Home Is Where The Art Is

If you are an artist, a lover of art then I hope that I can inspire you to do what you love.

Saturday, 31 December 2011

2012 - Let's Hope It's Our Time To Shine!!!

I thought that getting back to work would get me started on all the new projects I have got to get underway. But unfortunately I am just stuck in begrudging the fact that I'm working when everyone else isn't. I think I'll get started next week when all the New Year celebrations are well and truly finished.
It's quite a big deal in Swanage as everyone assumes an alter ego and fancy dress is the name of the day. I can't really get my head into it as I have trouble getting myself dressed in the morning let alone going out dressed as someone other than my normal self is far too taxing.
The text messages are starting to come through with the question....What are you going as? I'm just ignoring them for the moment as I can't really think about it.
I have mixed feelings about New Years Eve, the pressure of expectation of a good time.
But we'll see.
I would like to wish you all a very Happy New Year! Thanks for reading for the last year. I hope that 2012 is a fantastic year for everybody.
If you have not made it to see me yet then make sure you do in 2012.
Happy New Year!

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Where's The Sun Then? Oh Yeah In Egypt!

Hello! I am back from my holiday and it was amazing. Swimming in the sea and sunbathing on Christmas Day may well have set a precedent for all of my future Christmases. I am already thinking about ensuring that I have a holiday booked for next year.
I hope that you have had a great festive season, I also hope that you got everything you wanted. I did. In the new year I am going to learn how to stone carve. It is something that I have wanted to try for some time and now I have the opportunity. I am going to be taught by the very talented stone carver Johnathan Sells. He is really good so let's just hope that I am a good student.
Feels weird to be back at work. I could definitely have had another week off as I am tired. It's all that doing nothing it wears you out.
Shirley did a sterling job in my absence and I came back to find everything much as I left it. Nice and tidy so a big thank you to Shirley for that. I really hope that in the new year I can get Shirley in on a more regular basis.
I did not think that it would be busy today and it would seem that I am being proved right. But I felt that I should open because that's what it said on the door.
I thought I should get straight out there and get my windows cleaned as they were really grubby but I only managed to get half done as some artist friends of mine came to visit. By the time they left it was raining. I'll have to finish them tomorrow.
A little reminder about the 1st Anniversary Show that starts on Saturday 28th January. It would be great if you could make it.
Going to get on and do some actual work.
I will be doing a round up of all the funniest trials and tribulations of being a gallery owner so keep an eye out for it!

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Last Christmas I Gave You My Blog!

I have no particular reason for not writing a blog yesterday other than I was feeling particularly uninspired. So I saved you from that. Your welcome, I say that to your silent 'Thank You'.
It has been quiet at the gallery which is surprising because it's nearly Christmas. But if they don't come, they don't come.
I have survived the first of my group Christmas events. I did all the food, well nearly all and there's nothing like being in the kitchen to keep you sober. I'm very glad of it as I am surprisingly clear headed today and looking forward to my second Christmas event this evening. It is the Comedy Club event Ho! Ho! Ho! There's a big group of us going so it should be a good laugh. Then on Sunday I am officially on my holidays. So if you come to the gallery you will see my brilliant stand in Shirley, she's a legend. It's so nice being able to work with her again as she used to work with me in former profession. I think we are both agreed that working at the gallery is a far nicer way to spend the day.
I have written a not to myself to remember to mention that the gallery is now on TripAdvisor and if you have visited and have enjoyed it I would really appreciate it if you could start to rate me please. It's just another way of getting people through the door. I'm a member and I have to say that I use it fairly regularly to check up on places to stay etc. It's really good and fairly well balanced.
This will be my last blog now until after Christmas so I hope that you have a really good one and that you get to spend quality time with your family and friends. Don't get too stressed out with all the preparations, presents etc. Just remember it's really about having time off at the same time as everyone else and really enjoying that fact.
I'm going to be spending it on the beach and I cannot wait. I have never swum with the fishes on Christmas day so I am particularly looking forward to that. I also get to try out my new camera and give a turkey dinner a swerve. I don't like turkey.
I am also quite positive that my Egyptian Christmas Gala meal will be fairly dreadful so I have packed a suitcase full of munchies. They can do weather, sea and even hospitality but when it comes to food it's hit and miss and generally more miss than hit.
Merry Christmas everybody!!

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Brrrrrrrrr!! It's A Bit Chilly

I have two more days of work and then I'm off. I cannot wait. There is a wind blowing outside that is so cold that it chills you to the bone in seconds. I've got all my heaters on full blast and I'm not boiling.
In theory I could actually clean the windows again today but I think I'm going to leave it until Saturday so they will be nice and clean for Shirley.
I am closing up early today as I have a list of things to do as long as my arm. It doesn't help that not one gallery visitor has darkened the door. Well, that's not entirely true. There have been a few but not enough to keep me away from the list of must do today jobs.
The gallery will be open as usual in my absence so please do come and visit, it's not too late to grab yourself a great piece of art and get it wrapped up for that special someone, that could be you!
I have a pile of Christmas cards to get delivered but I've already told you that I don't want to hand them over in person. So I'm going to be a late night post woman.
I hope that you have got all your festive arrangements arranged, it's still quite a baffling experience for me. I think I've finished and then I remember that I've forgotten someone or something.
I read an interesting article about this woman whose parents could not afford to buy them Christmas presents so they just didn't bother. They still don't many years later and she says that they enjoy quality time as a family without the stress of buying presents.
As a late comer to Christmas I kind of see where she is coming from.
I read an article about a 13 year old whose letter to Santa threatened to kill him and feed his reindeers to the homeless if she didn't get a Blackberry phone. How disappointed she would be if it was up to me, she would probably just get a blackberry.
Who says the true meaning of Christmas is not alive and well?

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

So Quiet You Could Hear A PPI Cold Call!

I have been staring at that 'I' for at least 20 minutes. That's just how it is some days. I think think that I should write my blog and then I sit and stare at the big blank white screen. Wow, at least another 10 minutes have passed since the last sentence.
I just remembered something that happened to me this morning. I get so many recorded 'If you've been missold PPI' phone calls I tend to hang up straight way. Today a lady called who had an identical voice to one of those messages and I promptly hung up. She rang back within 30 seconds and apologized for the fact that we seemed to have been cut off.  I did feel bad, but in my defense she should really work on her telephone voice because it sounds too much like a telephone voice. 
The crazy weather we had down south yesterday meant that I had the pleasure of cleaning my windows again today. It is a pleasure, but it is slightly less pleasurable when people decide to enter into a conversation with you when you are in the middle of it. I know they are just being sociable but really!
I have done the draw for the raffle and the lucky winners will be informed later on today.
I have a date for you to pencil in for next year, it's not set in stone but we are planning another Bizarre Bazaar in February on the Saturday 12th. Why don't think about having a stall if you make anything cool and funky. Let me know as there will definitely lots of people after them as I am finding out that I have the most creative friends who are saying that they are interested in having a stall.
I am not sure the fact that the road the gallery is on is closed at the top is helping the amount of traffic to the gallery. It has been deader than than the morgue here today. What a difference road works make in just 24 little hours!
This time next week I will be on the beach so I will just grin and bear it for the next couple of days.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Create Yourselves A Very Merry Christmas!

