I managed to catch the wonderful Manet exhibition at the RA just before it closed and was taken by several of the paintings but this portrait of Berth Morisot has to be one of the all time greats. I think it looks like one of those paintings that just falls off the brush – I can’t believe that he spent more than a few hours on it and I can’t believe he made any measurements on it. So trying my best to zone into Manet, I set about painting this portrait of a Spanish lady, Leila, last week. It was a 3 hour sitting in one go so I was painting wet in wet. Obviously not comparable with Manet (!) but I love the immediacy of painting like this.