or maybe a couple of spin-offs?


For most of my early B&B work, it was a matter of an image or idea that grabbed me and wouldn't let me go until I made it a reality.  The process might go something like this:  "Gee, B&B would really lend itself to a stained glass window!  But who would support me for the year it would take to create?  Maybe I could paint a picture of a stained glass window.  I really like Art Nouveau posters.  That style is difficult for me to design, but it's perfect for stained glass, and maybe I can try anyway.  Now, which of my reference photos would work with such an idea?" 

Or I'd see a particular image on the show and I'd be driven to paint it.  Since my ideas are always so involved and time consuming, I've never had one that "practically draws itself".  It's more like the idea stands over my shoulder and whips me like a slave master.

If it works at all, my end product is usually pretty much what I envisioned from the start, although never as perfect.  But it is always a great satisfaction to see my idea made real and a very different experience from seeing it in my head.  I don't remember thinking of any spin-offs of my B&B work, though I often get spin-off ideas when doing my eggart.


Your paintings have a nearly photographic quality. How do you create such fine detail, and what difficulty you find doing it?


Actually, as I've said, photo-realism is my natural style.  In fact it is difficult for me to be stylistically more creative than photo-realism.  All this style requires, is training your eye and mind to accurately analyze what you are looking at so as to be able to reproduce it.  All that fine detail requires is to be anal retentive, obsessive compulsive, and slavishly copy what you see.  It does not even require you to make the artistic decision of when to stop - when is enough enough, and if the piece would be stronger if you left more to the imagination.  I stop when I can no longer see differences between my piece and my reference that I can fix.  The only difficulty with this style is getting hold of reference of sufficient quality and detail.  I also work in a way that some would consider cheating, except there is no such thing as cheating when it comes to art.  Whatever it takes to get the result you are after is what you should do.  I trace my reference; I do not draw it "from scratch".  I still need my trained eye, but I give myself guide lines for all the features I am painting.  They are all in an accurate position, and the right size and shape, when I start.


 In your paintings, you often said that you always work from an image, but some of your work never existed as an exact image, and of course we are thinking of that glorious “By Candlelight”. Why did that painting remain the only one of its kind, and what inspired you to create it? Care to expound?


Ah, but I did have reference for that painting.  I used part of a painting by Boris Vallejo.  You can find it inside, and on the back cover of "Mirage".  It's of a human man making love to a winged fantasy woman.  I wanted reference of a couple in a romantic clench wherein you could see most of their faces.  I wanted something that was very romantic while leaving much to the imagination.  In other words - R rated, but erotic.  In "By Candlelight", V&C could be fully clothed from mid-chest down, for all we know.  Yeah,... right! (grin)  I have three reference photos of Catherine's profile which fit with Vallejo's piece.  That is very unusual.  Think of any celebrity you like and try to find photos of their profile.  I'll bet you can't.  I painted "By Candlelight" after I had sculpted Vincent's bust.  So I took the bust, posed it and lit it to match the pose and lighting of the man's face in Vallejo's piece, and photographed it for my reference.  I even made white clay eyelids to temporarily close Vincent's eyes.  What?  Obsessive compulsive?  Me?… Nah!

Painting that piece was an unique experience.  I sat at my easel laughing out loud and exclaiming, "They're gonna plotz!!", referring to my fellow fans at that year's con.  Sometimes, when I've been working for a long time on a piece, I feel like I'm too close to it, and can no longer judge it objectively.  So I took the painting over to a neighbor's house and told her that I needed the reaction of another woman.  I held the painting up to her, her jaw dropped, and she gasped.  I said "thanks", turned around, and went home.  What fun!

A local travel agency had a poster in their window about a honeymoon promotion.  I went in and begged them for the poster.  It provided the reference for Catherine's dress in "Things that Should Be". (wedding painting)  I had a photo of Catherine in which her head was at the same angle, and was lit from the same direction, as the model in the poster.

I would have done more pieces like that, if I had found other reference images I could use.  I would have painted V&C waltzing after Winterfest, had I had models with similarly shaped costumes, and a professional photographer to light them dramatically.  I had an idea in my mind for years that was almost identical to Jamie Murray's "She Calls".  Though I intended to feature Vincent's bodybuilder back, and I wanted to pose him in front of a small waterfall.  The difference is that Jamie is a professional photographer who regularly uses professional models.

