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Made it!

Wow, that was a marathon adventure and like all good runners, towards then end I had to slow down rather than just stop and call it quits.

But like all things, its when you’re stretched and challenged that growth occurs.

The daily (or technically I should say sustained) practice of showing up to paint has indeed kept me creative and accountable for doing so.

And I have found that my muscle memory and my hand eye co-ordination has improved and that I’m as surprised as anyone when I can capture a plant in a few strokes of a brush and with a limited colour range.

In short, practice makes you better at looking and capturing.

Which shouldn’t surprise me really.

We know if we exercise that our muscles become stronger but probably don’t talk much in those terms of the process of practising creatively.

And we should, because it does work the same way.

I have thoroughly enjoyed naming the plants in my garden – many of which I have inherited from the previous owners or Mother Nature.

And I have a unexpected sense of satisfaction to have two books full of catalogued plant names.

But I am glad it’s finished now and as the season winds down I won’t have the challenge of finding something new to include.

With hindsight 100 was a lot and maybe 75 would have suited me just enough.

So when I calculated that there were only enough pages in the book for 96 I took that as a divine compromise 😉

On June 1st I decided I’d commit to doing a 100days project. There were a few reasons for this:

For Christmas I got given a seed advent calendar which has been a lot of fun but also a lot of work – 25 different kinds of annuals to grow has kept me on my toes in the greenhouse. But it also means I have a lot of lovely plants to enjoy.

I had also enjoyed my residency at Winterbourne H&G so much that I had decided to try and document my own garden in a similar matter. However as is often the case when things are at home, it seems harder to paint and draw in my own garden. I have found time to do some studies and textile work but it doesn’t document the changes as I’d hoped because I can’t keep up the frequency of work needed.

Lastly, I’m back working at MAC (hurrah) and when I’m focussing on delivery I often find my own creativity takes a backseat.

So for all those reasons I started 100days of drawing/painting something in my own garden.

It doesn’t need to be finished or good and it can be quick or slow and I’m also finding I automatically apply several styles to my work but I’m not over-thinking it – just doing it, noticing and letting it be whatever it is.

Here’s the first six days.

The garden still has some treasures to be found worth painting – I have left flowers to go to seed so that there are interesting seed heads, the ornamental quince has fruited and the Marigolds soldier on regardless and all of these make lovely things to paint on this sunny day.

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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.

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

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Orchid, Horse and Butterfly © Claire Leggett

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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!

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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.

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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.

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

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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

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I’ve been sloshing pink, purple, blue and red around in the lovely square of spring sunshine coming through the window.

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And I’d forgotten about dip pens (or nib pens or whatever you wanna call them)

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The light is failing now but here’s a camera pic anyway to show the finished thing.

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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!

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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?!

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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

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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 🙂

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Back in September time I contacted a new-to-me gallery which is quite local in Henley-in-Arden called Torquil Pottery and The Gallery Upstairs.

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It is one of those quaint little Warwickshire villages with old red brick buildings and some Tudor black and whites.

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It’s always a bit nerve-racking doing a portfolio viewing for the first time and as all the pieces I took were framed it was quite a feat of packing and unpacking!

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The ladies who run this gallery are both artists themselves and run the gallery and host exhibitions showcasing other potters, painters and jewelers.

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I was delighted that they ear-marked nine pieces for this years winter show, which have now been delivered and are ready for the private view tomorrow.

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If you’re in the area come and say hello – and there’s a nice pub nearby too 😉

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I had a to-do list today & printing this wasn’t on it BUT I had to try out my new printing inks from @pickprettypaints straightaway 😄🌿🌈 #textiledesign #textileart #patterns #print #printmaking #linocut #fabricprint #fabricdesign #pattern #patternmaking #linoprint #fabricprinting #patternlove #lino #alwaystimeforpatternmakibg #linoprinting
Took a little Insta break to play around painting & drawing (more on that to follow 💫) and complete some other projects -see my Stories today for a little round up 🎥 #anartistslife #catchup #artistsoninstagram #paintingplaydate #artistworld #mywork #artworkinprogress
I’ve reached the end of my #100dayproject 💪🏻 but maybe not in 100 actual days plus there are only 96 pages in my book 😉🤷🏻‍♀️ so I lost stamina towards the end and had to really search the garden for something not yet studied but I’ve done it ☺️ here’s about half of them 🖼#sketchbook #creativelifehappylife #creativityeveryday #dailypracticeofpainting #artistsoninstagram #gouache #inspiredbythegarden #artist #mygardenflowers #painting #paintersofinstagram #art#alittleeachday #gouachepainting #watercolour #watercolor #flowers #paint #sketchbookdrawing #daily #dailypracticeofpainting #watercolourpainting #paint #paintingflowers #creativity #everyday #artwork #100dayproject2021
Here’s the final few to complete my 100dayproject of painting 100 things from my garden 🌻🌿🍅🪴🌷🥬#sketchbook #creativelifehappylife #creativityeveryday #dailypracticeofpainting #artistsoninstagram #gouache #inspiredbythegarden #artist #mygardenflowers #painting #paintersofinstagram #art#alittleeachday #gouachepainting #watercolour #watercolor #flowers #paint #sketchbookdrawing #daily #dailypracticeofpainting #watercolourpainting #paint #paintingflowers #creativity #everyday #artwork #100dayproject2021

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