Tajo de Ronda

ronda, tajo de ronda, malaga, andalucia, catalonia reina victoria, hotel, spa, view, valley, tajo valley, landscape, pen and watercolour, sketch, watercolor, watercolour, sketchbook, travel, illustration, paisaje, acuarela

To celebrate my 50th birthday on the 5th June I traveled to beautiful Andalusian town of Ronda in the province of Málaga.

I booked into the lovely Catalonia Reina Victoria Hotel and spa for a bit of luxury pampering…

….and it was lush. I think the anti-aging facial was a bit too little too late but it felt delightful!!

I painted this view of the Tajo de Ronda from the balcony of my room while I was sunbathing.


Emerson Radio Sketch

 emerson, art deco, antique, retro, vintage, radio, pen and wash, pen and watercolour, watercolour, watercolor, sketch, sketchbook

Another visit to the antique radio collection, this time to sketch an Emerson Erla art deco model made in the United States in 1934.

Today’s stormy weather added to the sense of peace and cosiness in the back room of Angel’s shop; all in all a lovely way to spend a couple of hours.

RCA Radio Sketch

rca, antique, retro, vintage, radio, pen and wash, pen and watercolour, watercolour, watercolor, sketch, inktober, sketchbookI am reliably informed by Señor Angel, Vejer’s proud and knowledgeable collector of antique radios, that this art deco style beauty was produced by RCA in the USA in 1933 and was modelled on the Empire State building.

Its name is Victor and  it’s brown in real life.

I was laughing to myself while I was painting as Angel was twisting the tuning knob of an old set and creating that glorious whiny crackle that one hears so rarely these days…joy!

Philips Radio Sketch

philips, antique, retro, vintage, radio, pen and wash, pen and watercolour, watercolour, watercolor, sketch, inktober, sketchbook

Continuing the retro radio theme for my sketch session this morning I returned to the radio shop / museum and chose a Philips model which was manufactured in Great Britain, Holland and France between 1930 and 1934.

Needless to say I took liberties with the colours…the actual radio was made out of Bakelite, the world’s first completely synthetic plastic, which was invented in 1907 by Leo Baekeland and is actually brown with reddish hues. I felt purple was a more interesting option so I used my artistic license.

Bagaly Radio Sketch

bagaly, antique, retro, vintage, radio, pen and wash, pen and watercolour, watercolour, watercolor, sketch, inktober, sketchbook

There’s a gorgeously eccentric shop in town which sells assorted hardware and houses an impressive and beautiful collection of old radios.

The owner plays classical music which spills out onto the street, inviting passers by to enter (worked on me).

I spent a very happy hour in there yesterday sketching this French example and intend to go back again, and again and again…

Feather Sketches

Here are a couple of feather related pen and watercolour sketches I made recently

fascinator, feathers, sketch, pen, watercolour, watercolor,, drawing

Above – the fascinator I wore to my second cousin’s lovely wedding a couple of days ago…

…and below, the poor partridge my walking companion killed this morning, naughty dog…

partridge, bird, dead bird, feathers, watercolour, watercolor, sketch, pen and wash, drawing


Springtime Vejer

vejer de la frontera, springtime, vejer sketchers, pen and watercolour, sketch, watercolor

It was lovely to get out in the spring sunshine this Saturday morning with the Vejer Sketchers and capture this view of Vejer in pen and watercolour.

Tricky angle, hence the slanted sketchbook!

Starter for Ten (out of Ten)

alquimia, watercolour, watercolor, sketch, fine dining, starter, asparagus, duck egg, poached egg, sour dough bread, jamon iberico de bellota

Those who read my last blog about the mini cup cakes will know that I set myself the challenge of drawing the food at last night’s Alquimia food fest.

The food was indeed divine and the company sublime; my favourite dish was the starter, a delicious concoction of grilled asparagus on sour dough bread topped with a poached duck yolk and jamon Iberico de bellota, which in English means Iberian cured ham from free-range, acorn eating pigs.

The rest of the dishes were wonderful to look at as well, but not so my sketches! Blame fatigue, over excitement, self consciousness…whatever…I attempted two more and then decided to concentrate on eating my dinner while it was hot!

Thank you and congratulations to Alquimia, can’t wait for the next event.

Who can resist a Mini Cup Cake?

eat me, cake, cup cake, lemon icing, vanilla sponge, alquimia, watercolour, watercolor, sketch, chocolate, fine dining

alqumia, logo, graphic design, full moon, gran baba, costa de la luz, el palmar, fine dining, tasting menu, mystery, magic, entertainment


Q: What could be luckier than having a friend who brings homemade mini cup cakes round for tea?

A: Having a friend whose mini cup cake is the invitation for a whole evening of fabulous Alquimia fine dining!


So having painted its portrait in watercolours I happily followed the chocolate icing instructions…and delicious it was…(OK, I admit it, I ate more than one).

Really looking forward to this Saturday’s sold out Mar y Bellota event when I plan to sketch some more culinary delights before I eat them.

Bike in Barbate

ocean, atlantic, beach, bike, bicycle, playa, andalucia,barbate, watercolour, watercolor, sketch, drawing


I had half an hour to spare before my lunch date with a friend today in Barbate so I painted this quick sketch of a bicycle looking out to sea….my friend didn’t show up (she’d had a diary malfunction) but I still had a delicious lunch of shrimp cakes and octopus.

Thank you Casa Oscar.