Whether she is in Venice, Cyprus or back home in Bushey, artist Toulla Hadjigeorgiou takes her camera with her, snaps lots of photographs and then creates beautiful artworks of the places she’s seen. And now she is gathering together more than 100 of her best paintings for a solo exhibition in the Harlequin Centre’s third-floor gallery.
“It’s a real mixture of my work,“ says Toulla, who has lived in Bushey for 16 years, after living in Cyprus for four years. “I do watercolours, oils and acrylics with mixed media, and I do everything from portraits to landscapes, seascapes and local scenes to more abstract, contemporary work with the acrylics.“
Toulla’s oil paintings are very large and her watercolours are quite unusual. “They’re very different to most artists’,“ she says. “Instead of being almost translucent and sort of wishy-washy, mine are quite bold and very detailed. People can’t believe they’re watercolours because there are so many layers of paint in them.“
She paints in different media and does such a wide variety of styles of painting to keep herself challenged and interested. “I’d get bored of doing just one thing,“ laughs Toulla, who is originally from Harrow. “I like painting anything and everything that catches my eye, although I do particularly like doing local scenes and seascapes.“
She has taken inspiration extensively from Bushey and its surrounding area. You will be able to browse her paintings of buildings in Bushey high street, pubs in Harrow, Radlett and St Albans, and a series of paintings of Attenborough’s Fields in Bushey.
“I like Bushey because it’s so close to London yet you’ve got the countryside and parts of it have a really villagey feel,“ says Toula, who runs art courses at Missenden Abbey and demonstrations for art groups as well as providing art tuition from home. “You wouldn’t even know Attenborough’s Fields are tucked away there.“
Toulla first exhibited in the Harlequin Centre back in May with her friend and fellow artist Denise Butler, and both were delighted and encouraged with the positive feedback they received.
“I’m really excited to be exhibiting there on my own now,“ she says, “I’m really looking forward to it.“
Fine Art Exhibition by Toulla Hadjigeorgiou is at the Harlequin Gallery, 3rd floor, Harlequin Centre, Watford from Saturday, November 24 to Sunday, December 9 from 9am until centre closing time. Details: www.toullaart.co.uk