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Inspiration: Flavours of Florence

20161009_141541 Wanna know why I wasn’t posting for two weeks? Well, as well as prepping for workshops I was also off finding inspiration in Florence.  I thought I’d give you some little snapshots/flavours of Florence that reignited my creativity.

I first visited Florence when I was an Art History student at the University of Essex. It was actually a compulsory part of the degree course (in those free education, pre-fee days) and it was a real eye opener for me academically and artistically.
20161012_133330The above image is of San Spirito – inside is a triumph of architecture, every time I visit I’m in awe of its almost minimalist elegance. I also love the fact that the church is unadorned on the outside, simply beautiful inside and out.
20161009_141048 20161009_141419 Touristy as it sounds I love the cathederal (Santa Maria del Fiore above) square with the bell tower, the Duomo etc. Although the facade is a bit bling I adore the sparkly marble and the ostentatious pomp of it although I’m sure the purists would disagree. To me the buildings seem to gleam in any weather.
20161014_105750 The place that most inspired me on my initial visit was the Laurentian Library (Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana) planned and built by Michelangelo. It was my mission this time to show Dr B. The library has been a source of inspiration for artists such as Rothko and film maker Orson Wells. It truly is break taking and iconic. The entrance I believe is ahead of its time, I genuinely think it’s the foundation of minimalism and Michelangelo’s finest work. My visit this year didn’t disappoint, it was more breath-taking than I remember.
20161014_105921 Oh and don’t you love the floor in the library?
20161014_111329 I also saw a new thing in Florence this visit (well a new old thing). The Brancacci Chapel was being restored when I visited originally and for some reason we didn’t make it there on my second visit so this was third time lucky. All I’m saying is I had a little cry when finally faced with it after spending uni lectures and reading so many books on it. Nothing could compare with actually experiencing it and at such close proximity too. 20161012_135822 The Brancacci Chapel is actually painted by three artists, originally Masolino and Masaccio then completed by Filiippino Lippi. This journey through the Renaissance painting was just what I needed to reinvigorate my art practice. Although my work isn’t obviously this kinda style, the whole visit, the architecture, the paintings, the stories behind every commission and fresco has spurred me on to explore some themes further and keep pushing.  20161012_135811

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7 lovely things for the weekend

It’s been a busy week here at Ella’s Place – I’ve been sending my Christmas stationery sets to the printers (more of that in good time) and drawing and painting for an upcoming book project (more of that later, too) as well as editing magazines. In the thick of it it’s lovely when little things fall in front of you that inspire you, take you to a different place or simply make you smile. Here are seven things that did just that this week.

Heleniums – 7 lovely things for the weekend at B took this photo of the little clump of heleniums and blue agastache growing in our garden. Such colours!
Lorien Stern via – 7 lovely things for the weekend at really like the playfulness of Lorien Stern’s ceramics. You can see more of them at
Hello House via Design Milk – 7 lovely things for the weekend at fun! The Hello House is a new facade on a Victorian house in Melbourne, Australia. It certainly beats a doormat saying ‘welcome’. See more at Design Milk.
Mlle Hipolyte paper jungle wall deco vis Fubiz – 7 lovely things for the weekend at Hipolyte’s paper fresco in relief called Tropical Jungle is amazing. It features exotic birds and a black panther – and it’s really on trend for the coming year. See more at
Tori Murphy cushions – 7 lovely things for the weekend at Murphy‘s homewares, all woven and made in Nottingham, are lovely – but I particularly like this shot of cushions all piled in a corner. It’s got more impact than seeing one cushion on a chair – and of course it makes you want to dive right in.
O is for Owl LO RESThis folky little owl is actually a musical instrument. He seems to have found his way into the middle of this wooden O. O for owl.
Vietnamese thatched hideaway via Dezeen – 7 lovely things for the weekend at’s been such a busy week I’ve been dreaming of escapes – this thatched and bamboo hideaway in Vietnam looks just the thing. Via Dezeen. Have a great weekend!