Sir William Nicholson     Pink Still Life with Jug c 1936

Sir William Nicholson Pink Still Life with Jug c 1936

The other Saturday HB and I went for a wander around Birmingham City and discovered by chance this amazing exhibition in the Waterhall –  part of BMAG . It’s called Still Life Reconsidered and aims to raise the question of what is considered still life – subject matter, materials and arrangement in their broadest sense.

Raoul Dufy        Lis

Raoul Dufy Lis

Historically, still life has grown from the painting of details in larger compositions with subjects. Once it had become a subject in itself, it became  layered with religious, moral or political symbolism and later used as a vehicle to challenge style and approach to painting as well as a safe foundation from which to make challenging statements.

William George Scott    Still Life: Flowers and Jug

William George Scott Still Life: Flowers and Jug

I often look at still life in a purely visual manner especially if the piece appears to be ‘domestic'; I find it hard myself to answer the question of ‘what does it say’ when I’m asked about my own work – so it was challenging to read more about painters commenting on mood, memory, personality and illness through still life painting. Still life isn’t always just a pretty picture – but sometime it is – both are valid.

William George Scott    Still Life: Flowers and Jug - detail

William George Scott Still Life: Flowers and Jug – detail

Picasso drew Goat Skull when he was in his 70’s and may be a reflection of his own feelings of mortality.

Pablo Picasso  Skull of a Goat

Pablo Picasso Skull of a Goat

Winifred Nicholson shows the symbolic start of Spring in a setting she loved most, her home in Cumberland.

Winifred Nicholson   Flowers at a Window 1939

Winifred Nicholson Flowers at a Window 1939

She believed that colour and tone could be used to show the spiritual truth; beauty in the ordinary.


Winifred Nicholson Flowers at a Window 1939 – detail

My choices to show here don’t represent the more abstract end of the still life spectrum in the exhibition but that’s just because I wanted to record what I liked and what could inspire me to think further.

Henry Moore          Elephant Skull

Henry Moore Elephant Skull

It is a very well-chosen, broad selection of pictures – some of them by rock stars of the art world that are exciting to see in real life just because.

Mary Fedden Basket of Fruit 1998

Mary Fedden Basket of Fruit 1998

Very inspired to see my first Mary Fedden in the flesh – not disappointed – look at the texture on that paper and I love the gesture you see in her brushwork.

Mary Fedden Basket of Fruit 1998 - detail

Mary Fedden Basket of Fruit 1998 – detail

 It runs until 31st December 2014 and it’s free.












1.2015 calendar Cover_flattened_CMYKI thought I’d do a proper ‘ta-da!’ post about the calendar I have designed for this coming year 2015.

November 2015_flattened_CMYK

I had so much fun painting images to use to represent each month, using colours that remind me of those months.


I’m a real stickler for buying a calendar with a week that begins with a Monday (unlike European calendars which begin with Sunday). I like to be able to see the week grouped together and the weekend days adjacent rather than split from the front of the week to the back.


So I had begun to look at 2015 calendars in the shop when the idea hit me that I could design exactly what I wanted.

December 2015_flattened_CMYK

The painting part is always fun. The WHOLE week I spent on the computer piecing it all together was only fun for a few days though!


But it was worth it – it always amazes me when something that you design on a computer gets printed and becomes a real 3D object.

August 2015_flattened_CMYK

It’s £12.00 and you can find it and all the details here in my Etsy shop which is ClaireLeggettArt. 
Or come along to tomorrows Moseley market and save on the postage ;)

moseley Oct 2014


Digging through my holiday photos, I found this one of the socks I knitted whilst in Italy. I couldn’t do the last row and cast off without the internet to watch The Knit Witch demonstrate Kitchener Stitch, so that had to wait till we got home.


I thought it time to get a model and photograph them in their finished state and someone else decided she wanted to be in on it too.


Lottie usually hates the camera – this is the longest she’s stayed in a shot – typical when that’s not the intention!


So back to the socks –  the yarn is Gloria Cannan and was nice to knit up although I’m not a fan of a 100% acrylic finish.


So back to Lottie because she’s far cuter than the socks anyway :)

Astrid Trügg  On a Chest of Drawers

Astrid Trügg    On a Chest of Drawers

I thought I’d share the work of Astrid Trügg with you today.

Astrid Trügg  Stacked Bowls

Astrid Trügg    Stacked Bowls

Astrid is a painter originally from the Netherlands but now lives and works in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Astrid Trügg  Late Afternoon

Astrid Trügg    Late Afternoon

She used to focus her painting on architecture but developed a love of still life after discovering the work of Ben Nicholson.

Astrid Trügg  Pomegrantes

Astrid Trügg    Pomegrantes

The influence is clear to see with a love of scumbled surfaces and flattened planes of composition.

Astrid Trügg  Gathering of Objects

Astrid Trügg    Gathering of Objects

The same love of texture can be seen in her mixed media collage approach.

