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claire_leggett_spring_green_in da garden

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


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


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 ūüôā

©  Claire Leggett    Spring Green

© Claire Leggett   Spring Green

cyclamen close up

I think that this will be my last painting of this year.


And what a way to go… I don’t know why painting an already dying¬†cyclamen occured to me as a good idea.

cyclamen set up

Nor why putting a pink¬†cyclamen in front of a background pattern that’s the same colour would make for an easy time of painting.

cyclamen paint palette

Boy was that pink-that’s-red-with-violet hard to mix and match.

cyclamen being painted

But the prints were fun to paint, especially the Liberty fabric.

© Claire Leggett  Christmas Cyclamen

© Claire Leggett       Christmas Cyclamen

So day 2 of this painting began with the roses blocked in with colour in a race against time to capture the colours and shapes.
I love to use the wet-in-wet technique when I first block in the colour. I mix up and main three of four colours I see and then paint them in ¬†simultaneously and let them bleed and run into each other. The beauty of gouache over acrylic is that I can ‘wake’ up that dried paint at any stage which is what I tend to do once it’s dried and I’m giving the petals a further wash of colour and some detailing.
It took me along time to paint around the roses and put in such a complicated background – thank heavens for audible!
I made the blue paler than it actually is, purposefully as I didn’t want to over-power the pink flower heads.
Finally on day 3 I painted in the leaves, vase and china bird. After 3 solid days it was exciting to be on the home run now and adding that pop of bright leaf-green got me excited to see the finished piece.
I¬†think this painting has an old world quality about it mainly due to the style and colour of the rose which reminds me of 1950’s greetings cards.¬†

© Claire Leggett Roses

Back in March I went to hear my favourite painter Jean Martin talk about her work and methods. She happened to remark how she’d been given flowers for Mothers Day and that had cancelled any plans she may have had for the following day as she now had to capture them in paint before they died.

I know how she feels sometimes. We had friends over for dinner who came with wine (always good :)) and these three exquisite stems from the roses in their garden. A precious and utterly gorgeous gift. What a lovely way to have to rearrange plans because these were too good to miss.

But something was lacking once I’d drawn it out. I have a tendency to fill a space when I draw and these big frothy blooms filled the page easily, but I had a compositional gap – so I added this little china birdie. Spot the difference!

They are just such amazing old-fashioned blousy roses with such beautiful colours.

But what made these flowers so sublime was also what made them a killer to paint. I could see with every passing minute that they were changing shape and deepening in colour minutely.

The race was on so I had to work front to back (which always discombobulates me somewhat!) This was the finish at the end of day 1 – I’ll show you some more tomorrow.

Did you think I’d moved to the country and got a studio overlooking some fields?

It’s a little trick! I wanted to try out a still life composition with a landscape background but felt I needed some visual reference – hence the printout. I painted the window and went on to paint the foreground and it just wasn’t working out tonally.

I gave it a white-wash to try to knock back the strong greys of the window but that made it worse still. So I opted for what I know best and put some patterned fabric in the background instead. Who knows, one day maybe an ‘art-ologist’ will scrape away all the layers in this one and discuss the original window composition!

Pears © Claire Leggett

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