Welcome to my Blog Posts

I'm Anne Mackinnnon. When I'm painting in the garden or somewhere in the countryside or in a new city I can jot down my thoughts here. About what I'm doing and where I'm going.

Didsbury Exhibition

Thursday, October 24th, 2013

I’m taking part in another group exhibition on the weekend of Nov. 1st (see my About page for more details). It’s in one of the lovely big houses in Didsbury whose gardens look on to Fletcher Moss park. I have been painting in the park for years, ever since I lived in Didsbury in the ’80’s. As I’ve mentioned before, there is a wonderful rockery which I love to sit in a paint at all times of year. It has been rather neglected recently as there are no full time gardeners anymore but I visited recently and there were signs of weeding. I hope someone has taken over. If I didn’t have a garden and allotment of my own, I would help!  Here is a painting of the rockery that I painted in the Spring and which I’ll be including in the exhibition.

Spring in Fletcher Moss_0001

Late Summer

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

The exhibition in Disley went very well. The weather was glorious, the tea and cakes on sale in the barn were delicious and the artists raised a lot of money for the Friends of the Whitworth. I was thrilled that so many of my friends came, including my sister and brother-in-law who came all the way from Leeds.

I’m enjoying the sunny Autumn. We’re still picking flowers and veg from the allotment and our garden is looking bright and cheerful. The Begonias and Fuschias that I keep from year to year have been slow to get going but it’s lovely to have them flowering at this time of year. The Rudbeckias have trebled in number, and I just had to paint them!

Rudbeckia

Ten on the Edge, Homestead Farm

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

As you can see here, my paintings are up at Homestead Farm. My friend, Hazel, helped to hang them and although the hanging system was complicated it was easier than I had feared! There is some lovely work on show including jewellery, ceramics and furniture.

The lunch and private view went well on Sunday. The weather wasn’t as bad as forecast and the guests managed to get a look around the beautiful garden before the rain started. The exhibition continues over next weekend so I am hoping it will be dry and even for some sunshine!

 

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Ten on the Edge

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

My exhibition is fast approaching. It opens to the public on Friday 20th Sept. but there is a Private View and lunch this coming Sunday for Friends of the Whitworth. It is a group exhibition and is in a lovely setting. The address is easier to read on my ABOUT page but if you want more details, please get in touch.

I can’t write more. I’ve got lots to do as I am going to start hanging my work tomorrow. TOTE Leaflet 2013 PRINT copy-1TOTE Leaflet 2013 PRINT copy-2

Allotment sale.

Monday, September 2nd, 2013

Our allotment held a produce sale recently and the chairman asked if I would show some of my cards and prints. I have done quite a few paintings of the allotment and local gardens so they were very popular. I have a big exhibition coming up and I have only just realised that it is in 2 weeks! I have loads to do. I visited the barn in Disley last week where it is to be held and I saw my space. It is bigger than I had expected, so it’s back to ‘Frames’, my local framers, for some last minute framing.

Graham helping on my stall.

Graham helping on my stall.

Beside the seaside

Monday, August 12th, 2013

I have just spent a wonderful few days staying at my friend Sue’s in Whitstable. Everything was just how a seaside holiday should be with a picnic on the beach, lots of cakes and a cream tea, a drink in a bar overlooking the beach while watching the sun set and there were even fireworks over the sea. It was great seeing people having barbecues outside their beach huts and enjoying just messing about in the sunshine.

We also visited some gardens, including Sissinghurst where Vita Sackville-West created a wonderful garden with her husband Harold Nicholson. I have been wanting to go there for a long time and it lived up to expectations. I have been working hard in our garden to create a proper herbaceous border and it’s beginning to look good, not quite as good as Vita’s, but pretty good! Here’s a part of it.

