Clara Debray’s sunny drawings capture the essence of summer


While the natural environment has always been a source of inspiration for Clara, more recently she has found herself particularly drawn to “bodies and flesh”. It’s natural, she continues, with the summer months ahead and their natural association with a sense of freedom and nakedness. Some of Clara’s most interesting works are her close-up studies – of a tramp from behind, the rolls of a stomach, a bare breast rimmed in tan, for example. These works are recognizable and warm in their evident adoration of the human form. “Working on close-up bodies is a way for me to rediscover their beauty”, develops the illustrator, “forgetting the judging gaze that I too often have with my own body.”

There is something so subtly unified in Clara’s work, which is probably rooted in her “intuitive” approach to color. Filled with purples – from light lilac washes to deep purple hues – and bright greens to mossy greens, Clara’s cohesive palette adds a certain atmosphere and uniqueness to her pieces. But this characteristic color association has not always been Clara’s, as she explains: “sometimes I try a new association, and the colors give me magical vibrations, and then I dive into this new association. This is where the illustrator’s infatuation with purple and green comes from. “Two years ago it was really difficult for me to use these colors, and now I love them.”

In the months to come, Clara will leave her hometown to join her fiancé who is preparing and shooting his first film in Brittany. Soon to be alive, painting and drawing in an entirely new landscape on the island of Belle Île, Clara sees this period as an ideal time for new discoveries and explorations – an essential feature to prevent her from getting bored with her work. But, more importantly, Clara also sees this time as having the potential to be “a time of renewal.” We are intrigued to see what a new landscape will bring to Clara’s idyllic and environmentally sensitive work.


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