Fiona's Notebook

Lemn Sissay

Talk at the National Portrait Gallery

18th August 2017

Exhausted after giving talk last night at The National Portrait Gallery. What would I do without the help of the lovely Tom Knowles at the NPG? Loads of people came and even asked questions. One reminded me of what I thought was the friendly shepherd who confronted me in Afghanistan. No sheep. One AK47. Familiar? My Taliban print was a best seller when I got back. See him here in the Gallery section (Taliban Drawing).

Working at Glyndeboure

10th August 2017

I’m working flat out at Glyndebourne. To me it’s the country home of opera. I have wonderfully memories and many of them full of laughter and things that nearly go right. Above, all it is an orchard of musical blossom. Magic and its most wonderful. I’m painting a new portrait of the most lyrical of sopranos, Danielle de Niese - gloriously, full of life creates a roomful of smiles.

BP National Portrait Gallery

7th July 2017

Meet Lemn Sissay - one of the most exciting young poets today. This is my latest portrait of him and this week it has gone on show at the National Portrait Gallery in the BP Portraits Awards Exhibition. I painted him for the BBC Radio 4 series on me, A Portrait Of... You can listen again to that on the BBC website.

The National Portrait Gallery is just on the corner of Trafalgar Square, opposite St Martins in the Fields in London. Entrance is free. The portrait is there until the end of the summer, when it goes on tour (including Exeter and Edinburgh).

Life's hectic for me at the moment. Doing three more portraits like Lemn's for the BBC - the actor Juliet Stevenson, the Royal Ballet’s male principal Ed Watson and Glyndebourne's lyric soprano Dannielle de Niese. There's also a whole lot more coming including teaching in Italy.

A Day with Pier Productions

23rd June 2017

A whole day’s filming for Pier Productions and a Channel 4 version of what I have been doing for BBC Radio 4. Painting and in conversation with a big name (the poet laureate Andrew Motion, the wonderful actress Juliet Stevenson, the loveliest lyric soprano in the whole whole world Danielle de Niese and so on) and talking them through all the emotions of being who they are and I suppose, something of who I am. Great day at the studio: this setting that setting, this pose that pose and all the words ad lib from me. Then up comes the studio chuck-wagon for lunch by the pool. Maybe Channel 4 will like it. We did. A dream day. Not a cloud in the sky nor on our minds.

To see some of the pictures, click the Gallery section.


About Fiona

Fiona is one of "Britain's foremost portrait painters" says the Daily Telegraph. She is one of just 50 painters selected from more than 80 countries for 2016 BR National Portrait Gallery Summer Exhibition.

She is also one of Britain's foremost landscape painters with her work covering idyllic river and wildlife scenes in Britain to edgy landscapes and individuals in Pakistan and the Taliban country along the Afghan borders.

Fiona is one of the most sought after teachers on Painting in Italy courses with followers coming from all over the world to be taught by her in Venice, Sicily, Florence, Saragano and Montefalco. And she now runs workshops for all levels of painters – beginners to stars – at her studio in East Sussex.