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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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We made a family visit this weekend and while ‘Up North’ made a trip out to Salts Mill.

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The mill is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Saltaire and as such exhibits lots of Hockney.

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These beautiful paintings were part of the history of the Mill in the People and Process exhibition.

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These are some of Hockney’s iPad drawings which make up The arrival of Spring exhibition.

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They are studies done in the same location, Woldgate, as the seasons passed.

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The colouring, the textures and mark-making were so inspiring.

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And the book(s) shop were worth the trip too – highly recommended day out 😉

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 I’m so very ready for Spring now and there’s nothing like painting from holiday photos to banish the grey, wet days away. This one is from the south of France last year and is inspired by the Fauvists use of hot and cold, bright, bright colours.

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Since coming back from France in the Summer I have had about 200 photos of inspirational places and scenes pinned to my studio board. And over these past few weeks I have been wooed to paint again having spent a lot of time more recently concentrating on printing and textile work (just because I wanted to !)

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I have learnt in the last few years of my art practice that even when  I think nothing creative is happening, that in actual fact a lot is percolating away and marinating in the creative juices – almost as if I am thinking things through unconsciously out of the corner of my eye every time I glance at the pin-board and then suddenly it falls into place.

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These photos are a case in point as I suddenly came in one morning and knew I wanted/was drawn/felt ready to get painting. And I was having a YOLO moment and just dug into my acrylic paints and canvas boards that have been waiting for a special moment – which of course never comes ‘cos who knows if it’s special till it’s done?!

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This scene was a lovely textural, patterned valley in the South of France overlooking La Castellet Valley and I have switched it up by approaching the colours like The Fauves would (I’ve written about it before here) and loads of layers of yummy colours.

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At the weekend I crossed off a Bucket List wish when we visited Crosby Beach in Liverpool.

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This is the home of Antony Gormley’s Another Place permanent exhibition. Almost all Gormley’s work focusses on the human figure and its relationship to spaces.

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Here there are 100 cast iron figures set along 3K of beach all looking out to sea, or as the tide comes in, in it too, all in contemplation – Gormley says of it himself ” It is…just the industrially reproduced body of a middle-aged man trying to remain standing and trying to breathe, facing a horizon busy with ships moving materials and manufactured things around the planet.”

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It was beautiful day and the sky was enormous with spectacular clouds but there was also something spellbinding about inhabiting the beach with these silent, still observers. You couldn’t help looking where they were looking and standing still next to them. Such a simple idea but so connecting.

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The only one who didn’t do any of that was our dog Lottie, who pranced about joyously in the water – I love this picture of her mid-prance!

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We split our recent holiday in France, into two destinations so that we could cover more of the south coast in the time we were there.

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I had heard of Grasse being the perfume capital of France (and read that book years ago!)

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And I also knew that it would be cheaper than any where on the coastline to stay and that it was the home of Fragonard perfumes.

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And I am a big fan of Fragonard packaging so all in all it was the perfect destination.

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I love the styles of illustration and painterly florals that they use.

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And spent a happy time snapping away at all the beautiful displays.

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I’ve got to tell you I saw an assistant throw a beautiful box in the bin, and if I hadn’t had to navigate the convo in French I would have asked for it!

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Being the home of Fragonard, the town of Grasse had several Fragonard shops in it all with beautiful displays.


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So I have come home with oodles of inspiration…oh a bit of perfume too 😉

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Hello poor neglected blog! I came back from me hols and got swamped in work and life related doings but I’m determined to get something up now.

Bormes Les Mimosas 2We went to the south of France, Provence, for two lovely sunny weeks.

Cassis 2I have loved France since the first day I began my French lessons at secondary school.

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We didn’t travel abroad as a family back in the olden days when I was a child! so I found it fascinating and exotic.

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I also adored the French teacher and found I loved learning a language and a new culture.

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We’ve not visited France for sometime (having to compromise with two kids) but this year we were young, free and single and prepared to drive 18 hours to get to La Ciotat on the south coast and then later Grasse – along a bit and inland.

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It was as beautiful and interesting as I’d hoped.

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Lots of markets (every night in La Ciotat where we stayed)

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I love to buy fresh food, a new basket, mooch about.

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There are endless lovely villages to explore along the coast and in land  – villages-perchés – the perched villages in hillside settings.

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Soooo many window boxes, door ways, nice views, flowers and plants to photograph – my HB is endlessly patient 😉

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And of course there is a wealth of art in the region.

Renoir’s house

 Interestingly the big dollar museums like Musée Mattise and Picasso seemed like they’d been cobbled together to draw the tourists in but the Museums of Chagall and Renoir (his last home) were quietly brilliant and charming.

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Chagall has to be seen in the flesh – his work is amazing!

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This is where I’d still like to be – sitting in the shady tranquility with nothing to do! But that’s how all good holidays should leave you.




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Ok, the last you’ll hear about Amsterdam etc.

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But I love this little piece – a quick little patchwork with alittle patchwork with some transfoil hi-lights.

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Perfectly captures what I’ll remember best-  that big, big sky and those clouds.

It’s been ages since I filled a sketchbook like this!

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60 odd pages full of textiley work inspired by our Dutch holiday earlier in the year.

Want to have a little lookie?

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I’ve been experimenting and making examples of all sorts of things –

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lots of different types of print methods, stitch and applique.

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Pinterest was a good source to fire my imagination with.

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I haven’t done a project like this probably since art collage and it’s been fun to blow the cobwebs away and do some new things.

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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.

Any other inquiries please email me at hello@claireleggett.co.uk

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Another night another beautiful building ✨✨✨Jury's still out on the actual opera but the view was 👌🏻 #budapest #budapest🇭🇺 #beautifulbuilding #goldleaf #doitonce The very beautiful NewYork Palace cafe 😍Budapest is littered with amazing architecture. Also, first multiples post- swipe left! 👀  #budapest #budapest #newyorkpalace #goldleaf #25years ago today we got married #lovelocks #25yearsmarried #budapest #budapest🇭🇺 #tbt to when @huggies bought this #surfacepatterndesign of mine. Spotted out in the world this  week in Pittsburgh USA 🙋🏻#pattern #patterndesigner #patterndesign #printed #paintingstopatterns #surfacepattern

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