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.

Thursday, 30 June 2011

What Goes Up Must Come Down

Today is the last day of the Abstract Open exhibition. How quickly the time passes, doesn't seem that long ago that I put it up.
I have spent the entire morning do business related admin. Not so much pen pushing as mouse pushing.
I know that you are all waiting for news of my leap, I have to confess that I did not get round to leaping as there were far too many things that needed doing that allowed me to avoid jumping. The good news is that I have now formalized exactly what I intend to do in my head it just means getting started.
I am finally getting my head around the technology involved in making posters. It is all just one huge learning curve.
My gallery has been open for five months already. I can't quite believe it. A friend of mine asked me yesterday if I sit back and look at everything I have achieved since being made 'redundant' (don't you hate that word?). I have to be honest and say that I'm not big on slapping my own back. I just think generally that there is still so much left to do. I allowed myself a few brief moments of pride and then moved swiftly on.
You know how fond I am of lists so here's another one which includes all my learning curve activities.

  1. How to say something is not good without upsetting people. It's known in the trade as a s**t sandwich. I would like to say that I make fantastic sandwiches. 
  2. Knowing when to speak to gallery visitors. Timing is crucial. If you jump in straight away you tend to scare people off. Us Brits we are the Kings and Queens of browsing, pounce on us and we'll run a mile.
  3. Being positive, enthusiastic and sincere when you really don't feel like it. This is a crucial lesson to learn. I am only human! There are days when this is particularly hard.
  4. Fighting the temptation to close early when there have been no visitors through the door in the last two hours. Being your own boss requires a tremendous amount of self discipline. Especially when it's sunny.
  5. Sticking to your guns, even when someone is being very persuasive and trying to make you spend your non existent money. I am getting better at doing this.
  6. Now I officially pay for every service at the gallery, I have become a very fussy customer. If it's not good enough I will tell you. Gone are the days of put up and shut up.
  7. Do not pour out lots of drinks in preparation for a busy Private View. It is tempting fate and you can't pour it back in the bottle. Only pour out as many as you are prepared to drink yourself! ;)
  8. Learn about blind copying people into emails. A rookie error but I made it and got a right telling off for it too.
  9. A watched door never opens. ' Ignore the door ' is a good mantra to chant throughout the day.
  10. Without fail on the very few occasions I have had to shut I have been visited by friends at the gallery. Hello people, in this age of how much communication technology do you manage not to use it. Get with the programme!!!
That's it I like lists of ten. I am blogcrastinating again so I'm going to end it right here.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Leap Of Fate

Today has been busy in a fairly random way. So as they say let's begin at the beginning. I had Neil from Deshok come and see me today about updating and upscaling my web presence. It's very exciting to start developing things that mean things are going well. I am going to have so many new bits to look at and interact with I can't wait for that to be underway.
So we spent a while chatting about all the possibilities and it should be good. I'll give you regular updates on my blog.
I've had various artists come in and have some good discussions about the work on show and also plans for the future.
I definitely am an ideas person. I have so many that I have to keep reminding myself that I don't have to do them all at once. Pace yourself.
It's funny there have been fewer people through the door today than yesterday but today most visitors have wanted a chat so it has seemed busier.
The sun is out and I am dressed for cold weather. I am seriously considering having a gallery wardrobe. Where I can leave a change of clothes to suit a variety of weather conditions. Because one thing that's for sure I can't seem to get it right when I am getting ready for work.
Ladies, I can almost hear you screaming 'layers'. I know but I still manage to get that wrong.
I am at the precipice at the moment. It is make your mind up time and I have to move the hundreds of drawings on to the next level. I am there in theory but now it is time to do the work.
So I can either sit here blogcrastinating (a word that I may have to make my own) or I can take the leap. I'm off to find my jumping shoes and of course the right outfit. I'll let you know I got on tomorrow.

