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Our (pencilled in) moving day is rapidly approaching and it’s got me thinking about what kind of new creative space I might have. We’re lucky to be up-sizing and so I’m going to get a whole room big enough to actually turn around in! Here’s the current set up (below.) It’s done me proud so far but this is what it looks like tidied. When there has been a creative explosion, it is really hard to breathe.
Having just mounted all my paintings, I was aware that they would become buckled if stood up in a portfolio. So I made the mistake of looking on ebay for a plan chest. And you know how it goes… “I must buy this from ebay before anyone else can” and so we found ourselves driving to Milton Keynes to squeeze this beautiful oak plan chest into the boot of my very accommodating car, before moving house (I know – it’s crazy!)
(It’s in two pieces because we haven’t got the room to stack it up here!)
So that got me thinking about what the new studio space might have to offer and I found some inspiring pic’s to share with you…
I’d love to be able to have the computer, sewing machine and painting space all under one roof, instead of running from room to room. It would be great to set up two tables at a right angle like this, and then wheelie between them on a roller chair in a creative blur!
I’m also loving the idea of a white-painted space and that big dresser with glass doors to keep things from needing dusting.
I’ve got a lovely easel packed up in the loft because in this current space it’s just not workable. But I’m dead excited at being able to have it out to use. That might make a big impact on the size that I usually work in…
I remember having those cuboid pedestal things at art college, so that you could stand at your easel and have everything to hand. I’m sure Mr L won’t have so much DIY to do that he wouldn’t mind knocking up a couple! (I am kidding – I think the word ‘potential’ is what our new house has…i.e. it needs DIY!)
I was thinking of using a whole wall to put an enormous pin board on so that I can having a mood board section, inspiration clippings, a year planner etc.
And finally I’d certainly like space for a comfy chair to contemplate from.
I know a lot of you must have great studio spaces already so please send links if you know of any other great spaces or genius ideas for my new digs. Right, off to pack some boxes!
Here is my contribution to Creative Tuesday, the theme of which this fortnight is “Snack.”
I work half a day at school on a Tuesday and often waste the afternoon either finishing up work FOC or faffing around the house. So I’m hoping that this will help keep my creative focus honed. And what a great topic to land on for my maiden voyage – snacking is a favourite pastime!
Some paintings are an enjoyment from start to finish, and this was one of those.
I must have been feeling bold when I picked out that vermillion for the base but it was a great solid colour to create (some shades of paint have a nice texture – anyone noticed that?) and it has given the painting some weight. I do love this vintage coffee pot but had never noticed it’s small scale until I painted it. It makes it hard work on the perspective front as every other object put by it begins to look a little the shrinking scene in Alice In Wonderland! Also the mint green coffee pot just didn’t quite fit into the mix the colour it is, so it became lime green as you can see. Now there’s a pop of colour! I’ve got a feeling that this will be a Marmite painting – love it or hate it – only nice comments please though
I’ve tried to fight it (maybe just a little) as there is certainly no shortage of things to be doing around here at the moment. But every bit of down time I get lately seems to end up with a bit of this because I just can’t help it now I know how to!
I’ve been using Rowan Handknit Cotton in 330 Raffia, 309 Celery and 335 Thunder - if you wanted to know.
And in just one week I have finished my cushion cover. I think it’s going to take me longer to buy a filling and sew it all together but I must score quite highly for enthusiasm so far!
Tucked in amongst all the images on yesterday’s mood board were these two paintings by Elaine Pamphilon. And that reminded me that I’d got a lovely book by her to share with you and now seems like a good time.
I love the colours Elaine chooses when painting. There is usually a colour combo with a ‘pop’ to it or a palette with harmonious seascape tones.
I also admire the immediacy of her drawing. She says herself that she needs less on the canvas these days and that she paints just what inspires her. I also like the flat planes and the way a painting can look like a print.
And her landscapes have such atmosphere to them and really capture something of the shifting weather around Cornwall.
Did you know Elaine was married to the equally talented sculptor Christopher Marvel?
He creates wonderfully whimsical bronzes of figures, birds and animals.
But this image is the one that speaks to me most though because I have a dream of working alongside my husband (who also happens to be an excellent sculptor in his spare time) living by the sea and being inspired daily in simple ways by my surroundings. But for now the big smoke is where it’s at and this image stays in the future goals file. But it’s good to have a dream right?
I love making mood boards. I’ve got a big box of magazine tear-outs and greeting cards and some fabric swatches and once in a while it’s therapeutic to go through it all pulling out anything that catches my eye. Then when that smaller selection is refined, I can often see a theme emerge. Today was tea cups.
This week has been a merry-go round. Opportunity never waits for a quiet spell does it? It never lines up politely until the chores are done or you’ve got a weeks holiday. I’m trying to remember that while I’m dashing about getting framing quotes, working out international postage and packing in my lunch hour, doing my teaching job, feeding my family, packing removal boxes, keeping up with the e-course during the evenings and occasionally remembering to wash school uniforms in time.
And I’m not complaining at all either! This week has been a wonderful, chaotic mess of family, work and newly rooted opportunities and I wouldn’t change it for the world.
P.S. Anyone know of a cleaner???!!!
Long time readers of my blog will know that I’ve struggled on and off to teach myself crochet via tutorials and books. Yesterday I went to this wonderful place and spent 6 hours mastering the basics and look what I can do now…
The class was run by the very lovely Sarah Hazell from Rowan who was an inspiration in herself wearing a beautiful hand-made pinafore with crocheted bodice. It was such a lovely day sitting with like-minded people and Fibre and Clay is one of the most covertable shops I know. I can’t tell you how pleased I am to be able to make Granny Squares now. First up is a cushion cover to cut my teeth on, and then I’m going for the big blanket! Watch this space
Sorry to keep you in suspense… it went really well and I have been asked to contribute four pieces to the summer show – yay! It was a great experience gleaning some advice from professionals and I’ve lots of food for thought. So it was worth taking the plunge (that’s an old journal page above.) Thank you for cheering me on – it means a lot. x
Well here she is. This painting has to be a ‘she’ – it’s so female and there is something very old-fashioned about it. I’m about to tip into my 41st year, maybe age is on my mind!
© Claire Leggett “Lupins” June 2010
I don’t love, love, love this one and I think it’s because of the process as I said earlier. I enjoyed using watercolour board and would definitely use it again. It will give more framing options to explore.
So why the deep breaths? I’ve thought hard about telling you all this before the event but following on from this experience I am determined to keep an optimistic view on things. Later today I am very excited to be showing my portfolio to a local, independent gallery – whoo’hoo!! My helpful husband and I spent last night mounting, sorting and putting pieces into order and I’ve just spent a few hours doing it all again! Nervous energy
I don’t dare to dream what this experience might become. I have enjoyed mounting up all my work, seeing a collection of nineteen pieces (where did that come from?) and I’m very much hoping that this will prove to be the next step – whatever that step is. So I’m going to enjoy this opportunity to show my work and talk about it with professionals and I’m sure that whatever the final outcome, this is going to be good experience. And I know, because of last time, that you are all with me. See you later…fingers crossed.