2017 Diary

Carla Sonheim - year long course

We have completed that year of tasks! Soon the new 365 will begin… Here are a few of my last responses:

Some December 365 tasks

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and it’s still November!

Workshop associated with the Paula Rego exhibition run by the London Drawing Group. We drew the sculptures, we copied from some of the paintings, we drew outside and finally collaged some of our drawings onto the landscape background. Here are my efforts:

Saw the Degas show at the National Gallery. Gorgeous and liked quote from him ‘orgies of colour’. My favourite pic was actually not one of the most colourful but an anxious horse tethered to a tree – oils and mostly dark green and brown but so gripping. I’ll definitely go again.

More from 365 tasks. We are in the 11th month – gulp!

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More from November…

To National Portrait Gallery to look at Cezanne Portraits. I enjoyed seeing many of the backgrounds as well as the actual figures. Such marvellous subtle colour.

And on to Tate Britain to see the Impressionists. Besides the big names, other artists were included. Some beautiful tiny sketchbooks were lovely to see. (At the end three huge Andre Derains reminded me that I really love his bold style with blocks of strong colour and simplified representation! These were unexpected but, for me, there was a link between the Cezannes I saw earlier and these because of the use of outlining – very marked in the Derains.)

Serious catching up going on here. I visited the exciting collection of Chaim Soutine’s work at the Courtauld and tried to catch a few of the faces on my iPad.

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Then went to view Emily Young’s heads in St. James’s Piccadilly garden again, and on to view David Fawcett’s current show, David Tress at Messum’s and Craigie Aitchison at  Browse & Darby. I love how one can walk between so many places in the West End.

To Jerwood Gallery for its latest show of Paula Rego’s work:    see some examples here. I couldn’t have imagined standing in front of an image and reciting aloud a nursery rhyme not spoken for decades to a complete stranger, pausing for the last line which I couldn’t find in my memory. He couldn’t either! It was all disturbing – the models and the paintings. I felt a real kinship with the self-portraits after the artist’s fall and facial wound – except in my case I just took selfies on my iPad to reassure myself things were getting better.

Mid October – how time flies. More 365 tasks but few gallery visits. Must do better…

and finally a ‘poem’ created from a single paragraph in a magazine – blank verse for Halloween!

found poetry from a paragraph







Late September: More 365 tasks

Had to go and revisit the Quentin Blake show too.


Early August:

Quentin Blake: I love you! Visited the Jerwood Gallery in Hastings and thought this such fun. I want to play on paper the size of a wall too… (Follow link to see this wonderful man.)

Some more tasks from 365:


July has nearly gone – not many outings but have kept up more-or-less with 365 tasks! Here are a few examples:

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Into July!

Enjoyed the Summer Exhibition at the RA and Hokusai: beyond the Great Wave at the British Museum – though it had very subdued lighting and was rather crowded. Saw a beautiful selection of heads by Emily Young in the little garden beside St. James’ Piccadilly and followed that by a visit to Grayson Perry’s works at the Serpentine Gallery. Isn’t it wonderful that excellence can be so very varied?

I have tackled just about all the art tasks so far in 365 – here are a few recent examples:


Now it’s heading for the end of June 2017! the year is flying by…

Still trying to do painting tasks for 365 and have fitted in an excellent course on faces as well.

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Here are some of my faces done during Lynn Whipple’s course Making Faces. Can highly recommend her teaching style. She is vibrant and inspired.

Month ending 31st May 2017!

I have been out there – honest. Busy, busy, busy. Here are some pictures from my 365 tasks:

Went to amazing show of Picasso drawings etc. mostly from private collections at Gagosian, London. Really exciting. Enjoyed a selection of work by Eileen Agar at the Jerwood in Hastings.

w/e 1st April 2017

National Portrait Gallery again to see Howard Hodgkin’s wonderful colour combinations. I asked one of the stewards if he found it invigorating and his reply was that he was at work. This seemed to preclude any sense of awe!

Have continued with the 365 course.


w/e 25th March 2017

Had to catch up with Guy Taplin’s new work. Also visited a very grand gallery to see Michael Andrews’ pictures recommended to me by an art critic at the RWS recently. Liked his small portrait studies and some of the huge landscapes. Small groups (in gouache) were also delightful in the Julian Bailey show at Browse & Darby. Completed my whistle stop tour by seeing the Gillian Wearing & Claude Cahun show at the National Portrait Gallery. Very odd.

Here are some recent 365 posts:

w/e 18th March 2017

Enjoyed outings to Pallant House, Chichester, to see exhibitions of work by Sidney Nolan and Victor Pasmore.

Also visited the Royal Academy to see the Russian paintings.

More of my posts in the 365 course:

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Recent contributions to the 365 closed Facebook group:

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w/e 25th February 2017

Visit to Tate Britain to catch two amazing exhibitions. Both demonstrated how wide are the skills of some artists through drawing, block printing, etching, oil painting, watercolour, collage, photography etc. etc. I always love seeing Paul Nash and the huge selection here was wonderful and included works by other artists he was associated with too. I should have gone earlier in the run so I could go again but the exhibition is nearly over. Marvellous scope. The other rooms were alive with colour in the David Hockney retrospective with the well-known pictures from the 60s right up to recent charcoals and iPad paintings. Stunning.

w/e 18th February 2017

Visit to Pallant House to catch the end of The Mythic Method

after Frank Dobson
after Frank Dobson

and see Laura Ford’s bronzes in the Courtyard

after Laura Ford
after Laura Ford

Some of the week’s 365 attempts – yes, the photos are meant to be random!:

w/e 11th February 2017

We’ve all been busy this week, as ever. Here are a few examples of my contributions:

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(The bear and fox drawings were ‘carved’ with scissors into their transformations.)

w/e 4th February 2017

365 has reached day #35 already – wow! Am keeping up more-or-less. Here are some of this past week’s efforts – I won’t include Michelangelo’s David with a moustache as it is rather sacrilegious!

I had to write a poem about the last time I wrote a ‘check’. Although the instruction sentence’s syntax made it clear this meant a check/cheque, there were lots of creative results playing with other meanings of the US English word.

#31 I pay by cheque


Oh milk, I write to you of memory.

Of my mother who gave of herself.

Of the cows she kept later.

Of the milk she turned to butter.

And the blue separator which made cream she sold.

Of the government who decreed I had one-third of a pint per day.

Of the blue tits that used to peck through the foil tops of bottles:

they knew the colour that had more cream!

 Up and down go the reports:

Now you are good for me – but only in an emaciated type;

Now you are not good in any type at all;

Now some is good, but not too much;

And now it has come right round: full cream is better.

 And there is butter: now back in favour – Hurrah!

There is cheese: one diet says soft cheese is okay and hard cheese is death;

another says the opposite.

 There is cream: that too is suddenly okay again;

it makes my healthy soups delicious,

it upskills my raspberries,

it feels so naughty but nice.

 So I write my cheque to the milk company every month.

My unseen milkman collects it.

The bank pays it.

I get the milk.

The company gets the money.

Only the cow suffers indignity. But I cannot consider every living thing

for I must get on with the day.

w/e 28th January 2017

More of my responses to our tasks:

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w/e 21st January 2017

What have I done for 365 this week? Quite a few things!

w/e 14th January 2017

So good I had to see it twice. Revisited the Towner to see Towards Night again. Such an amazing collection and so well hung.

I have made some iPad drawings to combine two words chosen at random:

and a haiku about ants

ant haiku
ant haiku

and some one-liners of various subjects:

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and finally horses!

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w/e 7th January 2017

Quite a challenge to take in something every day!!! I’ll hope to update some of my results here regularly.