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This week I hung an exhibition of my work at the Coach House Gallery which is at Winterbourne Botanical Gardens, Birmingham.

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Winterbourne is part of the Birmingham University campus.

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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.

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It’s one of those magical places that has held onto the history of the past and simultaneously successfully embraced the future.

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And my colourful work has ushered Spring in a little earlier than Mother Nature (it’s trying to snow today)

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Exhibition hanging takes patience and stamina (good step-ladder muscles!)

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One of the most fun things to do was fill the glass exhibition case.

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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.

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It was fun to set the scene.

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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




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Hard to believe that I started this painting twenty days ago at the 2015 Patchings Festival as part of my demonstrating.

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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.

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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.

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Gonna call it done now; successes, flaws and all!

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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!

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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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After being busy with art events over the last few weeks, I have been catching up with h/w and garden work this week and what a lot there was! It always amazes me the amount of energy plants have to throw up huge stems from tiny seeds – shame to pull them up really but the garden was running away with itself.

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I did manage to snatch a peaceful few hours to paint these simple little beauties before they got potted out into hanging baskets. I love the opportunity pansies offer to bleed watercolours together to create a sweet little pansy face.

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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 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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Next door have a beautiful Briar Rose which hangs over into our garden.

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This year it is particularly beautiful, dripping with big clusters of flowers.

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I love the vibrant pink-red of the petals and how they pale by degrees into ballet-slipper pink.

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They are very satisfying for capturing in watercolours as they provide lots of opportunity to let colours bleed into one another.

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The peppering of stamens and pollen is the painting equivalent of popping a cherry on an iced cake.

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Yum!

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Following a walk down the garden to admire the blooms (and ignore the weeds) I came back with a little clutch of pink flowers to paint.

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Trailing Geranium, Cosmos, Crazy Daisy, Briar Rose and Sweet William. The result is a quick little painting proving that there is no such thing as one shade of pink!

A little Pot of Pink  © Claire Leggett

A Little Pot of Pink © Claire Leggett

I have continued to work away at this all week and it is shaping up nicely. This lime green is very yummy.

I have added in some Spring themed objects from my collection of useful things.

Although I’m nervous about painting a feather – they can be surprisingly hard to capture and make wispy.

But I’m still along way off worry about that yet. This painting is huge!

And so the weekend is upon us and this is where I’ve got to. I like the composition so far and I’m relieved that most of the fiddley painting-around-tulips- is done.

Have a great weekend. We have a Birmingham half-marathon running man to cheer on this Sunday. See you next week.

It feels incredible to me that it is only four short weeks since I embarked on a full-time career in painting. I am loving every minute of it and getting a ton of work done. My week has found its own rhythm of design work on the computer (with the radio thumping away to stir the creative spirit) and days of painting (with audiobooks playing to dis-engage that left brain thinking.)

This painting presented itself (more-or-less) on the kitchen table, as I had cut down some left-over Pinks and had lit the pink candle for dinnertime. With the introduction of some crochet and silver it has become a study in pink and grey.

Copyright notice 2015

All images, text, and content on this site are the sole property of Claire Leggett and may not be used, copied or transmitted without the express consent of Claire Leggett.

If you wish to link to this site or to a post from this site, please ask first before doing so and then give appropriate credit for content.

Any other inquiries please email me at hello@claireleggett.co.uk

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