Do I get to mention it just once more? I think I'm allowed. The Bizarre Bazaar was a success and I hope that we will be organizing more in the new year. If you are interested in getting involved let me know as it really is a case of the more the merrier.
The count down is on to my holiday. I cannot wait, I was not meant to live in this cold climate. The bad news is it looks like where I am going to be staying in England for the foreseeable future.
It has been a funny old day at the gallery. It would seem that I am open for visitors, there have been plenty but it has meant that I am now rushing to get my blog written before I close.
I have been doing all my gallery housekeeping today, I like to leave it nice and tidy for Shirley so that she doesn't have to do any of the boring choredom of cleaning.
I seriously am a little in love with window cleaning. It is very satisfying to do, I like it whether I would enjoy it when it's freezing and I'm on my 20th window I seriously doubt it. A lot of 'serious' in those last sentences. I have obviously been watching far too much american television. But I do love it, it's like totally awesome!
I have to finish sending my gallery christmas cards, I hate the whole handing them over bit. I like to do it under the cover of darkness when no-one is around. I have received plenty of thank yous and everyone comments on how neat my writing is. It's true I do have impossibly neat writing but it has taken years of practice. It also helps that I was a teacher for 15 years. Nothing hones your skills like writing on a whiteboard for groups of people to be able to read.
I've also been perfecting my signature for ever! When you have to sign 1,000,000 + EMAS every year that'll also do it. All you teachers know exactly what I mean. I may have exaggerated ever so slightly.
I just remembered a comment that one of my teachers said to me many moons ago. I am very good at making things look nice and was often guilty of 'style over content'. Probably still am on some levels.
I am putting my festive greeting in todays blog as I wanted to remember to do it.
Finally, I want you all to think about donating to a charity this Christmas. If you are reading this you are already many many times more privileged than many many people. Seriously* I am not preaching but that loose change in your pocket pop it in a collection pot. If you can do more then please do more. You know it makes sense.

Friday, 9 December 2011

Me, A Parrot? Bizarre Bazaar, Bizarre Bazaar, Bizarre Bazaar!

What more can can I do to get you to come to Swanage? I could let you know that there's free parking in Swanage every Saturday until Christmas. Main Beach off Victoria Avenue that should save you a couple of quid, that you can spend at the Bizarre Bazaar. I will be giving away a free mince pie with every purchase. I will do everything in my power to make you come and see what extra special goodies I have for sale. I know there will also be some ceramics, art, jewellery, and some cool retro stuff. Collectables if you are into pop memorabilia and musical instruments.
I haven't got anymore to say other than please come and see me.
The gallery has been quiet for the last couple of days but I have to admit that I'm glad as I have been fighting this stupid cold and my head has not been totally on the job.
Wow, it's amazing that a nasty cold can addle your brain so effectively that you can't string a sentence together. But I did manage to teach for two hours yesterday. Admittedly, I did have to go and lie down in a darkened room for the rest of the day. They're great kids and I'm going to be working with them a lot more next year.
I'll be working a split shift at the gallery tomorrow. I'll be at the market in the morning and I'll be back at the gallery in the afternoon. So if you're over for the day you can come and see me at both places.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Bizarre Bazaar This Saturday!

This Saturday in Swanage

Unfortunately, I have succumb to the dreaded lurghy and spent my day off in bed with only tissues and Lemsip for company. I had the occasional cat but they were not huge fans of the bed shaking sneezes that I kept doing. They eyed me with disdain before jumping off and settling down on a pile of clean washing. Brilliant!
I am feeling sort of better today, I don't feel well but I have been able to get myself to the gallery where I am waiting for my two new students. I was seriously thinking about canceling but I hate doing that as I am a professional. If I keep telling myself that then one day it will be the truth.
I am worried that it is a case of you feel not too bad when you get up and the more you do the worse you feel. I'm feeling considerably worse than I did earlier.
A few things I want to mention, firstly The Coop which is an artist co-op working out Bournemouth. They are based above The Winchester, are looking for an artist to fill a studio space. The rent is a very reasonable £52.00 ish all in. From what I hear the spaces are great and the people are very nice. So if you are interested let me know and I'll ass along the details.
Secondly, The Bizarre Bazaar is this weekend on Saturday. I willing myself well for them as I have goodies to sell. There is going to be some great stalls there, if you are looking for that unique under a £20 gift that is pure quality then you know where to go.
I hope to see you there.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Feeling Blah But Still Selling Art!

I am afraid the lurghy that has infected everyone else may well be upon me. I am not happy about it. I can't afford to be ill, fact! So I am dosing myself up with 'make it go away' drugs so let's hope they work.
Yesterday was a great day for sales and it would seem that today is too. Sold another piece this morning. If this keeps up I may well be able to retire when I'm 70!
I have to keep getting the people through the door and keeping them here long enough to get them to part with some cash.
I am ready to offer mince pies as bribes if necessary. You have been warned.
There's some new pieces in to replace the ones that have sold so please come and check them out as they might be just what you have been looking for in terms of that unique Christmas present.
I have as usual been working down my list of things to do and I growing steadily more perturbed at the fact that it does not seem to be getting any shorter. For every job I finish I manage to add another one. It wasn't meant to be like this.
I am struggling to string any more sentences together so I am going to admit defeat and keep this blog mercifully short for your sake as much as mine.

Monday, 5 December 2011

3 Sales On A Monday! Lovely!

Cooler Than Cool, Ice Cold!

I am no longer contemplating! I am moving onwards and upwards, that being said I made two sales this morning in the first 20 minutes of being open. I told you that there is some great art to be had and people are already taking advantage of that, so why aren't you?
Excellent news, I wish every Monday morning started off like that. I would be a very happy gallery owner.
I know I mentioned before that I will be teaming up with Jan Dagley to deliver some printmaking and painting Master classes. We are trying to come up with a name to call it so we can maximize our internet presence.
We had a good brainstorm this morning and I now have a new list of things to do. How I love my lists.
Saturday was good, I'm not sure the amount of mulled wine I got through was indicative of how many people actually came through the door. I heard the word 'moreish' mentioned once or twice. I thought it was a bit blow your head off myself but then again I am not in the habit of drinking red wine mulled or not in the afternoon.
We have also raised £42 so far for the Langton Matravers Pre School rebuild fund. this was achieved by selling raffle tickets to win a limited edition Nativity Booklet that was beautifully made made by the very talented local printmaker Debbie Lee. Since I started to write this blog I have sold one of the booklets so lets call it £57 raised so far. I would like to raise a nice even amount so I guess we should aim for £100
I am starting to feel the cold at the gallery. I think the thermals may have to come out soon. Not bad considering this time last year they had already been on for a month by now.
I have got so much to think about right now I should keep my blog brief otherwise I am in danger of not getting everything finished that I need to by 5.00.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

More Questions Than Answers!

Today finds me in a contemplative mood. Sometimes I think that it is a good thing but on the whole I'm not really a very good navel gazer. I have heard things today that I cannot quite believe but it has clarified everything for me. Can you tell the difference between good art and bad art? Is there such a thing? Or are there just different levels of expression? All art is good art, is that the case? If you follow this chain of thought through to fruition ALL art education is pointless. If you can create a piece of art then that is sufficient to qualify as valid, why learn how to improve your skills?
Every year the general public at large are left bewildered and confused by the Turner Prize. Relegated to Channel 4. It's not real art is it? Or is it? A bed, an empty room? What is real art? Something that is created to look like the original subject? Is that art or is it copying? Is the art better than the real thing? I don't know about you but I have some answers to these questions as I have spent the last 25 years learning and teaching art. Does that make me qualified to tell the difference between good art and bad art? I hope so, otherwise there are loads of my ex students who have been wrongly given excellent grades. I would hope that is not the case as I will have done art education a huge disservice. If I don't like a piece of art can I still judge whether it is good or bad? That is a resounding yes. Whilst I would not want it in my home I can appreciate the level of skill, the thought process behind the piece. To dislike a piece of work is a valid response to that piece of work. Therefore it has worked. Should all art be aesthetically pleasing? Should it look 'nice'? Do Francis Bacons pictures look nice? Is he a good artist?
Opening an art gallery would also have been a big mistake. I would love this to be an open debate as I would like to hear how people perceive it.

