In this week’s Personality Profile, we are featuring Claire Nichols Sanders, a weekend calligrapher and watercolor artist in Georgia’s Lake Country.
A native of the area, Claire’s roots run deep in Greene County, where she was raised. Claire’s art is inspired by her small town upbringing, her faith and family, love of history, and southern culture. Claire’s work has been featured in Southern Distinction. She has designed numerous heirloom custom wedding invitation suites and watercolor crests for brides throughout the state of Georgia. Claire resides in Eatonton, Georgia with her husband and two young boys.
She discovered italic calligraphy when she was in Mrs. Carol Asbury’s third grade class at what was F.T. Corry Elementary School in Greensboro, Georgia. After learning about this art form from Mrs. Asbury, she did small lettering projects for teachers and friends all through school. When she went to college, got married, and began her career as college instructor, her hobby was put on hold for many years until she rediscovered her love for calligraphy while on maternity leave with her second son in 2015.
During that time, Claire taught herself traditional copperplate and English roundhand pointed pen calligraphy and began to combine it with watercolor paintings. Since then, Claire has transformed her calligraphy and watercolor art into heirloom wedding suites and now, lifestyle products and paper goods.
Claire was gracious enough to respond to our Q&A below:
Can you please tell our readers what you do for a living?
I am a full-time college instructor. Art is my weekend and summer hobby. I only have time to create and work on my art during weekends and my summer break.
How long have you lived in the Lake Country region?
I have lived in Lake Country my entire life.
Where are you originally from?
What do you enjoy most about living here?
I love living where generations of my family lived before me. I love knowing people’s family trees and those same people knowing mine. I love that going to the grocery store is not just for shopping, but for visiting with your friends in the aisles. I love our shared experiences we can look back on, our traditions, and the warmth of the people. I also love the blend of old and new in our community. I have met so many wonderful newcomers over the years that add so much to our region. We live in an area of beautiful agriculture, farms, wonderful downtowns, a bustling lake, and world-class resorts.
Where is your favorite place to eat in the region?
This is hard to narrow down! I love Holcomb’s and Yesterday Cafe in Greensboro. Cafe 44, LaLore Cafe, Sweet Kneads, and Iron Fork for lunch at the lake and Silver Moon, Bone Island, Filet, or Gaby’s for dinner at the lake. Don’t make me choose!
Who are some of your inspirations in life?
My parents inspire me. They grew up here, were high school sweethearts, and have been married for 45 years. They are steadfast in their faith, have the strongest work ethic of anyone I know, and serve others every day. My late grandparents also inspire me. They were definitely the “greatest generation.” My grandfathers were veterans and my grandmothers were steel magnolias in every sense of the term.
Do you have any hobbies?
I enjoy art and design, keeping up with politics, history, cooking, and reading.
What does a healthy day look like for you?
An ideal healthy day for me starts with reading the Bible, working hard at my job, eating real unprocessed food, spending time with my family, doing some kind of workout, and ending the day by creating something–even if it is just a sketch–and reading the Bible.