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Term has just wrapped up on my Painting and Drawing Flowers course at mac birmingham.

Over 12 weeks I’ve guided the students through some foundational exercises on tone, understanding and mixing colours, using watercolours, acrylics, pastels, inks and much more.

We have played with salt and masking fluid to create floral effects.

And also mixed all the toys in our art-boxes together to create with mixed-media.

We usually have an artist to reference each week – a great master/mistress or contemporary artist- whoever has work that is most useful for us to study at the time.

It has been really rewarding watching the students build their skills and knowledge and find their unique ways towards their own painting style and choice.

Some were very botanically inspired and wanted watercolour lightness, while others found using paint more thickly a rewarding experience.

I support whatever the individual artists inclination is and help them progress from where they are.

What was common amongst them was an enjoyment of painting and drawing and having the dedicated time to sit down together to do it.

If it sounds like something you’d like too, then places are booking now for the new term start on January 10th 2022 – love to have you with us.

PS – in case it allays any fears.. we sit socially distanced, air the room and wear masks.

Here it is 🥁🥁🥁 My first online painting project for you to do at home in your own time – handy for another Lockdown. And the great news is that I’m offering an Early Bird discount – the first 12 people get access for just £12 💫

A couple of people suggested I give digital teaching a go, so I’ve massively upped my skill set over the last few months and recorded a painting project which you can do step-by-step alongside me.

It’s a digital watercolour painting project comprising 13 videos to guide you through every step of making a still life painting of tomatoes on a plate. I demonstrate every step and there are two project options so you can find the right challenge for you.

You will learn how to stretch paper, how to use masking fluid, the Flooding and Salting techniques to create watercolour effects, the Lifting Out technique and advice on how to sketch, add hi-lights and shadows, what materials to use and how best to finish your painting. Created to offer you a moment of creativity – it is for all ages and stages and there are no expectations of you other than to have an enjoyable time.

All this to keep forever for just £15 by emailing hello@claireleggett.co.uk.

Exciting news coming soon… an online painting project from yours truly: A step-by-step, at-your-pace, video-based painting class for just £15 (with a special price of 💫 £12 💫for the first 12 sign ups) – that’s less than £1 per video. And you’ll have access to it forever. 13 separate YouTube videos, each one explaining every step of the process, as we paint and create a still-life together (tomatoes on a plate 🍅 or apples🍏 in a bowl, it’ll be up to you). I still have a few uploads to complete and then all will be revealed…

How the time just flies by! There I was preparing a catch up blog post about my work as Artist-in-Residence at Winterbourne House and Gardens and then all of a sudden the weather has changed, the gardens developed and what I had to show you looks distinctly wintery!

This week has been glorious, unlike the preceeding two which rained on and off so much I couldn’t chance getting out to draw or paint without a small soaking. Consequently the gardens are thriving and growing. The Anthemis border looks absolutely stunning at the moment and is top of my list to work on given long enough to do so.

I spent a day drawing arounds the grounds on Monday (and looking at old maps in the archives) getting some visual reference for some print work I’m doing and also some embroidery.

Prior to that April brought a beautiful Flowering Japonica which grew all white and blossomy in a dark corner of the garden providing lots of contrast.

I’m spinning a lot of plates atm on a lot of projects and the only way I can move forward is to do a little on all fronts and wait for the bucket to fill! I’m working in bursts when time allows but importantly, enjoying all the variety. This week in preparation of teaching my MAC Birmingham students how to print in repeat, I drew on Mondays Foxglove studies and printed a nodding row of these lovely flowers.

And if you’re interested in stitching and embroidery, this lovely workshop at Winterbourne is on sale now and you can read about it here – it’d be lovely to meet you in real life 🙂

 

On Saturday I had the pleasure to be back in Nottingham with the Spotted Dog Art Group.

They rose magnificently to the challenge of abstracting landscapes through colour and brushwork.


As you can see here from the landscape inspiration, use of colour and being able to see things differently were the keys to success.

And it didn’t matter what kind of landscape scene it was (above is industrial, below coastal) the artists successfully abstracted through colour changes and seeing in shapes.

Everyone kept their own artistic signature whilst all having the same input and ideas on how to start and develop their work into the non-representative and this is what I find endlessly fascinating and exciting about teaching and working alongside other artists.

I count myself lucky when work is such a pleasure – if I lived near Nottingham, I’d join in a heartbeat.

Until next year…

Yesterday I had the absolute pleasure of running an Expressive Watercolours workshop for Birmingham Carers in partnership with Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery. 

A lovely group of ladies (it turned out, although that’s not a requirement!) enjoyed sometime playing with watercolour, salt, wax and gum resists.

I always love working with people and seeing the breath and individuality of the art each person has in them.

This group was a particular privilege to be with because of the respite it offered them from the caring work they do.

BMAG offer not only monthly session but tea and cake too – if you’re a carer living in Birmingham and want to access the service then I think here is a good starting point : forwardcarers.org.uk

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)

 

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.

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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.

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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.

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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

I’m popping in to let you know that Winterbourne House and Gardens have booked me for a day of painting fun on July 2nd. You can view the details here if you’re interested – we will be collaging canvases, having fun mark making and using the beautiful gardens to gather and sketch ideas to paint. And if your worried about your artistic abilities – don’t! I always have reference books and tracing paper tucked away 😉

I’ve also ordered sunshine so that we can eat ice creams and enjoy the grounds!

 

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