Monday, 27 June 2011

The Sun Always Shines On TV

I hotfooted it to the gallery this morning an hour early as I was convinced that the sun was going to be out and that I could actually take a lunch break to take full advantage of that. It would seem my Monday luck devil had other ideas. I didn't have the disastrous start to the day that I did last Monday. I am just sat in the gallery with the heater on wishing that I'd worn long trousers.
I will be closing early as I've decided not take a lunch break and the gallery is very quiet today. So I will be closing at 4.00.
There is a new show going up on Saturday and the Private View starts from 6.30, so if you fancy a glass of wine and some nice art work you know where to come.
The current show which is excellent, is coming down on Thursday afternoon so why not come along and see it before it goes.
I promise you that it is well worth the visit.
I am pondering new ideas for exhibitions and also I have an idea for a competition. I am thinking of having a drawing competition early next year. The successful entries would be shown at the gallery as part of a drawing exhibition that I intend to put on. I am very keen to promote drawing as it has often been over looked and is usually seen as the initial visual research that quite often is transformed into something completely different. I like the idea of a drawing being produced as an end product and as it's something that I am so passionate about at the moment I want to encourage others to get drawing.
I can't think of anything else to write so why don't you go and get creative and I'll do the same.

Saturday, 25 June 2011

An App A Day

I have decided to write my blog now whilst I am still in the land of the remotely coherent. Today has been busy with a good mix of visitors and artists. It is always nice when artists come and introduce themselves to me and ask me about my own work. It is getting easier to talk about it the more often I do it.
It is nice to know that people appreciate the work that I am doing at the moment.
I am trying my hand at self portrait at the moment. It's hilarious, I am notoriously bad at portraiture. I usually just emphasize all the features on my face that I consider to be big. Hence, a really big nose in all of my self portraits.
I might put it on my blog one day. We'll have to see when it's finished.
I am starting to think that Apple should have me on the payroll. I am constantly singing the praises of my various geeky gadgets made by that particular company. I know that some of you will be owners of iPads and might also be artists. My new best app is called Art Rage. It was recommended to me by a friend (thanks Lesley) but it has only recently become available in England.
I think you all already know that I am a printmaker who dabbles with painting. This app allows me to explore oil painting in a way that I would never have had the courage to do on a canvas. Mostly because of lack of skill and fear of rubbish outcomes. I now feel that I should definitely have a go for real because it's great.
Try it out and I think you'll see what I mean.
Well, that's about all that I have got to say for today.
I am going to end with an observation. This is what always happens to me. When I get to the gallery on a Saturday morning I go through the opening up ritual. Turn the signs round, put my A Board out and switch on the lights.
I then secretly hope that I can just stay in my office and not have to make conversation until at least after my second cup of coffee. This is partly to do with being a member of the Friday Club which entails meeting all of my friends at the pub to celebrate the start of the weekend. But also the fact that six months in and I'm still not quite used to working on a Saturday. Saturday in my family was the official day of rest and from the age of 5 I have continued to make it my business never to do very much on a Saturday for the last 34 years. The observation I am making is that I always end up having the most interesting and chatty people in the gallery from 11.00 - 1.00. They drag me kicking and screaming into Saturday at the gallery. I have to thank them for this is it a necessary evil that allows me to enjoy a far more sociable day at work.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

I May be Lying About Loving Chores

Well! Is how you want to feel on your day off. It is like being cheated if you don't. I wasn't up to much yesterday as I felt lousy. Better today in time for work, so I should be grateful for small mercies.
I have spent the morning doing choredom that was totally uninspiring but productive.
I have been looking at train fares to London and Birmingham. All I can say is that they will never encourage people to travel by train if they want to charge £166 per person for a three hour journey. Bang goes the environment. I have scoured every single site that says up to 80% off normal prices. I think we can all agree if £166 is a reduced price I dread to think what it was before the reduction.
It is time to get thinking about the next show already. I cannot believe how quickly time flies. Especially when I sometimes have hours that last about twice as long as they should.
I have to just tell you about making poor decisions when you should be sleeping. I thought late last night that it would be a good time to update my iPad as I have not done it since i bought it. So I plug it all in and expect that in 10 minutes or so that it would be done and I could go to sleep. How wrong can you be? About an hour and 20 minutes wrong and a minor heart attack later incase you were wondering. Oh technology is a double edged sword. Long story short a problem occurred and I had to do a factory restore. It told me all my media would be lost. All my lovely drawings lost in the ether. Enter a sweaty, sweary woman in a dressing gown! Me!! All was not lost as the clever thing had saved it all before it crashed. Phew!!
I have been so busy with my chores that I have run out of time to write anything remotely meaningful.
Just in case you were planning to visit the gallery tomorrow I will not be open as I have an appointment that I cannot change.
Come and see me on Saturday instead.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Don't Walk On By