Summer borderblog

 

Allotment

Sunday, July 28th, 2013

The allotment has been great this year and there’s still lots more to come. The potatoes are the best ever, and for the first time in years they haven’t got slugs lurking inside them. We’ve just picked the onions, shallots and garlic and they are drying in the conservatory. The Sweet Peas and Dahlias are beautiful and the Gladioli will flower soon. The hours we spent weeding after coming home from France was worth it!

Allotment dahlias

Windy Banyuls

Thursday, July 11th, 2013

We went back to Banyuls-sur-mer in SW France again in June. Last year we stayed in an apartment overlooking the marina and this year we were in a house up a mountain! It was incredibly windy which meant sitting on the beach or even on the patio was impossible. So, each day we sat in a sheltered spot in the hills and while Graham read, I painted. The scenery is stunning and I enjoyed experimenting with the colours of the vines and vegetation and the hills.

It is great to be back in time to enjoy England in the sunshine and be able to top up the tan. Though I’m not sure if it’s from the sun or the wind!

Mountains Banyuls

Wet on wet.

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

I had a couple of days in London recently, meeting old friends and catching up on some exhibitions. I particularly enjoyed an Ellen Gallagher exhibition at Tate Modern. Her watercolour studies of fish and sea life were exquisite. Also some gouache studies by Humphrey Ocean of friends and family who had visited his studio. These were at the National Portrait Gallery. I called in as I had time to kill before catching the train at 8pm. That’s what’s great about London, there’s always something to do whatever the time of day or night

My main reason for going to London was for a watercolour course organised by The Art Fund. We worked very quickly with wet on wet from a model, using very few colours. I really enjoyed it and found it relaxing to switch off.  I am feeling sad at the moment as my Mum died on May 21st so this was a lovely distraction.

Art Fund nude

Patio Tulips

Wednesday, May 15th, 2013

I’ve been spending a lot of time at my Mum’s flat recently as she hasn’t been well. This is a quick painting I did of the pots of bulbs on her patio whilst the sun was shining over the Bank Holiday weekend.  Graham planted them for her Christmas present and they have been looking beautiful. As she hasn’t been able to go out she has enjoyed looking at them. Sadly she’s back in hospital now.

Patio pots

Anniversary

Monday, April 8th, 2013

It was our 17th wedding anniversary on Saturday and we went out for a day in the countryside. My sister was coming to be with my Mum so we had the whole day free and went to see our friends John and Pauline in Malpas. John is a wonderful artist and we visited his studio to see his new paintings. I also love his drawings, especially the ones he did in Italy. I dug out my old charcoal crayons today and did a quick drawing of the garden. It was good to work in just tones and no colour for a change.

It is such a slow season that we only have daffodils blooming but at least the weeds aren’t growing either!

Alice

Sunday, March 10th, 2013

I went for a walk in Fletcher Moss last week with my sister. I’ve never been so early in the season before and was amazed to see so many crocuses. There were carpets of them in the rockery and under the trees and they looked glorious. Our Mum’s in hospital at the moment so they cheered us up.

Graham and my new great niece was born on March 1st in Melbourne, Australia. So I painted this painting for her. Welcome to the world, Alice, Sophia.

Snow

Thursday, February 14th, 2013

I’ve just treated myself to an iPad. I haven’t used the painting app yet but I am looking forward to having a play with it. I loved the landscapes that David Hockney had done on his iPad. I saw them at the exhibition of his work at the RA,  and preferred them to his large oils.

I drove into the hills, above Bollington, again at the weekend to paint.  As usual we have had very little snow in Manchester this Winter but it was pretty deep up there and lots of people were tobogganing. Next time I’ll take my iPad!

 

New Year 2013

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

Our year started with a few days in London. We stayed in our favourite Hall of Residence in Covent Garden and spent each day meeting friends for lunch as well as visiting galleries and the theatre. The highlight at the theatre was ‘Privates on Parade’ which was amazing and the National Portrait Gallery was my favourite gallery. I visit this gallery a lot and yet there are always so many different things to see. I also loved the  Ben Nicholson paintings in Tate Britain. When I got home I drove into the hills to a favourite spot of mine near Bollington and did a painting inspired by him. This is a section of it.

