rooftops in sketchbook 2

Outside today has been sunshine and showers but inside it has been hot, hot, hot!

rooftops in sketchbook

I got started on this piece by un-leashing my inner Paul Klee, not intentionally, I was just blocking in some geometric shapes to work over but I love the painted patchwork.

rooftops in sketchbook 4

Then I collaged in some geometric shapes on top by using patterns and colours from my stashes, which resonated with the scene.

rooftops in sketchbook 1

A brief ray of sunshine brought real warmth to the scene.

rooftops in sketchbook 3

This kind of instinctive, not overly considered sketchbook work is important in unearthing the happy accidents.

rooftops

I think this rough little sketchbook piece has a lot to recommend another ‘proper’ go at it if I can relive it again.

Marrakesh_rooftops_1

Marrakesh is a place for using rooftop spaces to cool down and catch a breeze but it is not a picturesque panorama to look at.

Marrakesh rooftop 2

That said I have been wanting to paint an urban landscape for some time but it is hard as there is so much geometry and life packed into the scene – throw in some perspective and layering issues to resolve and it’s a challenge!

Marrakesh_rooftops

Most Marrakesh houses boast a satellite dish on top of their home and this makes for an interesting collage of square, rectangular and circular shapes all overlapping and jumbled together.

marrakesh rooftops in progress

These are some sketchbook pieces I’ve been doing. Sketchbooks by their nature take the pressure off the idea that this is a ‘proper piece’ and thus it allows for freedom and play.

marrakesh rooftops in progress 2

I’ve enjoyed printing, collaging and layering up paint to make these.

Marrakesh rooftop 1

I’m loving all these spicy, hot colours too. Off to do some more now…

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It’s almost two years ago now that we went to Marrakesh and unbelievably almost two years since I’ve done anything with the wealth of visual inspiration that is crammed into every corner of this vibrant place – time to do some Marrakesh inspired artwork.

collaged tile

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I do have a tendency to percolate or nest on ideas for quite a while but then sometimes more inspiration comes my way and it’s hard to keep up – last years Italy holiday is a point in case – will it be another two years before I do anything with those beautiful images?!

moroccan tiles

So a couple of weeks back, I was really craving a spot of sunshine and wishing on a trip away somewhere to shake off the winter blues and it occurred to me that I could just re-live Marrakesh and do some new work simultaneously – which is what I’ve been up to.

Koutoubia Minaret mosaic

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I have hundreds of photos of Marrakesh and most have some sort of merit to me as an artist – so I was overwhelmed to start (there has been a lot of faffing about/work avoidance going on too.)

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So I decided to just begin with the first photo in the photo stream that spoke to me.

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And I have jumped between quick little sketchbook pieces, colour studies on the computer and longer pieces of larger art.

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Just playing about and making art without trying to plan an end result.

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Just popping in today to show you what I knocked up at the weekend with a piece of Echino fabric that has been waiting for a special project for years and years – I decided to just cut it up and use it. Carpe diem!!

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Have a good week 😍

 On Saturday 18th April 2015 I am excited to be teaching a workshop at Old Bank Studios in the lovely old town of Harwich, Essex.

bank

The workshop day is titled All Things Bright and Beautiful.

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We will be having a lot of fun creating a layer of abstract collage onto which we can paint shapes more suggestive of foliage or grass and then some birds or other wildlife to create a richly patterned, beautiful little canvas to take home.

blue tits in progress

It will be a very chilled day as this is a really fun way to work allowing for happy occurrences with the collage base and don’t worry we will have plenty of reference material of flowers and birds so everyone, whatever ability, can enjoy themselves and create a piece that they’re proud of.

Blue Tits_Claire_Leggett

Blue Tits © Claire Leggett

There are seven places left to date, so if you’re interested please follow this link for more infoI’d love to meet you.

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Happy weekend everybody! I wanted to share something with you today in the hope that it might appeal to you crafty makers out there too.

blanket

I came to hear about Project Linus (Project Linus USAProject Linus UK) through my dear friend who works as a doctor of critically and terminally ill children.

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You remember Linus from the cartoon Snoopy? He’s the inspiration for the name as he was almost always seen with his blue security blanket.

Their vision is to:

 “Provide love, a sense of security, warmth and comfort to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need through the gifts of new, handmade blankets and Afghans, lovingly created by volunteer “blanketeers.”

In short to provide a blanket anywhere that a child might be in need of a big hug.

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Blankets are collected locally and distributed to children in hospitals, shelters, social service agencies etc – read Duncan’s story here but have a tissue ready.

