The Countryside Alliance 2017 Christmas cards are now available to order. For this year we have nine beautiful, top quality Christmas Cards to choose from and the Countryside Alliance 2018 calendar.

One of the cards ‘Rockin’ Robin’ has been kindly designed by Clare Brownlow, who’s work has previously won the competition for the design of the front cover for the CLA Game Fair in 2014, has been shortlisted in 2014 for Wildlife Artist of the Year, and she also has worked closely with and donated paintings to a number of charities.

We asked her a few questions about her inspiration and skills.

1. Tell us about your background and how you got into painting?

I have always been into painting since an early age. I focused on it at school and was encouraged to be as creative as possible. I gained art scholarships and went on to study at Edinburgh College of Art and then at Leith School of Art after that where I painted large atmospheric landscapes and seascapes in oil. I came across this technique purely by accident.

2. Is there a particular style or technique you use when painting? Can you explain how it works?

I paint with pheasant feathers and inks. No-one else paints like I do and people are really keen to always have a go themselves when I am at events showing the public. I have found something unique and it creates this fantastic ‘splatter’ effect that is directional and brings the subject matter to life.

3. What inspires you and where did you get your main inspiration from for these Christmas cards?

I live in the heart of the Scottish borders and have wildlife all around me, so on walks and even looking out of the garden I am constantly surrounded. We have the friendliest robin at home that comes into the kitchen through the back door just enough to say “hi and where is my food?!” – he is adorable.

4. Do you have a favourite subject to paint?

I love the pheasants because there is so much amazing different colour versions and I also love painting the bees as they are just a great subject. I am currently working on a series of works using gold leaf which is an exciting element to add.

5. What would you say is integral to the work of an Artist?

I think it is to be true to yourself. Create your own uniqueness as an artist, you have to find your own style and be true to that. Let your environment inspire you and don’t put pressure on yourself to do the perfect painting/picture. That is the best thing about my style, sometimes when I make a massive splatter I think the painting is ruined and sometimes it is, but other ‘mistakes’ can make the painting!

6. What is your most important artist tool? Is there something you can’t live without in your studio?

That is easy- my feathers!

‘Rockin’ Robin’ is a great image, perfect for a cheery Christmas time. You can order a pack of 10 online or call 0370 270 9011 to order by phone.