Christmas 2012

Sunday, December 30th, 2012

Christmas has been a bit of a whirlwind this year as my Mum has just moved into her retirement flat across the road from us. It was all very hectic as she had lived in the same house in London for 62 years and so had to get rid of lots of furniture and belongings. But she’s in now and, although surrounded by boxes, the flat looks very cosy.

I haven’t been able to do much painting so am looking forward to life getting back to normal soon and to seeing some flowers in the garden again. I visited Parsonage Gardens recently and met the volunteers who had created the wildflower meadow there this Summer. They were thrilled to see my paintings, prints and cards which were inspired by this garden. It was a cold day but they were all working very hard and doing a wonderful job. These volunteers are even more important than they used to be as there are no longer gardeners from the council working there and a private firm does little more than mow the lawn!

Volunteer gardeners in the Alpine House in Parsonage Gardens.

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Oxford

Monday, December 3rd, 2012

We had a lovely weekend in Oxford to celebrate my birthday. We saw our friend Richard Heap performing in ‘Mansfield Park’ at the Playhouse which we really enjoyed  (also the lock-in afterwards at the pub next door!). One of  the highlights of the weekend was a visit to Pitt Rivers Museum. It houses collections of everything you can imagine from musical instruments to masks, combs, textiles, baskets etc. Everything is piled high in glass cases and is fascinating.

Pitt Rivers Museum.

Rhode Island Coffee

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

It’s been a busy week since the Victoria Baths exhibition as I now have paintings on display in a cafe in Stockport. I was very impressed with the cafe when I went to visit. It is always busy but has a relaxed atmosphere, you can sit and read a book there all day if you wish, and the coffee is great too. Stockport  is one of the 12 towns which have been chosen by Mary Portas for help with regeneration and the last time I visited it did seem more lively than it has been for a while. I’m sure cafes like this one will help.

I decided that my paintings of New York would suit the style and theme of Rhode Island Coffee.

Art and Craft Fair

Monday, November 5th, 2012

It was a good day yesterday as I was taking part in this Fair at the Victoria Baths and as you see I did have wall space! It was really well attended and I was thrilled that lots of my friends came to support me including our ex. neighbours Judy and Paul and two people from my French class. I am sure the Baths raised lots of money. Hopefully this will mean they can fix the boiler because it was freezing!

I’m now getting ready to display my New York paintings at a cafe in Stockport.

Victoria Baths

Monday, October 29th, 2012

I am nearly ready for the Art and Craft Fair at Victoria Baths although it would be easier if I knew whether I have wall space or not. Apparently there isn’t enough for everyone and so I may just have a table. I’m not sure how I’ll show my framed paintings if I don’t have a wall to hang them on. I’ve got table easels but only three!

New Prints

Friday, October 5th, 2012

I am going to exhibit my work in the Art and Craft Fair at the Victoria Baths in Manchester. This stunning building is gradually being restored and this event is in aid of the Stained Glass Appeal. It  is on Nov 4th and I have just realised how close that is and I want to have some prints of my recent paintings on show.

My Mother is about to move up here from London. Everything is happening very quickly and there might suddenly be a call to say the move is about to happen. So I need to make sure everything is ready.

This is one of the paintings I want to be printed.

Paralympics

Monday, September 10th, 2012

Had a fantastic day last Thursday at the Paralympics. My sister managed to get several tickets and gave two to me. My Mum lives very close to the Olympic Stadium so it would have been crazy not to have got there. It was incredibly well organised and great fun. We were surrounded by school children all waving their flags like mad. I was very interested to see the landscaping as one of the designers has been chosen to design the landscape around The Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester. I look forward to seeing what she does there as the Olympic Park was impressive.

