Yesterday we had such luck with the weather shining down on the Mixed Media Collage Canvas workshop at Winterbourne House and Gardens.

The Old Tool Shed where the workshop was held, is always a vintage cutie in whatever weather but the gardens looked magnificent in the blazing sunshine.

We were able to go around the grounds and draw and then use these drawings as reference in the students painting.

This is Dawn hard at work and the Beehive piece she finished.

Lots of fun was had painting and layering the collage base.

It always amazes me the breadth of artistic vision people have to create something unique given that they all had the same input.

Many chose not to reference birds but had other good ideas for their pieces.

And everyone took home a ready to hang piece of art.

 (*Shauna, you’d gone before the photo was taken – sorry)

 

This was one of my favorite places that we visited in Budapest – the Hungarian National Gallery

It’s up in the Castle district and you can  pay to ride up in this cute Funicular.

It was very quiet and cool (in a not hot way!) and has a broad range of beautiful art from way back when.

I think because it was all new to my eyes – not ‘famous’ works of art that had been widely published –  I was able to really see the details and workmanship.

I took lots of detail photos, particularly of how artists represented pattern.

Canzi_ Grape Harvest

I took a zillion photos but these are some of my stand-outs – I didn’t take the name down of this one above but when I got home and looked at the close-up shots on my computer, I was blown away by the expressions on these characters faces.

The expressions captured are incredible.

I just loved the colours in this one below – but I probably said that about most of them.

Szonyi Funeral ion Zebegeny

Also – little known fact but after you have feasted on all the beautiful art over three floors, you can go up another and out onto the balcony for free! Budapest is all about climbing up to look back and get a good view and this was by far the least painful way to do it. Enjoy!

We are just back from the beautiful Budapest.

 I always do a lot of internet research before I go any where and so I thought I’d return the favour and leave some recommendations here in amongst all the photos. Firstly it’s Buda’pesh (not pest)! and if you want the view you have to walk up to get it 😉

Matthias Church

The guide books and travel blogs will tell you the Top 10 of places to see but there is literally a beautiful old building on every street you walk down as Art Nouveau had a strong influence in the style of architecture.


Royal Postal Savings Bank

But don’t be deceived – going inside will often yield hidden treasures of beautiful plaster work, gold leaf and painted walls – case in point The Museum of Applied Arts up by the park.

It’s a walkable city on both sides of The Danube and there is loads to do and go and see.

Basilica

That said, taxis are slightly cheaper than here if your feet are failing you but you’re advised not to pick them up from the street even if they are all yellow.

We used Fo Taxis and were happy especially when we first arrived late at night – ignore being offered a cab at Arrivals and step outside to the Fo Taxi booth where they assign you a car and number and give you a receipt.

Szimpla Kert

 They also have a vibrant nightlife and food and drink culture – we happened upon lots of food festivals popped up in green spaces all over the city and they have the weather to enjoy these to the max.  We also loved the ‘ruin bar’ we went in – Szimpla Kert the grand-daddy of them all.

Cirkusz

 We ate and drank a lot! Some of our favourites were: Cirkusz for breakfast (well worth the 20 min queue) Vicky Cristina tapas and superb live music,

Tama for a fine dining experience – lovely staff and Doblo Wine Bar was very cool and did a super Hungarian wine tasting with finger food and a really good explanation of all the wines and regions in impeccable English.

We went to the Hungarian State Opera largely so we could see inside and it was worth it. you can walk all around during the interval so don’t worry if your seats don’t give you ‘the view’ but bear in mind once it’s over, they want you to leave quickly and don’t welcome photo shoots then.

The Parliament building is beautiful inside and out. Build on the Pest side to show the Buda side that the people’s voice was more important than the Royal Palace on the Buda side, it was also 2 m longer than our Houses of Parliament so it could be the biggest in the world.

Pre book a guided tour before you go – well worth it to snoop inside – it’s beautiful.

A river ride is good if you’re hot and tired – we went at night in order to get this view of Parliament.

fisherman’s Bastion

I didn’t expect it to be so hot so it’s good that they have a culture for  thermal bathing but research where and when you go.

Szechenyi Baths

We think we turned up at the wrong time and maybe at the wrong door and the outcome was a very expensive ‘swim’ in an outdoor public pool albeit one with nice architecture to look at and endless sunshine. Wish we’d gone to Gellert Baths.

As the Museum of Fine Art is shut for renovation we went to the zoo but left with very mixed feelings despite reviews saying it was a great day out and the zoo buildings alone were worth the trip – some animals were having fun, one building was beautifully tiled…

Last thing to mention as it might save you a wasted trip, is that the flea market in the park had been cancelled for sometime when we went so don’t get up early on your first day for it like we did!

*****

Back with some more Hungarian painty/textiley things soon.

+++

Hope some of this helps if you visit.

Jo Smith

These photos are from a recent exhibition by Prism on at the RBSA (which has sadly now ended) but I wanted to share them none-the-less.

Dorothy Tucker

Called ‘Another View’ it aimed to demonstrate just how broad Textiles can be and it delivered on that and some – it was both ingenious and thoughtful.

 

Claire Blackburn

Members of this Textile group are international but until now their exhibitions have been London-centric  – and it was so refreshing to see Textiles on at the RBSA and to see such a considered, well curated, quality exhibition.

Susie Vickery

The range of applications was very wide but I am always drawn to colour, pattern, stitch and print.

