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I can never pass up on the opportunity to buy a cheap orchid when I’m at Ikea.

This time they had these miniature ones which are the perfect size for a still life painting.

Claire_leggett_watercolour_painting_in progress

I was going for a more tonal approach with this set up…jury’s out on this one!

Claire_Leggett_painting_Orchid, Horse and Butterfly_w'mkdpsd

Orchid, Horse and Butterfly © Claire Leggett

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orchid_macro

Progress on this painting has come fast and slow – parts to hurry towards, things to slow down till they’re resolved – it’s challenging me!

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I always do this – buy a beautiful plant or bunch of flowers because it just has to be painted and then… don’t get round to it until it’s half dead. This beautiful orchid was a mere £2.50 and had to come home with me intended for another painting which just didn’t come together so there was no choice – it had to feature in this painting. But quick because it’s on it’s last legs.

orchid_in_progress

Although I couldn’t see where I was going with it I forged ahead having a lovely time painting this plant and watching all the lovely unexpected effects of painting over collaged papers. I’m learning to paint using weak mixes and layer up with thicker paint as I go. It means I can keep some of the effect of early layers showing through top painting.

acrylics_in_progress_2

 I had been playing in my sketch book too as I went, trying out techniques and shapes before committing to the canvas. This seed head came about with a bit of printing from an old credit card and a stamp made from an eraser. I like it – it looks like fireworks in a way.

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I’ve blocked in a bird and begun painting in a tree with yellow leaves but I’m not convinced it’s quite right yet.

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It’s stood up staring at me while I tidy up and try to wrap the odd Christmas present while mulling the problem over. I think  the solution is emerging but I might have to be brave. Back with the finished article soon… I hope!

orchid+yellow_leaves

Autumn is definitely in the air and I think it shows in the colours I chose for this still life; a lovely chocolate mocha, gold and warm pinks. Yum. I could eat that description. Something else that happens in Autumn is more eating – do you find that too?

It’s been hard to concentrate round here lately with the goings on in our house and as a distraction I took to tidying the studio instead. I find tidying cathartic. But somewhere in the midst of it all I finished this little autumn offering.

Purple Orchid © Claire Leggett

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