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I am absolutely delighted to share the news with you that I am Artist in Residence at the University of Birmingham Winterbourne House and Gardens until May 2020.

 Winterbourne House and Gardens was a charming family home built in 1904 in the Arts and Crafts style. The last family to live in it bequeathed it to the University of Birmingham who used it for accommodation, offices and to teach botany from. In 2006 it got a new lease of life and has gone on to become a Grade II Garden of National Importance and now the house has full museum status. It is a treasure hidden away in the center of urban Birmingham.

 I feel very lucky and privileged to be able to spend the next 18 months walking the public and private paths painting and drawing what I see. I am trying to ease into the project without giving myself too many restraints on what I make of it (painting, patterns, textile work) there is abundant inspiration – but for now I’m seeing where the work leads me by letting the grounds inspire what I do first .

And this was the first little plot that made my heart beat faster – this cute little shed hidden away from public access (unless you study with the RHS) It was used by the BBC for a gardening programme years ago.

Yesterday I sat in the sunshine and got most of this piece sketched in – the hardest part is always beginning, so that’s done now!

My residency will evolve to include all kinds of offerings at Winterbourne during the 18 months and finale with an exhibition in May 2020.

I will be sharing this journey on my new Artist in Residence (artist_winterbournehg)Instagram page : www.instagram.com/artist_winterbournehg/ 

 and also on my personal Instagram page: http://www.instagram.com/claire_leggett/and here on the blog

I’d love you to join with me in this exciting chapter; I will be working on site regularly – so please come up to the studio above the bookshop or say hello if you spot me around the grounds – below is my Artist Statement for good measure.

Claire Leggett Artist in Residence 2018 – 2020_Statement

 

 

 

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Two months since I last blogged…can’t believe how time flies. I’m determined to keep a record of my days here so lets fill that gap.

We went to South Africa  – a country with the most magnificent coastline, the biggest skies, abundant nature (even in their wintertime) whales to watch courting and beautiful national parks to discover.

I’ve tried to edit my 1000’s of photos down to just the four that sum up my experience – I loved the Bo Kaap district in Cape Town (I think you can guess why)

We drove a circular route from Cape Town to Knysna and back up through Franschhoek during which I began to see the contrasts in how people live and who and where those people are. Not comfortable and I’m still mulling over how the seeing of this might turn into a response and what that response may be.

The Egg Hillary Goodwin

I visited The Festival of Quilts – not sooo amazing as usual in my book but this one was awesome – that’s stitch work making those patterns people!

The show did inspire me to begin an English Paper Pieced hexagon thing – might be a quilt top, a curtain or a pin cushion! It’s early days.

Went to London with my lovely girl.

We braved the Natural History museum which made me glad to be in the company of a young adult and not a young (tired, crying, hot) child. It was sooooo noisy.

 

I also taught a tonne at the MAC which doesn’t look much in four small squares but has been a really wide and fun range of classes for all ages from Toddlers through to adult learners. It really is the best job I’ve ever had.

And the rest of the time in between all this has been spent contending with the biggest bit home renovation we’ve done since moving here 7 years ago. I’ll spare you the photos (v. boring to look at and it’s not finished yet) This however was a design I’d worked on for several hours….I was a little stuck mulling over colour choices and thought I’d go and walk the dog and come back fresh to it. Alas, I didn’t save a PS file (only this jpg) and while I was out the electrician cut the power forcing my computer to shut down. Game over.

That’s indicative of the last two months really – it has been hard to do any meaningful work this summer with people buzzing around, endless cups of tea to make and interruptions.

When I’ve not been out I’ve tried to hide in my studio doing quick bits of art to keep my sanity intact.

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And that about sums things up. Hope you’ve had a lovely summer where ever you are.

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 😉

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.


bestnine2016

Here’s my Best Nine from the last year on Instagram. It’s an interesting exercise in what appeals to ‘likers’ – painting, pattern, food, family, flowers, travel and knitting. It says it all.

Here’s to another precious year of the same.

Happy New Year to all of you x

 

 

Of course I meant to post here long before now but time just runs away!

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I stole a few hours today to paint a little something, anything really – I can get right mardy if I don’t create something and I had given most of this week over to wielding a mop and bucket so I felt it was necessary for everyone’s sanity 😉

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So I shall simply send my heartfelt thanks to those of you who pop in here and continue to support me and wish one and all a Very Merry Christmas. Claire x

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This is the longest W>I>P I’ve ever had but finally my African Flower blanket is done (all but the edging).

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Back in 2015 while we were mooching about on holiday,  we passed a knitting shop selling off it’s closing down stock. Too good to pass up. I had already inherited a big bag of the dark and light grey Angora wool so chose a similar weight and fluff to match.

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I got started pretty happily but then fell out of love with the colours and doing the shape. It’s sat gathering dust for quite a while…

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But there’s nothing like the impending clear-up for family coming to stay at Christmas to galvanise a tidy up, sort out, throw away and get done mentality. And so after taking a deep breath and just getting it done…it’s done!

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And now I really love it!

focus

Todays calendar page is not wrong!

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After a lovely busy Summer bursting with family affairs, teaching, holidays and other welcome distractions, today is the first day I find myself home alone and able to concentrate.

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So I picked this interesting Hydrangea flower from the garden and got re-acquainted with my paintbrush. It feels good 🙂

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Although it’s been a busy week here, it’s been a week full of working with the loveliest people and doing the nicest of things.

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I am grateful for the shape this artful life has taken and for the people who make it possible.

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Today I visited the Constance Wallace teashop (which I have mentioned before here)

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 but they have since gone on to open a beautiful shop.

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Alongside all the gorgeous vintage china for sale/hire and the beautifully curated things you just need to have, like the softest socks and eye-catching ceramics and pretty handmade buttons, they have been stocking some of my prints, cards and original art.

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 I went today to replenish the stock and had the prettiest and most delicious business meeting yet 😉

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I’d recommend a visit especially as they are now licensed to sell Prosecco too!

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Monday morning vibes – have a super sunny creative week.

Copyright notice 2015

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, please ask first before doing so and then give appropriate credit for content.

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I am absolutely delighted to share the news with you that I am Artist in Residence at the University of Birmingham Winterbourne House and Gardens until May 2020 🙋🏻‍♀️I feel very lucky and privileged to be able to spend the next 18 months walking the public and private paths painting and drawing what I see. 🖌I am trying to ease into the project without giving myself too many restraints on what I make of it (painting, patterns, textile work) there is abundant inspiration! 🌳🐝🌼🐞🌾🌺🍁🌵 I’ve made a dedicated instagram page for the project – I’d love you to come on over and follow along with me as this exciting chapter develops. I will be working on site regularly – so please come up to the studio above the bookshop or say hello if you spot me around the grounds.👩🏻‍🎨 Also wrote a blog blurb too if you’re interested (click on claire_leggett profile name for links) #artist #artistoninstagram#artistinresidence #winterbournegardens#winterbourne #winterbournehg#winterbournehouseandgarden #artista#artiste #artinspo #artistoninstagram#birminghamartist #birmingham#birminghamart #birminghamlife#universityofbirmingham#gardeninspiration #painter#dreamscometrue

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