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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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Who knew that painting over tinfoil could be such fun!

Beginnings

That’s what sketch book play is all about isn’t it? Those unexpected successes.

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I’m really happy with this little piece – I think it captures the feeling of a night in the Djemaa El-Fna (the main square in Marrakesh)

Djemaa El-Fna

It can be a bit of a stressful place with lots of locals out to get your money through one scam or another but it looks nice and twinkly!

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Here’s wishing you a happy Bank Holiday weekend 🙂

Little Birds_mosaic 1

It feels like soooo long since I’ve immersed myself in a big old painting – I have been painting but more for design as opposed to this kind of ‘get lost for a few days’ type affair.

Little Birds_end of day 1

Little Birds_mosaic 2

And as always after a break in the flow, it’s hard to get back in the groove – I feel like I peck at it, or circle around and around getting a little closer each time. But I knew that was coming so I didn’t fret much about what the end result was going to be and I just got on with airing out the skills again.

Little Birds_end of day 2

The thing I find hardest is re-building the concentration required for a painting piece – I can think of a hundred little jobs that need doing just before I start, or during, and I have to actively ignore myself so I stay put. It helps to have an audio book on so I just finished Mad About The Boy which was a fun distraction.

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I picked up an old canvas that I had collaged a hundred years ago and then left gathering dust. I didn’t really have a plan (and that shows in places) but I started layering up shapes and colours, popped some little birds in and sort of went to and fro with paper and paint until it felt finished and focussed. Not sure about it over-all but I love some little bits of it and I can feel my flabby painting muscles getting back in shape.

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Little Birds     © Claire Leggett

PS I took so many process photos that I thought I’d make a Flipagram  – come on over to @claire_leggett on Instagram and see 🙂

claire leggettsm notebks wrapped

It’s Moseley Arts market again tomorrow – was the last one really only four weeks ago?

claire leggett sm notebks wrapped

Time seems to have condensed itself recently, don’t know if the days just feel shorter because of it getting dark earlier or whether my expectations for what can be done in a day are too great!

claire leggett yellow notebk in prog

I have been in my painting cave this week re-stocking these hand painted notebooks. They are a labour of love, I’m not gonna lie, but the emphasis is defiantly on love.

claire leggett large notebooks

The painting of these really gets my creative juices flowing for other projects and I just love doing them. Plus I added a ‘belly wrap’ (get me) which just finishes them off nicely.

claire leggett lg notebks wrapped

9-3pm Alcester Road, Mosley, tomorrow 🙂

Back in February I wrote about The Fauves here – the undisclosed reason at the time was because I was working on some prospective work. I find it hard to juggle secret projects and my own work and so sometimes forget to show projects I’ve done that were under wraps but can now be revealed.

Claire_Leggett_Fauvist_Project

The study of the Fauves reminded me to under wash the paper first so that colour glows through any gaps – in this case I noticed in a painting, that pink works really well and so I gave it a go.

Claire_Leggett_Fauve_1

I love how it gives the white a depth and glow and how it peeps through lighter washes of colour.

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© Claire Leggett “Cottage Door”

This piece wasn’t chosen by the client but it did move me on in terms of content and technique.

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These are sneak peeks of the other piece I did which is still on the hold list – fingers crossed.

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In between rain showers I have picked around the edges of the garden finding the odd lovely flower here and there.

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One one flower on the candelabra Primula, only three ranunculus blooms that were uneaten by creatures and a couple of bluebells because I already know how hard they are to paint!

Claire_leggett_Ranunculus and Bluebells_set up

I added some spots and stripes and it came together by itself.

© Claire Leggett  Ranunculus and Bluebells

© Claire Leggett Ranunculus and Bluebells

This painting and all my others and more besides will be with me at Patchings Festival beginning this Thursday – if you’re on Flickr you can watch the festival progress here and if you are visiting do come and say hi.

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.

claire_leggett_Tea and cake step by step

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

claire_leggett_spring_green_in da garden

I have been immersed in painting these beauties recently – are you ready to join me in some more tulip love?

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These are my favourite so far, Spring Green bulbs from Sarah Raven.

claire_leggett_spring_green_forgetmenots

Add in some Liberty and a Ken Eardley vase and it’s got to be a winner no?

Claire_Leggett_set up for spring green

I have also fallen back in love with those humble beauties Forget-me-nots – such a sweet little plant, so unassuming but beautifully delicate. Worth a closer look.

Claire Leggett Spring Green florals

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the making of this piece and bringing all the individual elements together. Hope it cheers your day a little 🙂

©  Claire Leggett    Spring Green

© Claire Leggett   Spring Green

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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

claire_leggett_sunny_sunflowers

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!

claire_leggett_sunny_paintbrushes

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?!

claire_leggett_sunny_dahlias

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

claire_leggett_sunny_spring_greens

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 🙂

claire_leggett_sunny_parma_roses

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