OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Late afternoon was usually a good time to cool off with a gelato or a sorbet.

IMG_2018

Got to say that I’m spoilt now for a Mojito sorbet ice lolly.

IMG_2427

We went to Gelateria Dondoli in San Gimignano which is an award winning, celebrity endorsed ice cream parlour.

IMG_2425 IMG_2418

It did live up to the hype – boasting flavours such as Blackberries and Lavender, Sangue di Bue (spicy chocolate and sour cherries) and Crema di Santa Fina® (cream with saffron and pine nuts).

IMG_2882

On coming home I went cold turkey on my daily ice-cream addiction but as they say, when in Italy…shame though ;)

IMG_2541

I’m glad you’re all so enthusiastic about more holiday photos!

IMG_2565

I’m sitting here ready for lunch with a growling stomach so what better pic’s to share than those of delicious fresh Italian food.

IMG_2656

I’m not entirely sure why I love taking endless pictures of foreign fruit and veg!

IMG_2738

I do hanker after having a growing patch in a sunny country to see just how much more I could grow in constant sunshine and how different the food would taste.

IMG_2660

I think I might also be quite happy as an old-fashioned green-grocer if it looked as colourful and exotic as this.

IMG_2623

Of course everything is fresh, fresh, fresh,

IMG_2306

and I can hardly bear to look at this Focaccia as hungry as I am because I remember how good it was.

IMG_2827

I love shop displays of different coloured and shaped varieties of pasta all stacked up,

IMG_2377

and this shop went the extra mile on having an eye-catching display by popping a stuffed boar in the doorway!

IMG_2388

Flavours taste better and colours always look good when you’re relaxing on holiday.

IMG_2447

We found a covered food market in Florence, by accident one day,

IMG_2546

and it was delightful to browse the stalls downstairs and then eat the produce upstairs!

IMG_2548

I love to capture foreign handwriting on signs when I’m away – don’t ask me why though.

IMG_2739

Maybe it’s for future visual reference,

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 or perhaps just capturing a snapshot of ordinary life in another country.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This van pulled up on market day loaded with rustic baskets of home-grown produce - down from the mountain in the Cinque Terre – I have a little day-dream (idealised I’m sure) of growing veg in the sunshine and selling it all from cute baskets – living the simple life.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Anyway I’m too hungry to carry on right now – back soon with pic’s of  gelato!

IMG_1982

We are just back from a gorgeous holiday in Italy beginning in Florence.

IMG_1959

 Florence is a city crammed full of art, sculpture and decoration – inside and out. The Uffizi art gallery is bursting with the most exquisite Renaissance paintings that it’s been hard to choose just one to put here.

IMG_1961

But I love the expression on this fair maiden’s face and the rich colours and gold leaf.

IMG_2246

  Some churches wear all their decoration on the outside and others are a plain disguise of the jaw-dropping beauty they hide within.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Frescos abound (a technique of painting onto fresh plaster so that when the plaster sets, so does the painting).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The word ‘beautiful’ hardly does them justice – they are masterpieces of execution both in style and in position as they are often very high up and across the ceiling. Time has often faded the once bright colours but I kind of liked the muted tones and have come back with acres of colour inspiration.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 It was hot, hot, hot in the city and many a gelato (ice cream) got eaten.

IMG_2109

We took an organised day trip out to Sienna, lunch at a vineyard, San Gimignano - a small walled medieval hill town and Pisa.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It gave us a culture break and meant we could see some of the other sites. Pisa is hardly worth a mention but yes, we do have a load of cheesy photos of us holding up the tower!

IMG_2407

The Tuscan country side was everything I’d hoped for - a patchwork of textured squares of fields broken up with rows of vines and those Cypress trees that are iconic to the area.

IMG_2315

I got my ‘grapes’ shot (tick) but sadly didn’t get my ‘sunflowers’ shot – we drove passed many a field of sunflowers but too fast for a photo :( – next time..

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And then we packed up, navigated two trains and took ourselves over to the Cinque Terre region on the Italian Riviera.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 Cinque Terre literally means The five Lands as there are five villages nestled in the rugged coastline.

IMG_2800

Over time, development has meant that you can now walk between them (if you’re a Olypian in my view! We did a walk from one village to another and that was enough – getting up above sea level meant many, many steps – ugh)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The region is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and I believe there is a limit to what colour you can paint your house but that’s no hardship because the palette is wonderful.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

There was colour at every turn, either flowers on window sills, a patchwork of house facades or even a harmonious colour group of washing hanging out (below)!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We stumbled across this chapel in need of renovation (the area has been badly flooded in the past) but it was charming in its shabby chic-ness.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

  We ate the best fish and chips we’re ever going to get.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And of course took many a photo of beautiful fruit and flowers.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 Bougainvillea is a classic but I had never seen this one in red and it looked just gorgeous growing against the grey paintwork.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I celebrated my birthday with a boat ride and the best pesto focaccia for lunch and then later a sunset meal overlooking the sea.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 We did swim once but were put off that the locals stood in the shallows fishing out what looked like jelly fish!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

My heart skipped a beat on spying this crochet blanket hanging out to air (it was quite a few floors up or it might have been tempting – naughty!) But how splendid that the shutter and frame contrast so well with the yarn used - perfetto.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 And then the day came (along with torrential rain) to return home (very damp) with lots of rest had, books read, ice creams eaten and inspiration to savour.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I really did try to edit my photos here – honestly. I took 1800 over two cameras :0 I’ve got more to show you if your interested? I’ll be guided by your comments, so say if you’d like to see some Italian food, frescos, paintings or sculpture  and I will happily oblige.

