Claire Thorson lives and has a studio in Elkhorn, California. She has traveled widely but identifies strongly with the California coast. Her formative experience as landscape painter has enriched her approach to figurative imagery.
Her figurative works range from drawings and paintings from direct observation of the model to large-scale compositions involving multiple figures. She uses rich surfaces, charged color, and abstract language to describe ordinary human states or to investigate personal and social narratives. She earned her BA from UCSC in 1997 and her MFA from San Jose State University in 2005. She teaches drawing and painting at Cabrillo College and Monterey Peninsula College.