For most of the scenes from the show that I painted, my version is a combination of a number of frames from the scene.  In "That Wonderful Place in Between" (V reading to C on balcony), in the frame where V's head was turned toward C, most of her face was off screen and the book was closed.  And I deleted the wrought iron bench from the picture altogether.  I thought its high contrast and intricate detail detracted attention from V&C.  In "The Kiss", when Catherine had approached that close to V, her head blocked the light from his face.  So I used an earlier frame for his reference.  And in a number of scenes, as the camera panned up and down, or side to side, it provided more visual information than you can get from only one frame.


What do you think of the new computer art and of the creativity that the cyber means can produce? Ever felt the wish to try your hand at it?


         My computer is an essential tool for my work now.  But I mostly use it to process my reference materials and to generate patterns and designs for my carving.  I don't have the time that would be necessary to learn to use the computer as a primary media.  But if you'd like to see some computer graphics that will blow your mind, take a look at:


Do you ever have an artistic slump? If so, do you have a technique to get past it?


With B&B, I've run out of available images that excite me.  With my egg art, I have a notebook filled with ideas.  If I never had another one, I'd still be set for life. Actually, I have never in my life been very prolific.  If I were independently wealthy, I probably wouldn't do very much art work at all. I'd spend most of my time lying in bed reading SF novels.  I am an extremely lazy person.


Is there any particular piece that you had an unusual amount of trouble getting the way you wanted it and how did you resolve that problem?


Like most artists, I'm almost never completely satisfied with my work.  There is always a doubt if I used the best colors in the right places, or if the layout might have been better.  And it's very hard to say, "Done!"  One can fuss and tweak forever.  There are very few pieces that I can display on my walls that won't drive me crazy.  As I said earlier, I very often run into frustrating technical problems, although there's no one piece that stands out in my mind.  I usually overcome the problems through stubbornness and trying one possible solution after another.


If you could change one thing about your work habits, style, etc, what would it be?


I wish I wasn't so lazy and such a procrastinator.  I wish I had more self discipline so that getting to work wasn't such a chore.  Stylistically I wish I was less uptight, and rigid.  I wish I had the courage to be looser, freer, more prolific, and stylistically more creative.  Yes, I am creative and adventurous when it comes to media techniques. I am always coming up with strange ideas.  But when it comes to style and the images I produce, I am too literal minded.

A friend of mine jokes that he expects to see a dump truck pull up to my house, loaded with seed beads for me to inlay as a mosaic into my driveway.  Or a load of tongue depressors for me to hand carve and panel my basement walls with.


Tell us about the B&B projects you are working on at present, if any.


Because of the labor intensive way I work, financially I can't afford to do any more B&B pieces.  There is no longer any venue where I can sell my work at a price that will pay for my time.  No one is sadder about this than I am.  My B&B work gives me much joy and satisfaction. 

I do have a specific idea for a piece I wish I could make.  As reference, I've never used that publicity still of Vincent sitting with his gloved hands clasped in front of him.  I've used my computer to enhance the colors, making them much more colorful, saturated, and pure.  I've blown the image up to about 24" x 30".  I would have used it to make a piece that would have looked like it was made out of tiny ceramic mosaic pieces.  It would have been an art work that would have to be seen in person to be fully appreciated, as it would have had the 3D look and feel of real mosaic.

Here's another B&B painting that is fated to exist only in my head (and now yours).  Years ago, I watched the TV broadcast premier of "The Terminator".  After it was over, I suddenly realized that I had seen a shot that would be great reference for a B&B painting.  This is what I  thought  I saw: during Linda's character's making-love scene with the time traveler, there was a shot which was lit by blue moonlight, coming from the motel room's window.  Linda's face was side lit by it.  Her lover was on top, braced on his arms, with his head thrown back.  Because he was directly in front of the light source, he was a black silhouette, haloed in blue light.  I realized that he could easily be replaced by Vincent.  I'd just have to make the silhouette larger, and exaggerate the contours of his muscles.  I could go wild, back-lighting Vincent's mane.  I could make the light look like blue smoke.   So I rented "The Terminator", and set up my camera and tripod.  Only to discover that the theatrical video of the film had a completely different, more explicit version of the love scene.  So I waited for it to be broadcast on TV again.  I set up my VCR to tape it, and my camera and tripod.  Low and behold, they had cut out most of the TV version of the love scene, I suppose to fit in more commercials.  I've never been able to see that shot again.  I don't even know if it really looks like I remember, since I wasn't paying it that close attention when I first saw it.  Very frustrating.

