Art in Action 2018

Sunday 4th February 2018
Gran Hotel Benahavís****Spa

Set in the elegant surroundings of the Gran Hotel, Art in Action 2018 showcased the work of 32 talented artists.

With the emphasis on Young People the exhibition pulsed with activity. Unbelievably the standard in the Young Artists’s Competition just gets higher and higher.

Art in Action Young Artists' Competition WinnerWinner of the Young Artists’ Competition, 1st Yasmina Mojtar Mhani, Age 12, Swans International and her painting will feature on the front cover of our Programme Brochure 2018-2019.

Yasmina presented a vivid Pop Art inspired image of a make- up artist whom she discovered on-line.

Yasmina paints so passionately, handling colour so confidently, that it’s hard to imagine she only started to paint a few months ago – that she nearly didn’t enter our competition!

1st - Yasmina Motjar Mhani2nd - Polina Zograt3rd - Maria Yanygina

2nd place: Polina Zograt, Age 14, Swans.

3rd place: Maria Yanygina, Age 13, Laude, San Pedro International.

Two further works were highly commended by the judges:

Richard Mamaladze, Age 12, of The British International School Marbellla and Teodora Yolava, Age 13, of Mayfair International.

Outdoors the local junior rock band, Devils in the Sky, drew the crowds, while Paco Alarcon’s art workshop inspired over more than 50 youngsters with the joys of paint and clay.

Art in Action 2018


Writer's Corner

New this year the Writer’s Corner displaying local talent – and inviting entries for the Start A Novel Competition – also set the creative juices flowing.

Val VassayThe winning entry was by Val Vassay.  Val is a writer who has had letters and articles published in local newspapers and international magazines, but winning the “Write the First Paragraph” competition is her first fiction success. She also proofreads and types novels for other writers.

I’d never have believed it but  I’d escaped!  I waved to my family as the overnight train to King’s Cross pulled out of the Waverley. Thank God – no more church on Sundays, no more wondering what to do with myself every TV-less night. I was gonna go to every disco, pub, cinema, party I could get into. I was gonna do anything as long as it was completely different from the first nineteen years of my life…

Other entries:

“I’d never have believed it but…”

Here he was, sitting on my sofa, looking at me with a demand in his eyes for more tea and cinnamon biscuits of course. Oh did I mention ‘he’ was an alien that climbed down from the super moon two nights ago and walked in through the patio door. He has no intention of going anywhere and the dogs like him so I suppose he can stay. Hope he knows how to wash up… AZ

I recognised that woman on the bus. With her greying hair tied back in a bun, wearing an old man’s raincoat she should have been unrecognisable. The last time I saw her she was standing in the middle of a stage in Los Angeles, the audience on their feet shouting ‘JAZZA! JAZZA! Throwing flowers to her.   She had the voice of an angel, and the looks of a glamorous film star.   I vaguely remember some awful scandal – hadn’t she been involved in someone drowning in a swimming pool?  Whatever, it had been enough to reduce her to this – an old woman on a bus… JR

When she had gone I actually missed her – the most annoyingly irrational person I’d ever had the misfortune to meet.   ‘Everything happens for a reason’ she ‘d say cheerfully whenever I was fuming with indignation over something I saw on the news about the wicked or just plain stupid action or statement of some self-appointed guardian of public morals.  ‘No things happen because people are wicked or stupid!’ I wanted to say, but never did… SH

George was celebrating his one hundred and seventyfifth birthday.   I had mis-read the invitation ‘Make an Old Man Very Happy’ it said ‘Join me at the Gran Hotel for my 175th’.   Seventy five, I said to Jon over my morning tea and toast – he doesn’t look a day over fifty.   I wonder what his secret is?   I wish I’d never asked… MR

The train was on time!   Just as I sat down my phone range – it was Mike.  He sounded upset but I couldnt hear him properly as we were just going through a tunnel.   When we came out all I could make out was ‘accident’ and ‘bus’ .  I went cold – the school trip was today… GM

Old Miguel knew a thing or two and saw the world go by now from his street seat.   We talk of football and I tell him, it is still possible at 90 years – ‘We have walking football for us old men’.   ‘But how can I play with my stick’, he gestures to his walking stick and bent legs.   ‘Well’, I say, ‘you can play with your stick.  But if you touch the ball with it, or anyone else – It’s a foul’… KM