Francis Bacon

I have reflected, now I can move on to gallery related news. I am all ready to host the private view later on today and I hope that it is big success. I have been reading the mulled wine recipe several times just to make sure that I get it right. Never made it before. I am really looking forward to my day off tomorrow as I have worked 6 days this week and I am a little tired.
I have just counted how many questions I have asked and not answered. Impressive. I have been telling you all week about all the things that are happening in Swanage this weekend so I hope that you will make the effort to visit.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Swanage, Be Here This Weekend Or Else!

Starts on Saturday @ 3pm
It has been rather busier than I thought at the gallery thanks to the quick work of those involved in the last exhibition and those involved in selecting the new exhibition. Thank you all, this allowed me to get the show up yesterday I thought I would spend the next two days doing it. I don't know about anyone else but when I start something I have to finish it. That's how it was yesterday. It looks really good, some nice pieces and if you wanted to get something original and affordable there are definitely some great things at the gallery.
I know that I have been going on and on about the fact that Swanage is the place to be this weekend but I have found out that there is even more happening than I thought. The Photographers Lounge is having it's Christmas Drinks/Sale Event. I would seriously consider leaving the car at home and get the bus as there will be so many free drinks available on Saturday it might be the best plan.
Culture, market, exhibitions, mince pies and mulled wine what more could you ask for on a weekend in the run up to Christmas.
Today I am going to get my exhibition labeled and priced and then I'm going to try and find a place to put up my Christmas tree up at the gallery.
Tree is up but it needs lights to make it shine. I am going to get hold of them tonight so that will be a job for tomorrow.
I have labeled, typed up price list and cleaned and now it is time to go home.  

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Leave My Bank Account Alone!

Technically This Is Corfe, Close Enough

It's amazing what reading your bank statement can do for your health. I am not talking a positive effect here. There is nothing like having a big corporation milk your bank account for vast sums of money to get your heart beating and your palms sweating. Thanks for that BT. If I lived in America I am almost certain that I would have employed a legal eagle to sue them for cruel and unusual treatment. I have to say without a doubt that BT have caused the most upset to me both at home and at work over the past year. I have refrained from using all the far better acronyms that I have made BT stand for. Because I do not want to get in trouble for using bad language on my blog. I am going to sever my connection with them as soon as I possibly can as it is by far the most expensive contract out there at the moment.
Rant over.
I have had to prod artists into action as they have been promising me work for ages and it has been very slow in arriving at the gallery. To the point that I was worried that I wasn't going to have nearly enough to put on the next exhibition. What a disorganized bunch. Not all I hasten to add, some people were incredibly prompt and I am eternally grateful for their consistent reliability. Thank you.
So this show has entered its last day and I will be taking it all down tomorrow and I think that I may well get a free lunch out of it so that's all good.
A Taste of PAWF starts on Saturday and I have got all my mulled wine spices together so that I can serve up a tasty glass of this to all visitors. I've said it before and I'll say it again, Swanage is the place to be this weekend as there is so much going on and it is all free. It has the Christmassy vibe that all little towns get when the Christmas lights go up and there's Christmas trees in all the windows. I am going to put mine up on Thursday. I'm not sure where exactly but it'll be visible from the street.
I hope that whatever you are doing today you don't have to spend much time out in the gloom that is Tuesday in Swanage.
I am going to try and design a Christmas card this afternoon for the gallery. Wish me luck it will be my fifth attempt.

Monday, 28 November 2011

The Deadline Looms!

I am determined to get this written and posted on the same day! I have had an eventful morning there are so many fine tuning details that I need to do before each new exhibition. I would like to sit on my laurels and think that I have organized everything to the nth degree. The truth is that whilst I try to do this it quite difficult. The fact is that artists have a great knack of leaving everything to the absolute last minute. The hand in deadline for this show is 5pm today and there are still people who tell me they are coming but I am yet to see them.
I am just glad that I left myself plenty of time before the show has actually got to be up. I think that the selection process should be interesting.
I am currently working from three lists of things to do, that's how many pages it takes up any way. I am hoping to have whittled it down to one page by the end of today.
I have applied for the gallery to be on Trip Advisor as an attraction so as soon as I know whether or not it has been accepted then I will be asking all of you who regularly visit the gallery to write me a review please.
I am constantly looking for new places to promote the business so if you have any bright ideas feel free to share them with me.
So Tinted Grey finishes on Wednesday and the new show will be going up probably on Thursday or Friday. The girls are so happy about the great feedback that they have had from their first ever exhibition, they were buzzing when they left here on Saturday.
I will be working on my day off so that means that I might need to take some time to make sure that I have got everything in place for Saturdays Private View. Please do come if you can it should be good and don't forget there is plenty to do in the Purbecks next weekend so it will not be a wasted journey. From what I can gather if you fancy a free mince pie and a glass of mulled wine you are almost certainly going to find that on offer at approximately 4 different venues. Maybe you should get the bus. To quote a song 'I don't care how you get here, just get here if you can'.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

I Am The Oracle

Infinite Possibilities Of Things To Do

Another Saturday and another Private View. There has been a steady trickle of people to this show all day which is really nice. The gallery is in competition with the newly opened Durlston Castle Gallery as the show I mentioned yesterday is open to the public today. It is definitely worth a visit as there is a good variety of work and there and it is a great space.
The Tinted Grey artists have had some great feedback from the visitors to their exhibition which making them feel very motivated to start thinking about their next show. I'm just hoping that they will consider showing with me again in the future.
I am starting to think about the last part of next year and getting the shows in for the last couple of months. I want to do something really exciting so I am approaching some big names with the hope of tempting them to show with me. I hope that I will have some more news on that front very soon.
I must get out of the habit of taking through my blog deadline. For the last few days I get the majority of my blog written and then there is a visitor to the gallery that means that I talk instead of post.
So now it is Sunday morning and I am going to post my blog come what may.
I just want to remind you that I have a new show starting on Saturday. It will be the Purbeck Art Weeks Christmas Show. The Private View will be next Saturday starting at 3.00 and ending at 6.00. There will be mulled wine and mince pies. There is also a Christmas Market in the town next Saturday and the turning on of the lights. I would say it will be one of the best days to visit Swanage in the run up to Christmas. Also the following weekend there will be the Bizarre Bazaar. If you ever needed a reason to visit I have just given you a few and the best thing about them all is that they are free and extremely family friendly.
I have to tell you that my blog has smashed through 30,000 and is only just short of 31,000. So thank you very much.
Happy Sunday everybody.