Ok, so I wrote my blog yesterday and I told you how well my day started yesterday. It would seem that you all seemed to enjoy it as I had my highest ever amount of page views. 148, I am so impressed. Thank you all and to all of you who shared I am very grateful.
I sold a painting yesterday!!!!!! It was 'Walk To The Chapel' by Margaret Lawton. I featured it in my blog about a month ago. It is my favourite piece, so I think the lady that bought it has impeccable taste.
I am constantly learning about peoples aversion to walking through open doors. I get the chance to people watch virtually all day and it is very informative. Couples are by far the most interesting.
One, (and this is a genderless observation) will walk in and have look round whilst the other hovers in the door way refusing really to engage at all, therefore hurrying the interested one into leaving.
Then there's the couple who come in and realize they've made a mistake for whatever reason. That scowl at me for acknowledging their presence just before they turn around and leave.
You have the immediate greeters who walk in saying hello, head straight for the price list then entertain themselves with the art and asking me all kinds of challenging but relevant questions. They usually stay for 10 minutes plus.
Solo visitors are a mixed bag, a combination of shy, chatty and sharp exits.
Groups are usually a combination of all of the above.
I welcome them all as any visitor to the gallery is a bonus as far as I am concerned.
My particular favourites though are those who come in and ask if I mend bikes, even though it looks like a gallery. You've got to to love them. I had a lady on the doorstep when I arrived this morning saying that she couldn't believe that I was closed. So I apologized, unlocked and let her in, it was at this point she realized that she wanted Purbeck Valet.
Never a dull moment.I best get on and do something more constructive otherwise I will never get my new body of work finished and that will mean not having my own show.
You know what to do.

Monday, 20 June 2011

Tell You Why I Don't Like Mondays!

I am safe in the knowledge that no-one really likes Monday mornings. I have 10 reasons not to like it today and I'm going to share them with you. These things all happened before I set foot in the gallery.
1. I couldn't sleep last night. I finally went to sleep at 3.00 am. Only to be woken up by a cat at 3.20.
2. This morning when I thought that I could at least have a lie in, a different cat decided that she would behave like there was someone about to kill her so her need to be inside the bedroom was so great that she proceeded to scrabble, hurl herself at the door and howl for 20 minutes from 7.30 until 7.50. She was hungry.
3. I started to get up and get breakfasted when I realize there is insufficient milk for cereal and no bread for toast. Too tired to consider other options.
4. I go back to bed to drink my coffee that used up the last of the milk and try to read the newspaper but another cat is intent on sitting in the middle of it having already trodden all over it with wet feet.
5. I wondered into the kitchen whilst cleaning my teeth to see the same cat that made it impossible to read the newspaper skulking off down the garden with a bird in his mouth. I put my toothbrush down and go outside intent on rescuing the bird. The cat had other ideas. He growled and ran and I sliced myself open on the brambles of my O.V.N garden. All the time with a mouth full of toothpaste which I for some reason didn't spit out.
6. When I did eventually spit it out, a gust of wind ensured that I looked like I had been the victim of a dive by sh***ing by a bird.
7. I go inside knowing that I had failed in my rescue attempt. So I finish cleaning my teeth, de-toothpaste spit myself and leave for work. Thinking I'd stop and get some milk on the way. Whilst getting ready I had tucked my wallet into my jeans pocket. So where was it now that I needed it? In the garden of course. So back home I go to find my wallet, to find it nestling just beyond the vicious bramble that had already drawn blood earlier.
8. No time for buying milk now I'm late opening the gallery.
9. Park my car and somehow when walking round it manage to walk shin first into it. Ouch!
10. This technically happened when I walked into the gallery. There is a picture in this show which does not want to stay attached to the mount board it is displayed on. I have to re stick it at least once a day. I have used all manner of things to try and make it stay put. On Saturday I thought I has suitably reinforced it so that it would never fall down again. I was wrong.
As you can see that was not a particularly good way to start the morning. I fear the return of my gormless state due to lack of sleep.
On a more positive note please think about putting some work into the Colour Open. I think it should be a good opportunity to develop some new work with a theme in mind.
Please remember if you enjoy reading my blog please think about sharing it on Facebook. Sharing is caring.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

