All ready for the second (and last) open house weekend. We start at 11.am on both days and finish at 6pm. A great success last weekend with a steady flow of visitors – mostly coming for the first time after the extensive brochure drop carried out by all the EFO members. The beautiful weather helped the atmosphere with many people milling about in the garden, and lots of children enjoyed drawing under the shade of the trees. One of my guest artists, David Gilbert,  created great interest demonstrating paint mixing. His beautiful sculptures really added to the garden!

Elaine’s pastel studies looked very effective on the stairs.


I have a LOT of my watercolours dotted about the kitchen and conservatory as well as some Japanese sketches I did a while ago.


Asia’s photos on nature blend in with my “country” kitchen!!


You can see Peter Kyte’s very modern and experimental photos through the window  – they are displayed in my conservatory.




The Portrait Gallery – BP Awards

I had a few minutes to spare before having lunch in Sheekey (5 minutes away from the gallery) so dashed in to see this year’s exhibition. I didn’t allow a great deal of time, as for the previous few years there hasn’t been a single picture I liked.

I am reconciled to the current style of realistic, photographic way of painting rather than the freer more impressionistic paintings by artists such as Cezanne and Modigliani that I prefer, so within this context I found rather a lot of very pleasing pictures.

I love the symmetry of these pictures!

The picture of the old lady wearing a dress in the same pattern as the background called to mind a recent screening I saw relaid from the Met of La Traviata – in the scene in the country the stage had 3 or 4 sofas all in bright red chintz with Alphonso and Violeta wearing bathrobes in the same fabric! So odd, they almost disappeared from view when they sat down!




Budding Artists!!!

I enjoyed spending time with my granddaughter and her class during the last few days of the Summer Term. Her teacher asked me to help create a card for the head teacher as she will be taking time off to have a baby! So something for the new nursery,  Unusually for these days, the gender of the baby isn’t known – so not pink or blue!!!

The class have been busy on an underwater project so I decided the card could be a fish – not too complex as time would be limited and the little girls are only 5 years old.



They were very pleased with the end result!!

The 250th Royal#Academy#Summer# Exhibition

This year #Grayson#Perry curated the exhibition and it definitely had a very different feel – a lot of flippant jokey exhibits!! Very few of the usual favourites such as Ken Howard and Olwyn Bowey and  I didn’t see a single Anthony Green picture – there are usually quite a smattering of his!!! Being rather old fashioned I veered towards the more conventional works.  The fragmented porcelain figures by Cathy Lewis were really beautiful.

I loved the very dark animal made out of oak and nails by David Mach entitled Meteorite.



One of the portraits that I thought very effective is called AC 16 painted in oil by Sarah Ball – I wonder why 16 is in the title as the subject looked a lot olderfullsizeoutput_496b

An intriguing exhibit that looked like a snake coiled in a glass cabinet turned out to be made from feathers. I was so busy taking photos from all angles I forgot to note the number and artist!!!


Red Bear made by Debbie Lawson was a predictable choice by Grayson Perry  – made of two traditional Turkish rugs. Quite hideous – I wonder who bought it and why!!!


The Dulwich Picture Gallery

A visit to The Dulwich Picture Gallery is always a lovely day out. First we had a delicious lunch in Rocca – a very good Italian bistro then on to a very interesting exhibition of Edward Bawden’s work. He became a close friend of Eric Ravilious  when starting as a student at the Royal College of Art and there are a great many similarities between the style of the two artists. I love the way of using pattern on pattern and the simplification of the composition.


Bawden’s portraits are very expressive – I particularly liked the ones done during his time as a war artist.


#Birthday# Cards#

Always difficult buying something special for my grandchildren. Their rooms are packed with toys and somebody always seems to have got in first with a new doll or the latest robot etc. But I can be original by painting them cards!!!


I have to be very careful to choose the right colour palette. This picture was acceptable in  pastel greys, blues and pinks, so is displayed on Chloe’s desk!!

My daughter’s birthday was just a few days later so it was a bit of a rush to get a card ready for her. The joint party (Chloe’s and my daughter’s) had a Chinese theme so I wanted to paint a beautiful lady with a resemblance to her.

Unfortunately I didn’t stick to her favourite colours – she does not like red, and in fact I was disappointed to see the scarf looked a bit like a tea towel!! I think my second attempt works far better in the softer blues, purples and yellow!!! A pity it was too late for the party though!!


And this was my first opportunity to use the Chinese seal I had cut when in Hong Kong recently!!

More Inspiration in Nice!!!

I wanted to see the wonderful Yves Klein pictures in the Gallery of Contemporary Art with the blue resin figures on a gold background, as well as the famous blue Fish pictures, but they were not there – I was told that they had been sent to Paris for an exhibition in the Paris Museum of Modern Art. (However I have looked on line but unfortunately can’t see any details of the exhibition – anybody know about it??) Never mind – there are plenty of other interesting things to see including some Gustav Adolf Mossa pictures tucked away on the top floor. His pictures are actually very sinister.

This picture was in the catalogue in the Musee du Beaux Art I visited the day before, so it was interesting to see the original painting. The girl looks so beautiful but on closer examination, she is sitting on a pile of naked men, her headdress is made up of skulls and dead ravens!!!

I loved the sculpture made from workmen’s wrenches. They appeared to be shimmering fish from a distance.


These shoes are very striking and reminded me of the “Hat” pictures I did in pastels from photos I took in Portobello Road.



I have tried several times to visit this gallery. Once  I  struggled up there in the boiling sun on the wrong day – next time, also a very hot day, it was partially closed for refurbishment (typically French – no reduction) but this time we braved driving rain and were rewarded with the museum being fully open!!! A beautiful building with lovely paintings – a great many by Raoul Dufy and a whole room with Gustav Adolf Mossa cartoons. A gallery I will certainly want to visit again!


Raoul Dufy