Friday, 25 November 2011

More Things To Do In Swanage This Weekend

The truth is that I wrote my blog and then promptly forgot to post it. So apologies about that. I have been busy with visitors to the gallery, no really I have. Some have been submitting their work for the Christmas Exhibition and others just popping in for a chat. It's always nice to see friends. Of course there have also been people coming in to see the work on show.
It would appear that people like it when I have a rant, it's been the most popular blog of recent weeks, I wonder if it is because you all know that I am a placid person so me getting riled is both novel and entertaining. I continue to quietly seethe but I am officially over the worst of it.
I had one of the most chilled out days off on Wednesday. I usually run around like a mad woman trying to cram in a ton of jobs in one day. Yesterday, I had lunch with the painter Jan Dagley and we plotted world domination. Just kidding we are teaming up to deliver master classes in Printmaking and Painting. I am very excited about this as this is exactly the kind of thing that I want to be involved with. I am in the process of researching various aspects and I know that Jan is too.
I'll give you all the details when I have them.
There's a show called 'Beginnings' starting at the new and improved Durlston Castle Gallery this weekend if you are in Swanage you should make sure that you take the nice walk (and it is a really nice walk) up there and go and have a look at the work on show and all the refurbishments. I'm going to pop along to the Private View this evening to support some friends of mine who are showing there.
What I would really love is if everyone who reads this blog could share it because I would really like to achieve 30,000 page views before the 1st Anniversary. I am only 400 off that amount. That figure astounds me, 30,000 that's crazy. But I am grateful for each and everyone even if it was generated by 'Sex, Sex and More Sex'.
I have to mention that there is second Private view for Tinted Grey tomorrow starting at 12.00 and ending at 4.00.
So please feel free to pop in.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Do NOT Get Me Started!

If you know me you will know that I am a mellow laid back person. I am passionate about many things but mostly I am easy to deal with and I hope that all my customers/clients will agree.
Today I have had my buttons pressed and I have had at least two full on rants. As I am a professional I am going to keep you in the dark about who, how and why. Suffice to say my cool was lost. I do not bear grudges but I do have an elephantine memory and I am running a business.

I am always waxing lyrical about my fondness for lists today I am going to give you a 'Things Not To Do as A Gallery Owner Or A Human Being' list.

  1. Do not assume people that are smiling at you and agreeing with everything you say are actually being sincere.
  2. Do not get overly confident when up a step ladder because you know people are watching you. This will inevitably lead to a heart attack inducing wobble.
  3. Do not close the gallery for lunch just to get rid of people as they will notice you sneaking back within 10 minutes of you putting a sign up saying closed for an hour.
  4. Do not be too encouraging to anybody professing to be an artists. Draw your own conclusions as to why not.
  5. Do not give too much away for free as people will see it as the 'norm' and expect it every time.
  6. Do not rely on people being on time if you have a job to do for them. Expect them earlier and that way you'll always be ready.
  7. Do not give people false hope about their creative abilities. Remember the bad news, good news, bad news sandwich. There's a much coarser word for it, I'm being polite.
  8. Do not dismiss an 'out there' idea. If you don't ask you don't get and what's the worse that can happen?
  9. Do not admit to keeping dead things (not people) in the fridge. It freaks people out.
  10. Do not become a work bore when you work in a team of one. It is way too tedious.
That's enough for now. I have had the pleasure of meeting a new artist today, her name is Clarissa Galliano and you will be able to access her website via my website a bit later on today. Her work is great, right up my alley and I hope that her work will be selected to be exhibited at the PAW Christmas Exhibition. 

Monday, 21 November 2011

The Spilling.......Is Very Affected!

Mmm Nice Jumper

You absolutely cannot type when you are watching something with subtitles. Fact!! I have a growing admiration for all the Swedish/Danish thrillers that are on the BBC 4. They are really good, if you can get over the dodgy jumpers and generally unattractive lead characters they're great. I'm used to being able to multi task but subtitles do hinder the process somewhat.
I have been working really hard to get all my admin done. I'm not sure if it's a reflection of my efficiency. There seems to be so much more to do now than there ever was. I keep thinking that the more I get done the sooner I will be able to get on do something else like my own work perhaps.
I'm really not complaining as a year on I am now dotting all the i's and crossing the t's that I had not even realised I hadn't one. That and acting on the ton of good advice given to me by some very knowledgable and well respected artists. It's nice to know that I've got some great people behind me.
I have to apologise for my spelling mistake in the flyer I posted on Saturday. It's got something to do with the fact that what I really need is a proof reader. (An irony that I have to share with you, I am re-reading my blog which believe it or not, I do, do. That sentence was so grammatically incorrect I had to laugh maybe I should have left it as it would have beautifully illustrated my point)
If you fancy a job where there's no wages, no incentives but a great boss please feel free to apply.
Been another fairly busy day at the gallery so I'm glad I'm open. I am in a minority though I've had a walk around town today and have seen that many businesses are in fact closed. Oh the deliberation of which day to close. I may just have to follow the trend of the other business owners. I'll let you know.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

I've Got Designs On You!

There has been a dramatic improvement on attendance to the gallery today. I think the Tinted Grey girls will be pleased. I was hoping that the mild weather and sunshine might bring a few more people over the water and it would seem that I was right.
It is always a little difficult to gauge how attendance to shows might be but I am of the belief that if you offer people a good variety of things to look at you will be constantly growing your audience. I have spoken to you just once or twice about growing the business. It is my mission, I am just looking into getting the gallery into the 'Galleries' magazine. That costs mega bucks but I guess I have to speculate to  accumulate. I just wish I could speculate with someone else's bank balance. I would find that hugely beneficial to my speculatory (sic) skills.
I may well do the lottery tonight, you have to be in it to win it. Just before you think to yourself if I won the lottery would I still run the gallery? The answer is a resounding yes! I would invest in making it the most high spec exhibiting space in the South West and I'd buy next door which is currently empty. But I have to admit I would probably employ someone to run it at least part time for me.
Now I have got that complete flight of fantasy out of my system, let's get back to business. I have designed a flyer for the Bizarre Bazaar so here it is. I hope that you appreciate the humorous approach.

That's the first thing that I designed today, and I'm pretty pleased with it. I have also produced a poster for the anniversary exhibition. I have deliberately kept it simple and kind of like and eye chart. That's what I have been up to. I have also been buying some really cool stuff for my market stall. 


Friday, 18 November 2011

Swanage Is The Place To Be!

I spent the first part of the day up a step ladder trying to stop water dripping down to my elbows. Intrigued?The reality is I thought I'd try my hand at window cleaning. I have to say there is something rather therapeutic about it. I can't say that I'd like to do it for a living but it is very pleasing to do. No more Windowlene for me.
There's lots of things to remind you about because I have just been chatting to Dave about it all. So first things first there's the Bizarre Bazaar happening on Saturday 10th July starting at 10.00 and finishing at 4.00. There's going to be some great stalls definitely something for everybody. If you are a fan of Star Wars  or robots or geeky stuff in general I will have some great things for sale. So you should come and check it out.

The next thing that I want to let you know about is the Ho Ho Ho Comedy Night in Swanage. Follow the link for details and see if you're interested and if you are then tickets are going on sale any time now.
I am going to tell you the truth about how long this blog has taken me to write. I am now on hour two. I have had constant distractions. I will also readily admit most of them have been self imposed.
The gallery has been very quiet today I just hope that tomorrow will be busier. The weather looks promising so I hope that people make the journey to Swanage.
I hope that you have got some great things planned for this weekend.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Just The Highlights!