If You're Reading This It Means I Remembered

I Broke My Own Record Today

It would seem that my hoping for a better day for all of you lucky enough to be able to enjoy it has paid off. I have had a bumper crop of visitors to the gallery today. It has set an all time record for Saturdays with 32 people coming through the door. Many lovely people that I have had some great chats with.
I have been drawing most of the day and I'm still not quite at the point that I want to be at in terms of taking it to the next stage. So it remains a work in progress.
If you were wondering why my blog is titled the way it is....it's because yesterday I totally forgot to put a title on it.
I think there is a word that perfectly describes how I feel at this precise moment. Gormless. What's funny is that blogspot's spell check does not recognize it as a word. But it doesn't recognize blogspot either. For anyone who does not know what gormless means here's the dictionary definition.
Lacking in vitality or intelligence, stupid and dull. You might think that I am being unnecessarily harsh but you can't see me staring out the door with an expressionless face in between each line that I write. It's the last hour before going home which always seems to last at least three hours.
Tomorrow will be my last free Sunday for some time so I'm going to try and make the most of it. The way I'm really going to help myself is by not going out tonight.
I hope that you all have a great weekend and that the sun will shine for both me and you tomorrow.

Footnote: The Guinness Book Of Records picture is from the 1970 edition, which is the year I was born.

Friday, 17 June 2011

My lists are still growing and I am working my way through them and at 4.20 is when I finally get round to writing my blog.
I have watched the day become more and more dismal the longer it wore on. It's days like today that make me glad to work inside.
The persistent greyness combined with the deluge of ever falling rain can only signal two things. The weekend is here and say hello to british summertime.
I have passed my Fire Safety test thingy with flying colours. Well almost, I need fire extinguishers which I am on the case about. 
I have been helping my friend set up her blog this afternoon and I have to say mine was way easier to do. I think it helps that I have a monochrome palette to play with that echoes the colour of the gallery.  No clashing colours any where.
As it is nearly home time I'm going to keep it short but promise to fill you in on the more exciting things that didn't happen today! Tomorrow!
The picture I have used today is of my bird skull collection using an iPhone app called Word Foto. I love it. When I was a child I used to produce these laborious drawings that would mean using the names of things to create  an overall image. I suppose you could say that there were early signs of my OCD tendencies. Armed with my Berol Fine felt tips I was developing a style that I have now been able to revisit in an almost lazy way comparatively. 
Back here in the morning, hoping for some better weather for all of you lucky enough to be able to enjoy it. 

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Never Could Do Anything I Was Told!

My new printer is all singing and all dancing. Now that I have waded through the set up process. I am notoriously bad at reading manuals. I get bored very easily with technical jargon and I am guessing that I am not alone.
My inner control freak is breathing a huge sigh of relief as I do not have to rely on anyone else to my printing for me.
I have spent the day dealing with difficult emails. Being a business owner definitely has it's highs and lows. I can't rely on my fictional business partner to take care of these things on my behalf either. I'm not sure how well it's working out for me having a fictitious business partner.
Well, I told you all yesterday about the fantastic show on at what was formerly known as the Kube. It is well worth a visit. If you want to see what new graduates are producing in the field of Applied Arts. It is a breath of fresh air.
I have been working on an article that I hope to get published in a local publication very soon. It is in an attempt to highlight the fact that on the High Street in Swanage there are ten venues showing the work of local artists and not all of them galleries. I think it's a hidden gem that is often considered the 'lazy' part of town. It is time to put us all firmly on the map and publicize the fact that artists are being very well supported and exhibited on Swanage High Street. I am not really a writer though so I may well have to pass it on to someone else to edit it accordingly. But please look out for it as it will give you even more art based reasons to visit Swanage.
I cannot believe the time I had so many things that I had hope do today but apparently they will join the list of things to do for tomorrow.
I am going to run a painting workshop this weekend so I hope that it goes well.
Okay, another plug for the current exhibition. It is absolutely fantastic and well worth a trip over to Swanage to see.
One last thing, remember to share my blog on Facebook please!

