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This year has been a brilliant one for my Hellebores which have quadrupled in size.

I’ve been wanting to paint them for some time but couldn’t bring myself to cut any when there were only one or two flowers – but this year is quite different.

I’ve been playing around painting onto darker grounds than usual and I quite like it. It really helps those whites to stand out and it adds a little drama. These were both acrylics on tissue paper; the latter bringing a lovely dappled background which shone through the paint still.

I love a new discovery!

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                                                       Muscari © Claire Leggett

The last few weeks have been very busy with HB’s 50th birthday celebrations and I had lots of kiddie classes to teach over the Easter break. However Spring flowers wait for no-one so as soon as these bloomed I made sure to grab some time to paint them. I’m glad I did – it turned out alright and was good for sanity and soul!

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.

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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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I’m determined to catch up with real time (those of you following me on Instagram will already know we’re just back from Amsterdam) but first I want to finish showing the work inspired by a lovely, sunny holiday to Spain last year.

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Another tick on the bucket list was a visit to La Mezquite, the local name for the great Mosque even though it’s officially a Cathedral now so is sometimes also referred to as The Cathedral of Cordoba.

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It is enchanting, so atmospheric and mesmerising.

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The structure itself is awesome and mind-boggling (try drawing that!) but the history of it’s development is the same.

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Originally the site of a Roman temple and then a Visigoth church (nomadic Germanic peoples) it was later built on and extended by generations of Muslim leaders. In the 1200’s it was converted to a Cathedral with no building changes and then in 1520’s after lots of arguing it got it’s Spanish Cathedral makeover.

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When it was a Mosque is was a simple rectangle and was built onto to accommodate a growing population by adding further aisles which gives the amazing views of stripy, painted arches and aisles.

Claire_Leggett © Cordoba Interior

Claire_Leggett © Cordoba Interior

I did do some drawing on site and have so far painted the piece above but there’s lots more inspiration on my To Do list – it’s hard to keep up!

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One last Spanish post soon – hope you’re enjoying my travels and art x

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Back in time again to our visit to Granada last Summer and I wanted to show you the wonderful Alhambra.

 Claire Leggett Alhambra

Set high up on a hill overlooking all of Granada is this exquisite place.

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It’s made up of several buildings which have become the Alhambra but its first building dates back to C9th.

© Claire Leggett Patio de Arrayanes

© Claire Leggett Patio de Arrayanes

Improvements were made and destructions too by various rulers along the way and then in C18th it was abandoned with restoration beginning in C19th.

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Despite all that chequered history, it’s amazing that so much of its beauty remains.

© Claire Leggett Upper Gardens, Generalife

And it is simply really beautiful with craftsmanship of the highest degree and wonderful gardens and it’s kept a mood of the past about it too.

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Most of my painting from Spain has centred on this building partly because visiting it been on my wish-list so I was determined to make the most of it and partly because it appeals to the designer in me (all those patterns) and the painter in me (all that scenery and foliage).

© Claire Leggett Alhambra Patio

I’ve saved all the tiles for a special blog-post of their own!

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This collage sums up the mood of this place for me – old textured building materials, light and shade, the smell of oranges and perfumed flowers and the welcome cool of a trickling water fountain.

The Alhambra, Granada

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Thanks for all the comments and likes on the last piece – I made a Flip-a-gram  over on Instagram if you fancy a look head over (link at the side).

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I have a thing for rooftops – love the patchwork look to them.

I also really love the process of painting overlapping geometric shapes and breaking them up with the swipe of a paintbrush to depict a tree.

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It was hard to find colour in this scene and after I’d painted it quite brightly I decided to give this a chalky white wash.

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I can see a pattern repeat crying out to be made from some of these little sections.

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Thanks for visiting today x

Here’s my last Marrakesh mixed-media painting for the time being. I’ve loads more I want to paint from this trip but I need to move onto other things in the short-term but I hope to revisit this project again sometime.

 

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This shows the building up of layers of collage and paint based on this photo below.

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I didn’t notice before but the front right person looks just like my dad! Even more so once I’d painted him!

Marrakesh Market © Claire Leggett

Marrakesh Market – all the colour and hustle and bustle of that crazy place.

 

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I knew when I snapped this shot that a) I’d got lucky and b) it was perfect to paint.

Clair eleggett Marrakesh

It needed something better in the front left foreground so I ‘imported’ some of these lovely cushions and lanterns.

Claire Leggett painter

I began with some block collage laid down to paint over – a piece of Arabic writing I picked up whilst in Marrakesh and a chocolate wrapper in the style of some of the tiles I’d seen there.

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After washing in some colours I drew in the structure.

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And continued to layer it up with paint – making textures, scratching into paint and printing too.

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I love how their body language translates this couples kind of nonchalance and conversation as they strolled along.

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It’s a challenge to paint so differently to normal but I love all the layers of print and texture showing through and it seems the perfect way to capture Marrakesh.

Who knew that painting over tinfoil could be such fun!

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That’s what sketch book play is all about isn’t it? Those unexpected successes.

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I’m really happy with this little piece – I think it captures the feeling of a night in the Djemaa El-Fna (the main square in Marrakesh)

Djemaa El-Fna

It can be a bit of a stressful place with lots of locals out to get your money through one scam or another but it looks nice and twinkly!

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Here’s wishing you a happy Bank Holiday weekend 🙂

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