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Just popping in with a few catch-up pieces from my residency at Winterbourne House and Garden.

It’s been hard to catch a good time to be out painting because of the sudden changes in weather and temperature. One solution has been to work in miniature, although these paintings still take quite a time.

 

Everything is growing very fast and I’m trying my best to catch a little bit of it all as there’s no way I can do all of it justice. The Auriculas have long been a favourite of mine so it was nice to capture them.

This little guy had to be caught on canvas having visited me whilst sketching one day and had a good long proper chat and even hopped around the side of me as if to see what I was doing.

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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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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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Valentines Day aside, we all need a reminder of this. xxx

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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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Over the last two weeks I have been to-ing and fro-ing with this painting here. I have wanted to capture some snowdrops for a while but there is  such a short window between buying them and getting them painted that before you blink they’ve dried up.

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I’ve also had these ‘snooty cats’ for a while now – a car boot sale find – they just appeal to me and I like their slightly haughty air.

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The background was some off cuts of our bedroom wallpaper which I never tired of until this painting.

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So I set this up fairly confidently that the colours and compositions were going to work and set to getting those snowdrops done quickly.

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A few days solid painting and I’d finished…so I thought! I like to prop paintings up somewhere outside of the studio and live with them for a while – it gives a bit of perspective on the finished article and for good reason because as we lived with this, we could all see that those birds were really distracting. Back to the drawing board.

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I carefully mopped them out and painted in using the background colours which were (luckily) still left on the palette – hurray for watercolours. Cue a bit more living with it and it still wasn’t clicking. i decided that the background paper, beautiful as it is, was just not the right pattern for this set up because it was fighting for attention.

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So I took a radical step which took a few days of building up to, and masked the whole of the foreground and then washed the entire background out and began again.

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Scary stuff! I can continue to recommend Peobe masking fluid is all I can say.

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I should also say that the paper was stretched on a board so even though it got a good soaking, once it dried out, is was tight and flat again.

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Then I painted in a plain grey background colour and masked in a simple, more regular pattern which I then painted over again for a two-tone finish. And I. was. sick. of.it!

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© Claire Leggett “Snooty Cats”

So here is the final metamorphosis of this painting. I’m moving on 😉

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Some pink, some yellow, tulips in sight, paint and sunshine.

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It’s a recipe for a happy hour or two.

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“Almost all creativity involves purposeful play.” ~ Abraham Maslow

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That’s where I’m at.

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Like a lot of people, I really enjoy the snuggly cosiness that Autumn brings – wooly tights, butternut squash, rainy days… Yesterday as we were sat in a pub having a celebratory lunch ( hubby ran a half marathon in 1.34.52) my daughter remarked that this was what she liked about living in Britain; this being that she was eating a steak and ale pie tucked up in a snug traditional pub while the rain lashed the windows. And she’s not wrong.

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Strangely I actually enjoy my daily dog walk more when it’s not summer, when rain boots are required, when the wood is quieter, when I can tromp around picking up things for my own nature table in the studio.

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Which is how my badger and fox paintings came about – not that I picked up either animal on my walk but the dog might have tried to!

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Speaking of… how cute is she in her new winter coat? Took a little persuading (hubby not dog) but he was sort of won round by the reduction in dog washing. Lottie has learnt to get excited on seeing it because it means just one thing… walk time. Have a great week.

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This little cup of flowers represents one of my gardening landmarks – I LoVe Daliahs but have never managed to grow or keep them and certainly never enough blooms to warrant cutting any and bringing them in.

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I woke up fresh on Monday morning feeling like today was the day to put yellow and pink and orange together!

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My high spirits got somewhat dampened as I painted though – these are blimming hard to capture – lots of shades within colours especially that darned yellow with lots of grey and green, pinks full of magenta and cerise, even the orange was red and brown. There were moments when I considered a pointilist approach!

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Spent a lovely (and last workshop day before Xmas 🥳) making #textileart and #drawingwiththread ➰🧵➰ @mac_birmingham From painting to collage to appliqué and stitches- fun, fun, fun 😝#illustratedstitch #applique #handstitched #textiles #workshop #stitchersofinstagram #stitchery #textilepictures
This Sunday 📆 @paperdollshandmade market 🛒 the @mothershipprojects #MARKit ladies will be selling their #hand printed and #hand sewn products for the first time 🥳 🎉 👏🏻 Please show them your 💙love💜 and be quick to snap up the cutest tea-towels ☁️ (swipe to see just some of the stock) 🏢Custard Factory, Digbeth #refugees #handmadesocialenterprise #everyonewelcome #refugeeswelcome #printedtextiles #socialenterprise #screenprinted #supportlocalartists #womenempoweringwomen #birminghamcity
Yesterday I taught Teacup Totes Embroidery @winterbournehg 🧵 ➿Here’s my sampler for class (finished in front of Strictly last night) #embroidery #embroideryflowers #embroideryart #broderie #stitchersofinstagram #stitch #slowstitching #frenchknots #daisystitch #stemstitch #teacups #stitchlovers #sewingfun #mindfulstitching #drawingwiththread
Ending my part of the #MARKit project @mothershipprojects today with a grateful heart 💖 Grateful for the chance to have shared my creativity and knowledge to welcome, build friendships and empower these awesome women 🙌🏻 #welcomerefugees #empowerwomen #refugeeswelcome #walkamileinmyshoes #motherswhomake #whorunstheworldgirls #craftforchange #womeninbusiness #artchangeseverything #makeadifference #fromstrengthtostrength #socialenterprise #sharelife

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