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Back in May I finished my Artist in Residency at Winterbourne House & Gardens but was unable to hold an exhibition of all the work I’d completed due to the pandemic. Life is moving on and although Winterbourne is now open again, it has been reorganised and any possible exhibition still looks a long way off.
So I have set up the work at home and filmed it. It’s part exhibition of works (paintings, print, textiles and embroidery) and part artists talk where I tell you some stories behind the paintings or processes I have used.
I hope you might have a watch – it’s on YouTube here and it’s completely free to view.
I have updated my website to show all the work and a lot of the products I had made which were destined for sale in the shop during the run of my exhibition, if you fancy taking a look www.claireleggett.co.uk

Eleri Mills is one of wales most successful artists.

We swung by the Ruskin Craft Center on our home from Port Merion – I’ve got to say that seeing some real art in a real art gallery was so soul-filling after these many months of Lockdown.

I didn’t realise how much I respond to seeing art in real life until we were walking around and I was literally soaking it up – I went around twice.

Apart from the recent denial of such pleasures, I enjoyed this so much because Eleris work really talks to me.

It is full of mark making and those marks translate to say something about the landscape which inspires her but also can be abstract and I like that.

She also develops those marks into stitches put directly through the canvas.

And these are often running stitches but can be a gorgeous hue or an eye catching luxe thread but they serve to continue to talk about the landscape in an even more tactile fashion.

It’s an approach which really inspires me.

I also loved her use of scale and the way she played with diptych and triptych approaches to drawing over several sheets of paper either to expand the same scene or to make companion pieces.

It reminds me also to never stop drawing or dipping my soul into nature to feel grounded and alive.

Eleri Mills – Egni: a decade of creativity is running August – November 2020 at Ruthin Craft Centre, The Centre for the Applied Arts.

Here in no particular order of date painted or size, are the 12 paintings I have completed as part of my Artist in Residency at Winterbourne House and Gardens, Birmingham University.
I like to work in many styles as a response to what I’m seeing to paint.
Most are gouache watercolour layered up with texture and washes of colour. But there are also a couple of mixed media pieces with acrylic.
I started out with grand plans to document the seasons passing or the same plants at different points in time but actually I was quickly over whelmed by how much growing goes on and how much there was to document in so many valid ways.
In the end I opted for a simple formula – I painted whatever brought me joy, whenever, wherever it did.
This project has stretched and challenged my ability as an artist to capture landscape, light, the feel of a place and working to represent a lot of visual information even in smaller works.

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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 think I’ve exhausted the Alhambra for now but couldn’t wrap up without indulging in some window views.

Alhambra Palace Terrace View 2

All painters like a good composition and a window framing a beautiful view is always a winner.

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The Alhambra will give you a swore neck from craning to catch all the views from all the window frames!


The Alhambra window 5

I’d love to paint more of these and do a little series of them.

Alhambra Palace Terrace View 1

But for now I’ll leave you with this one which really captures it all in one shot.

The Alhambra window 6

This pavilion is the oldest building in the Alhambra.

Palacio del Partal

During the period of my life when I was busy bringing up toddlers but still had a heart to paint (which wasn’t happening) I saw an artist tackle a similar scene and it was so inspiring it stayed with me.

Jean B Martin

Jean B Martin

Her name is Jean Martin and I think this is the painting I saw propped up on a gallery floor waiting to be framed.

Palacio del Partal painting collage

I had to work hard to take inspiration without copying or loosing my own authenticity – I chose to turn up the colours as The Fauves would have.

© Claire Leggett  Palacio del Partal

© Claire Leggett Palacio del Partal

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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

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Just before we went away to Dorset we had been in a garden centre shopping for boring hard-landscaping things we needed, but we also left with some Spring plants that were calling me to take them home.

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I didn’t really have clear idea of what I wanted to do with them but some plants just can’t be left behind.

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I am a sucker for candelabra anything but particularly these with lollipop flower heads.

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And I adore painting Bellis daisies – they are just so cheering.

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When we came home from our break, the good weather here had brought everything on in the garden and there were daffodils and forget-me-nots to cut and bring in.

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So what with listening to the Archers taking the cows out onto grass for the first time this year (I’m an old biddy now, aren’t I?!) and with the wonderful rolling hills of Dorset fresh in my mind, I pieced together this landscape with a hedgerow of Springs finest.

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Bit of a new direction for me and I’ve really enjoyed it.

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