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Applied Arts Degree Show at The Kube

In my new life as a gallery owner I have the pleasure of being invited to the Private Views of various people who I have been lucky enough to meet. Tonight was no different. I went to the Apllied Arts Degree Show at The Kube. Now called something nerdy that I can't remember. I know I'm always promoting one thing or another but I just want to help spread the news. This show is packed with talent. Many of who I've worked with on an exhibition earlier on in the year. Their work has matured and developed and looks totally professional. Again, it's a free event and will time well spent.
My day off was spent looking out the window at the miserable weather. I have a garden that needs some t.l.c and all it's getting is o.v.n = overgrown and very neglected. I'm very conscious that when I lose my Sundays it will only get worse.
My printer arrived today so it's goodbye waiting for a print job that never comes. Hello, being super efficient and getting the job done right.
I should thank you all for reading yesterday. My page views were way up. I just want to remind you that sharing is caring. There's also a piece of art up for grabs so get those comments coming. Loving the ticks though and one must not be greedy.
Back to work tomorrow. I'm going to show you all of my new office friends I think you'll be impressed. But they are all a little on the bony side.
No picture as on iPad.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Sharing Is Caring!

I have been reading up on how to get more people to read my blog. It's a minefield. It says ask questions. I do that. But to this day only Willie has replied. It says give away free stuff. I have repeatedly offered free wine and nibbles, admittedly you have to come to Swanage and a Private View to claim that. It also said comment on other peoples blogs. Don't they realize that I am nearly too busy to write my own let alone read other peoples and comment.
It would seem that the Americans are totally on the ball with the whole blog thing. There are numerous places to add your blog and and lists you can join. But apparently your blog has to be deemed 'good' by a panel to get on those lists. I fear mine is average at best and I think that technically it counts as a personal blog which is not eligible for their lists either. I have decided that they can keep their lists and judgements and I will carry on writing my average blog to a limited audience and be grateful that anybody takes the time to read it at all.
There is one thing however that any of you that read my blog via Facebook can do really easily is to share it again with your friends. It takes about 30 seconds. I would really appreciate it.
I have started to keep a tally of exactly how many people come through the door and I'm not sure if it is a good or a bad thing. On one hand it is good to have an idea of which days are busiest but on the other hand it's slightly depressing when you look at a bit of paper that informs you that in two hours there have been two people through the door. But as I'm an optimist there's plenty of time for more people to come through the door.
It is strange for me having the studio open to the public as it means that I can't use it and I cannot hide effectively. Not that I really want to hide, but I do just feel a little exposed. But that is just part of the job.
I am going to spend the afternoon doing some painting or making some new collagraph plates. I am undecided as yet.
I should inform you of a couple of things. Firstly, my blog is now available in a mobile friendly format. It is not quite as attractive as the original format but it all fits nicely on to the screen.
Secondly, I am going to be changing my opening times very soon. This is due to the Summer being here. I am going to be opening on a Sunday from 12.00 - 4.00 but I will be closing on a Monday. I will probably have another half day opening in the week but I'm not sure when it will be yet.
Since I started writing my blog I have come up with an incentive. For the first person to get five of their friends to comment on my blog I will give you an original signed print from my own personal collection. One of mine.
How does that sound?
Anyway, creativity is calling me so I must dash!

Monday, 13 June 2011

Never Give Up On A Good Thing! Remember What Makes You Happy

I realized on Saturday evening that I had not written my blog. I was horrified, momentarily, it soon passed when I admitted to myself that when you are extraordinarily busy something has got to give. I have mentioned before that I am a terrible control freak. It's just a fact that I have had to live with. Rest assured I do not mean that I want to control people (Well not much anyway). I just like to be on top of everything that I have to do. I am not a good delegator as I live by the old adage that if you want a job doing properly.........
I have been relying on someone else to do all of my printing. This has not sat well with my control issues. So much so that on Saturday I spent some of my hard earned wages on buying my own printer. I need to be able to get all of that done as early as possible so that on the days that I have Private Views I am not having to cobble together labels as they were forgotten.
It was a very successful Private View attendance wise. Unfortunately, no sales yet. But I think the work is outstanding. I am happy to show work of such a high calibre in my gallery.
I'm guessing that you want to know how my work was received? Very well actually, I was accused of hiding my light under a bushel. I was never hiding anything just biding my time. I have got a lot more to do on my new body of work. It is very different from the work in this current show.
Today is going to be about doing all of my admin. I am also hoping to finish my drawing which I started ages ago.
So you didn't make it to the Private View but that is absolutely no excuse for you not to come and see this show. I hope that you can come and see it soon.

