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Happy New Year all.

End of week 1 of a shiny new year and I’ve kept my new year resolution to paint something everyday please click link to see the Flipagram.

folk art birds_claire Leggett

Fingers crossed for weeks 2, 3, 4 ..!

claire_leggett_painter

After along hiatus in painting activity around here, I have unpacked some lovely new paints and re-discovered my happy place. Inspired by our French holiday I have added some colour and warmth to my otherwise cold studio.

claire_leggett_overalls

One way to cope is to wear lots of layers – these dungarees are 27 years old! They started life with me at art college, have decorated every house we’ve ever lived in, have helped create most of my paintings and are still going strong today

claire_leggett_textiles

 I took delivery of a new sewing machine which is able to do free-motion machine embroidery – lots of fun ahead adding that to hand-prints and the like.

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And yesterday I allowed myself a moment of celebration when I saw the book I’m in on the shelf in my very own local Waterstones bookshop!

Have a happy week everyone.

 

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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

Claire_leggett_ALhambra_2016_10

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

granada pano

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

claire_leggett_artist_designer_a copy

Trying to follow my prompts; this time “Make art everyday”. So today was about painting flowers and then doing admin jobs. These are that humble, last for ever flower Alstroemeria, that sells cheaply and is often overlooked even though it’s really beautiful if you look closely enough.

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Sweet Williams are one of my best-est, most favourite, happiest, rewarding plants to grow, buy or paint.

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Apparently they are named after either the 18th century Prince William or William Shakespeare

Pinks in Cup_claire_leggett

I love painting them – I love the colours, the zig-zag petal edges, the way the colours bleed and the patterning.

Perserve in progress_claire_leggett

I often make myself little notes of encouragement to pin-up around the studio.

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This one is to keep me persevering! If you want to download a copy for yourself there is a pdf here if you click the link: Claire_Leggett_Persevere Pinks.jpg you can print it off and share the encouragement 🙂

Claire_Leggett_Persevere PinksClaire_Leggett_Persevere Pinks

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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).

alchemilla mollis

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.

Achemilla Mollis in cup_claire_leggett

Marrakesh_square_colours

Had a good, long Bank Holiday weekend? I had an unexciting but satisfying time of purging the kitchen cupboards of clutter! Let me know if you can beat that 😉

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I’m sat here now with the rain and wind lashing at the window pane so I thought some Marrakesh colour would be a welcome thing!

Marrakesh Souk Street_claire_leggett

I did a little watercolour painting in my sketchbook and was transported back to the hot souks of Marrakesh – the perfect antidote to a little Spring storm.

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