Claire Sparkes is a contemporary artist, living and working on the South East coast of England. She grew up in Deal, a seaside town in Kent where early on she realised a passion to study art.

After completing a Foundation Course at Maidstone College of Art in 1989, Claire studied a degree in Fine Art Painting at the Sir John Moores University in Liverpool 1989 – 1992.

Later in 2009, Claire achieved an MA in Fine Art at the University for the Creative Arts at Canterbury.

Over the years, Claire has exhibited in London, other UK cities and abroad in both group and solo exhibitions. Her work is held in public and private collections across the UK, and has been used for illustration. Since 1995, Claire has also taught a variety of successful drawing and painting courses.

Claire Sparkes is a figurative painter whose range of subjects primarily focuses upon people, portrait and self-portrait, whilst also encompassing still life, interiors and landscapes. At times, her work crosses these boundaries interrelating elements from each of these categories.


2007-9 MA in Fine Art, University for the Creative Arts, Canterbury.
1989-92 BA Hons. Degree in Fine Art, John Moores University, Liverpool.
1988-89 Foundation in Art, Maidstone


2018 ‘The President’s Choice Award’, Draw 18, Menier Gallery, London
2017, ‘The Debra Manifold Memorial Award’ presented by the Linda Blackstone Gallery for the most innovative painting at the 2017 Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour annual exhibition
2016, ‘Best Work in Colour’ sponsored by Winsor & Newton, at Draw 16, the Menier Gallery, London
2015 Associates’ Award sponsored by Arboreta Papers
2014 The Cult Pens Award for a Highly Commended Drawing
2014 The SGFA Associates Award sponsored by Jacksons Art
2013 Daler Rowney Award for Best work in the Exhibition
1996 Liquitex prize for Painting
1995 Daler Rowney prize for Modern Art

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2018 ‘Moments, Messages & Connections’, Grierson Gallery, Sevenoaks
2010 ‘Transitions’, The Cube, Folkestone
2000 ‘Tattoos & I Love You’s’, Chromos, Canterbury
1995 Sassoon Gallery, Folkestone
1995 Library Gallery, Margate
1994 Hanover Galleries, Liverpool
1990-95 The Music House, Liverpool

Group Exhibitions

2017, Sunday Times Watercolour, Mall Galleries, London and UK tour
2017, 2015, Portrait Prize, Royal Birmingham Society of Artists, Birmingham
2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, New English Art Club, Mall Galleries, London
2017, 2015, SGFA @ Bankside, Bankside Gallery, London
2017, SGFA @ Grierson Galleries, Sevenoaks, Kent
2017, Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours, Mall Galleries, London
2017, ‘Drawing the Line’, The Street Gallery, UCLH, London
2016, RWS Contemporary Watercolour, Bankside Gallery, London
2016, 2015, 2014, 2013 New English Art Club, Mall Galleries, London
2016 RWS Contemporary Watercolour Competition, Bankside Gallery, London
2015 Drawn Together, Bankside Gallery London
2015 Portrait Prize RBSA, Birmingham
2016, 2015, 2014, 2013 ‘Paper Works’ , RK Burt Gallery, London
2014 Royal Society of British Artists, Mall Galleries, London
2014 / 2013 DRAW 13, Menier Gallery, London
2013 Sussex Artists’ Award, Pallant House Gallery, Chichester
2013 Ruth Borchard – Self Portrait, Kings Place Gallery, London
2011 ‘Other Spaces’, Horsebridge Arts Centre, Whitstable.
2011 ‘Three Floors, Three Artists’, The Cube, Folkestone
2011 ‘Transience 2′, NAC, Chatham
2011 ‘Red’, The Cube, Folkestone
2009 The Ignition Gallery, The Joiners Shop, The Historic Dockyard Chatham.
2008 ‘A Mile of String’, Museum of Fine Arts, Valletta, Malta
2008 ‘Signifiers’, Georges House Gallery, Folkestone
2008 ‘Transience 1′, Horsebridge Arts Centre, Whitstable
2006 Sassoon Gallery, Folkestone
2002 ‘Watch This Space’, Metropole Arts Centre, Folkestone
2001 Paintings & Ceramics’, Georges House Gallery, Folkestone
2001 ‘Blue’, @37, Sandwich
1999 ‘Within, Without’, Metropole Arts Centre, Folkestone
1996 NEAC, Mall Galleries, London
1996 NAPA, Royal Society of Painters, Birmingham

About Claire Sparkes
Society of Graphic Fine Art