Thursday, 18 December 2014

Wintery landscapes

Its all wintery and grey where I live in Berkshire, England, so I have made a few paintings to celebrate the season.
Blanket of snow is a 1mx1m painting in GOLDEN acrylic on canvas. Their fibre paste was used to create a texture reminiscent of watercolour paper.

A limited edition of 50 prints are sold through ETSY

A few more landscapes are also available as prints.
Melting snow available as print.

Early winter is now sold but available as print.

Young fox a 12x12" painting in acrylic available.

Some smaller 8"x8" paintings SOLD




Sunday, 14 December 2014

New work and products

New Paintings also available in print and textile.

During 2014 I've rediscovered my love of pattern and surface design and the options of digital printing to create textiles.
Four designs have been turned into cushions and one will be given away tonight 14 December at 9 pm to someone who's voted for their favourite 
The winner is Shelley Grant!

New designs will be added in 2015.

Bright and colourful paintings are turned into textiles and prints

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Paintings as Textile Designs

My original arts training back in the late 1980's was in textile design, pre computer aided design, so very old school. I am thankful for that grounding, and my specialism of silk screen printing, but today I am amazed at just what can be printed digitally on fabrics of all descriptions.

This week I entered a competition. Pillowfight is an online competition, view my four entries here. Anyone can buy my designs as pillows as well, and I am having a GIVEAWAY.

One of these cushions will be given away!
To go into the draw to win a cushion just mention which is your favourite, the image with most votes will be given away to anyone who've left a comment either on this blog post, or on my facebook page.
Winner announced on EsteMacLeodBlogspot on 1 December 9pm.
A Colourful day.

Birds of paradise

A Bit of Magic


Sunday, 9 November 2014

Auction of two paintings for Starfish Greathearts

I've enjoyed working with a floral theme and created two drawings for a charity I support.
Starfish is an AIDS charity and two 12"x12" paintings are used to fundraise.
Via justgiving Two Birds is being raffled. By donating as little as £1 you could be in line to win this painting, worldwide shipping included.

A guilded painting featuring a poppy is also being auctioned. Starting on Rememberance Sunday, Red Flower will be sold to the highest bidder via online biddings to conclude on 13 November at Starfish's Care to Taste event.

More paintings available via Este MacLeod

Saturday, 18 October 2014

The Question Mark Creative Challenge: info and guidelines.

Here is the template to be used by over 1000 children during the #TheBigDraw month:

The basic guidelines to teachers and tutors
  • Firstly: name, school and age on sheets in pen please
  • The Doodle can be used in any direction. The symbol is irrelevant - it's just a starting point for the drawing and need not be prominent once completed.
  • Derwent Inktense pencil and template provided to local schools and clubs. For everyone else please download the template and print A3. Draw using black pencil, thick felt tip or crayon (HB graphite too thin and faint).
  • NO RUBBING OUT. Will smudge, and intuituve drawings encouraged.
  • NO COLOUR. Line drawings without shading, it is important to show the drawing clearly.
  • Maximum of 30 minutes allowed per drawing in school time (it should go faster than this though)
  • Indicate with an 'X' on reverse if children don't want their artwork to be used in potential collages, animations or publications.
  • Indicate chosen theme (1, 2 or 3 - see below).
  • The purpose of this exercise is to connect with our own creativity, to show the importance of drawing in a modern world, to be part of a bigger community project and something positive and fun.
  • By using the different themes there is something for everyone to draw, from an elaborate drawing to a simple shape. Children are encouraged to make whatever they draw unique and original. If two children draw something similar, e.g. a love heart, look at ways of making it their own (by adding shapes, patterns etc.)
  • Drawings might not fit into the square box. If children want, the reverse can be used my repositioning and tracing the question mark doodle.

OUR WORLD is the Big Draw 2014 theme.
  • To aid visualisation there are three sub themes:
  • Natural world - anything found in and on and above the earth, fauna and flora, animals, fish, trees, plants etc.
  • Small world - insects, creepy crawlies, bugs, butterflies etc.
  • Imaginary world - think out of the box: what do you see? A portrait, profile,  prototype, pretty pattern ... Be original, it's your choice.

