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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

When we stayed in Granada we were on the very edge of the old town near to the The Albaicin quarter.

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It is very steep and full of winding streets – even Google maps struggled to get us home one night!

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We took a walking tour which provided a lot of useful history and prevented us from being lost a lot.

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The hard work put into climbing up high was the spectacular views it afforded.

Claire_Leggett_View from the hillside,  Granada

© Claire Leggett View From The Hillside, Granada

It is thought that Flamenco singing and guitar came from the mix of settlers in the The Albaicin – the Arabs and Spanish mixing their musical influences and styles.

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A lot of their homes were built into the hillside as they were very poor but it was also cool.

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These are now adapted and modernised but still show the original structure.

Claire_Leggett_The Albaicin, in progress

I loved painting this highly patterned painting – challenging though it was with all those stripes and railings – I knew as soon as I took the photo that I’d love to tackle the overlapping shapes and lines.

Claire_Leggett_The Albaicin, Granada

© Claire Leggett The Albaicin, 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

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Back in August of last year we holidayed in Spain and I posted about it here. I love to travel to new places most particularly because of the new inspiration it brings for paintings and designs and I love to record it all.

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However I have analysed myself and realised that I take so many photos and document everything that the quantity of the following work can be too over whelming to begin, and so I don’t. And/or I leave to too long and the moment’s passed and the inspiration is stale and goes to waste.

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So I have been determined to change this pattern and have been working away at Spanish inspired things in between other work and commitments and I’d like to share and record it here. So seven months later here’s some of my holiday snaps and the work its inspired.

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We began with a week in Granada which in itself is a lovely city (can only vouch for the old part as we never went any further) It has all the old buildings and culture that you’d want plus a young beating heart  – it mixes the two well. I was also surprised to find all the same things in shops that we’d bartered for in Marrakesh but sold without the stress here!

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 Granada is very hilly and the payoff for a hike is the view. I happen to love a roof top view or one where the land looks thrown out like a patchwork quilt.

View From Alhambra Cl_Up 7

 I used acrylics for this piece and was trying to match my joy of the place with my experience of painting it – sometimes I try too hard and loose the essence. So I layered it up letting colours show through and applied a Fauvist approach by turning up the saturated colours next to the cool ones.

View From Alhambra Cl_Up 4

I kept a painterly and patterned approach because that’s what I saw looking out over all those geometric shapes and loved every minute of making this because it was joyful to make once I’d released myself from any photorealistic necessity.

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Once I got going I couldn’t stop at one – I’ll show you the other one tomorrow.

claire_leggett_View From Alhambra

We are just back from our summer holiday to Southern Spain.

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Here’s ten things I loved about visiting Spain for the first time:

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1. La Mezquita, Cordoba.

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You’re really spoilt for choice in Spain when it comes to choosing a historic building to visit. This one has been on my bucket list for some time and it did not disappoint. I’ll definitely be doing some future work from my visit and I’ll share my trillions of photos of this amazing place in detail then.

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2. Ethnic goods without the hassle and barter.

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Who knew you could buy all the same things as we did in Marrakesh but without the stress and general mayhem that goes with shopping in that part of Morocco.

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3. Tiles

Spanish tiles Claire Leggett

 Everywhere – need I say any more?!

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4. Flamenco.

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Absolutely took our breath away… so passionate, committed, vital and utterly compelling to watch. Not to be a snob, but this is professional Flamenco – worth paying for as the difference to street Flamenco is enormous.

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5. The Alhambra.

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Alhambra collage

 Another wish-list destination – a Moorish Palace with beautiful gardens as well. Again, I’m sure I’ll be painting from my photos there so more to come on this gem of a place another time.

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6. So many awesome churches and religious buildings.

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 We are so lucky to live in a part of Europe chock-a-block with history and the Catholics really knew how to adorn a building beautifully.

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7. Sauntering.

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 I love a wander and there’s no other way to cope with the heat than to just meander through places. Our luckiest find was this beautiful tea-house = fabulous tea and interior.

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8.Indigenous flora.

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 I love snapping away on visits abroad; everything seems exotic and unusual. What’s common to the people who live there (like Hibiscus flowers on the trees) is glamourous to me.

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9. Doors, windows, grills.


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 I really do love doors, windows, tiles, railings and door furniture. I love the colour combinations and see colour references for future pattern designs everywhere.

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10. The people.

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We met some wonderful locals; ones we were meant to meet and ones who just helped us when we were lost or confused about road signs etc. The Spanish are very accepting and none more so than on the beach where granny can wear her bikini alongside the youngest lovelies. Superb! They also live life – up early and still socialising late.

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With my youngest hoping to study Spanish at Uni, I’m sure this won’t be my first and last visit to this wonderful country. Que es grande!

 

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Spent a lovely (and last workshop day before Xmas 🥳) making #textileart and #drawingwiththread ➰🧵➰ @mac_birmingham From painting to collage to appliqué and stitches- fun, fun, fun 😝#illustratedstitch #applique #handstitched #textiles #workshop #stitchersofinstagram #stitchery #textilepictures
This Sunday 📆 @paperdollshandmade market 🛒 the @mothershipprojects #MARKit ladies will be selling their #hand printed and #hand sewn products for the first time 🥳 🎉 👏🏻 Please show them your 💙love💜 and be quick to snap up the cutest tea-towels ☁️ (swipe to see just some of the stock) 🏢Custard Factory, Digbeth #refugees #handmadesocialenterprise #everyonewelcome #refugeeswelcome #printedtextiles #socialenterprise #screenprinted #supportlocalartists #womenempoweringwomen #birminghamcity
Yesterday I taught Teacup Totes Embroidery @winterbournehg 🧵 ➿Here’s my sampler for class (finished in front of Strictly last night) #embroidery #embroideryflowers #embroideryart #broderie #stitchersofinstagram #stitch #slowstitching #frenchknots #daisystitch #stemstitch #teacups #stitchlovers #sewingfun #mindfulstitching #drawingwiththread
Ending my part of the #MARKit project @mothershipprojects today with a grateful heart 💖 Grateful for the chance to have shared my creativity and knowledge to welcome, build friendships and empower these awesome women 🙌🏻 #welcomerefugees #empowerwomen #refugeeswelcome #walkamileinmyshoes #motherswhomake #whorunstheworldgirls #craftforchange #womeninbusiness #artchangeseverything #makeadifference #fromstrengthtostrength #socialenterprise #sharelife

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