Summer’s end

Saturday, September 1st, 2012

It hasn’t been a great Summer, weatherise, although, unusually for Manchester, I think we’ve had less rain than many other places. We’re still picking beans, tomatoes, raspberries and cucumbers on the allotment and the garden is looking colourful too. Graham is very keen on One Day Lillies so we have several different types. We have been digging up lots of the common orange ones and giving them away as they are taking over, but the yellow ones have looked beautiful.

 

Wild Flowers

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

I’ve been painting in Parsonage Gardens in Didsbury this Summer. There is a beautiful wild flower meadow in the lower garden which makes a lovely change from formal planting. I sowed wild flower seeds on our allotment in the Spring but they didn’t germinate. I don’t know why. Maybe it was the rain or maybe they were pulled up along with the weeds!! Still everything else has done quite well despite a difficult season.

Homage to the Fauves

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

Well, my sundress is back in the wardrobe and my tan is fading, but we still have lovely memories from our holiday just South of Perpignan. One special day was a visit to Collioure where the Fauvists (Matisse, Derain etc) were so inspired by the intense light that they began to paint in their wonderful, strong colours. There were posters displayed around the town of the paintings they had painted at the spot where they had painted them. It was fascinating to be able to stand in front of the same scene and see how they had interpreted it.

Here is a painting I did in their honour!!

Banyuls-sur-Mer

Sunday, July 8th, 2012

Just back from the South West of France where we stayed for 2 weeks in a seaside town called Banyuls-sur-Mer. It was surrounded by wonderful scenery. The patterns created by the slopes of vineyards and olive groves and the rich colours of the soil meant it was an inspiring place to paint.

Stockport Open Contemporary

Thursday, May 31st, 2012

Was pleased to have a painting accepted for this exhibition. I couldn’t go to the opening which was 3 weeks ago and finally managed to get to see the exhibition yesterday. I went with Mim who had 2 of her bowls on display and we took photos. We weren’t too thrilled with the hanging or display. My painting, ‘Didsbury Allotment’ is very detailed but was hung so low down that you had to crouch to see it. Mim’s bowls were separated by a tall vase which looked stupid. We swopped her bowls and their labels around. I wonder if anyone will notice!!

Still, it was good to be included and here I am in front of my painting.

 

My painting in the Stockport Open Contemporary.

Whitworth Art Gallery

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

My greeting cards are now for sale in the Whitworth Art Gallery shop. There are 13 different images. Two of them are of paintings I have done of local scenes; Stockport Market and Oxford Road in Manchester.

Here is Oxford Road showing the wonderful Refuge building.

Oxford Road, Manchesterblog

Whitstable

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

Have just spent a few days staying with Sue and David in Whitstable.  Sue is a very good friend and I’ve known her since we went to ballet classes when we were students.

We visited the new Gallery in Hastings which was very impressive. It has been quite controversial as it cost a lot and the fishermen don’t like it being on their beach. But I’m sure it must bring extra visitors to Hastings, especially out of season. We also visited the RHS garden at Wisley.  I have been wanting to visit Wisley  before the membership, that my sister had bought me, ran out. It was beautiful, especially as the weather was glorious. It is still March but was like mid Summer.

There were lots of Helebores blooming but none were quite as beautiful as the ones we have at home and that I have painted. I just wish they’d keep their heads up as it’s difficult to see all the lovely markings!

 

Lemons

Sunday, March 18th, 2012

I couldn’t resist showing a photo of our Lemon Tree. It was covered in scale insect during the Summer which is almost impossible to get rid of and involved me swabbing each leaf with soapy water. But it has recovered. We brought it into the conservatory in the Winter and it is now laden with lemons. I gave up counting at 70. Last night I made a Lemon Meringue pie for some friends with our own lemons. How about that!!

Note to David and Jodi – I know this is nothing to shout about in Phoenix or Kauai but in Manchester it’s pretty special!!

 

 

 

 

Winter Garden

Sunday, February 19th, 2012

We went to the Winter Garden in Dunham Massey today. It felt like the rest of South Manchester was there but it did look very pretty with snowdrops and daffodils blooming. There were some miniature Irises on sale which were called ‘George’, so of course we had to buy some pots of them in honour of our new Great Nephew.