It's Cool Money Right?
I hate losing money. Admittedly it was only £20 but I hate losing money. Now I've got that out of my system. I can get on with the rest of my blog.
In this week of super efficiency I have gone out and bought a fat diary and have been busily playing with my highlighter pens. You know how I love it. I have filled in all my bookings, well nearly even I get slightly annoyed with my need for neatness and organisation.
I have spent the best part of the day doing it. So writing my blog is a little light relief.
I have been thinking about the name of my anniversary show and I think I'm going to call it the 3 Arts. The big anniversary party will be on the 28th and I hope it is going to be bigger and better than the opening party.
The work that will be exhibited will the same artists that were in the first show including myself and my friend the glass artist Lisa Bate who helped me with the very first donkey work. Painting the walls white, then white again, then white. I think that you get the picture.
It will all be their new work that has been produced in the last year. As I always invite you to everything thesis no different. The more the merrier.
I have got my first post teaching regular teaching job. Starts at the beginning of December I'll fill you in on how it goes later on. I love teaching so I cannot wait to get stuck in.
Entries are trickling in for the Christmas show even though I have sent several hundred emails to prompt everybody. I would like to bet money on the fact that there will be a last minute dash that will mean that I've got more work than I know what to do with.
I'm going to get back on with making my diary pretty as I am only up to February. Watch out highlighters here I come.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Embracing My I.B

And take a deep breath! It's been one of those days where my super efficient head has been well and truly screwed on. But that loosely translates as indulging my OCD tendencies in a variety of different ways. Here's a quick run down of what I have done.

  • Completed my list of things to do it was HUGE
  • Pimped my wall calendar by filling it in properly and using different coloured pens
  • Went through all the folders on my desktop and made new folders for each exhibition and adverts etc
  • Dusted and swept the floor
  • Sent a ton of emails
Impressed much? You should be because I had achieved most of that before 2.00. Now I am going to rest on my laurels. Well, not really I am going to get started on designing some future posters. I am also going to get some invites printed properly for the Christmas Show.
Since I started writing this blog I have actually written a text, measured some paper and added new jobs to my things to do list.
I need to slow down or  I am in danger of doing all the necessary jobs in one day.
I confirmed the May booking with Sheila Girlings' secretary this morning. I was a bit nervous but that's because I still can't quite believe it. I cannot wait to see her work in the flesh.
So I don't have keep using the 'bitch' word I shall now refer to my I.B and I hope that you know what that means. I dragged her out from her hiding place today and used her when talking to a cold caller. I was emphatic but polite and said a big fat no! I did add 'thank you for calling' at the end to sweeten it up a bit. I just need to keep up the momentum of that. I could do with every cold caller calling me in the next couple of days to get it over and done with.
Anyway, I have kept you long enough. Day off tomorrow and I think I shall spend it cooking and cleaning. Lovely!

Monday, 14 November 2011

I Am Just A Girl Who Can't Say No!

It's official I have written 339 blogs to date. All I can say is wow! I cannot quite believe it. I wonder just how many words that actually is? Well I've got a few choice ones for you right now! Purbeck Arts Weeks Festival Christmas Show. I told you that they were choice didn't I. More like a bloomin' mouthful. It is what is going to be on show at the gallery over the Christmas period. It should be good a great variety of work featuring both art and crafts.
Here's the advert I have put in the local paper. I like it because it's a bit moody and quite different from all of my other ads.
I am phone dodging today as I am just a girl who can't say no. It's that time of year again where I am being plagued by people trying to sell me things that I don't want who won't take 'I'll think about it' as an answer. I have to reconnect with my inner bitch. She's lurking somewhere just beneath the surface but I only like to call on her in the most extreme situations. I feel that time is fast approaching. I want these people to meet their sales targets and get their hard earned commission but if the choice is them or me. I'm afraid it's me every time.
The Tinted Grey exhibition had a very positive opening day/night with some excellent feedback by all that managed to come. I am very proud of what they put together and it's a really interesting and thought provoking exhibition. If you would like an opportunity to have a glass of wine and meet the artists they will be here on Saturday 26th November from 12.00 - 4.00. Please do come along and support them I promise you it will not be a wasted journey.

The gloomth of the day has well and truly settled over Swanage I am not sure today actually achieved 'daylight'. Maybe tomorrow. 

Saturday, 12 November 2011

When You're Hot You're Hot and When You're Not Etc!!

Sheila Girling
Firstly let me apologize for yesterdays lack of blog. But I started work at 10.00 and left at 6.00 and I had to go out and do some serious celebrating! Not because I had just finished hanging the show but because whilst I was in the midst of mayhem and chaos a couple came in and introduced themselves as Tony and Sheila I have to admit that it took a minute for the penny to drop. You are all probably scratching your heads and wondering where this is going. Some of you will already know as I have told anyone who stands still long enough to listen.
Tony is actually Sir Anthony Caro the world famous sculptor and his wife Sheila is Sheila Girling the world famous painter. It was a life affirming moment, these two art heavy weights were in my gallery. I have sat in lectures when I was at university and heard their work being discussed and they were stood in MY gallery. That was mind blowing in itself! Sheila had been approached about showing her work in my gallery and she came to check it out for herself. They were two very lovely down to earth people not at all pretentious and genuinely interested in what I was doing and the gallery. I was able to just about get over my start struckness (sic) to not be a stammering incoherent fool.
The fantastic news is that she has agreed and will be showing at the gallery in May as part of the Purbeck Arts Weeks Festival.
So if ever there was a time to put a date in your diary today is the day Saturday 26th May 2012.
That cannot be topped but something else good has happened today. Last week I made those two sales and I mentioned that one of the people involved is an artist (Vic Smith). He is a fantastic painter, great large scale nudes. He is going to have a joint exhibition with a 3D artist Brian Smithies. Don't worry I hadn't heard of either of them, but Vic had shown me his work and sent me a link for Brians. He's only worked on some of the biggest films of all time as a 3D character builder has been nominated for two BAFTAs. Harry Potter being the one we all know. So I hope that will be a good exhibition as well.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Making Your Mind Up!

Hey Good Looking!

The Law of Sod dictates that the minute that you take an exhibition down someone wants to be something that was in it. Fact! It has managed to happen twice this week. my last show as 'Colour' and as I told you I had some great work in that show. So a lady came in on Tuesday and asked to see one of the paintings that was in that show. She was really interested in it. Yep, you've guessed it, that painting was no longer at the gallery.
Today I had a phone call from a guy who wanted to buy Keith's penguin. That's not as surreal as it sounds. It was a ceramic Emperor Penguin and it was really handsome. There had been plenty of interest in it during the show but no one actually bought it. I have now got to arrange to get said penguin back to Swanage so that I can sell it to the customer who wants it.
I am going install a decision maker device on the door. Once you have passed through the door of the gallery your ability to make decisions will improve x100%. If only!
One show comes down and inevitably another one must go up. so today I have been doing all of the minor repairs that are necessary in between exhibitions. I don't feel like I need to tell you what that entails as you all know the drill.
I will have a busy day tomorrow, but for today I will just indulge my OCD and get the studio and office in a state that they are ready to receive visitors because at the moment clutter is the name of the game. I also have a floor to scrub.
I'm off to get my hands wet!

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Tumbling Off The Caffeine Free Wagon!

I am having difficulty typing this as one hand is actually busy patting me on the back! I have just had a glass half full or half empty moment and I am going to share it with you as that is the point right?
Ok, I have been super busy this morning, designing posters and updating my website and my phone site. I really have got quite a lot achieved. Well done me! I look up at the clock and see that it's only 12.50, initially I think great I have got all that done in under two hours. Then I think it's ONLY 12.50 how slow is this day going???
Please witness the fruits of my labour. At this point I would like to thank my sister, she pointed me in the direction of powerpoint and I have not looked back. It is infinitely easier to design anything in it. Don't take my word for it, try it for yourself.

