On the Atlantic coastline is a beautiful place called Bolonia.We met some family there last weekend to look around the visitor centre and Roman ruins (well worth a visit by the way). But I was fascinated with the cacti or chumbas as they are called here. Where we live they have all died from an awful blight and look like they have melted; a very sad sight indeed. However, these are green and full and glorious! A joy to see – so I thought I’d try and paint some. Watercolour and ink working from sketches and my  photos.


Oranges and lemons…

Oranges and lemons

When we bought our house we inherited a lemon tree with an orange branch grafted onto it. It is very strange, and many people do not believe such a thing is possible 🙂 It is a magnificent tree, providing us with nearly a year round supply of lemons and Seville oranges. Well, we think they are Seville, they are quite tart but very nice added to juices.  They are full of pips though! The leaves and blossom are quite different too; the orange blossom smells glorious when it is out. The ones I picked today for this picture found the lemon leaves quite pale and yellow in comparison to the orange leaves.  Having arranged them nicely to sketch and paint, I found the leaves seem to move on their own! Most strange…..Watercolour and ink.

CIMG1094Our tree, just outside the back door.

Flowers from the Friday market

Flowers from the market

I bought these daisies down the Jimena Friday market and started a rough sketch that afternoon. It is a real treat to get fresh flowers most weeks and they only cost a few euros. I then came down with a hideous cold and have not felt like doing anything until today, by which time a lot of the leaves were dying and the flowers had opened up…it all looked very different! Anyway, I inked it over as a fast sketch and then used some watercolour to add a splash of colour.

By the way, cold definitely caught on the plane flying back from the UK on Wednesday. I am unbearable when ill, as my poor husband will surely testify… 😉



The fields around Jimena are often full of bullocks. I spotted this handsome fellow last weekend in his rather fetching yellow earrings. As a vegan, I find it best not to think about what life he will have but to focus on the fact that he is free to roam a large field and has his friends for company here and now.

This is most likely my last post of 2014. We have guests coming for the festive season so I’d better get my head out of blogging and be sociable 😉 I would like to say a big thanks to all of you for following me and for your words of encouragement. I have big plans for next year! So I wish you a peaceful solstice, a cool yule, a merry Christmas and happy holidays! See you all next year x

The Cherrys’ poinsettia tree

point cherry

Looking upwards across the roofs from our terrace, our neighbours 3 doors up, the charming Cherrys, have this amazing poinsettia tree. I never realised poinsettias could become trees, I just thought they were small plants that you bought in pots for Xmas and then they shrivelled and died after the new year (mine do anyway….) This is just the top of the tree in full blaze; I would have had to crawl over the roof to get the full view of the tree which might not be such a good idea :-). Behind is just general brick and concrete which I found was not easy to paint. Anyway, I thought it was a nice festive subject for December! 🙂

The orange tree in the plaza

Naranja 2

The main square in Jimena, la plaza de la Constitución,  has orange trees all around it. This particular one is near to the cafe bar ‘Pastor II’, and one particular lady always sits under here with her 2 dogs to have coffee from 11.30 onwards most days. She is a bit of a landmark now and we all tend to congregate around her. Sadly for us, she has gone back to the UK  for a while, but hopefully will be back under the tree next February. We miss you, Kate! And her dogs Olly & Dylan…..