Sharon, from one of my top favourite blogs The teacup incident has organised a fabric swap. Sharon’s blog is gorgeous and she is definitely a kindred spirit for pattern and colour.

theteacupincident_cats

Sharon has been making the most cute and hilarious soft toys recently and it got her thinking about mixing up own sewing by hosting a stash swap.

theteacupincident 2

We are swap partners so I am really excited to have opened my yummy parcel from her recently and I have been sewing away.

IMG_1682

Watch this space…

claire_Leggett_painted_book_5

I had fun recently doing something new.

claire_Leggett_painted_book_3

I had bought some notebooks, just simple paper covered ones.

claire_Leggett_painted_book_4

And thought they were ripe for a little make over.

claire_Leggett_painted_book_2

So with some garden flower reference in one hand and some acrylics in the other, I gave them a lift face lift.

claire_Leggett_painted_book_1

Country Living May 2012

Country Living May 2012

I was flicking through some old magazines when I found this article.

I was reminded of the lovely work of Angela Harding and so I thought I’d share it here as I like collating artists who inspire me here on the blog – and maybe you do to :)

Red Boat and Redshank Angela Harding

Red Boat and Redshank Angela Harding

Angela Harding has been an artist for over 30 years, shaping a career from art related jobs and is now soley an artist and a saught after collectable at that.

Stonechat and Hills   Angela Harding

Stonechat and Hills Angela Harding

She works at both painting and print and her website shows images of her sketchbooks and behind the scenes shots which I always love to see.

'Egg Watcher' by Angela Harding

‘Egg Watcher’ by Angela Harding

She lives in a rural location and you can sees the inspiration she gets from being out daily with her dog.

Angela Harding

Angela Harding

She has a childhood love of feathers and birds which is still a strong image in her work.

I love her use of pared back colour applied in layers and the jaunty composition that comes from the birds having their heads tipped slightly.

IMG_1751

A few weeks back we were given tickets to The Good Food show at the NEC. It was very busy but we did our best to push to the front for samples of food and drink. It was a hot, hot day and we ended up outside to discover that there was also a Gardener’s World Spring Fair on, complete with an RHS marquee showing plants.

flower fest 3

 There is nothing that a floral – mad pattern designer likes more than a marquee full of the best of the best showing amazing colours and varieties. “Oh, look at that!” was said a fair few times!

flower fest mosaic

 I ran around snapping pic’s in a whirl of excitement.

IMG_1783

There was so much colour and pattern reference for future designs.

IMG_1720

I’m amazed by the breadth of variety that plants offer.

flower fest 1

This Lupin display was jaw-dropping – it reminded me of  Missoni stripes.

IMG_1802

These looked good enough to eat.

IMG_1801

I always find it inspiring to see whole planting schemes as it’s something I’ve never had to do as I’ve always inherited fully planted gardens.

IMG_1792

This scheme of every shade from pink, blue through to purple set off with sage green and olive-green, was just beautiful.

flower fest 2

These are just two of the many photos I took of it!!

IMG_1851

These sort of shows are a great way to get colour reference for future work.IMG_1770

The Allium display is always spirit-level perfect and the starburst flowers are just lovely.

flower fest 4

A lovely day out and a file full of future inspiration – hope you enjoyed them too.

Folk Art Bk

This weather we’ve been having lately has been super – so super that it’s actually been too hot to stay in my top floor studio.

Claire Leggett Folk Art Doodles 1

So I decamped to the cool of the garden recently with my new book The Flowering of American Folk Art – new to me, but not new.

Folk Art woman

 And a few hours was spent sketch book doodling the patterns in the women dress.

Claire Leggett Folk Art Doodles 2

And after all that –  a little rest in my new deck chair :)

deskchair

One of the best things about exhibiting at the Patchings Festival this year, was plugging into a creative community and making new friends. One night I met another stall holder Lyndsay and had a nice chat with her. Fast forward a few weeks and I’m welcoming her to tea and cake and she’s bringing in these boxes.

IMG_1911

Shall we see what’s in it?

IMG_1913

Wow!

IMG_1933

Lyndsay and her husband used to collect vintage teacups and amongst other things used to put candles in them to sell.

IMG_1914

Their business has evolved now and they have a loft full of unwanted teacups - unwanted teacups! Is there ever such a thing?!

IMG_1931

After she’d seen my paintings, she knew she had found both an appreciative home for them and someone who could put them to use.

IMG_1923

I oohed and ahhed constantly as we unwrapped the box – Christmas and birthdays for a lifetime all come at once!

IMG_1924

I’ve got enough inspiration here for a winter full of painting once all the flowers inspiration has died down.

IMG_1915

This bright blue teacup set is a leading favourite.

IMG_1918

They do say “There are no strangers, only friends you have not met yet”. Lyndsay – a thousand thanks x

IMG_1916

You can find Lyndsay’s lovely homeware here on her Pretty Beautiful website and on Facebook here.

June Moseley invite

Tomorrow: Saturday 28th June 9am – 3pm, I will be at: Moseley Arts Market, Alcester Rd, Moseley, selling cards, prints and paintings.
Come and say hi.

Copyright notice 2013

All images, text, and content on this site are the sole property of Claire Leggett and may not be used, copied or transmitted without the express consent of Claire Leggett.

If you wish to link to this site or to a post from this site, that's very welcome just please ask first before doing so and then give appropriate credit for content.

Any other inquiries please email me at hello@claireleggett.co.uk

Link with love

LINKwithlove

Advocate Art

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 185 other followers

Flickr Photos

More Photos
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 185 other followers