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Just back from a lovely sunny mini break in Norfolk, with Dahlias clutched all the way home in a jam jar of water.

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I knew in my heart of hearts that they wouldn’t make it home gloriously and last for long, but we don’t get these kind of home-grown flowers so cheaply in our local shops and I couldn’t resist chancing £2.50 on them.

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I had a fun afternoon drawing and painting and inhaling their distinctive peppery smell. And I made a jolly little pattern too – just because!

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I thought I’d do a little Sunday share today.

Considering that on my recent trip to London, I only walked the few miles from Tate Modern to Waterloo station, I managed to stumble across a lot of inspiration – first Matisse, then the Temple of Agape and now Kitty McCall whose work was selling in a lovely little shop in the Oxo Towers building.

Kitty McCall is the working name of Catherine Nice who has brought her years of working in fashion and textile design, to her own brand (named after her grandmother).

There is a nice write-up here on the hearth and home magazine site.

I love the butterfly prints best of all and have put one on my Christmas wish list (is it too early for that?!!)

Back in February I wrote about The Fauves here – the undisclosed reason at the time was because I was working on some prospective work. I find it hard to juggle secret projects and my own work and so sometimes forget to show projects I’ve done that were under wraps but can now be revealed.

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The study of the Fauves reminded me to under wash the paper first so that colour glows through any gaps – in this case I noticed in a painting, that pink works really well and so I gave it a go.

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I love how it gives the white a depth and glow and how it peeps through lighter washes of colour.

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© Claire Leggett “Cottage Door”

This piece wasn’t chosen by the client but it did move me on in terms of content and technique.

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These are sneak peeks of the other piece I did which is still on the hold list – fingers crossed.

English Festival of Love Installation – design by Morag Myerscough & Luke Morgan

When I was in London recently I took a walk down the river past the Southbank Centre and discovered this Temple of Agape.

English Festival of Love Installation – design by Morag Myerscough & Luke Morgan

It is a temporary installation designed by Morag Myerscough and Luke Morgan as part of The Festival of Love.

English Festival of Love Installation – design by Morag Myerscough & Luke Morgan

The ancient Greeks had around 30 words for love and The Festival of Love explores 7 of them  – Pragma (love which endures) Philia (shared experience) Philautia (self respect) Eros (romantic love) Ludus (flirting) Storge (family love).

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And then the final culmination is a big wedding weekend to mark the change in law this year for same-sex couples.

English Festival of Love Installation – design by Morag Myerscough & Luke Morgan

Agape- The Love of Humanity – is the one explored in this installation – based on a Martin Luther quote “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”

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Lots of colour and pattern to be inspired by and lots of words and thoughts to ruminate over.

English Festival of Love Installation – design by Morag Myerscough & Luke Morgan

matisse

Last week I spent a lovely sunny day in London to see the Matisse: Cut Outs exhibition at Tate Modern.

Matisse - The Knife Thrower

Matisse – The Knife Thrower

This collection of work spans the last 17 years of Matisses life as he turned from painting to paper cutting due to ill-health and poor mobility. He had initially used paper cutting as a technique for exploring and rearranging still-life objects before committing them to paint and it’s this technique that he developed into his swan song.

  I was surprised to find that as he grew older (and poorer in health ) that his achievements got larger and grander.

Matisse - Pale Blue Window

Matisse – Pale Blue Window

I think because his work is so deep-seated in our visual memories, that it is hard to be surprised by it because it feels like you’ve seen it before (a lot) and as it’s a style that has been so well adopted into art as we know it, it’s even harder to appreciate that it may have been ground-breaking at some time in the past. Some of his pieces are just about sixty years old where as to me, that seem to be older because of the documentation they’ve had.

Matisse - Snow Flowers

Matisse – Snow Flowers

But up close in person, they are clever in their painterly quality – the collage papers were hand painted to his specific colour instructions and so have interesting wash lines and tones to them. They are also cleverly abstract whist also having recognisable forms.

Matisse The Sheaf

Matisse The Sheaf 

Glad I went to see it – it reminds what can be achieved when you keep things simple and what an inspiration he was to battle ill-health and age and still find a vehicle to express his creativity.

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Good Monday morning to you – I hope you have a had a lovely weekend. Today I have been asked to take a turn hosting the Around the World Creative Blog Hop. It’s always fun to take part in these things; I’ve made some lovely blogging friends, one of which is Helen who asked me to do this this and hosted it herself last week. Helen’s blog is a great visit – she is always working on something beautiful and her home styling, cakes, gardening and baking are equally inspiring. Her post answering the four questions required is here. Now for my turn…

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  • What am I working on now?
  • Every week is different – today I am taking down my paintings from my first solo show at Harborne Art Gallery as it has sadly run to its end date. I’m also working on a delicious brief this week from my agents at Advocate Art for a prospective client. It is a fun brief that requires me to let loose with watercolours and flowers, so I am enjoying sloshing about. After that I have some geometric pattern designs to work up from my Italy photos and a meeting with a new prospective gallery this week too.
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    • How does my work differ from others of its genre?
    • I think art work is so personal and such a reflection of the artist themselves, that the question is a little like asking ‘how do you differ from the next person’. People who know me say my work is very me and that’s all I’ve tried to do is be authentic. I love colour and pattern and putting it all together to make cheerful paintings or designs.