  • Local schools - once finished please cut off the information on the right hand side. Children should give this to parents as  it has information on venues and where all work will be exhibited.
  • Drawings collected from schools by 6th November for selected display at the Windsor Contemporary Art Fair.
  • Even though this is not a competition, originality and creativity will be rewarded.
  • Exhibitions
  • Work will be shown at the Windsor Contemporary Art Fair, other local venues and at a curated show with larger artworks at the Norden Farm Arts Centre.
  • During this time, hands on art workshops for KS2 teachers from the primary schools in Berkshire taking part will happen. More info to follow.

International participation
  • Schools, organisations and individuals - it is possible to take part wherever you are.
  • The target group for is ages 5-14, but other ages can join in as well (adults are also welcome). Please state group on any drawings submitted.
  • The black and white template can be downloaded from Dropbox, or email este to have the file sent to you.
  • Please let me know if you take part, as this will be used in a map to be exhibited in January.
  • Follow the same guidelines for drawings and send images of outcomes to este or share via instagram: #thequestionmarkcreativechallenge

More info at THE BIG DRAW

Apart from the project in schools, there will be options for all ages to join in the making of larger artworks based on the same idea of the Question Mark Creative Challenge. By visiting various venues and events children 5-14 will have a chance to make drawings on the printed templates, and all ages will get the chance to be part in creating a large interactive artwork around the same idea.

Craft Coop  on Saturday 25 October 10-3pm 
Afrovibes Festival at South Hill Park Arts Centre 
1 November 10-3pm
The Windsor Contemporary Art Fair
8-9 November at Windsor race course. (two for one ticket offer)
Jackson's art materials 10% discount offer 1-14 November.
 Coupon code NOVEMBER10

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Let's Draw!

The Question Mark Creative Challenge!

Join in this dynamic Drawing event, part of Big Draw 2014.

An exciting project involving schools, children in arts groups in the UK and globally.
Art has the role in education of helping children become like themselves instead of more like everyone else. Sydney Gurewitz Clemens
23-24 October UK schools 
25 October Craft Coop Maidenhead
23 October-2 November Global participation.

First option: Primary schools in Berkshire and surrounds: 
Berkshire Primary schools are invited to take part in this drawing challenge.
Children aged 7-11 will make drawings based on the challenge. 

All Primary schools in Berkshire and surrounds are invited to register (Deadline 3 October).
 An A3 sheet printed with guidelines and a template of a question mark doodle plus a Derwent 'Inktense' pencil supplied to be used for drawings.

Drawings are created starting with a question mark doodle printed on a sheet.
· Project will happen during school time 23-23 October, 30 minutes allowed for drawing.
Fee: £1.50 per participant.

Big Draw 2014's theme is Our World, the challenge use the subthemes to add guidance.

1.Natural World: 
Living things found in the sea, sky and land. Things with wings, flippers, beaks, claws and paws.  
2.Small World: 
Bees, bugs, butterflies, mini beasts, creepy crawlies.         
3.Imaginary World: 
Weird and wonderful: Pretty Pattern, Portrait, Profile, Prototype, Peculiar Invention - Your choice. 


Exhibitions: Drawings shown at Windsor Contemporary Art Fair and Norden Farm Arts Centre.
Possible additional outcomes:
 Prints, a Publication and an Animation project. 
FREE dedicated arts sessions offered for KS2 teachers for all participating local schools.

Second Option: Let's Draw at Craft Coop on 25 October 10-3pm.Part of the Families Festival and Big Draw. Everyone welcome to make Question mark related drawings on sheets and large boards to be documented. 
Drop in and join in creating a visual outcome en masse.