The highs and the lows of efficiency.
It is unbelievably dull today and the amount of visitors to the gallery totally reflect that. It is a shame as this show finishes today. It has been a good little show and if you missed it....shame on you. You missed a great opportunity to earn yourself some Brownie points by purchasing a unique Christmas present.
The next exhibition is a true art exhibition, what I mean by that it is much more intellectually challenging and has a bit more depth. You'll get what I mean if you come and see it which I strongly urge you to.
I am enjoying drinking gallons of unsweetened green tea. I fell off my caffeine free wagon a couple of weeks ago. I hit the floor hard but the smell of coffee filled my nostrils so I didn't really care. But I am now practicing restraint and have a midday cut off point and then it's green tea all the way. Apparently it can make you look younger if you drink enough of it. I hope that this is true. I may well be the first grey haired teenager in about two weeks time.
Best get back to it.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Sold Not 1 But 2!

Until They Want You Mind Theirs!

Well 'Hello Monday'! Nice to be back at work! One of those statements is not in fact true? Guess which one.
At the eleventh hour on Saturday a couple came in and I said hello, they said 'We are just looking' which is gallery speak for 'Leave us the Hell alone as we just want to appreciate the work on the walls etc without necessarily buying anything so back off'. Message received and understood. I carried on doing whatever choredom that I had been involved with up to that point. A few minutes later I noticed that they had picked up a price list. I still didn't move, I had been told. Then she says I'd like this one please. I am out of my chair like a rocket had gone off under my backside. Now you want to talk, and we did and they were lovely. I had fully intended to close early as I had stuff to do and they would probably be the last people through the door. No they weren't, she sees her brother across the road and says come and look at this gallery he walks in and about five minutes later he bought something too. Now that's what I call a great end to the day. It does however get better. The guy whose wife bought a piece is an artist and he would be interested in hiring the gallery to show his work. He showed me some pictures of his work and it is great so that could be something to look forward to in the future. He then mentioned his son is a designer and the gallery would be a great space for him to show his work. How exciting!
All of the above is way more exciting than my day has been today. I have spent it trying to design a poster for my Christmas Show. It is tedious as I can't include any pictures as the work won't be selected for ages yet.
I have designed two so far I'm hoping third time lucky. I like them both but I do not love them. But the good news is that I have mastered the whole sizing thing which has been beating me for months.
I'm off to do something less taxing!

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Jump In My Jaguar!

My Aspirational Car.......Not

The good news is that the Jaguar car group think I'm doing okay at the gallery. Why do I think this? Because I received a letter from them today asking me if I am interested in 'hassle - free' business motoring. It would only cost me £369 a month. You've got to laugh, well I did. I can't imagine spending that much money a month on a car. If I did I would have to hold all future exhibitions in it as I could no longer afford to keep the gallery on. Style over substance, I think not.
Well I had the pleasure of visiting the Bournemouth Art Club Exhibition at the Peacock Gallery at Upton Country Park. There was some really great work there. It was well worth the drive and the morning off from the gallery. I strongly recommend you visit. It's free and there's really something for everyone at the show.
I am playing catch up today as I have not been at the gallery. Just when I was starting to get worried about the fact that there were not enough people entering the Christmas Exhibition I have been inundated with entries.
It's going to be good, so if you have been reading the blog and thinking that you might like to get involved I am very nearly over subscribed get an application in quick. Just to help you out here's a link to the website to make it really easy.


I'm racking my brains to think about other gallery news and I think the truth is there really isn't any. So I'll just wish you a very happy Bonfire Night. Stay safe and enjoy any fireworks that you are lucky enough to see.

Friday, 4 November 2011

Just Call Me 'Super Sharon' or 'Not So Super Sharon' You Choose!

What I thought would be really great to do this morning would be to drive around town at least five times. No, really I did. Okay, so I might be lying. I don't know if there is something happening in Swanage that I do not know about but town was crazy hectic this morning. I was trying to park my car and at one point  I even contemplated driving it home and walking to work. It's not that far but it was raining. There were no spaces to be had anywhere. I found one eventually but was late for work.
I have got a couple of super powers that I would like to share with you all. In fact I have more than two, but I'm only sharing two with you today. The first one is my unbelievable ability to misread the dates on a calendar. Really, I have got this down to a fine art. If you get anything with a date on coming from me I strongly urge you to double check it against a calendar. If it's correct I'm obviously having a good day.
(Having just read what I've written I wonder if I might be being too hard on myself? I will readily confess to anyone who will listen that numbers are not my friends could this just be an extension of this?)
My second super power is even better. I can incorrectly label documents without even thinking about it and then attach them multiple times and send them to the wrong people.
I know you are sat there being envious of my talents. Don't be. I am such a perfectionist that these errors cause me actual physical pain. That might be down to me banging my head against the wall repeatedly when I realise that I have inadvertently used my super powers. I know I have mentioned my other super powers before but it would appear that with every year they are almost developing lives of their own.
Feel free to share your special powers with me. If you're sat there thinking that you don't have any I DO NOT believe you.
So the working title for the market on Saturday 10th December is 'Eclectic Market' as that is exactly what it is going to be. Tables are only £5 so if you are hoarding a stash of saleable goodies then now might the time to get them sold and make some much needed cash for Christmas.
I hope that you have made lots of fun plans for this weekend. I know I haven't as fully intend just to stay in and be really boring. My bank manager doesn't think I'm boring and that's all that matters.
Have a great one!

Thursday, 3 November 2011

For Whom The Bell Tolls!

Look Pretty But Do They Work? In A Word...NO!

Oh the stress! I have had one of those days today. Jam packed with things sent to try you. I firstly received an invoice for twice of what I thought I owed and then my printer went into some never before seen meltdown which resulted in nearly two hours of fiddling and turning on and and back off again. I think the actual problem is my internet connection but I really do not think that today is the day to talk to Terry from Mumbai, as friendly and helpful as he may well turn out to be. I am far too tired to be bothered.
After a midnight bird rescue that didn't end too well for the bird my nights sleep was plagued by surreal dreams of the bird coming back to life. It didn't. I have to say I am a feline lover, but their predatory nature does upset me. If my cats had any more bells on they would be able to audition for 'Britain's Got Talent' as one cat bands. But still they keep catching the birds even though they are kept fed up to the whiskers they cannot resist the challenge of live prey. They all have E.L.S.S* which is unfortunate.
Gallery news, there are a few more bookings on the horizon that I am excited about that. Next year is looking quite promising already.
I have had my first enquiry in response to my new advert which is good.
If you are someone who watches 'Kirstys Handmade Britain' with relish and make your own arts and crafts items/objects, I need you!!!! Not just art and crafts vintage clothes, records anything you would hope to find at a good market. Food too if that's your thing.
I am hoping to help organize and indoor market before Christmas. If that's something you'd be interested in doing then you know what to do. Contact me at the gallery on 01929 425050.
It will only go ahead if we get enough takers so let me know.
I have to confess that I have now written as much as I think I can actually write without droning on. So I'll do us all a favour and stop right here!

*Evil Little S**t Syndrome.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011


How About This For A Pumpkin Carving?