Prism felt

And the thought and development behind a lot of the pieces was very inspiring – lots of inspiration to be had.

Maria Boyle

MAC Birmingham also has two Textile exhibitions running atm so it’s a good time to be a proud Birmingham textile-lover!

Anita Bruce

Exciting news this week! A design of mine that I sold to Huggies through my agent in North America, has hit the shop shelves. It’s exciting because I don’t often get to see what becomes of my patterns once they are sold. They are each like my little babies so it’s fitting it’s on a baby wipe pack 😉

I’m finishing this week with a big painting under my belt.

I have been slowly working my way through my French countryside inspiration (that’s dating back to last summer; that’s how slowly!)

I’ve fairly recently discovered Liquitex Heavy Body Acrylics and I. AM. IN. LOVE. I love the texture of them when painting with it and matt feel.

I love using acrylics for textural painting as you can layer up colours and textures with different mark making tools which frees up the painting process and allows for some unexpected bonuses (happy accidents!)

Although it is big and took some time (and many layers) I really enjoyed the process and love the finished piece – Patchwork Countryside.

Off for a G & T now – wishing you a great weekend.

Angela, this one is just for you 🙂 Thanks for asking 😉

Some more snippets from the pages of my Fish Sketchbook (see previous post) showing bits of pattern exploration, a little painting, rust dying, block printing, collage, string printing, applique and free motion embroidery.

claire-leggett_mark-making_tagged

I’ve been Spring cleaning of late – you know all those little jobs that you put off but need resolving eventually. So I’ve cleared and filed my desktop…dating back two years! collated all my pattern designing files into one place which was a major task and I’m making inroads into clearing out iphoto.

pink_perch_75dpi_tagged_claire_leggett

Which has prompted me to show you what i’ve been working away at over the last few months alongside other painting and design work.

Every 3 months I get a new group investigating textiles at MAC and I like to have a theme to demonstrate the techniques to and to show how you can develop ideas along an idea.

I was inspired by all things fishy when we were in the South of France in the summer and so that was my theme with my last group.

tropical-fish-direct-dye-_-claire-leggett

Above is a demo of open screen direct dye printing – fish scale style.

It’s always good to play around in a sketch book and I generate so many samples that I find it helpful to theme them into a book.

Students seem to appreciate looking at them and getting their own ideas of what to do.

And I love looking at students sketchbooks – one of the best things about textiles is that there is always something new to try or a new way of seeing or applying a technique.

We use a wide range of approaches in Mixed Media Textiles at MAC Birmingham and so I set myself the task of including a piece of all those techniques into one final piece.

An underwater scene lent itself nicely to the many layers of textile applications.

Hope you had an enjoyable Bank Holiday weekend whatever you were doing x

We are just back from a week away in the Peak District and I had forgotten just how beautiful it was up there.

We did lots of walking as the weather was extremely kind to us and I even got to sit and sketch on a couple of days.

And we took in a lot of art when we visited Chatsworth house.

The wallpaper was AmAzInG!

There was a whole wall of Lucian Freud work.

And this Gainsborough – I didn’t notice until I looked back at the photograph that her expression is both quizzical and a bit sassy – both unusual for a woman in a portrait of that time.

And there were gorgeous Spring flowers to inspire everywhere.



And lots to eat and drink (!) and all that fresh air and lack of the usual responsibilities has re-charged my batteries.


A few weekends ago, HB and I had a little sojourn in Bristol and whilst there came across the Lubaina Himid exhibition showing at Spike Island.

Naming The Money is an installation of 100 life-sized wooden cutout figures representing Africans brought to Europe as servants.

My name is Ahmed
They call me Henry
I used to play the music of my people
Now I play to forget them
But I love the notes

Historically these slaves were given new names and roles and Himid attached their printed stories on the back of each figure.

My name is Zody
They call me Jenny
I used to grind herbs into powder
Now I blend fine tea for the ladies
But I am the best

I found this to be one of the most touching things – both sadness at their loss and humiliation but humbled by the positivity too.

My name is Essian
They call me Dan
I used to lead the army
Now I play for children
But I love their laughter

The fact that these were freestanding and you could walk among them was very effecting and their life-size-ness really made me connect with them as the real people they represented.

Himid was originally a set designer and wanted this exhibition to bring slaves out of the shadows and corners of traditional portrait painting and give them center stage.

My name is Emmi
They call me Jenny
I used to make potions and keep them in a jar
Now I help to make jam
They say it tastes good

And on a superficial note, I also enjoyed all the colours and patterning. Simply done but very moving.

My name is Akron
They call me Henry
I used to play at weddings
Now I play at funerals
But I have the memory

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Ending a brilliant holiday in this pretty little town #franschhoek 🏘🌁🍷#southafrica #holiday #winetour #mountainview (just about) Last day on the coast 😢 but it was this awesome place ✨🌊💫 #robberg #beautifulbeach #southafrica #sunsandsea #waves #daytoremember The views alone are magic enough ✨ but what this pic doesn't show is the 11 whales we've spotted so far, the seal and also the whole pod of dolphins that skimmed through the waves as they rolled into shore 😍🐬🐬🐬🐬🐬🐬🐬🐬🐬🐬🐬😍#southafrica #whalecoast #hermanus #mosselbaai #whataview #clouds #seaview 📷right before this adorable little fella hopped into my bag to come home with me 🖤🐧😍🐧🖤#penguin #southafrica #boulderbeach #iwantapenguin

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