It’s been very gloomy recently so it was lovely to see some sunshine and I was inspired to start potting up some of our plants at home. Here is a painting of some Grape Hyacinths which have looked beautiful on the windowsill.

It’s one of my friend’s birthday today. I won’t be seeing her for a while so, Happy Birthday, Hazel.

 

 

 

 

Rivington Pike

Thursday, February 9th, 2012

This is a section of a painting I did last week of the view from Rivington Pyke. Graham has often told me how spectacular the views are from up there, and they are! It was a sunny day and the colours were fantastic.  Bolton is in the distance where he was brought up and where some of his family still live. We met a very new addition to the family on Sunday, our Great Nephew, George.

Graham’s brother-in-law (George’s Grandad) died at the end of last year, so it was good to start the year with a celebration.

Dimitri’s

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

The other day I went with a friend to see my paintings which are now displayed at Dimitri’s restaurant in Didsbury.  I was pleased with how they looked. I had selected paintings with a Mediterranean flavour to fit in with the cuisine of the restaurant. It is the partner to Dimitri’s on Deansgate, so I hope it is as successful.

London Trip 2012

Monday, January 9th, 2012

Just back from 5 days in London. We saw some great exhibitions, including Postmodernism at the V&A and the Grayson Perry exhibition at The British Museum. Grayson had given a lecture to the Friends of the Whitworth Art Gallery last November which was excellent. I particularly love the way he promotes skills and craft rather than just concentrating on the concept. I wonder what other Turner prizewinner would admit to being influenced by a patchwork quilt and then go on to make one of his own!! Here I am with him before the lecture.

We also saw some great theatre, the highlight of which was ‘Jerusalem’. Get to see it if you can. Added to all this was dinner with friends. A great way to start the year.

Grayson Perry and me.

Bala

Sunday, January 1st, 2012

Happy New Year to you all. I have enjoyed Christmas and we went to our friends, John and Sue, to bring in the New Year. We had a great night of delicious food and good company.

They live near Bala and we stopped off en-route to visit a brass instrument repairer as Graham has decided to get his old euphonium repaired at last. When he goes back to pick it up I will go too as I’d love to paint the hills. They were lovely colours of rusts and reds and looked beautiful, even through the rain!

This is the view from their conservatory. I painted it one Autumn and have had it reproduced as a greeting card.

 

 

Anna’s exhibition

Tuesday, December 6th, 2011

We had a great afternoon at my Christmas exhibition at my friend Anna’s house. She was very sweet and left me alone to  rearrange her house and it was good to see my paintings on the walls of someone’s home rather than a gallery.  Stupidly, I forgot to take any photos, so here’s a favourite painting of mine. It’s of an allotment, belonging to Fiona, which is opposite to mine in Didsbury. Fiona came to the exhibition and was thrilled to see her allotment there for all to admire.

Didsbury Allotment.

 

 

Christmas exhibition

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

A friend of mine has offered to let me use her house for an exhibition. There will be paintings, cards and prints of mine on show, also live music, Christmas food and drink. I have deleted the address for obvious reasons but just email if you would like to come.

Cupcakes

Thursday, November 10th, 2011

I went to a party a couple of weeks ago where we decorated cupcakes. It was great fun. I did three. Here they are. The one in the middle was the best as the colours worked well. This photo doesn’t do it justice!!

Bollington

Monday, October 31st, 2011

It was very sunny last week, so, in between sweeping up fallen leaves, I went out to paint in the hills. It was still quite cold so I painted from the car. This is one of the paintings I did near Bollington. I’m not sure if it’s in Cheshire or Derbyshire, but it’s very beautiful.