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I have a stupid amount of fabric and yarn stashed away that I will never use up even if I crafted everyday for the rest of my life! And I already have enough blankets and quilts but still love to make them regardless of that. So this was the perfect project for me as I still got to indulge my love of crocheting and quilting, benefitted by slimming my stashes down and got to make something that’s much-needed by someone else.

I used Ikea fleece blankets to make my fabric quilts – it’s a simpler and cheaper way to back them and they are so snuggly.

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And there is nothing I like better than seeing an unappealing tangle of yarn like this…

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magically transformed into a beautiful and useful blanket (and it justified all my tv and film watching!)

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In the UK Project Linus gave away 26,980 items in 2014, their best year yet – I’d love our crafting community to spread the word and maybe make a blanket and help 2015 be even better. And if making something seems too large an endeavour, they also need donations of fabric, money and time.

blanket 2

If you have been inspired to become a ‘blanketeer’ and you live in the UK you can find out where to donate your handmade blanket here or for the USA here.

 

 The best bit about Spring for me are the Spring flowers, with tulips and anemones being my most favourite.

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 I found this little purpley blue guy growing in hiding down by my shed.

 I also discovered quite by accident whilst researching for a project brief, that Matisse liked anemones too.

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I absolutely adore the colours in this painting; it says everything about Spring to me – pastel Spring-like colours, a change in light and of course anemones.

I hope it puts a spring in your step too and helps you through the last (I hope) of this winter weather.

 ***ALL 4 SOLD NOW*** Spring cleaning sale…

spring cleaning sale notice

Never done one of these before but I’m in the mood for a clear out so I thought I’d offer these four little teacup paintings up for a quick sale at a rock bottom price.

Little Pip

We have Little Pip named after one of my first Pip Studio teacups,

Pink Stripe

Pink Stripe which is still my favourite cup with all that loverly pink and gold,

Oriental Teacup

Oriental Teacup which in reality cost me 25 pence because its chipped and cracked but in this painting has regained it’s youth,

Turquoise Teacup

and Turquoise Teacup whose a little, diddy baby cup.

***

£25/$39 each or all four for £80/$123.

Please email me at hello@claireleggett.co.uk saying what you’d like to buy and I will send payment details.

P&P in the UK will be an additional £1.50 on each mailing

P&P Abroad will be an additional $5.80 on each mailing

Still a bargain though!

Autoritratto in rosa  (1921)

Autoritratto in rosa (1921)

I discovered Elisabeth Chaplin when we were in Florence last summer and saw her work hanging in the Palazzo Pitti’s Modern Art Gallery.

chaplin

I loved it instantly because of the use of colour and stylisation and how they capture a moment in time so I thought I’d share her with you today.

Young Girls in Yellow (1921)

Young Girls in Yellow (1921)

She seems to be one of France/Italy’s little-remembered artists – I had wanted to buy a book (but not in Italien) but none are available and the one Amazon is selling is £160 😯 Still, I have found a little information about her…

chaplin 2

She was born in 1890 to artist parents – her father taught painting to women (Mary Cassatt was one) but he sadly died when she was a baby. In the 1900’s her family moved to Italy where Elisabeth taught herself to paint by copying works in the Uffizi Museum. She went on to socialise with numerous painters, live in Rome and then France, ending her life in Italy and win various awards over the course of time.

Self-portrait Wearing a Red Shawl c 1912

It seems she is most well-known for her portraits and Tuscan landscapes and that she didn’t need to earn a living through selling her work and so was able to paint what she enjoyed which accounted for the vast range of family portraits.

Jeune fille en rouge

Jeune fille en rouge

Depending on who you read and believe, Elisabeth was a follower of the Macchiaoli (not really heard of outside of Italy) or the Nabis. The former believe that paintings should have bright and dark splashes of colour to enliven it. The latter that paintings could have a non-representative look; sharing much of artistic ambitions of the impressionists.

Ponte alla badia  1953

Ponte alla badia 1953

Either way I think both influences can be seen in her work.

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It’s a shame that there isn’t more information and good pictures available to see (all but 2 of my photo’s came out blurred because of the dim lighting 😕) but I hope you enjoyed discovering her as much as I did.

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crown ducal striping

This is the vintage teacup that I began as my demo on patterned watercolours last Saturday with The Spotted Dog art group.

crown ducal in progress

As usual it’s a brightly coloured painting – a typical Claire Leggett painting! but maybe a little more so because it wasn’t an especially well lit room and I may have over compensated with my choice of orange hue!

Crown Ducal

I’ll let you be the judge of that – I have spent a couple of hours finishing it off in my studio and am happy enough to say “ta daaah….”

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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