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    • Why do I write/create what I do?
    • All creatives say that they need to create as it’s in their life blood – so I won’t say that again (although I just did! and it’s true )  I love colour, pattern and painting and never get tired of looking at the natural world for forms and florals and am endlessly admiring of others who’ve made artistic beauty be it in the design of a building, garden, pattern, painting, even a piece of packaging. I’m at my happiest being able to take it all in, assimilate it and produce my own creative work.
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  • How does my writing/creative process work?
  • It’s very cyclical – I paint a still life, like a colour palette and or a flower shape and create a pattern or a card design and then photograph it and write about my work for my blog, and round it goes. Occasionally I’ll have a ‘break-out’ moment when I go off menu and create without agenda but mostly one process leads to ideas for another application or process.

Hope you’ve enjoyed a little of my inner cerebellum!

So now I’m passing on my nominations who will host similarly next week beginning Aug 11th:

Craig from Fishink blog

Gabriella – gabriella buckingham blogspot

Sharon from Teacup Incident blog

These are all people I’ve connected with over the years who write interesting blogs and whose work I admire and whose answers to those four questions I will look forward to reading. Please click-through the links and visit them next week too.

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I thought I’d end the week with some last Italy photos, this time from the Cinque Terre where we stayed on our last week.

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Cinque Terre literally means Five Lands because of the five towns nestled into the rugged coast line – Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore, all painted UNESCO agreed, pretty colours.

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These towns were once a favourite of marauding pirates but these days they remain pedestrianised, fairly closed communities and although they now enjoy (or maybe not) being a tourist hotspot, they were once largely ignored and you do get a sense that people are just carrying on with their regular lives while the tourists take over the town for a season.

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These days the trails between the towns are open to walk (except where significant flood damage in the past has caused them to remain closed).

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Three towns are easily accessible by boat (although it was quite choppy) and one town we didn’t get to at all because you can only get in by train ( a little walk away) or by hiking and by that time we’d eaten too many ice-creams and become sloth like so we didn’t go.

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We did walk from Monterosso toVernazza one day – OMG – the steps that began the trails – the ones that got you above sea level – the trillion, million steps, well I nearly died – it was like stair master extreme! But once we were ‘up’ then it was worth it all and we got the train back :)

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A lot of my photographs look grey – in part to my camera – and in part to the passionate Italian weather we had which was sunny one minute and tropical thunderstorm the next.

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The most prized possession to most locals is their boat which are pulled up into the heart of the harbour if inclement wether is forecast – I loved that we had to squeeze round them all regardless – boat first, tourists second!

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So thanks for letting me share this photo-journal here. Back to normal life now!

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ilpapiro

When we were away in Italy we enjoyed all the lovely shops that Florence has to offer – but this was my favourite.

hand-printed wood block

It was a lovely cool, neat and beautifully displayed shop of hand-printed wood block and marbled papers with many gorgeous books, files, writing accoutrements and other lovely paper stuffs.

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They are only too happy to perform some marbling for you – in impeccable English too!

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These days they use gelatine instead of Linseed oil to get the paint to float on the water’s surface – health and safety 101.

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I could have watched this magic for hours.

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I did come home with a few of these pieces and a goodie bag of wood-cut prints but knowing me, it will be a few years before I actually dare to use them!

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We’re having a little break from my holiday snaps today because as I mentioned before, Sharon from the teacup incident blog has organised a Fabulous Scrap Fabric Swap and today is the big reveal of whose taken part and what they have made (drum roll please).

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Head over to Sharon’s blog for all the details and links but here are my makes.

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I started by making a Pinterest board of ideas of things to make with fabric scraps.

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I wanted to make useful holiday items and started with this lined zippered purse. I found a tonne of inspiration on the In Colour Order blog and followed the tutorial there. I added a beaded pull after seeing what Sharon had made with hers.

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Next up was a lined drawstring bag for toiletries or camera supplies.

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I followed this lined-drawstring-bag-tutorial here

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And with the iddly-widdy bits left over I made a lavender bag because you can never have too many of those.

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It’s been fun doing this – I’ve been lucky to find internet friends with common likes during the time that I’ve been blogging and it was fun to take part, send and receive parcels and have a little piece of community. Thanks Sharon for organising this.

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Moseley invite 3 July 2014

What a busy week here – I am just slipping in this notice about the Mosley market this coming Saturday and trying to keep the Italian theme (as it has been all week) with a beautiful old door from Monterosso old town.

It’s meant to be great weather tomorrow (not intending to wrap myself in bubble wrap to keep warm like last month!) so come to the mercato and buy some lovely fresh food, say hi to me and go home and cook a feast like an Italian mamma ;)


		

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

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