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winterbourne_exhibiton-1
This week I hung an exhibition of my work at the Coach House Gallery which is at Winterbourne Botanical Gardens, Birmingham.

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Winterbourne is part of the Birmingham University campus.

winterbourne_house

It’s an Edwardian Arts and Crafts house built for the family of John Nettlefold in 1903.

It’s last owner bequeathed it to the University where it became the Botanical Gardens in 1944.

winterbourne_hot-house

It’s one of those magical places that has held onto the history of the past and simultaneously successfully embraced the future.

winterbourne_garden-room

And my colourful work has ushered Spring in a little earlier than Mother Nature (it’s trying to snow today)

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Exhibition hanging takes patience and stamina (good step-ladder muscles!)

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One of the most fun things to do was fill the glass exhibition case.

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I have laid out sketchbooks, pattern design swatches, an old paint palette, some tubes of paint, brushes, pencils and design work that shows how I use my original paintings digitally.

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It was fun to set the scene.

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And now I’m happily heading off to a restful weekend – there’s a G & T with my name on it!

***

Exhibition is up until 12th March




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my-fabric-printed

I got the biggest surprise for Christmas when I opened a big box and found this, my own design, printed up on gorgeous heavy weight linen. My HB had made up a pretty believable story in order to get hold of the files to this design and I didn’t suspect for a moment that he was in cahoots with my S-I-L whose idea it was to get it printed.

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It has got my thinking hard about future possibilities…

 

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Everything has a season so they say and this year has not been my season for the garden (poor neglected thing).

alchemilla mollis

However some past efforts continue to pay dividends – thank you Roses, that white weed thingy, the cow-parsley plant, my patio pots and of course the Alchemilla Mollis.
Achemilla Mollis in cup_claire_leggett in progress

I snipped a few things I could find the other day  – all pleasingly lime green, green and yellow (thank you garden for self-theming the colours) and popped them into my 25 pence bargain jug for an afternoons play with the paints.

Achemilla Mollis in cup_claire_leggett

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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.

Claire_leggett_painter_early progress

After washing in some colours I drew in the structure.

Claire_leggett_painter_in progress

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

Claire_leggett_painter_Souk

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

Claire_leggett_painter_Strolling in the Souk

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.

Riad Kaiss 6

  Back to normality after my exciting day out

Riad Kaiss interior_claire Leggett

I am still immersed in painting Marrakesh despite painting in Birmingham (UK). I have focussed some work on the beautiful building we stayed in when we visited two years ago.

Riad Kaiss 2

Years ago I had kept a cutting from a magazine showing where the chef Yotam Ottolenghi was filming his latest TV programme because it looked so beautiful and so Moroccan.

Riad Kaiss 8

  That wonderful place is Riad Kaiss.

Riad Kaiss pool

Literally every corner is a picture, every piece of furniture is a work of art.

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Every door, tile or piece of stoneware an exquisite sculpture.

Riad Kaiss 4

Every meal, every flower display and every furnishing, was inspiring the visual senses in some way.

Riad Kaiss fountain

We booked a half day with the chef to learn how to make Moroccan pastries (we haven’t since!) and I was delighted to just get a look at the gorgeous quirky colours of the kitchen and the tiles.

Riad Kaiss kitchen

Another cook-book called Colours of Maroc has since been published, also photographed in Riad Kaiss. Check that link for an almost identical (but better photographed) image of Cornes des Gazelles on those tiles. Great minds…

Riad Kaiss 1

It was a cool, quiet haven to retreat to after a few hours bustling in the souks.

Riad Kaiss _balcony_Claire Leggett

I like this little tin foil painting as it conjures up my memory of its dark, quiet coolness.

Riad Kaiss 3

And if you ever go to Marrakesh then I highly recommend you do stay there.


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Pastel pink book

Everyone once in a while I get a little bit obsessed with a colour. Seems to be this sticking-plaster pink. I was lucky enough to score this book for a fiver and it’s helped fuelled my pink infatuation and designing today. Can’t last though – tis soon the season to be red , green and white!

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This morning I woke up feeling fragile after some sad news yesterday – the type of news that makes you feel grateful for your loved-ones, anxious about the fragility of life, the kind of news that makes you appreciate the smallest things…

I logged into my email account and was greeted unusually by loads of emails telling me my Facebook page was being ‘liked’. Jenny ,unprompted and not knowing of our sad state, had encouraged her followers to come on over to my page just because… It was a small ray of light today watching my ‘likes’ rise. It never ceases to amaze me how much community and encouragement can be found through like-minded spirits on the internet. Jenny – thank you for throwing out the invitation, thank you to all those who took up the call. It may have been a simple gesture from your end but your timing was exceptional and lifted my day. Thank you.x.

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I’ve added a link to the left-hand side-bar if anyone else wants to connect. I will feel more accountable to keep it up to date and interesting now 😉

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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