Desna Willcox


Desna Willcox Artist

Honeysuckle watercolour

Honeysuckle watercolour

Upon retiring as a primary head teacher in the London Borough of Hillingdon, I embarked on my lifelong ambition to paint:

To sit on a beach somewhere with my paints at the ready, to try and catch the movement and colours of the waves as they crash onto the rocks.

To set up my easel in Osterley Park and to try to convey the symmetry of Robert Adams' summer house set against a backdrop of autumn colours.

I studied various aspects of watercolour painting in adult education classes, life drawing and portraiture classes whilst in Hillingdon. As a member of the Ickenham Art Society I exhibited paintings at The Great Barn, Ruislip, at Uxbridge Library, etc.

On relocating to West Sussex, I enrolled on various Northbrook College adult education courses to enhance my skills and understanding of portraiture, life drawing, still life and landscape using watercolour, pastels and in recent years, acrylics and oils. I have exhibited my paintings in Worthing Art Gallery, Colonnade House and, as a member of Arun Art Society, in Ferring Village Hall and The Barn Surgery. In the summer of 2018, I participated as both artist and venue coordinator in the Worthing Artists Open Houses event. During WAOH I exhibited a wide selection of my paintings alongside fellow artists from the West Sussex area.

Apples watercolour

Shell watercolour


acrylic on canvas

I greatly appreciate and enjoy the art of painting in watercolour, acrylics or oils.

I love the paintliness, the subtle and bright colours, the techniques and the 'happy accidents'.

Seagulls watercolour

Venice watercolour

I am inspired by natural forms, composition and especially colour; be it a Sussex landscape, a face in repose, the colours of a mallards feathers, a glorious sunset with reflections (be it Venice or Shoreham Harbour) or looking west towards Ferring, from Worthing, at the splendour of the evening sky.

I relish finding expression in the exploration and use of different media.

Old Seafarer

Acrylic on canvas

Harry after rugby


I am a great admirer of J.M.W Turner, Whistler, John Singer Sargent and the French impressionists Monet, Degas, Renoir, and Cezanne, whilst not forgetting Caravaggio.

Caravaggio, the sixteenth century italian artist whose realistic observation of the human state and dramatic use of lighting means he holds a very special place in my appreciation and regard for great artists