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Half term has been a welcome break in the normal in and out of running classes and has afforded me a block of time to paint. It’s been a while – on day one I had zero concentration for it and had to really plug away but it always falls into place if I keep at it.
And the slower mornings have meant a cup to tea in bed accompanied by something from my enormous post-Christmas reading pile. Inspiration abounds now.
This week I hung an exhibition of my work at the Coach House Gallery which is at Winterbourne Botanical Gardens, Birmingham.
Winterbourne is part of the Birmingham University campus.
It’s an Edwardian Arts and Crafts house built for the family of John Nettlefold in 1903.
It’s last owner bequeathed it to the University where it became the Botanical Gardens in 1944.
It’s one of those magical places that has held onto the history of the past and simultaneously successfully embraced the future.
And my colourful work has ushered Spring in a little earlier than Mother Nature (it’s trying to snow today)
Exhibition hanging takes patience and stamina (good step-ladder muscles!)
I have laid out sketchbooks, pattern design swatches, an old paint palette, some tubes of paint, brushes, pencils and design work that shows how I use my original paintings digitally.
It was fun to set the scene.
And now I’m happily heading off to a restful weekend – there’s a G & T with my name on it!
Exhibition is up until 12th March
Todays calendar page is not wrong!
After a lovely busy Summer bursting with family affairs, teaching, holidays and other welcome distractions, today is the first day I find myself home alone and able to concentrate.
So I picked this interesting Hydrangea flower from the garden and got re-acquainted with my paintbrush. It feels good 🙂
Back in time again to our visit to Granada last Summer and I wanted to show you the wonderful Alhambra.
Set high up on a hill overlooking all of Granada is this exquisite place.
It’s made up of several buildings which have become the Alhambra but its first building dates back to C9th.
Improvements were made and destructions too by various rulers along the way and then in C18th it was abandoned with restoration beginning in C19th.
Despite all that chequered history, it’s amazing that so much of its beauty remains.
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.
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).
I’ve saved all the tiles for a special blog-post of their own!
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.
Hard to believe that I started this painting twenty days ago at the 2015 Patchings Festival as part of my demonstrating.
I never find it easy to paint whilst being watched, but people love to see how you go about your work and it makes the event unique and is a great talking point. So I was slower than in normal studio conditions and I also set myself quite the challenge putting pink flowers on pink floral, throwing in some lace-work and tackling that composition from above.
I didn’t get it finished at the festival so in-between travelling up and down the country looking at University open days with my youngest, I’ve been fiddling with this.
Gonna call it done now; successes, flaws and all!
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 😉
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!
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.
This is the vintage teacup that I began as my demo on patterned watercolours last Saturday with The Spotted Dog art group.
As usual it’s a brightly coloured painting – a typical Claire Leggett painting! but maybe a little more so because it wasn’t an especially well lit room and I may have over compensated with my choice of orange hue!
I’ll let you be the judge of that – I have spent a couple of hours finishing it off in my studio and am happy enough to say “ta daaah….”
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.
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!