 

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Railings

Monday, October 3rd, 2011

Despite all my worries, I really enjoyed last Sunday afternoon when I exhibited my paintings and cards on the railings in Fletcher Moss Gardens in Didsbury.  It was very busy and, amazingly,  it was a lovely, sunny afternoon. There was music and events for the children and lots of people stopped to look, and also buy, my paintings. Three friends helped me set up, which was great, because it was very tricky fixing them on the railings. Here I am with some of my large canvases.

The Soup Book

Monday, September 12th, 2011

Our Soup Book is now finished and printed and we are very pleased with it. At the moment it is only for sale in our allotment shop but we may see if it can reach a wider public through other allotments or even local shops. It costs £4.95 and is in aid of the allotment society funds. It makes a great Christmas present!

Graham wrote it and I illustrated it so we are signing copies for our friends!

Fletcher Moss Gardens.

Monday, September 5th, 2011

Recently back from a weekend in London. We stayed in a Hall of Residence in Trafalgar Square so it was easy to get to exhibitions and theatres. After that I spent a few days with my Mum and visited a lovely RHS garden called Hyde Hall near Chelmsford. So, I am inspired and happy to be back at my drawing board again. I also want to paint outside as much as possible before the Winter comes. I have enjoyed painting in Fletcher Moss Gardens and the allotments in Didsbury this Summer and want to do some more.

The next showing of my work is during the Didsbury Festival. I will be hanging some work on the railings by the cafe in Fletcher Moss Gardens. I’m still not sure how I’m going to fix my paintings and where to put things. There’s not much room. I don’t think I’ll really know until the day as I don’t know which section of the railings I will be on!  I am just going to show canvases, prints and cards as it will be too difficult keeping my framed paintings clean and protected. I am going to get some of my paintings from Fletcher Moss printed. I hope it doesn’t rain!

Here’s one of the paintings I’ve painted sitting in the Fletcher Moss Rockeries.

Fletcher Moss Rockeries

Fizz and Fancies

Sunday, August 14th, 2011

Our Garden Party in aid of the Friends of the Whitworth went really well and lots of people came. We called it Fizz and Fancies because everyone had a glass of fizz and a cake when they came in! The sun didn’t  shine but the rain stopped just before 2pm and the afternoon was dry. I needn’t have worried about my disastrous cakes because so many people brought them that we were nearly giving them away at the end! We were thrilled to raise £650 for the funds and although it was a lot of work we really enjoyed it. Not sure if we would do it again but maybe we could be persuaded!!

My cards and prints sold very well and it helped me get prepared for the Didsbury Festival, which I will be exhibiting in later on this Summer. I bought a cradle to display my prints, which I am really pleased with, and everything is now labelled and ready. I will be hanging my work on railings in a park in Didsbury, so there is still plenty to think about! Like how to fix them and what to do if it rains!

Me announcing a raffle prize winner.

Printers!!

Saturday, July 30th, 2011

It’s been a frustrating couple of weeks. I am organising a Garden Party with a friend of mine in aid of the Whitworth Gallery Development Appeal. This Gallery is in Manchester and I am a Friend. It has been awarded funds from the Heritage Lottery Fund for a posh new extension and study rooms but needs more money. The Friends have pledged to raise some and this Garden Party is part of that.

We will be selling cakes, jams, books etc and also artwork from a couple of local artists. I wanted to print greeting cards of my paintings to sell, but true to form, my printer has been playing up. Eventually I decided to get a new one but have run out of time to print the cards. So, I have used a local printer and I am very pleased with the results. I might not bother doing them myself now because he will do them in short runs so I can order them as I need them.

Added to this, my cakes wont rise and the plant cuttings I took months ago, aren’t growing let alone flowering. Still, if the sun shines I am sure it will all be fine!

Here are two of my latest cards.

Andalucian Village

Anne's Courtyard

Villa in Puglia, Italy

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

A few weeks ago our friend, Gill, phoned up out of the blue and invited us to spend a week with her in her villa in Puglia, Southern Italy. We went 2 years ago and it is glorious, so we jumped at the chance.