Friday, 10 June 2011

The Return Of The Pricelistostealia Epidemic

First things first, I would like to thank you all for reading my blog. Yesterday tipped me into 11,000 page views which I am very happy about. I can't imagine not having this almost daily outpouring of my trials and tribulations not to mention my successes.
I have spent the morning looking at bits of paper that I have written numerous lists on. I have crossed most of them off which is most satisfying.
Now, I want you to cast your mind back to the blog where I first mentioned 'Pricelistostealia'. That terrible condition that seems to afflict the majority of gallery visitors. I got my price lists back from the printers that's a whole different story. I put them out and three minutes later a couple walked in, they spent precisely 2 minutes in the gallery before leaving taking my price list with them. What the Hell use is it going to be outside of the gallery? If they had spent ages carefully considering the work I would be inclined to think that they had to go away and consider a potential purchase. 
I am going to attach little electrical devices that will trigger an alarm when a price list crosses the threshold. I'm just kidding.
But I suppose you want to know about the price list saga? Well, I got them back and yet again a weird thing happened. For some reason instead of my saved single spaced version I have now got a double spaced three page document. It looks rubbish. I am a perfectionist so I'll just have to get them done again.
I have a fancy dress party to go to tonight. I am generally not a fan of these things I am self conscious enough without adding unusual outfits into the mix. But I have just bought myself something to wear and I am already dreading it. But I know I won't be out late as I have such a busy day and night ahead of me tomorrow.
I hope to see some of you tomorrow night.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Pulling My Hair Out, That Was Yesterday

I thought that after the hectic two weeks of PAW I would have a well earned rest. How wrong can you be? I have been absolutely flat out. I have had a bumper crop of entries for this show and I know I'm always saying that the shows are great. But this is my favourite show by far. it is so eclectic and there are so many vibrant and colourful pieces on show it is really fantastic. I am very happy with it. I hope that you will take the time to visit as I know you will enjoy it.
My day off could have been entitled 'Sharons' Lessons In Frustration'. Seriously, how many shops do you have to go to find White Tack? Five apparently and then there was red dot saga. I need them for when a picture sells. Could I find any? Yes, eventually but only after several visits to several shops. Tedious!
I have spent the day putting the final pieces up for the show. It is always an exciting process and the best bit is when you sit back and admire the fruits of your labour.
The Private View for this show is on Saturday starting at 6.30 and finishing at 8.30.
I'm keeping it short as I have got some jobs still to do.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Work, Rest and Play

In A Good Way
The end is in sight. I have very nearly finished hanging the show. I am just waiting for a few last minute entries to arrive. I have really enjoyed putting this show up maybe because it has been quite challenging. Everyone knows I love a challenge. That's the good thing about having plenty time to live with it and make sure it looks absolutely great. I have had a few late welcome additions. This show is packed with some truly hard hitters in the local art scene. The work is of a very high standard and I'm hoping that plenty of people come to see this show. I am certain that there is something in this exhibition for everybody.
Just in case some names may help to entice you, Bonnie Brown, Margaret Lawton, Chris Burke, Wendy Wharam, Lizzie Induni, Jane Colquhoun, Mary Jane Evans, Do Michell and little old me to name but a few. There are also plenty of new kids on the block who are definitely worth watching.
The nature of owning a gallery means that before a show even opens you have to be planning what'e next.
I have mentioned having the show 'For Letter Words' Open Exhibition what I need to know now is how many of you would like to enter a piece for it. You know how to contact me. I need about 20 artists to make it viable. Let me know if you're interested.
I haven't had time to do a drawing for three days now. That seems a shockingly long time. I must try to remedy that later.
Saturday is the start of the Abstract Open Show so I would like to invite you all, those of you who could realistically make it to the Private View. It will start at 6.30 until 8.30 with an after party for friends. I hope to see you there.
I have a very busy day off planned, I have got to make sure all my work is framed and ready to hang.

