Sunday, 28 February 2010


The Italian cafe at the Estorick Collection is a charming place.
I can recommend it.
It was quite busy when I went there, at late lunch time last week. There are about nine little round, cafe-style tables.
My excellent coffee and Portuguese custard tart was served by Massimo, friendly and efficient, and Italian!
The food looked delicious, although by the time I was there, a lot of the serving dishes were almost empty, which shows how popular the food is!
I don't think it is licenced.
Outside there is a courtyard where you can have your food and drink, if the weather ever gets better this rainy 2010! We can only hope.
A lovely destination in a quiet and interesting corner of London.



On my list of things to do, at last made the effort to go to Islington, to see the Estorick Collection, because of my interest in showing movement in my art, my paintings and photographs. The emphasis of the collection is on Italian Futurists.

I urge you to along, its a lovely gallery. Easy to get to, from Highbury and Islington on the Victoria Line (tube), then a short walk.

Canonbury Square itself is worth the walk, as it is elegant, lined with what seems to be early 19th century town houses, with a grassy bit in the middle - but as it was raining (again!!!) I may have got this bit wrong, didn't stop long to look.
The gallery itself is in a town house, and you enter through the back door via a little patio garden where you can sit and have a coffee on a nice day.
There are specific exhibitions and a permanent collection.
A looked at the current exhbition: "On the Move, Visualising Action", from 13 January to 18 April 2010.

You can see a typical 18th century painting of a horse race at Newmarket, all the horses with legs spread out in the accepted manner of depicting galloping. I noticed that nearly all the spectators are on horseback too, and galloping along at the side, to keep up with the racers. A slightly later work done by American native people (don't know the politically correct way of referring to these groups) showed the horses in a much more lifelike way.

Loved the two lino cuts by Sybil Andrews and the two by Cyril Power (shown by courtesy of Osborne Samuel Ltd). The printmaker Sybil Andrews's work I have admired many times. Sledge Hammers, 1933 is particularly excellent.

In this gallery, there is a work by Giacomo Balla, 1912, called The Hand of the Violin.
The wedge shaped painting, in oil, shows the hand in at least five different positions, and the brush strokes are small, almost elongated dot-like and repetitive, in browns and yellows on a warm brown background, with just a little pale pink and green.

This particulary interested me because I had just been drawing the hands of a pianist, Tom Donald, the previous Wednesday evening.
Tom Donald plays with the Iota Group and Buckingham Band at Berties Wine Bar, Wimbledon. It was inspiration to see the painting and relate it to my efforts to capture the hand movements of him and of the two guitarists, and Mark Buckingham, who plays the sax.

Throughout this house, in each of the six galleries, there are beautiful wooden benches, which looked hand-made and hand carved. The theme suggests the 20s or 30s style, almost Art Deco. The gallery attendent (I think they are all volunteers) told me the benches were made by somebody called Edge, and are much admired by visitors.


There is useful information in each gallery about the exhibits. In particular I noted the famous photograph by Lartique called Bichonnade Leaping 1905, and work by Siskind, 1954, called Pleasures and Terrors of Levitation - 4 images.

Harold Edgerton has photos on show, including Swirls & Eddies - Tennis, 1939 and several earlier photographs.


On Wednesday we went along to Bertis's Wine Bar in Wimbledon. Or it would have been in Bertis's Wine Bar except it is closed for refurbishment, so our favourite jazz group, the Iota Club, played in a cramped corner of the Prince of Wales pub, in Wimbledon Broadway. There are problems with playing in such a small space, especially as you have to sit very near the speakers if you want to do a drawing - which I did.
Tom Donald plays the keyboard, Mark Buckingham, the saxes and clarinet, Theo Buckingham percussion, and two guitarists whose names I do not know.
The group was in excellent form on Wednesday and it was rocking!
I sat and worked on some sketch drawings of the players, but found capturing the hands was particularly difficult. Movement is a constant challenge to artists.
I will have to look at more art that is concerned with movement.
You can check out the Iota Club at My Space and Face Book

Monday, 22 February 2010


Today its one of those rainy Mondays ...
Pay for dishwasher (eBay)
Arrange for collection - try and contact son re this, because he doesn't listen to home phone messages left
Phone plumber re the above and hope he returns the call
Download photos from camera (find camera first) which I took of my latest painting
Work out a title for painting, and measure it, including frame, which it doesn't have, if you follow me.
Edit photos to submit to SLWA for Bankside exhibition - deadline this week
Fill in form for SLWA and try and get scanner to work, to scan it
Soak kidney beans because Bev is coming tomorrow
By tomorrow have to have kidney beans cooked, in time for Bev to show me how to make Jamaican red pea soup
Go to Croydon Art Society, for AGM meeting
and so it goes on...

Sunday, 21 February 2010


As a member of the South London Women Artists group I applied to show one of my paintings to be on display at Dulwich Library from 1 March next. I heard today that a painting, which I did en plein air at the Polo match at Windsor Great Park (Guards Polo Club) has been selected for this exhibition.
At the polo match I set up my easel last June, 2009, at the edge of the polo field, and managed to paint three small canvases.

There is a problem with painting fast moving polo ponies, of course! I usually focus on ponies going in one direction, then as each time the field of play moves in that direction, I try and catch the pattern of the ponies and riders.

Unfortunately I remember that on this occasion the players tended to play at the other side of the field. It was difficult to take photos to back up my painting because I forgot to pack my zoom lens!

Anyway the result is fine and you are welcome to come to the private view at Dulwich if you send me an email.
My web site will show the painting and the other two I completed, very soon.

Why not contact