On Marina Broers' B&B site, I've posted pictures of two of my B&B eggs.  I also wrote a description of two other B&B eggs that I wanted to create. I did manage to make the Vincent egg, but I fear the other one will now never be made.  At least I was able to share the egg's concept, thanks to Marina.








 You, as well as the other guest authors we are interviewing, have allowed your work to be posted online for the enjoyment of all B&B fans. Why did you decide to do it? How did you/do you choose the sites to have your works posted?


When Marina was first putting her site together, she simply emailed me and asked me if she could post my work.  Since I was and still am, selling prints of my work, I gave her permission to post it, as long as she kept the pieces restricted to a relatively small size and low resolution.  It has been a form of advertisement for my prints for me, and I still get a trickle of orders because of it.  But, since I no longer foresee selling very much of my remaining stock, I gave the Wintercandlemakers permission to post some of my prints in a larger format.  I have always wanted to share my work with as many fans as I can.  Otherwise I might as well have never made it at all.


What do you like to hear from someone that sees your works? What do you find most helpful or rewarding? What was the most interesting response you've had to your work? What do you consider the greatest compliment you've received?


My parents were not overgenerous with praise when I was a child, and I have been a glutton for it ever since.  I can never get enough compliments of any kind for my work.  I seem to need constant stroking.  One thing that is great about displaying at a con, is how excited some fans get over the artwork.  One time I was at my dealer's table, and a fan made a comment about the wedding band, hidden in the fur on Vincent's hand in "Things That Should Be".  The fan she was speaking to exclaimed that she had not noticed it before, and literally ran from the room to the art show, where the original painting was hanging.  That was fun to see. 

Another thing that was always fun was what Chan and I called "the feeding frenzy".  When the dealers' room first opened, there would be a rush to buy my newest prints.  The fans acted like they did not have three whole days in which to shop, and as if I would run out of prints before they had a chance.  Believe me, that was never a possibility.

I have an artist friend who is usually very fault finding.  You know the type - think mother-in-law.  One day I commented that I usually had to struggle when painting hair.  She said, "Really?  You do it so well."  This really stuck in my mind because it was so out of character for her, and I respected her artistic talent a lot.

Sandy Chandler Shelton (Chan) and I were matched up as roommates by the "South of Oz" con committee.  And we've been roommates at every con that we've both attended ever since.  She gave me my favorite compliment.  We were both setting up in the dealer's room and she was some distance, across the aisle from me - a good distance to view "Someone to Watch Over Me", which is fairly large.  I called out to her, and pulled the painting out of its box.  She said, "Clare, I love you / hate you."  It was so short, concise, and funny.  It said everything about the mixed feelings an artist feels for another artist's work.  I've held it in my heart ever since.


Which of your B&B works do you like best, and why? If you were forced to pick one of your art works as a favorite, what would it be? What are your favorites among other things you’ve done?


"Someone to Watch Over Me" is my favorite.  It is my favorite image of Vincent, from my favorite episode, "Orphans".  Best of all, it is one of my most successful paintings.  Even years later I can not think of a way to improve it.  I used an oil painting technique that goes back to the Renaissance to paint it in transparent glazes, so that Vincent would glow out of the dark background.  It's also one of those instances when I merged two different shots of the same scene.  Vincent's image comes from his close-up.  And I made him larger than strict adherence to perspective would dictate.

I think my second favorite is "Her Name ... is Catherine".  It was also a successful piece.  But I have to give some credit to two other people - the cinematographer who lighted her face in such an interesting way, and one of the fans who helped me get photos off of the TV screen.  I'm afraid that, as usual, I don't remember which fan it was, as there were a number who used to help me this way.  Something about her camera or her VCR, resulted in a photo in which the color was shifted into some beautiful pinks and lavenders.  Being such a dogmatic realist, I would not have thought of the distortion on my own.  But I can take credit for noticing the beauty of the shift when I saw it, and using it. 