Monday, 6 June 2011

Do You Want To Hang Out With Me?

I better make this a quickie as I am absolutely snowed under with work. My list of things to do has reached an all time high. I am obviously enjoying a period of efficiency. I will bask in the glory of that as it does not happen very often.
All I can say is that I have been absolutely overwhelmed by the quality of the work that has been submitted for the Abstract Open exhibition. It is brilliant. The show is half hung and looking great. What is funny is that lots of artists are working in an abstract way using blue as the dominant colour. How apt for a coastal show.
The eclectic nature of the show will ensure that there is something for everybody. I really mean that. I am very excited about the opening of this particular show on Saturday.
The Private View will be from 6.30 - 8.30 and it is open to anyone that can make the journey over to Swanage. There will be drinks and canapes so please do try and and make it if you can.
I have spent the day chatting to all the artists who have submitted work and also plotting the exhibitions that could take place next year.
If you are sat reading this and thinking that you might want to have an exhibition at the gallery next year, can I urge you to make contact and start discussing it with me. Sooner rather than later. Also I would welcome group shows and would be happy to get involved with the selection process. Just let me know.
On the website I have now put the gallery hire prices so it should be easy for you to see what you get for your money. I have tried to make it as straightforward as possible.
Here's a link so that you can have a sneaky peek. www.lartishe.co.uk
If you click on the menu button you will see gallery hire rates.
I am back at the gallery tomorrow to get the rest of the show hung. I hope that I can get more people interested by telling you that I will be part of this exhibition. I am going to put at least 4 pieces into this show. So you will need to look out for anything signed S.James.
This is a late blog so I am going to sign off now so that I can eat my dinner.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Precipitation On A Sunday

And then it rained! I know how grammatically incorrect it is to start a sentence with and but I felt that as I write every single day there must be some kind of artistic/poetic license allowed. The first thing I want to share with you today is that as I got out the car my pessimist monkey whispered in my ear 'I don't know why you're bothering to open, you'll get no-one through the door'. Well it just goes to show that you should always remain optimistic. I've already had 10 people through the door.
I know that recently I have been telling you about the fact that I am doing a lot of my own work at the moment. Well, as well as using the good old fashioned techniques I have been exploring various iPad drawing apps. I want to say straight away that I am quite a puritan and will always revert back to type (pencil and paper). But and it is a big but, the freedom of using your finger as a drawing tool is very seductive. The ability to record yourself drawing is also very interesting and that's not mention being able to save your drawing and then reloading it and working back into it safe in the knowledge that your original is safely stored away.
I have been thinking recently what the great masters would make of this technology. I have a feeling that if we think they were prolific back then they would be ten times as productive.
Nothing will ever replace the hands on experience of producing a painting or making a print but to be able to visualize your ideas quickly and develop them in many different ways effectively is enormously rewarding.
There is also something about the power of the finger. The fluid nature of the way you actually use it to make marks is brilliant.
Anyway, if you have an iPad I suggest the app Sketch Club it's 59p and it's so simple to use. If you don't love it I'll be surprised.
Last day of  Jim Hunters' show today. It has been a huge success. If you didn't get a chance to see it that really is a shame.
New exhibition the Abstract Open starts next Saturday so try and see that one if you can. A very eclectic mix of artists working in an abstract way.

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Last Chance Saloon

It would seem that the sun has been keeping people otherwise occupied and I can't say that I blame them. It is so important to fully take advantage of any good weather we are lucky to have as we never know how long it will last.
I have been having a good clear out as for the next show there will be work in the studio as well as in the gallery. This will give me the opportunity to give everybody a chance to show their work. I like to think the more people that get involved in the exhibition the more it will encourage them to create more work in the future. It will also get a variety of different visitors through the door.
It has been an interesting day I started writing this blog quite a while ago and since I started there have been plenty of people through door so this has taken me quite a long time to write.
Sun kissed people are making their way through the door and seem to be enjoying the work on show. That is always a good thing.
I need to tell you that the show will actually be coming down at 4pm tomorrow so if you are planning to come and have a look on Sunday I will be open from 12.00 - 4.00. 
I understand that the weather is going to be on the turn from tomorrow which is typical. The fact that next week I will actually have a bit of time away from the gallery.
I am learning to embrace the changes in my new business owners life. Slowly but surely I am acclimatizing myself.
The good news is..........................................I just sold another painting. That makes everything ok in my world.
So that's it from me for today.