Astrid Trügg  Still Life and Blue Cloth

Astrid Trügg     Still Life and Blue Cloth

She often re-uses favourite objects and motifs in her work as they have a strong personal attachment for her.

Astrid Trügg  Lemon and Stripy Jug

Astrid Trügg    Lemon and Stripy Jug

I love the moody quality she creates with a dark background and hilighted areas on the objects.

Astrid Trügg  In a Tin

Astrid Trügg    In a Tin

And I like her muted colour palette with pops of turquoise, indigo and yellow.

Astrid Trügg  Preparations

Astrid Trügg    Preparations

Hope you enjoy it too. You can buy her work here.


 Oh it’s cold and windy outside but my poor old battered wigwam of sweet peas is just hanging on at a 45 degree angle.


 These have got to be the last few flowers for this season.


 But I’m putting all this bleak weather and washed out colour to some use as inspiration for a colour palette.

Claire_LEggett_Pattercamp_End of day 1 patterns copy

I’m just popping in today to enthuse about my fabulous weekend doing Patterncamp with Jessica Swift. If you don’t know her work then she’s a very talented pattern designer from the US who delivered a live course this weekend on designing patterns.There were loads of videos explaining the basics and beyond, on hand help in real-time to answer queries and solve all the inevitable glitches and a live video check in to address even more questions – it was fun and full on.


The main grab for me was learning to pattern design using the software Illustrator. I’ve dipped in it from time to time and got more frustrated rather than more able – so I knew I needed a tutorial. The other piece of equipment languishing away unused is my Wacom tablet. So when I read about this course delivering video lessons on both things, I was sold straight away.

Claire LEggett Tulip design 72dpi

And it delivered on all counts and way more –  my head is hanging to one side today because it’s pounds heavier now it’s full of new information! Doing it live meant staying up till midnight both nights but it was worth it to take part in the live chat on Facebook and Spreecast. All round a lot of fun and highly recommendable.


The other class I bought in January is Print Make Play by Alisa Burke

Screen Shot 2014-09-23 at 15.14.40

When you aren’t in classes learning everyday, or working alongside another artists, it becomes really easy to get stuck in your own groove. This course has been great for refreshing my poor old memory of the vast array of printing techniques there are.


I let loose with a rubber and some sponge and an old credit card and made some shapes inspired by these Italian boathouses in Monterosso.


One of the shapes that snuck in there was inspired by the drain covering – but it wasn’t picturesque enough to show you!


You don’t know what you’re going to get when you experiment – printing especially dictates it’s out outcome. After a little PS’ing the shapes were becoming patterns.


The colour palette for this collection was easy – the watery greens of mosaic tiles and the changing tones of the sea.


The weather was full of Italian passion some days; changing rapidly when rain threatened   – but it made for sunny/moody photo’s like this one which I like.


I called the collection of patterns Boathouse because drain cover really doesn’t conjure the allure I’m after!

claire_leggett_boathouse designs

layersofloveScreen Shot 2014-09-23 at 12.52.43

Back at the beginning of the year when she was selling her online courses cheap for 2014, I bought into Layers Of Love by Alisa Burke.

layersoflove start

It looked like it would inspire me on those days when one needs a little pep up for the artistic spirit – and it has not disappointed.

She does all kinds of cool things with junk and rubbish as well as art techniques I forgot about and sometimes there’s funky music with the video – that’s helped me get my groove on!


These pieces came about on such a day as this, when I wasn’t really feeling it. I watched a segment and thought I’d just potter off and have a play layering some paint and making surfaces with whatever came to hand.


Turns out I had fluro green on my mind which soon evolved into something tropical.


I got a bit more controlled at this point and thought about what images I wanted to add to keep the theme the colours had suggested.


There was a lot of going back and forth, adding another flamingo and toning down some colour with a wash of white, and I ended up with four fun little pieces out of a day that might not have counted without the lessons to inspire.


© Claire Leggett Tropical Flamingos


© Claire Leggett Tropical Peacock


© Claire Leggett Tropical Butterflies


© Claire Leggett Tropical Flamingos

It's open!

I’ve finally done it! Opened my Etsy shop good and proper :)


It’s only taken me since Nov 2009 but here it is actually full of products to buy; Greetings Cards, Fine Art Giclee prints, painted notebooks, a couple of original paintings and my new 2015 calendar.

2015 calendar backOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Like all these things, once you’ve done them, you wonder why it took so long in the first place but it has been a long journey learning how to get things done and then doing them!

Etsy address

It’s called ClaireLeggettArt (all one word) and the link is if you’d like to come and visit, you’re most welcome.


It’s Moseley Art Market this coming Saturday and amongst the usual range of cards, paintings and prints,


there will be some limited edition hand-painted boxes and …

claire_Leggett_calendar_2015_Screen Shot

if the printer delivers by tomorrow then there could be 2015 calendars too :)

Copyright notice 2013

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