• If you want to get into the Christmas spirit, I suggest a trip to Sloane Square!!! I just love the trees all lit up and Peter Jones awash with lights!
  • After a late lunch in Cote Brasserie, I decided to pop along to the Saatchi Gallery – I haven’t been in there since the Chanel Exhibition a few years ago.
  • Some fascinating exhibits as usual – not all easily explained such as a plastic looking life-sized horse draped in thin blue gauze and a fur coat covering it’s head.fullsizeoutput_505f.jpeg
  • The opposite side of the room had a more pleasing statue of a goat enmeshed in a giant pot.
  • Interesting pictures in the basement by Zabou – one called “Warhol’s Brush” incorporating  a paint brush into a portrait and “Freda’s Palette” painted on an old fashioned artist’s palette!! (SOLD for £875 unframed)

  • But what is going on in the main exhibition space in the basement!!!!

  • Giant plasma screens with swirling images and people walking around in what looked like gas masks!  Everybody seemed quite disorientated but as all the tickets for the day had been sold, I could not experience the virtual reality show for myself. I hope to get tickets on- line and go in before it closes in January.


Guitarist#and# Watercolours#

John plays his guitar at 10a for the Highgate Society coffee mornings and Sue Lees from our Watercolour Group had the brilliant idea of getting him to pose for our Thursday morning painting sessions.

I knew everybody would turn up, so very important to get in early and secure a good vantage point. Well that didn’t work out as John was moved at the last minute and I found myself well away and to the side!!! Ah well, I still managed to do a few interesting sketches and all good practice.

We were assured John would move very slowly while he played. I became very frustrated as he got carried away with his music and I couldn’t keep up – I would start with his head thrown dramatically back only for him to crouch forward,  then sway from side to side!!!

What a lovely idea though, sitting round with fellow artists drawing and painting with an accompaniment of beautiful music!!


A while back I went to a lecture on Renzo Piano but left no wiser. I already knew he had won the competition to design the Pompidou building in Paris and in fact, have always thought the outside an eyesore. Of course inside is a different story – the galleries are amazing with plenty of space and well lit pictures, and usually an exhibition worth seeing.

The lecture did induce me to go to the Renzo Piano exhibition in the Royal Academy which I might not have bothered to go to, so not a complete waste of time! The exhibition was intriguing – with the initial sketch for a building, often very basic on a scrap of paper, then taking us through the various stages to scale models, finishing with photos of the buildings.

I liked the idea of natural lighting in the galleries where possible, so letting the change of light through the day play an important part of the displays.

The complexity of producing these beautiful glass buildings struck me for the first time. Of course the greenhouse effect of a very hot interior would make them impossible to use. There were complex models explaining how the light would be deflected to reduce the heat and I was particularly intrigued on the construction of the Shard – the way the foundations were built after quite a lot of the main construction. To keep the lightness of the building – almost entirely glass, and make the interior of the Shard habitable, a new form of a double wall of glass was necessary.

I had never been interested in visiting the Shard – I have been in the London Eye many times and find views of London interesting but disappointingly ugly (just yellowish grey buildings and mostly the same colour for the Thames) but all this technical information put a new slant on making a visit.

This week I went to Hutong on the 35th floor, a beautiful Chinese restaurant.

All very elegant with beautiful decor (and black loos in the bathroom!!)

The huge steel girders and complex construction can only be seen once inside the building, all looks effortless and smooth on the outside.

I’m having a few problems with putting the pictures on so will have to send on a second blob!

Highgate#Watercolour#Group#Private View

Last Friday saw the result of a lot of hard work by the Watercolour group. We were lucky to have the Mayor of Camden – Councillor Jenny Headlam-Wells to open the show of 200 paintings by 24 of the group. The Private View in Lauderdale House in Waterlow Park on Highgate Hill was packed out and the paintings were flying off the walls – 50 sold by the end of the evening!! I was delighted to sell 6! There is always a bit of tension when the red dots start to appear – will anybody buy yours? The competition is very stiff!


My friend Monica was delighted to see my painting of her lovely garden!!!!


PHOTO-2018-11-05-22-02-41In front of some of my paintings!!!

Freda Kahlo: Making Herself Up at the V & A

Of course I didn’t do my homework – unlike the friend I went with, so was very disappointed there were so few of the exotic paintings I have seen reproduced so often and seldom actually seen in galleries. I must say I didn’t know that much about her life except she had been crippled early on as a teenager.  What a lot of misfortunes, polio as a child then the bus accident nearly costing her her life and leaving her a cripple.  So much pain in her life but what a character, what determination to make something of herself. A wonderful role model indeed!!

I felt sorry for her, such a pretty little thing in the photos standing beside her enormous husband who was over 20 years her elder!!

The exhibits of her prosthetic leg – very ornate in a beautiful peasant boot and the various corsets she needed to wear to support  her back were very poignant.

I loved the paintings that were on display – here are a few of them.



It was great last night seeing Grayson Perry in the BBC One Show. 7pm is not a time I usually manage to watch television so I really had no idea what it was all about. I had an invitation through the East Finchley Open Artists Group so thought it might be interesting. I nearly didn’t go as when I printed off the instructions (rather a lot) it said Standing Only for 1 Hour and No Toilets!!!!

The organiser emailed me to say I could have a chair and the show was only 30 minutes – so I went!!!

I began by sitting at the back and only had a view of people’s legs but at the first interval I was moved down with my chair right to the front.

My opinion of Grayson Perry improved as he was dressed in normal if somewhat flamboyant artistic  clothes – I have never been interested in listening to him when he wears those silly wigs and old fashioned 50’s dresses. I will certainly be watching his program tonight at 10 for sure.

Waiting for our slot looking down on the News Room.

Sitting at the back!!!


fullsizeoutput_4c49I loved Grayson’s shirt – and the presenter made a joke about him being the first guest to match the sofa!!!

URBS – New Exhibition in the Phoenix

I have been house-bound for a week or two after surgery which has given me time to create some new pictures for the exhibition my friend Dawn is organising in the Phoenix. I love the challenge of a themed exhibition and URBS has been an inspiration, moving me away from my comfort zone of watercolours and moving on to acrylics with gouache.



Next up – 50 / 50 for an exhibition in Highgate in November!!!

So thinking cap on for some ideas on this theme!!!

The Wallace Collection and the Hurlingham Club

A very interesting lecture on Monday at the Hurlingham Club by the new Director of the Wallace Collection, Dr Xavier Bray. I have been many times to Hertford House in Manchester Square but have mostly made for the upstairs gallery to view the paintings (Damien Hurst first exhibited his skull paintings there, the walls having been painted blue for the exhibition) A New Broom – Dr Bray has created an exhibition space downstairs in an area formally used for archived material. A small number of the treasures usually on display on the ground floor have been showcased here. Mostly tiny objects easily overlooked. Apart from the armour, I have certainly not noticed them.

We first  had lunch in the Wallace Restaurant – always a pleasure. Tranquil and lovely food.


Here are some of the tiny objects seen in the showcases ranged down the middle of the gallery



The armour inspired Henry Moore, and there is to be an exhibition starting in the autumn.



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.