Hallowhat? I am not sure it was meant to happen but it did! I donned my face paint and went to a really good Halloween party on Saturday night. Multiple face wipes later, face paint is soooo difficult to shift, I figured that was Halloween done and dusted for another year. What I failed to realize was that it was in fact yesterday. I did not buy any tooth rotting sweets for the Trick or Treaters I was lucky not to get my car egged. Apparently having totally forgotten is not a valid excuse for not having sweets. I offered courgettes but they were politely declined. I hope that you all fared better than I did.
Today is a day for ultimatums, put your money where your mouth is scenarios. I have fired off emails and I am checking my mailbox every five minutes for responses. I am being proactive.
I'll let you all know how that works out for me.
I have just had to write another missive about the gallery, I will be really glad when I can pay someone to do this for me. It is just line after line of uber positivity and how incredibly great the gallery is. I am not denying that it is great because of course it is. It's about trying to word each one differently to make sure that I do not sound too repetitive.
Is anyone else struggling with the whole clock thing? I have a question. If you are supposed to eat before 7pm how does your body know the clocks have changed? I only ask this as I sat down to dinner yesterday in a room where I had forgotten to change the clock. Can you see where I'm coming from? Maybe it is just me but I really don't think so.
I am hoping to spend the afternoon drawing as I have been very swiftly working my way through my list of things to do.
What are you up to? Obviously reading this right now but what else?

Monday, 31 October 2011


Starting the day with a sale, is possibly the best way to start the day. Good job that was how I started my day. One tortoise has gone to a new home and they absolutely love him. The animals have gone down an absolute storm. I would like to have an entire show of interpretations of animals. Maybe next year.
I am trying to get through my Monday list and that just means spending all day in front of the computer. It is not that much fun and unlike Justin Timberlake I am NOT loving it!
I hope that you have seen my adverts etc by now. They look pretty good if I do say so myself. I think that has been my biggest learning curve so far. I am now getting fairly au fait with the making things fit which up to now has been the bane of my life.
If you are local to Purbeck please do think about being involved in the Christmas show. If you have ever taken your work to a gallery and had it rejected then you should definitely come and see me. I am not promising that I will show it in the main gallery but you may well be able to get it shown in an introducing new talent show.
Or you wanted to be involved with Purbeck Art Weeks festival and never knew how to get started this is the perfect introduction. Two pieces in the gallery for £10 has to be a bargain hasn't it?
I am passionate about giving all artists an opportunity to show their work for the first time. It's the only way they will ever get the chance to be discovered. I hope that I am the lucky one that gets to be your first supporter.
To make it super easy to get you involved here's a link to my website where there is a downloadable application form.
I am hoping to get a good variety of people involved so please do think about entering no matter what kind of work you produce.


I also managed to mess myself up by not changing the clocks at the gallery. So when I was thinking that my industrious start to the day was speeding by, it was in fact another gallery lie!
Sometimes, I do get on my own nerves for being forgetful and this morning was just one of those times.
I know that people who read my blog are involved in all aspects of the arts so I should tell you about this new company who are just starting out. It's a music production company and it's based in London so they have already got a great pedigree if you look at the artists/musicians they have worked with.
Check them out if this is something you are interested in.


I am going to go and get on with something necessary and stop all this blogcrastination.

Saturday, 29 October 2011

The Holiday's Over!

And So Am I

I have returned. I had a good holiday I managed to keep surprisingly dry in Wales. I saw dolphins at New Quay and some amazing beaches up that whole coast line. I can totally recommend that part of Wales as it's very pretty.
I would like to thank Shirley for doing an amazing job of standing in for me at the gallery. I found everything nice and tidy and very good order. So thanks for that Shirley.
I am pleased to report that this show has been very well received.
I am wading my way through the paperwork that has been neglected in my absence. That is always the most tedious bit of coming home, that and the piles of washing that inevitably need to be done.
I have to get my blog writing head back on, I think I might have left a bit of it in Wales.
If you are a local artist and you are reading my blog can I suggest you think about entering the Christmas show. The more the merrier I really would like the show to reflect the variety of work being produced locally. If you have always thought that you would like to be involved or show your work at a gallery then now is the time to get an application form and fill it in.
In my absence the windows had built up more grease than a deep fat fryer on a Saturday night. It is so weird that it so greasy. Don't worry I was up my trusty step ladder this morning polishing like my life depended on it. All the while holding on the window frame like my balance depended on it.
I often wonder what people think when they see me go about the chore of window cleaning. I give it all I've got with a white knuckle grip on the window frame. If I was watching me I'd probably have a sly giggle.
A busy week ahead for me with lots to do and lots to get out there. My new adverts are in Evolver and the Purbeck Gazette so please do have a look.
I hope that you have a great weekend.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

I'm Off But Come and See Shirley!

I am convinced now more than ever that I should definitely have more time off. It would seem that in my absence my trusty stand ins sell stuff. I hope this is true next week. I'd love to come back and see lots of red dots.
I spent yesterday doing housework which is not as much fun as being at the gallery.
A big thanks to Liz Hatcher for looking after the gallery yesterday.
It has been busy at the gallery today if the last two hours are anything to go by, 20 people through the door. There are a few pieces that seem really popular and to be honest I'm surprised they haven't sold yet as they are very reasonably priced.
I want you all to keep your eyes open as I have got adverts coming out in Evolver and also the Purbeck Gazette.
I often have a break when writing my blog as I like to make sure it reflects the whole day. It's now 4.15pm and I have had 34 people through the door. I think that's my second highest ever. Let's hope that all these visitors turn into sales next week. People quite often like to go away and think about it.
You will have a whole week off from me so I hope that you enjoy it. I will be back with you next Saturday.
I hope that you have a great weekend and for those of you lucky enough to be on half term next week, hope the sun shines and you have a really good week.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Queen of Shove and Bung

It doesn't relate to the blog in anyway but I took this picture!

Normal service resumes today. Having not had real access to my studio for the last couple of months I have  enjoyed indulging my OCD tendencies and sorting it out. For someone as tidy as me I have to confess that I am a terrible 'shove and bunger'. When I have to make the studio presentable I will shove and bung everything out of sight.
People come in the studio and praise it's orderliness if only they knew what lurked beneath the purpose made curtains.
I like to hide all the rubbish although today I thought I'd mostly throw it all away. So two giant bin bags later and order is reigning supreme in the studio.
This isn't as straightforward as it sounds, all artists (most of the ones I know anyway) are notoriously bad at throwing things away. There is this weird perceived value in virtually everything. It probably could be put to some use in some way in something.
I've mentioned before that I have a studio at home that I am dismantling, imagine the stuff that I am finding there. Loads of really useful stuff or not.
Now I have no excuse not to get on and start doing some printmaking as the level of tidiness is at an all time high.
The gallery has been quite quiet today, the sun is out but there is a definite chill in the air. I hope that it gets nice and busy next week during half term. I'll be in Wales but my good friend Shirley will be running the gallery in my absence.
So please pop in and say hello if you are in Swanage next week.
If you are an animal lover I have to let you know that the current exhibition features an actual menagerie. There's everything from gulls, to penguins to crocodiles and for all you dog lovers out there, there's plenty of them too.
Bring your kids they will love it.
I have got the day off tomorrow as I need to get ready for my holiday so Liz Hatcher will be holding the fort. She is actually part of the exhibition, so if you are planning to visit tomorrow she will be able to tell you all about the work on display. That should be worth popping in for.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Price List Pilfering!

