Artist in Residence: Clarence Deaton

Introducing Half Past Seven's “Artist in Residence” – an ongoing series to highlight small batch fine art, handmade items, and curated antique collections. Each “Artist in Residence” release will spotlight one of our favorite makers or curators, featuring exclusive collections that will be available for a limited time. When possible, we will share more on the artist or maker through an interview.

We are thrilled to bring you the second post in our artist spotlight series focusing on Clarence Deaton. Clarence's art will be available for purchase on our website




Where are you based? 

Charlotte, North Carolina


Tell us what you love about living in Charlotte and how it influences your work.

Charlotte is full of talented and creative women! Whether going to people’s houses and being exposed to their home décor and art collections, working with individual clients on commissions or visiting art galleries, I’m constantly inspired. Charlotte is also located about 3 and a half hours from the beach and 2 hours from the mountains, where I’m able to get outside and find inspiration all around me. 


Tell us about your background and how you got your start. 

I’ve always been into art and making things! From day one, I loved art in school, at home and with my grandfather. My parents were very encouraging and they also always hung my brother and my pieces around the house, which really helped to boost my confidence as an artist. Traveling and being exposed to art in museums and galleries established my interest in art history (my college major). I started selling art in the form of invitations and holiday cards, and then evolved into larger scale painting and collage.


What type(s) of materials do you typically work with? 

I typically create collages with watercolor and gouache paint on archival paper. I love paper, so I prefer to work on high quality watercolor and cotton papers to add texture. I also love water and am always enamored by its influence on the pigment and pattern. I use an Xacto knife to cut each shape out and PH balanced glue to lock each shape in its place. From time to time, I experiment with acrylic paint but I usually go back to more water soluble paints!


What inspires your work? 

My work is inspired by many different things. As an art lover, I often find inspiration from other artists, both past and present, especially when it comes to color combinations. However, I’d say Mother Nature just might be my muse! Birds, flowers and butterflies continue to show up in my work. And my 10 year old son, Parker, has added a whole new perspective and has helped pull out undeveloped ideas to create new pieces.


We know you love to travel and paint from those trips, how do you decide what to paint? 

So much of what I create is based on color combinations, texture and shape. I think traveling to different places introduces a lot of new, so leaving home gives a fresh palate and landscape from which to draw inspiration. 


What tips do you have for framing? 

Framing can really make or break a piece of art! For works on paper, it’s worth spending more on UV protected or museum glass to preserve the art and to prevent a glare. My framers have really helped me develop a foolproof formula for framing my collages. For those buying – if you’d like some tips to give your framer:

I often use a white frame, though depending on your aesthetic or where you plan to hang the piece, white may not be best. 

If I don’t use museum glass, I at least use UV protected glass to protect the watercolor from fading.

We leave 2 inches of mat board between each side and the frame. Often the cutouts overflow off the page, and this is needed. Otherwise, I love a beveled edge and want to show that off.

The framers add in an acrylic spacer so that the paper floats in the frame. This creates interesting shadows and adds depth within the frame. 


Describe your entertaining style in three words. 

Thoughtful, colorful, fun


Describe your ‘cocktail set up’ - what are your go-to music, food and drink selections? 

Admittedly, I’m terrible with music, so I outsource playlists to my husband, friends or brother. When entertaining, my favorite simple snack to have with cocktails is a combo of plain potato chips, olives and cheese straws. My go-to cocktails to make at home are Aperol spritzes and Palomas. When having a dinner party, I love to get creative with cooking and putting together flower arrangements.  


What Half Past Seven item would you like to give or receive as a gift?

Any of the starry night collection… I especially love the olive votives!

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