As you have to fly from Stansted, which is a long trek from here, we decided to spend an extra week driving around Puglia, staying in hotels. We explored lots of places and had a great time with good food and drink. There were 10 of us staying at the villa which was hectic but fun. Graham enjoyed shopping and cooking for everyone and I enjoyed painting.

In that area of Puglia the houses have pointed conical roofs which are called Trullis. It has become a bit of a status symbol to have a house with a trulli, the more the better. Gill’s villa has two. Here’s a drawing of a part of her villa showing the trullis and another of a view from a nearby town. It is very flat in this area but there were fields of poppies which looked glorious.

Gill's villa in Puglia.

View from Locorotondo.

Blackbirds

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

The weather has been glorious and we’ve been spending lots of time in the garden and on the allotment. Blackbirds and robins have been very busy in our garden building nests and then looking after their young. But we are feeling very sad because the magpies have been attacking the baby blackbirds and we can’t hear any sounds from the nest any more. The parents did their best to protect them but we haven’t seen them for 2 days now so it looks like the nest must be empty.

So, here is my drawing of a male blackbird in their honour.

Finca El Cerrillo

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

Just back from Spain where Graham was running a Writing workshop at this wonderful hotel, called Finca El Cerrillo. It was a great week. We had  lots of fun and the writers wrote some really good pieces, most of which were read out at the end of the week.

I spent all my time painting. There are fabulous views and a beautiful garden so there is lots to inspire me.  The hotel sell postcards of paintings I have done whilst there before and I was thrilled to see they are doing very well. Two of them are shown below.

The only bad thing about the week was the journey home as we were delayed at Malaga airport for 6 hours and arrived home at 6am!!

View from the terrace.

A bedroom at Finca El Cerrillo

Allotment Cookbook

Friday, February 18th, 2011

A friend who has an allotment on the same site as ours, came up with the idea of producing an Allotment Cookbook with favourite recipes from the other allotment holders. It proved to be rather slow getting the recipes so we decided to start off with a book of Soups. Graham is a very keen cook and wrote the ‘Coronation Street Cookbook’ several years ago  so he has been sorting out the recipes and I have been drawing vegetables. Our friend Rosie, who is a Graphic designer, is going to design the book. It is a fun project, and if it turns out well we will do some more and, who knows, maybe there will be a series!!

Shallots

Didsbury Cafe

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

I have two prints hanging up in Cafe Delice in Didsbury. It is only a tiny space so there wasn’t room for many! I always feel daft banging nails in while people are trying to have a chat or a quiet cup of coffee so I took a friend along for moral support! I decided to put up a small print of New York and the one of Oxford Road as it’s local. The owners are very friendly and helpful and it’s a good excuse to call in for a BLT!!

Oxford Road, Manchester

View from The Rainbow Room, New York.

New Year

Thursday, January 13th, 2011

I can’t believe it has been so long since I have written anything. It’s been a busy time. The New Year started really well as Graham and I went to London for a few days of culture!  We went to loads of exhibitions including the Diaghilev exhibition at the V&A and Gruau, the French illustrator, at the Somerset Gallery. We  saw ‘Billy Elliot” the musical which was amazing, a fantastic spectacle and very moving. We also went to our favourite theatre (it seats 60!) in London which is above ‘The Rosemary Branch’ pub near Islington. We saw ‘Robin Hood’ by The Charles Court Opera. We have seen their productions there before. They are a very talented and hunerous group of singers/musicians and actors. It was a great night.

So, I’m thoroughly inspired and ready to get back to painting.

Birthday Treat

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

To finish off the celebrations for my ‘big’ birthday Graham and I went to Glasgow for the weekend. There were blizzards while we there but nothing as bad as it’s been since and we went by train which was a good thing. Fortunately we were staying very near to the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum so we spent many hours in there. It’s a very large and interesting Museum and there are some wonderful paintings on display by the Scottish Colourists.

Graham in a blizzard outside the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum.