The Garden Party

Feeling a little lonely this morning after 3 weeks of lockdown , I decided to have a garden party .Some 80 friends showed up, they were refusing to go back in their boxes ! ( unfortunately I forgot to invite my dear Avalonian free state choir ) .we sat and listened to the birds singing their hearts out !

The portrait exhibition and the book .

The exhibition in my garden cabin is now open. 100 portraits now hanging on the wall but we’re still in lockdown, so no one to view them ! They only just fit in there so they’re certainly not social distancing ! The cabin is normally my painting studio and it’s where I painted the portraits . The whole experience was more about the process than the product, the opportunity, as I was approaching my 70 th year to spend some one to one time with my favourite people, all of whom agreed to sit for me , nobody refused ! I feel very fortunate to know so many wonderful people, some of whom I didn’t manage to include in this project.


I tried to take a picture of my little gallery space but it was rather difficult !

My sisters and their families

And I have made a book

I made a book as a record for myself as I am intending to give each sitter their portrait after I have had the opportunity to exhibit it them just once for people to see them all together .I created the book with the online publishing company ‘Blurb’ .The hardback book was expensive, it cost me £45 but the paintings did reproduce well . I then had a smaller book made .The reproduction is not as good, the cost was £20 .Unfortunately much of the cost was postage as the company is American. I can get more copies made at cost price if anyone is interested, just email me diamamilstein@me.com
Many thanks to all my sitters and to those of you who have taken an interest in my project.

Special Friends from other places

ie not Glastonbury!

Jan. Heie. Fanny. Fra
Ang. Ruth. Sue. Zia

(top left) Jan Allain ,singer/song writer, lives In Brighton , into improvisation comedy and plans to run workshops at the Redbrick Building Glastonbury in the autumn. Jan is massive fun . She co directed my one woman show and played the grim reaper !


Heie Gelhaus, musician friend living in Bristol who I have known for nearly 40 years and one of the kindest people I‘ve ever met !. We have made 2 children’s story tapes together ( Josie and the dragon And Josie in space) and recently wrote the music together for one of my ‘moving paintings’

Fanny ( Frances )Barratt ,a good friend , Heie’s partner and an emerging artist .

Fra Gunn, actor friend who lives in Liverpool and ardent Liverpool football supporter so he insisted on wearing his hat for his portrait ! He also played ‘ Death’(no not Geoff !) in a performance of my recent one woman show !

(bottom row ) Angela Martin, artist friend and cartoonist living in Clun, Shropshire

Ruth Plum lives in Wales, astrologer, permaculturist, healer and artist and someone I love to laugh with !

Sue Younge, a dear friend I have reconnected with recently after many years who lives in Bristol

Zia Mustafphia Counsellor and artist, lives in Canterbury.

More wonderful Glastonbury people

Corinne. Denny. Justine
Clare. Brian. Vanessa

I have know Corinne Chadburn for about 36 years, Our daughters We’re born on the same day and when they were very small Corinne used to wheel then round Butleigh in a pram ! Corinne is one of the kindest people I know , she is always helping people ! She is also and artist, ceramicist and a gardener .

Denise Michell is a political activist and our twice mayor .What a pity you can’t lead our ceremonies on May Day this year ! Denny is also a great costume maker .

Justine Bonner runs the wonderful Jasmin Cottage B and B and gives the best massage!

Clare Charlton and Brian Charlton are my lovely neighbours who run Pilgrims B and B .
Both these B and B’s are thoroughly recommended !

Vanessa Bicknell is a friend I don’t know very well , I really enjoyed painting her smiling face!

The Next Generation!

I would like to think that all these lovely and talented young people are part of my extended family .

Robin. Will. Julie. Faye
Myfanwy Natasha. Kim. Katherine

(top left) Robin Frood , daughter of Bron Bradshaw and Roger Frood . Robin lives in Venice with her partner and 3 children .She has been in lockdown now for about 6 weeks , living in a flat with no garden . But she’s a great Mokuhangga print maker and so she’s currently creating some beautiful new work .

William Cartwright, son of our dear friends John and Jaki who passed away 3 years ago . I have known Will since he was a child. Will is an extremely talented multi instrumentalist and singer.

Julie Dodd , Will’s partner, is an emerging artist who is currently experimenting with engraving metal and glass .

Faye Chadburn ,daughter of Corinne has been in my life since the day she was born. Faye was born the same day as my daughter Jeanne. She is a great mural artist and print maker .Check her out ,she goes under the name of Faye Susannah. she looks a bit miserable in this portrait . She is currently living in NZ with partner and baby Romily and seems very happy !

( bottom left) is Myfanwy, artist yoga practitioner. Just married! to Dolfin and hoping finally move to England soon ! Fingers crossed for the visas!

Natasha Hopkins, beautiful young woman, performer/singer/model who recently modelled ‘the Red Dress ‘ ,the embroidery project by Kirstie Macleod.

Kim Von Coels multitalented artist, light painter, mural artist and community project creator – the Glastonbury map, the Glastonbury Mural trail , and now, soon to be opened, The Heart if thé Tribe Art Gallery.

Katherine Ashworth, vocal performance and installation artist, costume/set designer and atmospheric medium, works at the Zigzag building in Glastonbury. She has created ‘Pandora’ a multidimensional creative event space where magic happens ! Watch out for the next event !

The French Connection

My friends in the Dordogne

In April 2019 I went to visit my friends who live in the Dordogne thé French connection of my extended family. I arrived with 6 blank canvases and some acrylics. It rained solidly for 5 days so I set myself up in Jaki’s corner at Clos du Pont and did a portrait a day ,

On the easel (from left) Andy, an English friend, a woodworker who has lived in the Dordogne for many years ,a friend with a big heart! Denis, French ,father of my daughter Jeanne, multi instrumentalist and keyboard player of the Reggae band ‘Ruff cuts’. Nancy Harisoa , French singer, gardener, roofer, brick layer, sculptor ,artist and jack of all trades!

Above , Rangsta da Pranxtar English lead singer of the band Ruff Cuts , Nancy , Denis, Daniel – French multi instrumentalist musician who goes under the name of dbClifford – check out his great music !
Berry Allen , another English friend who has lived for years in the Dordogne . She is a singer , gardener and weaver.

The Healers


The Healers, all Somerset based all friends with their own special talents.
( top left) Kay Dayton- Trauma release (TRE) and brain spotting therapist ,
Lillie Mayborn – craniosacral therapist, Gwenolye- shamanic practitioner and sound healer, Lynne Orchard, massage therapist.
( bottom row) Thalia Brown, yoga teacher and artist, Jana Runnalls -musician, teaches shamanic drumming and mantra chanting ,Celia Thomas -spiritual visionary, Lucia Acentauri -EFT and matrix reimprinting practitioner.

The Artists


Many of my artist friends have already been mentioned in previous posts. I am lucky to be surrounded by healers musicians and artists! Here are some more very talented artists friends.
( from top left) Karolina Nieduza dancer ,film maker and photographer, Ann Liddell, artist and flamenco dancer, Charlotte Humpston painter, textile and 3D artist,Solange Zamora jeweller.
( bottom row ) Ramona Belcher landscape artist ,Kiki master of crochet and violin ,Renchi Bicknell artist film maker esp of starling murmurations, and Julia Manning etcher . I recommend you check out their work !

Another branch of the family

My Journey into Portraiture day 10 ( not done yet!)
Today I want to celebrate my friendship with the Bruce sisters and family , Fiona Bruce and Miranda Bruce. In our normal life I am lucky enough to play music with these two women Fiona on keyboard, Miranda, cello , + Bron Bradshaw on piano and me on violin . We are ‘The lonesome doves ‘
Fiona and Miranda run a detox retreat centre in Glastonbury http://www.cleansing-retreat.com
Below is my portrait of Georgina their mother who sadly passed away in December.
Thé portrait bottom right is of Miranda’s granddaughter, Roxanne the youngest person in my portrait exhibition.

The complete works !

4/4/20

My journey into portraiture day 9
The bigger family!
Today I am exhibiting the complete works of my ‘ two hour’ portraits as this was the intention to have a big party and share the portraits at the same time . But now we have lockdown so that will have to wait.Meanwhile see who you can spot ! And thanks for your responses everyone. Makes me remember we are not alone and you are all still out there !

As it is my 70 th birthday today I decided to make a donation to a refugee fund specifically to help refugees during the Coronavirus outbreak . I had previously suggested to my party guests a refugee fund to donate to ( if you felt to ) as a birthday gesture to me . Now I have found an appeal more appropriate to the current situation .I know that this is a really tough time for most people financially but am posting this appeal site in case any of you feel able to make a contribution .

https://donate.helprefugees.org/campaigns/coronavirus-appeal/