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 Protea_© Claire_Leggett

A little painting inspired by the beautiful South African Protea via my local Marks and Spencers!

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I’ve saved my favourite place for last – Frigiliana.

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Back in July 2015 we had a week in Granada (which you’ve already seen lots of here) and then we had another week by the coast.

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Frigiliana is inland and was a short drive from where we were staying.

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It just clicked with me – it’s very small but so cute and artistic with lots of creative industries like pottery, weaving and painting and the nicest people.

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I might even retire there one day if I can learn some Spanish!

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Frigiliana by Night © Claire Leggett

This piece was the demo I began when I taught The Spotted Dog workshop (here) which I’ve finished now

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Well that’s it folks for my show-and-tell work from last years holiday – hope you enjoyed 😉

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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).

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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.

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Hope you’re enjoying our UK Bank Holiday weekend – but home or abroad I hope you’re enjoying a little tea and cake where-ever you are.

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I bought a little scrap bag of Liberty fabrics that have spurred me on to use a more pastel colour palette. I’ve been relying heavily on my Peobe masking fluid to protect areas of the painting as I was going (see 2 and 4 above) Can’t recommend the stuff enough – I even bravely used it on finished areas and it didn’t bring anything off the painting surface with it when it was removed. The hardest part was not leaning in and eating the fondant fancy!

© Claire Leggett Tea and Cake

© Claire Leggett   Tea and Cake

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It’s been a great year for tulips in the garden.

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I re-subscribed to a magazine and got some Sarah Raven bulbs as a freebie.

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And they have been beautiful – big, blowsy flowers – interesting colours and shapes. Apricot Beauty was the first to fully flower last week.

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It hurt A LOT to cut three of the nine stems to bring in and paint.

But here they are immortalised 🙂

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© Claire Leggett     Apricot Beauty

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I am just back from a tres blustery walk in the woods with Lottie and ready to share a little sunshine here because it is just so crazy miserable out there today.

Here’s proof that the sun did shine for a moment yesterday – honest!

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These are close up’s of some bright, sunny flowers I’ve been painting for greetings cards – the kind you find where there is sunshine to grow them – remember sunshine? warmth? being able to walk along without fear of that creaking branch actually snapping off and falling on your head?!

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When I got back to my desk, my inbox sent me a little sunshine too, with news of a , an invite to apply for a craft fair and this quote from Good Reads :

Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be

 Abraham Lincoln

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Good advice Mr Lincoln – I am now ignoring the hail stones beating on the skylight window and going back to a happy, sunny painty place 🙂

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Over the last two weeks I have been to-ing and fro-ing with this painting here. I have wanted to capture some snowdrops for a while but there is  such a short window between buying them and getting them painted that before you blink they’ve dried up.

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I’ve also had these ‘snooty cats’ for a while now – a car boot sale find – they just appeal to me and I like their slightly haughty air.

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The background was some off cuts of our bedroom wallpaper which I never tired of until this painting.

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So I set this up fairly confidently that the colours and compositions were going to work and set to getting those snowdrops done quickly.

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A few days solid painting and I’d finished…so I thought! I like to prop paintings up somewhere outside of the studio and live with them for a while – it gives a bit of perspective on the finished article and for good reason because as we lived with this, we could all see that those birds were really distracting. Back to the drawing board.

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I carefully mopped them out and painted in using the background colours which were (luckily) still left on the palette – hurray for watercolours. Cue a bit more living with it and it still wasn’t clicking. i decided that the background paper, beautiful as it is, was just not the right pattern for this set up because it was fighting for attention.

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So I took a radical step which took a few days of building up to, and masked the whole of the foreground and then washed the entire background out and began again.

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Scary stuff! I can continue to recommend Peobe masking fluid is all I can say.

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I should also say that the paper was stretched on a board so even though it got a good soaking, once it dried out, is was tight and flat again.

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Then I painted in a plain grey background colour and masked in a simple, more regular pattern which I then painted over again for a two-tone finish. And I. was. sick. of.it!

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© Claire Leggett “Snooty Cats”

So here is the final metamorphosis of this painting. I’m moving on 😉

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Following a walk down the garden to admire the blooms (and ignore the weeds) I came back with a little clutch of pink flowers to paint.

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Trailing Geranium, Cosmos, Crazy Daisy, Briar Rose and Sweet William. The result is a quick little painting proving that there is no such thing as one shade of pink!

A little Pot of Pink  © Claire Leggett

A Little Pot of Pink © Claire Leggett

It’s done! All 84 x 59 cm of it. That’s a lot of paint. And time. And patience…

It’s been a gargantuan task – there is lots I love about it and some things I’d change but for now c’est finito (do you like my grasp of languages!)

Thanks for all your lovely comments about the New Leaf show – you guys are great at cheering me on – don’t ever stop! Especially as I have more good news to share later in the week 🙂

May 17th

Here’s some more ‘a painting-a-day’ through May.

May 18th

I’m still really enjoying the push to paint something fast and free in my sketchbook everyday.

May 19th 

It reminds me what sketchbooks are for…playing!

May 20th

And it doesn’t matter what comes of it but I do like some of this spontaneous work and I am using up heaps of dried up paint from past palettes and it’s causing me to stumble across colour-combo’s I wouldn’t have otherwise.

May 21st

It’s all good and the sun is shining too – happy days.

May 22nd

Head over to Dana’s and Anne’s to see their May painting-a-day.

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.

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