Friday, 3 June 2011

“Don't think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It's self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can't try to do things. You simply must do things.” Ray Bradbury

If only I could bottle my current level of productivity and casually swig from it in those moments of creative famine. I am just really enjoying the opportunity to produce work on a daily basis. I have more good news. I have made another sale today. I have been very lucky with this show as Jims' work has looked awesome in the gallery and there are people that have truly appreciated the quality of work on exhibit.
I have to say that whilst I might be moaning to anyone who will listen about the fact that I am stuck inside on one of the hottest days of the year so far. I will readily admit that I have had far less rewarding jobs that have kept me inside offices/classrooms with someone breathing down my neck wanting some form of mundane paperwork or other, yesterday!
Not knocking the teaching loved that bit always will, but the ever increasing amounts of paperwork that no-one ever really reads was without a doubt tedious in the extreme.
Last night I read through my recent blog posts and I have totally been promoting PAW at every available opportunity. So why stop now is what I saw.
There are just two days left to get over here and have a cultural treat. It has been an absolute pleasure being involved in a small way.
I have decided that I have really earned a lunch break this week. So as it is nice and sunny I am going to close for a lunch hour and enjoy some of this sunshine.
I hope that you all have something exciting planned for the weekend! Feel free not to tell me as I don't want to be any more envious than I have been all week.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

I'll Show You Mine If You Show Me Yours.

Well, I regaled you with how much I enjoyed doing the P.A.W tour yesterday and I am still feeling the buzz of seeing so much creativity. I know that artists who work in any field of the arts suffer from creative blocks from time to time. My advice to anyone who is suffering from an artistic creative block is to go and immerse yourself in the work that is being shown. It is both an inspirational and aspirational experience. I have the exact opposite, I feel that there are not enough hours in the day for me to do everything I want to do as well as run the gallery.
As you know I like to make admissions on my blog, revealing my gallery secrets so here's another one. I have had so many people ask me when am I going to show my work in the gallery or what is my work like? That I am growing increasingly concerned about showing anyone. What if it doesn't live up to expectations? I am going to have to bite the bullet at some point but that will mean baring my creative soul. In order to ensure that the work is worthy of showing I suppose I should stop writing my blog and carry on producing the work so there is actually something to show.
I'll add some more later. By the way my stereo has given up the ghost again. Annoyed? Yes I am!
It has been fairly busy today with people doing the PAW tour. I have been busy doing some work putting together a digital sketchbook. It's quite a good thing to do but I fear that I might be a hopeless editor. The proof will be in the reading.
Just in case you are not on my mailing list and rely on my blog to keep you informed I am making the last call for submissions to the Abstract Open. Some of you have sent me images and I have selected potential entries. The time has come to put your money where your art is please.
As I have had so much interest in this particular show from both established artists and some talented new comers I will be opening the studio space up to show work as well. I think this will allow the eclectic nature of an open exhibition room to breathe rather than cramming it all in.
Anyway, I have set myself a creative target to achieve so I'm going to get on and do it.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

P.A.W Rocks More Than Old Harry!

Wow, is the best word I can use to describe the plethora of art that I've seen today. If you didn't already know artists are alive and well and being creative in the Purbecks. If you haven't made it to Purbeck Art Weeks why not? The weekend promises to be sunny and what better way to spend a few hours than to look at a few of the artists on show.
I would like to thank all of the artists I visited today for making me feel very welcome and also for furthering the reputation of the thriving art scene in the Purbecks. Keep up the good work! I hope to be more involved with PAW in the future as I can see the good it does for both artists and the community.
Opening again tomorrow and I hope that it will busy as I would like as many people as possible to come in and see Jim Hunters show.I could list all the artists that you should go and see but in all honesty just grab a PAW pamphlet, do the tour and you won't go far wrong.
Blogging on my day off, must mean that I have had a good day.
No pic as on iPad.