Fanny Ducasse

Very difficult to see this exhibition in the Bibliotheque-Mediatheque in Le Touquet!!! I took down the details and checked on line.


Open Every Day according to the website but it was closed all day Monday and Tuesday as well as every lunch time for 2 hours!!! (Typical working hours for the French) Well, as the library was just round the corner, I persevered and was so glad I did!!! A wonderful library with children sitting quietly tucked into cosy corners sitting reading on comfy chairs!!

The pictures I had come to see were illustrations for Fanny’s beautiful books. She started life studying fashion as well as fabric design but little by little she turned to illustrating children’s books for which she is now best known.

It was difficult to photograph the framed pictures because of the light from the windows. Also I was becoming a bit of a pest leaning over the children reading – so I concentrated on the books themselves which one of the librarians was only too happy to spread out for me.

I loved the books so much that I have ordered one from Amazon for my granddaughter’s 6th birthday (she is learning French already)

On leaving I saw the most stunning art book – L’Expressionisme – but that is €189 on Amazon so I’ll have to wait for my birthday for that one!!!



Excitement at the Mall Gallery!!

I heard from my friend Ruth that Chris Forsey would be demonstrating during the RI Watercolour Exhibition. She had just been on a three day course run by him in Dedham Hall.

I had seen one of Chris’s demonstrations a few years ago and  I remembered his method of using a very indifferent snap-shot and a few scrappy sketches which inspired a beautiful painting. He stressed we should not blindly copy photos – they should only be a jump-off point. A discussion between myself and a few others watching round the table established that we would LOVE to be able to do just that, but we were not yet at that stage.


During Chris’s coffee break I went over to talk to another artist – Ian Sidaway. He had sold a lot of his beautiful paintings and I was surprised he didn’t mind me photographing them. I had been told off several times – including taking photos of Prince Charle’s paintings – which I was made to delete!!  Then for taking photos of my friend Vanessa’s father’s book which was on sale – “Just buy the book” I was told!


Ian had piles of his sketch books all round him on tables. Absolutely fascinating! Each sketchbook was only half full so Ian explained his system – they are all indexed with their location so he could take the right ones on his trips.

I was so absorbed looking through Ian’s sketchbooks that I hadn’t noticed Chris had returned and put the finishing touches to his painting, including the important tree in the foreground! Ruth had gone for a coffee and missed it as well!!

People watching the demonstration were keen to snap up some of the paintings at bargain prices!



A Very Busy Week

Lots happening this week,  starting early Monday morning with the collection of my two pictures from the Barbican, sadly unsold. Never mind, my Tulip in Spring Sunshine is already earmarked for the next exhibition!!! On Tuesday I went to an exhibition followed by sketching in Brixton Market!

Also this week several of my EFOA friends joined me in putting up pictures in The Phoenix Gallery. I usually have the April slot. This will be followed in May by a charity exhibition to help raise money to keep the Phoenix independent. A lot of us will be donating paintings, photos and prints.

I loved this week at 10a ( the Highgate Watercolour Group) Mary had arranged a couple of tables with lovely flowers and fruit for our still-life session.

I sat next to Freda and caused a lot of amusement by taking “lessons” from her!! I always admire her beautiful clear colours and delicate brushstrokes so she took me in hand and gave me some tips.

Quite a change of style for me – “The Freda School of Painting”!!

Version 2  Below is Freda with her picture!!!

Phillip was on my other side with an entirely different style!! Maybe I will follow the “Philip School of Painting” next week

Chris is SO reluctant to be photographed – I can only ever take her from the back or take her profile!

On the other hand, Oonagh and Sue like to be featured

Golders Hill Park

Another of the pretty parks we have on our doorstep here in North London, Golders Hill Park is very varied with the formal garden, the “secret” garden and an interesting collection of birds and animals. Oh and of course, a play area for children!! Oh and lots of flowers, unlike Highgate Woods where I walk most days.

A group of us from the Highgate Watercolour Group met for coffee this morning before dispersing – we would meet up again in an hour or so.


We were advised to bring an easel and possibly a stool. I should have taken heed.  A very bad start, I couldn’t find a suitable bench so tried to paint balancing my paints on my sketch book along with a little pot of water. What a mess!! The water was the first to slip off and role in one direction, then my paints landed on the ground upside down with all the paint pans scattered! My hands were covered with blue paint by this time – and I had hardly started my picture!

Here’s how to do it properly!! Sue is always SO well organised!!!

I loved Sue’s picture!!!


Here is Maureen with her dramatic charcoal sketch!

Freda painted lovely little birds from the aviary and had a very different take on the formal garden to mine.

Me trying to paint the magnolia after I had finished my picture of the formal garden.