The crew carried him up the hill from the ship to the hospital more in hope than expectation.  But he was dead.   The doctors said so.  In the cemetery at Gibralter, I kicked aside the long grass and could just make out the faded inscription – Capt William Norrie, died at sea 18th August, 1916.   Perhaps it would have been more fitting had he been buried at sea because he was born at sea, on board a family ship in Yokahama Bay 1886.   Now what we wanted was to investigate the mystery of his life in the years between… JN

The howling became more intense and more frequent.   I saw the pack flitting through the trees.  I held the silver locket.  Inside was a tiny photograph: ‘Peter’.   I had kept it since losing him.   Suddenly I heard a faint knocking coming from the attic.  Just like the night before.   There it was again, rhythmic and constant, tap, tap, tap…. DM

My life was about to change forever.   I was used to the noise and bustle of the prison but nothing had prepared me for ‘C’ block.   Thick walls had stood for 100 years and spoke of brutality, crying, and regrets.   In this block for women, Claire lived in cell 3.   As her new psychologist I knocked on the cell door… DM

No one gets passed Fearless Freddie without me knowing.   Not Tough Skull Sven, musclesmax, or Springy Spirou.  This is a Mexican stakeout – so, who is this little minx?  Slim, trim, tight curls, bright eyes – hey chica, chica.   Hi its me Freddie, ola, ola, Chica – Yap! Yap! Sniff, Yap!   Everyone leaves their mark!… JB

When attracted by a shout, I turned, a six foot soaking wet chicken launched itself in my direction; with an ungainly rolling gait, feet splatting in the puddles as it advanced.   I cluched my handbag to my side.   I guessed I would out run it.   Miss! Miss! Its me!  Slowing I turned towards the lumbering fowl and wondered which of my errant ex pupils was in pursuit… MPC

I stood at the entrance, a 16 year old boy from Eastbourne as virgin and innocent as new sheeps wool, surrounded by some of the toughest looking tattooed embossed backstreet boys from the backstreets of Liverpool and Glasgow of which, I had been warned, more than half were Ex Borstal, and permanently looking to prove how tough they are.   This was the Merchant Navy Training Camp, designed specifically to make you give up and go home, because when you are at cant! … CG

Someone had stolen my eyes, I knew because I couldn’t see.   I was totally blind.   I felt sticky wet blood on my chest, my heart had gone too, as well as my liver and kidneys – I dreaded to think where my genitals were.   I hate hospitals! … DW

I was once more enjoying the familiar sounds of this place where so many memories reminded me of the homely scents, the happy, loving voices reaching my ears like the water from a spring, calming my  soul with light … AH

….estaba nuevamente disfrutando de los sonidos habituales de este lugar que tantos  recuerdos me ha traido el aroma a hogar, las voces alegres y amororas llegaben a mis oidos come un manantiel que calmaba mi alma de luz… VJ


Francisco Alarcón Pérez
Francisco Alarcón Pérez Tel: 659 626 510 Web:

The Ultimate Party Machine
The Ultimate Party Machine Web:

Devils in the Sky – Junior Rock Band
Devils in the Sky – Junior Rock Band

Venancio Sanchez – Sculptor
Venancio Sanchez – Sculptor Tel: 680 528 599 Email:

Totem Ceramics
Totem Ceramics Tel: 952 887 364 Web:

Anne Charrière
Anne Charrière – Distressed furniture Web:

The Art Club
The Art Club San Pedro Tel Anne: 666 598 126


Jose Ignacio Hernandez Cuevas (Hercuejo)
Jose Ignacio Hernandez Cuevas (Hercuejo) Tel: 630 432 321 Email:

Kay Hutchinson
Kay Hutchinson Tel: 609 214 615 Email: Web:

Tanja Skytte
Tanja Skytte Tel: 638 059 939 Email: Web:

Cristian Stancu
Cristian Stancu Tel: 697 765 352 Email: Web:

Sam Aplin
Sam Aplin Tel: 603 858 077 Email: Web:

Jose Antonio Aguilar Pozo
Jose Antonio Aguilar Pozo Tel: 639 013 780 Email: Web:

Curro Leyton
Curro Leyton Tel: 689 245 063 Email:

Vivienne Frances Whiffen
Vivienne Frances Whiffen Tel: 692 386 030 Email: Web:

G.Vega Ceramica
G.Vega Ceramica Tel: 660 059 702 Email: Web:

Ana Maria Padilla Callejon
Ana Maria Padilla Callejon Tel: 617 838 268 Email:

Josette Charret
Josette Charret Tel: 634 375 995 Email:

Addie D'Agostino
Addie D’Agostino Tel: 656 658 683 Email:

Louise Gale
Louise Gale Email:

Elaine Gornal
Elaine Gornal Tel: 626 836 590 Email:

Artgroup “Adgangforbudt” (Ida Jas & JesperHintze) Tel: 689 453 194 Email: Web:

Ann Ridge - Magic Stitches
Ann Ridge – Magic Stitches Tel: 647 165 026 or 952 777 463 Email: Web:

Charles Humphrey Muller
Charles Humphrey Muller Tel: +44 7548 898952 Email: Web:

Rod Friend
Rod Friend Tel: 637 909 806 Email: Web:

Catriona Walker
Catriona Walker Tel: 619 940 372 Email:

Debbie Lush
Debbie Lush Tel: 658 497 186 Email: Web:

Maria Jose Garcia Perea
Maria Jose Garcia Perea Tel: 628 133 628 Email: Web:

Mercedes Lopez Charro
Mercedes Lopez Charro Tel: 671 862 446 Email: Web:

Paul and Dawn Sutcliffe
Paul and Dawn Sutcliffe Tel: 686 458 851 – 952 117 591 Email: Web:

Susan Andrews
Susan Andrews Tel: 693 655 394 Email:

Val Banning
Val Banning Tel: 952 802 428 Email:

Alfonso Hervas
Alfonso Hervas Tel: 626 062 669 Email:

Sixlene Emerenciana
Sixlene Emerenciana Tel: 695 207 515 Email:

Maj-Britt Sacklën
Maj-Britt Sacklën Tel: 618 66 00 10 Email:

Isabel de las Nieves Lopez Garcia
Isabel de las Nieves Lopez Garcia Tel: 655 22 68 33 Email: Web:


Mayfair Academy, Marbella
Contact: Annie Palace Tel 952 784 923

Swans School, Marbella
Contact: Mike Foley Tel 952 773 248

Laude San Pedro International College
Contact: Gillian Marie Rennie Tel 952 799 900

The British International School of Marbella
Contact: Sian KirkhamTel: 952 779 264


What began as an aide-memoirs for Di’s two daughters became a tale of youthful swashbuckling. Today, between writing and running her award-winning hotel in the Serrania de Ronda, she wields recipes and local ingredients with the same exuberance as hoisting sails aboard Mojo.

Mary Caine is a keen member of The Benahavis Arts Society. She considers herself an amateur who writes for pleasure. She also enjoys hiking, dancing, singing and the occasional Ladies lunch.

Alva comes from a large Irish family and many of her stories are written from personal childhood and family experiences. Having also lived in countries with varying cultures, her writing also reflects this diversity.

Robina is passionate about Andalucía. She is fascinated by its culture and traditions. Fluent Spanish helped her integrate with the local community and, when not writing or translating, she loves to explore the region and learn about its multi-layered history.


After twenty years as a translator in Canada, British-born Marion Leigh retired to Spain to write. The first book in her Petra Minx series of thrillers, The Politician’s Daughter, is set on the Costa del Sol.

Charles Muller is the CEO of Diadem Books. He has written seven novels, mostly with a spiritual background, including The Cage and the Cross, A Twist in Time, An Elusive Sanctuary and, under the pen-name of Callum Gunn, Circle of Deceit.

It started with letters to The Times (unpublished) and SUR in English (published), then, when she transcribed the World War One correspondence between her father and her grandmother, Helen thought, ‘You could write a book about this.’

Liz’s first ever published article was about joining a dancing class and learning to stumble her way to the end of a sevillana. Since then she has written reams, nearly always on life in Spain.

Rosemary began her first book some years ago, with no thought that it might prove to be the first in a series. She is now working on her third crime novel and enjoys her writing as much in her home in Spain as she does in England.