I'm proud of some of my eggart, and I have a nice cat drawing I like, but my Beauty and the Beast stuff is my favorite work.


 Is there a piece of yours you especially enjoyed creating from the technical point of view, for the challenge it represented, or for the satisfaction of mastering a new media… do you want to describe it for us?


Doing Vincent's bust was very satisfying.  Normally, it is difficult to do a 3D piece, working from 2D references.  I had been taught how to do a sculptural portrait only working from a live model, years before in school, so this was a challenge.  But Vincent's face is very monochromatic and very sculptural, and doesn't change expression much.  So I was able to get many photos from many angles to work from.  And his face is almost always dramatically lit, so there are shapes of light and shadow in the photos to give more 3D information to a sculptor.  I sculpted him bald and naked at first, so that the contours of his head and body would flow correctly into and under his hair and clothes.  I even lugged him to my gym, and had one of the body builders pose for me, so I could get his body right, even though it would get covered with hair, and I would cut part of his shoulders off later.  It was very bizarre to walk down into my basement, where I worked on him, and see a bald, naked Vincent seemingly rising through my table.  Made me jump a little sometimes, when I saw him out of the corner of my eye.

One of the rewarding things about sculptural portraits is that the likeness starts to be apparent even in the rough, early stages.  There is also a feeling I can't really describe of laying your hands on a face and manipulating it, even though it doesn't feel like flesh.  There's something about working on an actual 3D object, rather than a 2D representation.  It's really cool.


Is there any advice you would give to beginners?


Formal training - art school, night school, private lessons - are valuable, but mostly because they give structure and discipline to your studies.  If you can be self disciplined, can set up a strict schedule of practice, and STICK TO IT, you don't really need formal training. There are innumerable excellent how-to books in your library.  Sit down and look through some very carefully.  Look for media and techniques that attract your eye and mind.  Follow the lessons and advice in one book faithfully. Then do the same with another, and another, and another.  This source of excellent teaching is almost limitless.  You will eventually learn what media and techniques work best for you, which authors are helpful to you, and which are not.  Take every opportunity you get, to pick the brains of any artist you happen to meet, whose work you admire.  And DON'T BE AFRAID!!!  There are usually no hard, fast rules about what is right and wrong in art.  And if you try something and fail… SO WHAT?  You don't have to show anyone anything if you don't want to.  No one is sitting in judgment of you except yourself, so all you've wasted is some paper and paint or chalk or clay, etc.  Time spent trying, is never wasted.  You always learn something.

How do you get to Carnegie Hall?  Practice, practice, practice, practice.  Someone may say he's a writer, but real writers write!  They write all the time.  They write, even if they make their living some completely other way.  And artists ... uh... art. (grin)  So don't be afraid and DO IT!!!


Do you use your artistic talents professionally or wish to? Do you have any current projects you’d like to share with us?


If I can find the time, before the Winterfest deadline, I'll make some photos of my recent eggart and gunstocks. [


Being a B&B fan


Who are some other B&B artists who might inspire you or whose work you particularly enjoy? Is there a piece of art you especially like?


I like a lot of the B&B fan art.  But with my famous, incredibly rotten memory for names, I'm afraid I'd leave someone out if I tried to name them.  My taste is pretty ordinary, and I admire pretty much the same artists as most of the fans do.  What really excites me is the work done by raw beginners.  I love to see that Vincent and Catherine have given courage and inspiration to more people than just each other.  And I love to see the improvement in beginners' work that happens from one year to the next.  And the wild creativity!!!!!  The amazing variety of media was always something I looked forward to seeing at each con art show.  I love wild, strange, art ideas, and we certainly have had them.


In RL are you a closet "beastie" or do all your friends and family members know you're a fan? How do they feel about your Beauty and the Beast involvement? Do they worry about your sanity?


Are you kidding?  Me? In the closet?  In the first few years of my enthusiasm, my biggest concern was boring my friends and family with my obsession.  That same fault-finding friend once made an acid remark about - "First it was Star Trek, now Beauty and the Beast."  To which I replied that I didn't think two enthusiasms in twenty years was excessive.  To me, something to be enthusiastic about, to go over the top with, is a necessity of life.  Life is pretty dull without it.  My friends and family just accept my craziness as being a basic part of me.  They can see that it makes me happy, so what's to worry?


How did B&B affect your life?