Third option: Global participation.
Involving youth art groups, schools an anyone aged 4-14 anywhere to create drawings by either downloading the Questionmark guide sheet or alternatively improvise and make a question mark inspired drawing relating to Our World
Dates: 23 October and 2 November.
Share Drawings via Instagram #?uestionmarkchallenge to be added to blog later, or used in Norden farm exhibition slide show.

To be part of this event please email for detailed info, or leave a message below.

*This project is an Este MacLeod Creative Incentive*.·

Saturday, 6 September 2014

'Look Closely' New Painting now available as print.

This fantasy painting is now available as A3 (40x30cm) sized giclee print. 
Prints are not signed or limited. 
Bigger sizes are available on request.
Prints also available at £39 on

To go into the draw for the giveaway find the animals (and insects) in this artwork, leave a message with the total in this blog page or on my Facebook page.

Winner announced 14 September!

Friday, 5 September 2014

Embracing Digital Technology

'Midsummer' a painting I completed last July was one of the winners in the Bags of love's silk scarf contest recently. Even though I am a full time painter now, my original training was as a textile designer specialising in surface pattern design and silk screen printing. It is remarkable how our lives are influenced by digital technology, and even though I do not do much designing on computers at this point, I just love the fact that a 1mx1m painting can be photographed and the image used for a mulitcoloured crisply printed textile.
I see wonderful options and ideas blossomming for applications of my paintings and designs. I am selling through Spoonflower as well, and the range will expand further in September.

This is a towel printed with the 'Midsummer' design.

Silk scarf printed with 'Midsummer' design.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Lilla Rogers Global Talent Search Contest entry.

This is my entry for the contest: Theme 'Little Terrariums'

Brief: A 7x9" Wall based artwork (print) relating to the theme of little terrariums. Audience: adult or chilren.
After considering this, I thought I'd make an artwork that covers both, adult and children, and I looked at artist who's work I admire, with a whimsical style. Miro, Klee, Chagall and Kandinsky fall into this category.

What did I want my Terrarium artwork to achieve?
It has to draw you in, colours to be lush, rich and somehow soothing. I am a colourist, and this is what I thrive on really, colour as supposed to the subject matter.
Colour interior trends for 2015 and using shapes and icons that I feel resemble my style in general had to be kept in mind. I relied heavily on my training as an (old school) textile designer to make something commercially viable, yet true to my own style.
Oh yes, words, it had to contain words, as a rule I do not like using words in art. 'Look closely, the beautiful may be small' Immanuel Kant qoute. was used.

So I ended up with an artwork I can imagine as a print, in something like a kitchen or conservatory. Possibly a playroom...Something you can get distracted by, playful, a bit of escapism.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainty. Erich Fromm

I'm taking part in a Blog hop, being invited by The questions posed for this posting are the following: What am I working on? How does it differ from others in this genre? Why do I create what I do? and How does my creative process work>

What am I working on?

I am working on paintings for a selection of galleries and exhibitions, I am also working on a drawing project involving children 7-11 as part of an incentive to happen alongside The Big Draw event.

I'm focussing on Fantasy and Floral paintings at the moment. Being affected by seasons, the work seem more summery right now.

How does it differ from others in this genre?

Mmm, difficult to answer since I cannot be objective, for one I am basically a full time painter with a strong design foundation. With extensive training as a textile designer, my paintings are stylised with an emphasis on colour and shapes. I am also a designer with work being licensed for prints and products. I like to apply myself in different ways, apart from Textile design training, I have a BA honours degree in Ceramics with Glass, and an MA in Jewellery design, so I enjoy an element of applied arts as well. Predominantly I do however see myself as a painter.

Why do I create what I do?

I've been an artist for as long as I can remember, I've never wanted to be anything other. As I get older I use the experiences in new experimental ways. I realised that just because one is trained in a certain specialism it does not mean you cannot adapt and diversify. For example, I am a painter, but now after 25 years I am able to once again create designs usable for textile and surface decoration, derived from paintings. Technology allows new ways of application, and this is very exciting.

Happy Day, a painting also used as a textile design.

