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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)



Little Birds_mosaic 1

It feels like soooo long since I’ve immersed myself in a big old painting – I have been painting but more for design as opposed to this kind of ‘get lost for a few days’ type affair.

Little Birds_end of day 1

Little Birds_mosaic 2

And as always after a break in the flow, it’s hard to get back in the groove – I feel like I peck at it, or circle around and around getting a little closer each time. But I knew that was coming so I didn’t fret much about what the end result was going to be and I just got on with airing out the skills again.

Little Birds_end of day 2

The thing I find hardest is re-building the concentration required for a painting piece – I can think of a hundred little jobs that need doing just before I start, or during, and I have to actively ignore myself so I stay put. It helps to have an audio book on so I just finished Mad About The Boy which was a fun distraction.


I picked up an old canvas that I had collaged a hundred years ago and then left gathering dust. I didn’t really have a plan (and that shows in places) but I started layering up shapes and colours, popped some little birds in and sort of went to and fro with paper and paint until it felt finished and focussed. Not sure about it over-all but I love some little bits of it and I can feel my flabby painting muscles getting back in shape.


Little Birds     © Claire Leggett

PS I took so many process photos that I thought I’d make a Flipagram  – come on over to @claire_leggett on Instagram and see 🙂

© Claire Leggett

For the past three weeks I have been sitting at the computer pattern designing (can’t show you as I want to keep it for my portfolio.) Lots of fun until my ideas about layering and rotating and duplicating images meant that my old Mac’s processor couldn’t keep up with me. One day I sat for 15 mins waiting for my design to move half a centimetre down the design page. Not fun anymore.

© Claire Leggett

So having felt like Rapunzel stuck in the technology tower, I decided to cut free yesterday and not even switch the thing on at all, all day. Instead I emptied the drawer of ‘nice things that never get used’ and used them.

© Claire Leggett

It’s always good to reconnect creatively with yourself and get messy with glue and paint. That and a new audiobook; IQ84, and I feel a little more soulful today.

© Claire Leggett

A trip to the Apple store has been booked and the mama of all machines is coming my way (knuckle biting excitement.) Then no doubt I’ll go full circle all over again.

Remember the French Journal Belle Rose fabrics that I posted about last week. Well they have inspired not only a bout of collaging creativity but a whole pile of delicious mess all over the studio floor. You know it’s good when it’s everywhere!

Here are some close-ups of the two A2 sized collages that I made. One was a pink theme and another blue.

The French Journal Belle Rose fabric has lots of images of birds and flowers laid over old postcards and snippets of writing, geometric designs and beautiful paintings.

I have two drawers, two boxes, a basket and an old portfolio full to bursting with lovely papers, snippets of wrapping too nice to throw away, fancy packaging labels from things we’ve eaten, chinese newspaper…you get the picture.

I have paintings which didn’t work out in their entirety which I cut up, like these quails eggs above.

And some images I scanned from my sketchbooks onto cartridge paper to keep the hand painted feel to them.

It was really relaxing to make an assemblage like this because I usually work on a very different way.

And you know what they say about a change being as good as a holiday. This has been a creative mini-break!

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