Well hello and welcome to blog number 326! Yes you read it right! I can't quite believe that I have written that many. I always thought that one day I would write a book but as of yet I have not got round to it. I'm sure that if I compiled all 326 blogs there would be enough material for a book.
When I have that much time on my hands then something will have gone horribly wrong as I am always busy.
Saturdays Private View was a great success, there were so many people through the door and some sales which was great. A great time was had by all and all the Pimms got drunk which is always a good sign.
I think this show is a real crowd pleaser as there are some really quirky bits that appeal to everybody. I'm not going to tell you come and check it out as I don't want to repeat myself.
Do you remember some time ago I wrote a blog about people stealing price lists? Saturday was no exception, I printed out 40 and then my printer ran out of ink so I had to send a friend to photocopy it 10 more times. Seriously, I had to stop people leaving with them, if I knew them I asked them just what exactly did they intend to do with them once they had left the gallery. They mostly shrugged and said they didn't know. I watched people carefully fold them up and stuff them into pockets, handbags etc but it begs the question WHY TAKE IT IN THE FIRST PLACE? There is a strange fascination with taking away anything that is going free. I may have to start charging.
My friends husband suggested attaching them to a retractable dog lead that I could retract should they set foot out the door.
I welcome any other thief proof suggestions that you may have. I am open to even your wackiest ideas.
It's gone horribly grey and miserable I am not looking forward to the winter. I can already feel the need for thermals.
If you are an artist living in Dorset can I recommend joining Dorset Visual Arts. I have heard great things about them and also their vision for developing the local art scene is very exciting indeed.
I think  that I have covered everything see you soon!

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Working 9 to 5, then 6, then 7!!! You get the picture!

Is it becoming a habit? I have been so busy that to say I haven't had time to write my blog would be an understatement. I am writing this from my bed because I know that if I leave it until later that it will never get it written.
First things, first I would like to send a very big thank you to my really good friend Ian. Without his help yesterday I would be nowhere near ready. All I have to do at work is get the prices stuck on and type up the price list. That shouldn't take too long.
I hope that if you are planning a visit to Swanage today you will come and see the new exhibition. It is a group ceramics show and there really is something for everyone and the prices are extremely reasonable. Perfect for that unique Christmas gift.
So much has happened that I can't actually remember what I've been up to so here's the best bits.

  • Took show down
  • Put show up
I hope that gives you the full picture. When my head is less full of my imminent workload I have actually got a whole heap of stuff to talk to you about and great events that you might want to attend. Also creative opportunities. If I forget you'll just have to remind me.
I hope that you have a great weekend and that you can take advantage of the sunshine.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Can You Settle An Argument?

Gallery Versus Shop

Am I being a snob? I'm going to let you decide. Is it wrong that I get ever so slightly annoyed when people ask me how the shop is going? I want to reply that I wasn't aware that I  had a shop as well as a gallery. Now is that snobbery? It is technically a shop that sells art right? Maybe I just like to think of it as a 'gallery' that sells art. Does that make me snob? Answers on the back of a postcard please.
It has been a while since I took the time to bother you with any of my observations. It's all I can do get my blog written some days.
I have managed to successfully procrastinate about painting the front of the gallery for at least two weeks now. I am seriously in danger of putting myself in exactly the same position that I was in last year. In freezing temperatures, up a ladder with palpitations and frost bitten fingers trying to paint in a straight line. What is it they say about learning from your mistakes. Apparently, I'm of the twice bitten variety. I am half joking I will get it done before we are plunged into the predicted freezing temperatures. I better get a move on because according to the news that could happen by the end of the week.
So yesterday I was talking about the Macmillan Charity Bash that is happening this Friday at Fortes in Swanage. If you like dance music there are some very good DJs lined up to play there.
All monies raised will go to the Macmillan Charity, a very worthy cause.
Today I want to publicize something very different. If you are into art then there is a good chance that you might well be into music and theatre.
The Swanage 50/50 Club is trying to broaden our cultural horizons via comedy, cinema, music and theatre. I am happy to say that I am a member (very nearly) of this excellent cause. The idea is to regenerate the very underused Mowlem and create almost a centre for arts and culture. If you are local check out the link and I'm sure you will agree that it is just what Swanage needs and will be as excited as I am about the prospect of having a venue for bands, comedians and theatre groups to come and entertain us in.


Have a look and if you think it's something that you are interested in then show them your support, it does not have to financial. The more people who support it and say that we want it the more likely it is to happen.
It's a long, dark and cold winter wouldn't it be nice to have something to do locally to brighten up those evenings?
I have not achieved a great deal today, this is partly due to the fact that I have been engrossed in some of the most interesting conversations I've had in quite some time. I can deal with those kind of distractions.
But now I must get on.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Another Day, Another List.

Back to the daily grind. Although for me it's more grime than grind. As usual I have to do a thorough clean to set me up for the entire week.
I have also got my new list of things to do to work through. It is surprising how they seem to develop a life of their own. It would be even more handy if they managed to complete the necessary tasks as well.
I cannot believe how time flies, the current exhibition finishes this week. It's been on for six weeks already.
After a late flurry of visitors on Saturday it turned out to be one of my busiest days for the last couple of weeks.
You know that I am always trying to promote either the gallery or worthy causes. So here's my list for Monday.
There is a charity raffle for Macmillan Cancer and I have donated one of my prints as a prize. It is one of my more conservative images, it's of the sea. So if you are local to Swanage and have an opportunity to support this great cause then please do.
On a completely different note there is an opportunity for artists working in any field to be part of something quite exciting. Unfortunately, I am way too busy to even consider entering this myself but I know there are those of you that would relish the challenge. Here's a link to the site. There's money attached and it could be a really good commission.


I am mentally gearing up for the next exhibition, which is going to be 'All fired Up'. A group exhibition of ceramics. The Private View will be from 3.00 - 6.00 this coming Saturday. It would be lovely to see you here.

I have also finished tweaking my website for the moment. I have started to link artist websites with their images that appear on my website.
I'd love some feedback if you could have a look and let me know what you think that would be great.

I have some serious research to do this afternoon so I best stop writing this and get on with it.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Show Me The Way To Go Home................................

Definitely the latter as opposed to the former

I'm not sure that not drinking coffee is agreeing with me. After the initial self righteous pat on the back for having functioned without it I am now in mourning. I really miss the fact that it made me wake up significantly more than I am able to achieve without it.
I slid off the wagon and indulged in a cup this morning it was like a tease. I didn't want to stop at one it was definitely a two coffee morning.
I had the luxury of having the morning off work today as I had to get my haircut. My hairdresser just laughed when he saw how long it had grown in the 3 months since I'd last visited him. I like the fact that he just dives in almost immediately and starts snipping away.
There has definitely been an increase in traffic at the gallery today which is a very good thing. I was growing concerned that it has been so very quiet this week. But take away the sun and that is when people get a mooch on and visit the gallery.
I have also been playing with the website again today. Editing the pictures out that were just padding it out a bit. I have now added several new ones, so if you want to see what kind of art I have on show at the gallery you should check it out as there is a much better representation of a wider range of artists and their work.


If you haven't made it to Swanage this weekend then I think you will have missed out on the Blues Festival and seeing the current exhibition which ends next week.
A wealth of free entertainment awaits you in Swanage and I might have mentioned before that is my favourite price.
I was contemplating closing early but there have been so many people in I think I'll just wait it out. You never know I might get a sale.
I hope that you have great stuff planned to do this weekend and that the lack of sun doesn't wreck any of your plans.
See you back here on Monday!