How does my creative process work?

Well, as mentioned I fall back on experiences gained from being a full time artist. Playing with form and colour and happy accidents offer new ways of creating paintings and designs. Not being too precious about what you have created so far. In short, I agree with Erich Fromm: Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainty. Wonderful things happen when you do.

Still life painting evolving into a fantasy painting.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Marvelous Mussi, Cleo the Queen of Mosaic artists.

This artist is just such an inspiration to me. Cleo Mussi's whimsical, striking mosaic art.

She works with such flair and humour.
An exhibition 'All Consuming' is currently on in Stroud.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

The ?uestion Mark Creative Challenge.

The ?uestion Mark Creative Challenge!
An exciting project happening in Berkshire and beyond linking with Big Draw's 'Our World' theme.

A community based project to promote Art and Creativity and to celebrate our individual minds. Two thousand Children aged 7-11 involved in this project. This is not a competition, but rather a challenge to engage with and create a visual outcome en masse.

What, When and Where?
Around 2,000 local children will participate making drawings based on a question mark doodle as starting point.
Project happens in schools.

23-24 October in schools and 25 October at Craft Coop (Maidenhead)
Primary schools in and around Berkshire, England are invited to register now for this event. Limited to 2000 participants.
All materials supplied to provide a uniform scenario to create from.
*Art groups (children) and schools around the world are also invited to take part in this project electronically. The same template can be printed and used for drawings. 
This is free and can be done at any time from 17 October - 2 November 2014. Images to be shared on Instagram

An A3 sheet printed with guidelines and a template of a question mark doodle Derwent 'Inktense' pencil supplied.
The doodle is the starting point of each individual creation, it can be used in any direction.
Drawings will happen in black pencil only, no colour involved.

Three themes relating to Our World to give guidance.
1.Natural World: Think about what is found in the the sea, sky and land. Living things with wings, flippers, beaks, claws and paws.
2. Small World: Bees, bugs, butterflies, other mini beasts and creepy crawlies.
3. Imaginary World: Weird and wonderful, think Out of the Box! Pretty Pattern, Portrait, Profile, Prototype, Peculiar Invention - Your choice.

Where and How much?
23-24 October - In participating schools, project during school hours. (£1.50 per participant)
25 October - Drawing event at Craft Coop Maidenhead (£1 per participant)
Online: Art groups Internationally (children) are invited to take part.
The template can be printed on an A3 paper and drawings in black (free)
Fees are required to cover cost of overheads and prizes.
As part of the focus of promoting creativity, all schools participating will be offered arts training for one KS2 teacher over two Twilight sessions (3-6pm) in a local Berkshire school setting.
The focus of the sessions will be on acrylic painting and printing techniques from water colour to textile printing.

Awards to acknowledge Originality and Creativity, Derwent pencil box sets and art materials awarded through sponsors.
All drawings will be used within wider community displays and 200 drawing outcomes will be featured at the Windsor Contemporary Art Fair as a special exhibition. Hospitals, libraries and art centres will be involved as display areas.
A curated exhibition of drawings will happen at the Norden Farm Arts Centre early 2015.

Possible additional outcomes:
Prints: large scale wall paper sized decals for hospitals, libraries and community centers, this depends on funding.
Publication: A creative guide/drawing/doodle book featuring 200+drawings.
Animation: Possibilities also include Secondary schools and other Artists’ involvement in creating animations based on selected drawings.
To be part of this event and to register interest please email

Monday, 11 August 2014

New work for Bristol Affordable art fair

Happy Monday! I am working on a number of paintings for the Bristol Affordable Art Fair. 19-21 September. Will's art warehouse will be representing me at the event. I will be showing a new selection of bright and whimsical paintings at this event as supposed to my more traditional Still lives and landscapes.
More info about the creative process to follow in the next few weeks.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

I'm Blogging again!

After nearly 2 years I am on this page again, news and work updated, information, things that interest and inspire me. Facebook page updated daily as well: