Why did fore-edge painting appeal?
Initially it was just a way to make cash, because that’s not easy as an artist. Then I started to become aware that this was a rare art and I began to learn the history of it, and I find that fantastic. I love the idea that not many of us do it, because it feels like something special.
Where do you find inspiration for your paintings?
Being a woman I am quite interested in women, the way women think, and trying to express myself through the female form. I choose pictures that express something I like about women, or ones that are relevant to the content of the book.
© Clare Brooksbank
What’s the most satisfying part of what you do?
Seeing people’s reactions to when I fan out the book and they see the painting… every single time their face is a picture. It’s the whole magic trick of the hidden painting, it’s something no one has ever seen before and I love that.
Do you feel a responsibility, given this is such a rare craft?
When you are doing something that is either very individual or, as I’m doing, something with such a heritage to it, you feel a responsibility to do it well – there is pride in doing the best you can. Every time I paint a book I’m nervous about it, I have to produce something special.