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I did this…
…as a reward for finally doing this much overdue job…
…it’s still more boring than making a felt ipod cover from the Mollie Makes issue 1 kit.
Even better was giving it to a very grateful teenager whose friends think her mum sews cool things!
When I’m percolating an idea for a new still life I sometimes look through my box of magazine rippings and postcards etc. I do it quite quickly and try not to think too much about selecting certain things. Then I pin it all up and see if there is a theme speaking to me.
And so it was with this painting that came about after finding these four images. Three are from Country Living magazine and the painting is by somebody Lancaster/ Manchester (so sorry not to be able to credit it properly).
One thing that emerged was a new perspective. I usually paint face-on to the set up but this time I tried a new angle and looked down to the set up on the floor.
I was also trying to break a recent pattern of painting either something pink, or flowers or sometimes pink flowers. Nothing wrong with pink (it is my favourite colour) but I was looking to present a range of work to the gallery.
So after some cupboard delving and some mixing and matching I came up with this, a lot of which is down to Anthropologie and Kaffe Fassett. I keep those cupcakes in the freezer with a big label on Don’t Eat!” So if you’ve seen me paint them before you will understand how they keep cropping up again and again.
In the end I really like the strong diagonal composition and will definitely try painting by looking down on the subject matter again. And the cupcakes are back in the freezer ready for next time.
It looks like there is a theme to my life at the moment – strawberries and roses! – as all my most recent blog posts have been about one or the other.
But whose complaining as some of the other recurring themes of my life might be laundry, cooking, shopping and remembering most things for most people and that would be boring to blog about.
Last weekend we had family to stay; family with very green fingers who appreciated a little trip out to this amazing place.
David Austin Roses is a little drive from us into the Wolverhampton countryside and June/early July is the best time to visit the gardens because there is so much in bloom.
I could wax lyrical about the colours, textures, smell, size, shape, smell, planting scheme variety of blooms and the smell! I am a big rose fan, can you tell? And I adore the smell, did you pick that up? I really do stop to smell the roses where ever I go because I love the fragrance. (Note to self: find a roses perfume and become an old lady who smells of roses and always has Polo mints in her capacious handbag for her grand children).
It had rained all morning so by the time we got there the sun was out but the blooms were covered with droplets. Lovely to photograph but it did mean that we had to dry our noses after every sniff – which was a lot of times.
There is a very nice tea room (which we didn’t partake in as I had made a chocolate beetroot cake – oh yes – and we were all caked out) an obligitory gift shop selling anything and everything linked in any way to roses and of course the nursery.
We came away with three standard roses for our new garden; a peach, a cream and a neon orange. A very lovely trip, highly recommended.
There is definitely a theme here this week! This time its real strawberries, painted not sewn.
These are some of the ‘trapped in camera’ photo’s that I’ve been waiting to rescue. I finished this piece some time ago and couldn’t write about it.
Which was just as well as this turned out to be strawberry week! Thanks to Eirlys (who was the designer behind the Mollie Makes fabric strawberries) for her enthusiasm over my strawberry making, thanks to Mollie Makes for popping me on their Face Book page and hi to all my new visitors – nice to meet you
So here is the finished piece which has been framed and is going into the new Summer show at Purple Gallery. If you live locally why not pop down to the opening this Sunday afternoon, have a drink and say hi.
The new issue of Mollie Makes is out and is full of inspiring things to do and people’s crafty homes to look in.
In the last issue I wrote a mental list to try all the things that inspired me (including the iPod cover kit which came on the front) and then never did a stitch! So this time I jumped right in and made the project on the cover. These are little strawberries stuffed with lavender and are really easy to do. It’s been a great little hand sewing project to pick up over this weekend and the instructions were really clear and easy to follow.
There was a lot to inspire in this issue, like this embroidery that I fancy trying next…
…and this lovely inspiring house belonging to a vintage shop owner in Bridport.
I do still think that a fiver is a tad over priced for Mollie Makes compared to other magazines and how it takes to read them but as I found a pound in the shopping trolley I feel like I got a bargain!
We’d heard from our neighbour that this rose was something to look forward to (this is our first year in this house).
When we returned from our holiday we were amazed to see that the tree was transformed by the flowering of the rose that grows over it. And the smell hits you a few feet from the tree.
The blooms are very delicate and short stemmed so I snipped quite a few and floated them in a bowl. They have paled each day and are now like crisp white tissue paper flowers.
You know the saying ‘Take time to smell the roses’ well I really do, wherever I go, because I love the fragrance. But also it is a good way to make ourselves stop and notice the enormous beauty in the ordinary. Have a great weekend.
At last! Some of the previously ‘trapped in camera’ pictures. This still life has been coming together for years. My kids always say ‘You don’t need to buy that, you haven’t painted what you’ve already got’ (teenagers eh?!) But over the years I’ve learnt that you can’t put a value on the inspiration that an object, card, wrapping paper or plant can bring to kickstarting a painting. And if it then gets sold then it can be thought of as expenses and still enjoyed!
And so it was with this bird-cage. I already had a brand new white one since Christmas 2009, complete with vintage felt birds, with the idea to paint it but it never had that je ne sais quoi.
Then it all came together when I spotted this rusty old birdcage outside a shop in the Cotswold’s and once I’d navigated the discussion with the teenager I was shopping with, I bought it.
The Poole Pottery was a local junk shop find, my husband has had those old books forever,the wrapping is a favourite Brie Harrison that I keep using as a background and the felt bird was the perfect colour combination.
If I’d been able to write about this while I was in the process of working on it, then I surely would have complained about just how hard it was to get the birdcage in the correct shape and perspective. But as I couldn’t I can spare you the details of how pencil work became lost under a colour wash and then having to ‘guess’ in dark green paint like some kamikaze painter. Oops I think I just told you anyway…
I’ve entered it into a special competition that I hope to be able to talk about one day (if I don’t fall on my face – otherwise I’ll keep it to myself!) So I’m hoping that the timing is perfect for now.
Okay confessions first – I know you’re meant to paint something just for CT but I wanted to join in and I’m only just back from holiday (insert whining, pleading voice) and I didn’t get time so I ‘re-purposed something. Does it make a difference to bending the rules if you’re totally upfront about it ?… Hope so
- © Claire Leggett
- This is a Venetian storefront so it’s got to be selling glass! Have a look here to see the other entries. I promise to be good next time.
Well we are back in the land of the everyday (chores, revision, responsibilities) but lets try and make the holiday last at least one day longer by showing you Broomhill Sculpture Garden.
Artists of the Silk Road
This garden is a genius of an idea. It belongs to a hotel – an ‘art’ hotel which is very nicely furnished with works of art but it also has huge grounds. So among the winding pathways and along the babbling brook they have installed sculpture.
So the whole garden works like a kind of open air exhibition with most pieces for sale.
I really love seeing sculpture in the open air because of the way it interacts with the habitat around it and also how you can interact with the sculpture pieces themselves.
This would be a prime example of that happening!
The sculpture helps to frame, lift or enhance the planting and after a while everything begins to look like it might have been an installation. Sometimes there were artfully stacked palettes resembling insect houses, other times a simple pile of twigs was just…a simply a haphazard pile of twigs! But it makes you think that everything can be sculpture and so nature is doing it naturally if we have eyes to see.
I feel a little like this sad mossy man now I’ve got a day of ‘catching up’ chores to do. If only holidays never ended!