While we were in England I had the opportunity to spend a few days staying with Justine. She is a very keen gardener and has grown many beautiful flowers in her large garden. At this time of year there are plenty of dahlias in all different colours which Justine invited me to collect to draw while she was working on her beadwork in preparation for her evening class teaching friends. It's one of the highlights of my visit to take part in the lesson and make a couple of pairs of earrings.
These lovely crimson lilies were in a bucket of dead flowers waiting to be put on the compost heap and when I realised they were still alive they came back into the house to have their portraits done.
On the Friday Justine and I took the train to London as she had a hair appointment and I had a list of art shops I wanted to visit. We took the tube to Covent Garden and arranged to meet later at a café on the piazza. What a lovely couple of hours I spent wandering around this iconic area, looking in the shops and stalls of hand made crafts. I bought a few gifts for the family and was in arty heaven at the art shop!
Eventually my feet got tired and I sat on the steps of the old church facing the piazza and drew the view in my sketchbook. There was an art installation in the south hall made up of white balloons in different sizes which resembled clouds floating up to the glass roof. Then I sat in the café to wait for Justine and drew them again closer up. She finally arrived looking lovely with her new hairstyle and only just in time to shelter from the heavy rain that had begun to fall.
Another visit was to Watts gallery to see an exhibition of paintings by Evelyn de Morgan, an arts and crafts artist and also another of the paintings of Richard Dadd, who was a schitzophrenic murderer. His amazingly detailed paintings inspired me to try and draw Justine's garden through a screen of plants.
It was lovely to spend this time with my eldest daughter and 2 of my granddaughters, Steph who passed her driving test and Sarah who was working on her art project while I was there.