On last year's Winterfest site, I posted an essay, "What a Good Egg" (thanks for the title BTW) about one of the things I can credit B&B fandom for.  In short, I can thank another fan for getting me into my fledgling business - eggart.  It is still in the beginning stages, because it takes so long to produce this work.  Each piece takes so much time and effort, that I'm having doubts about my ability to market them at the prices I must necessarily charge for them.  So I need a backup plan.  The ultra high speed (400,000 rpm) tool I use to carve eggshells can also be used to carve wood, so I'm starting a gunstock carving business too.  There is a readymade market for it; I can sell at local gun-shows, and the work goes much faster than my egg projects.  But it grew out of the eggshell carving, so I guess I can credit B&B for it also.

Fandom has enriched my life in many ways - the social interaction with like-minded people, the fun, the laughter, and the opportunity to share my art work.  If I were the only person to ever see it, it would stay in my head, where it is perfect.


Do you presently produce work for any other fandoms besides B&B? Are you or have you been involved with any other fandoms in the same way?


I did a few paintings and go’fered for the earliest, classic Star Trek, fan-run conventions - before big business got involved.  I've done a couple of fantasy art pieces.  And I am slightly involved with the activities on an excellent web site: The Superman Homepage.  I've always loved comic books.  And I've recently joined a local science fiction and fantasy club that goes to cons and has an on-line list.  We're having a pot-luck dinner / Dr Who marathon in January.



Do you still have either your first B&B creation or your first published B&B work?


I don't have my first B&B creation, "Vincent's Oil Portrait", but I still have my second - "Stained Glass Beauty and the Beast".  They are both posted on Marina's site.  I designed the "stained glass" poster specifically to go in a certain spot in my old art studio and presently it hangs in my new studio, on the door into my mess room.  I also have one of my Vincent bust castings, and I have "Clare is a Disturbed Person" (aka Vincent's needlepoint portrait), which I originally conceived to go in my bedroom.  I figured a fabric piece would be a nice, soft thing to have on my bedroom wall.  And I had come to enjoy looking at Vincent's Portrait, from which it was copied, and which hung on my wall for a while before it was sold.  Only later did I realize that the needlepoint would have to be covered with glass to keep it clean - so much for soft fabric.  I also still have all three of my B&B eggs.  They took so long to create, that no one could afford to pay what I'd have to charge for them. At least I learned a lot of my eggart techniques in their making.




As you know, we are going to build a web page with this interview and include it in the Winterfest Online 2005 activities. May we have a few pics of you, to include in the page? Also, would you like us to include any links in it to something of your choice either B&B or separate from B&B, to some sites, stories, or the like?


OK good. OK fine.  I'll send some along with captions.  Course I don't look much like myself without my thick glasses.  Just ask Clark Kent.  BTW, if any of the fans reading this have a photo of "The All-Catherine Beauty and the Beast Barbershop Quartette", I would very much appreciate a copy.  Send a JPG or a photo print if you wish.  I'd love for this interview to include a link to my one and only B&B fanfic.  I'm not a fiction writer, so I am inordinately proud of this little story.  I was trying to paint a portrait of Vincent with words.  It's posted in Tunnel Tales.


Do you want to say anything else to the readers of this interview about yourself, B&B, the art, or the fandom?


When the Wintercandlemakers first approached me about this interview, I had reservations, because I am very pressed for time just now.  And, you won't believe this, but I can sometimes be a little long winded. ... No, it's true! (grin)  I've told many of these stories before, and I don't know how many of my audience are being bored silly by the repetition, and how many, if any, find the stories new and interesting.  Whoever thought up all these questions sure put a lot of time, effort, and thought into them.  This is a great opportunity to tell everyone, everything at once.  I don't think I'll ever have to answer another art question.  The questions have certainly been thorough, as I have tried to be. And I enjoyed writing it.  Thank you for the honor and the opportunity.

I would like to thank all the fans for all the joy and interesting experiences they've enriched my life with over the last 15 years.




Some of Clare's Convention  Costumes:




Left to right:

1.  The Queen Visits England

2.  V as Puss-In-Boots

3.  Mummy C’s Dancing Delusion

4.  Clare and Stu in Costume

5. Vincent Mask

6.  Vincent’s Sister: Visiting from under Chicago

Winterfest Online, January 2005