Then a complete contrast from Christian with this pastel sketch below!!fullsizeoutput_5773

#watercolours #pastels #goldershillpark #parks #Londonparks #paintings #trees #flowers #birds



Buzz Magazine

The new Spring issue is ready for delivery!!! A very good reproduction of my painting, and I am especially impressed with “Buzz” being printed in the exact colour of my brickwork!


I was asked last November during the Highgate Watercolour Group exhibition in Lauderdale House, to do the next cover. Buzz is the Highgate Society magazine produced 4 times a year. The editor likes to have a painting for Spring and Autumn and a photograph for the Summer and Winter issues.

A bit of a challenge as of course it needed to be a bright sunny picture with possibly Spring flowers, and we were now in the winter months!

I earmarked the Edwardian fire station as my subject, a building in the village I pass nearly every day and really not that changed from the photos I had seen on line – one actually with the fire engine.

A lot of grey days in January but then the sun came out on a snowy Saturday morning!

I expect the passers by thought I was mad sitting there on my little stool – it was windy too and a problem keeping hold of my paper.

Very cold but I managed to keep going for a couple of hours and get most of my painting done – the finishing touches would have to be back in warmth of the studio.


#Buzz #magazine #watercolour #watercolourgroup #Highgate #firestation #Spring #painting #buzzmagazine

Diary from Highgate Watercolour Group


A small but enthusiastic group assembled yesterday at 10a.

Ruth Edwards had put a selection of her experimental work up on the notice board which provoked a lot of discussion.

Ruth never resorts to the ordinary and has used scrumped-up tissue paper to good effect for trees – used a “blowing” technique for her delicate trees and lovely mono prints using natural plants such as ferns and leaves. We have to have a jelly pad for the prints apparently – definitely now on my shopping list. (Not sure I have the correct name for the pad – I’m sure somebody will soon put me right though)



The Fair in the Square might seem a long way off as it is on the 23rd June but members are already busy on hand painted cards!!!

I am very impressed by both Charlotte and Chris’s cards but I will be putting in a selection of cards printed from my original watercolours!

Other members (including myself ) were occupied with various projects of our own.

Next week Christian has arranged for us all to meet in Golders Green Park for a morning of drawing and painting. Fingers crossed it doesn’t rain!!!


It’s quite a long time since I was last in Milan and I think I mainly went there for shopping on that trip. Last weekend was a very different visit. The main event this time was La Traviata at La Scala with Placido Domingo, but there was plenty of time to visit the Brera Gallery as well as the Museum of Modern Art – two very different art collections.

The Brera Gallery is mainly classic religious paintings – not my favourite art actually but I loved the frescos and enjoyed doing a quick sketch of a fresco rescued from an old peoples’s home – formally Villa Pelucca. The fresco depicts angels bearing St Catherine’s body to Mount Sinai.




Such rich colours on this 15th century fresco by Vincenzo Foppa – and the detail of the wind ruffling the carpet!!!

The Museum of Modern Art is housed in a beautiful palace once inhabited by Napoleon – the chandeliers and marble floors made a stunning backdrop for the temporary exhibition    of works by Angelo Morelli.

The pretty “A Garden at Colma” seemed to be quite out of character in this particular exhibition that showed Morelli as “The painter of the Elderly”. Lots of large pictures of deathbed scenes as well as the elderly in the workhouse.

After trekking round looking at so much art I felt empathy for his statue Exhaustion!!


Much more cheerful upstairs with pictures from all the favourites such as Matisse and Picasso!!

It’s amazing how Picasso is so unmistakable the moment you walk into a room!

But I had to ask where the Cezanne was!!!


Quite a Challenge!!!!!

Maureen did the honours today and produced two very challenging still – life subjects!!

Look at this! So many different elements – where to start!!!


I was very impressed by Sue’s interpretation! She was inspired by the beautiful “wood nymph” vase (made by Maureen herself) and produced a really delightful picture.




I was struggling so decided to abandon all the beautiful pieces of bark, twigs and feathers and just concentrate on the magnolias – always a  favourite flower of mine.

Chris was doing her own thing to very goof effect.

This was the second still life and Maureen’s picture.

IMG_2519Oonagh came as I was packing up so I’m not sure how she got on today!!



A few extra pictures from the Watercolour Group’s Still-Life last week. I think Christian’s finished painting very striking!!


Oonagh chose to do her picture in monochrome.

I managed to do a bit more to my picture as well



The East Finchley Open Artist group have been looking forward to the opening of the Primavera Exhibition in the Barbican Library. The Private View was this evening and I think just about the whole group were there providing a nice buzzy atmosphere. Some beautiful work is on display – the exhibition will continue right through March.

Myra has produced some stunning glasswork. There is complex pottery as usual from Jo. I forgot to check who had created the lovely leaves worked out of some sort of metal!!!

I was very impressed by Alvina’s landscape – it reminded me of Eric Ravilious.



I wore my new red cardigan to match my tulip picture!! It is a pity my Blossom and Beehives couldn’t be hung together with it.