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.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011


I have an apology to make to all the people who generously donated work for the Japan Charity Auction. I am very sorry that it hasn't happened yet. I have been snowed under with the day to day running of the gallery and managing shows. With absolutely no gaps in between. I plan to have a charity auction in November. It will be in aid of the Red Cross who are still working in Japan and in Africa with the victims of the famine. I hope to be able to put the publicity out very soon. So please be assured that all donated work is stored safely and will be sent to new homes before too long.
I have just heard a rumour that a gallery has bought the premises next door to me. This does not fill me with joy. I am all for more art in Swanage but I don't like the idea of such direct competition. Let's hope that it is just a rumour. 
I have spent the morning selecting some pieces from the artist Jan Dagley at the Boilerhouse Gallery in Corfe. If you haven't paid it a visit you should. It's a little off the beaten track but is home to some really good art and crafts.  So if you haven't already try and pay it a visit.
I have got some great work lined up for the Colour Open show but I have to tell you that there is a lot of work to be done before I can put it up.
The current show has meant that numerous holes have been made which will need to be filled and sanded the repainted. Oh the joy!
When I have a bit more time I will let you know about what I have planned for next year. There are loads of opportunities to get involved.
Now I must get on and finish some more of my list of things to do which now seeming to have a life of its own. Growing regardless of whether I cross things off or not!

Saturday, 27 August 2011

What's A Blog? Not A Bog With A Log.

He would have blogged I'm sure

Nobody reads blogs do they? Well you are so that's a start. All great journeys start with the first step. I have  been on one, journey that is, for the last seven months and several of you have been with me since the very beginning. Thanks for that. I may have just foolishly volunteered to write another one. By 'may' I mean have and by 'foolishly' I mean idiotically. I am a sucker for literary punishment. But then I am also a sucker for helping out what I perceive to be good causes.
So all you loyal and faithful readers I hope that I can tempt you to check out the new one. I will only be adding to it once a week or so. What I can guarantee is that it will not be filled with the musings of a gallery owner but lots of useful information about The Purbeck Art Weeks. The artists, working in all areas of the arts not just visual, who will be showing their work and doing workshops etc. I may have one or two amusing anecdotes to pepper it with. Who knows I might even make you laugh!
One of the many things I do not miss about teaching are meetings. I am sure my inner rebellious teenager (not that inner if the truth be told) inhabits my persona and makes me slightly outspoken and petulant at the same time. It is a flaw, that I am constantly working on to rectify. (By 'constantly' I mean never). So I veer between outspoken and disengaged at a somewhat staggering pace. It's a good job that the majority of meetings that I have are with myself. I have tried to farm out/delegate to various committees to no avail. Maybe one day in the bigger scheme of things I will have a work colleague who I can impose meetings on. But I will insist on them taking place in the pub!
It has been a fairly busy day at the gallery despite my absence this morning. It transpires that the gallery white lie was a gallery white lie. That's ok I can live with that.
And then rain stopped play. It is a shame that we can't just switch it on, especially when many of you have the pleasure of indulging in a nice long weekend to end the summer with. I know, I know how can something end that never really started?
I'm probably going to open tomorrow if the weather is ok. I will definitely be open on Monday.
I hope that you are enjoying your weekend. If you fancy some pretty fireworks (weather permitting) it's the last ones of the summer in Swanage tonight.

Friday, 26 August 2011

I'm Hungry!

To say I have been busy is an absolute understatement. I am just contemplating lunch and it is 3.20. Who would have thought that one week off could leave such a trail of admin in its wake. Maybe I should rethink the whole idea of going on holiday too often as I am rather hating the whole spending a complete day in front of the computer.
Whilst constantly yearning for the sun and sea.
Well, entries for the Colour Open are coming in thick and fast I am pleased to report. I always get excited at this point as I have to start to think about the whole lot is going to work together. The Private View will be at 6.00 on Saturday 3rd September. It would be lovely to see you.

I would like to put my time to good use and produce some new work for this show but I am not entirely sure whether I am going to pull it off or not. My list of Things To do was at an all time high today with no less than 30 things on it. I have ticked off 18 things so still another 12 to do.
I am not going to be at the gallery tomorrow as I will be attending the PAWF Wash Up Meeting. So if you are planning a visit I will be doing the late shift from 3.30 until 5.30.
I had better stop writing my blog and get round to the 12 outstanding jobs.
Do you think people mean it when they say that they will be back? I am starting to believe that this might be a convenient white lie told to gallery owners. If it is I totally understand it as I am sure that at some point I have said the same to some hopeful business owner about a potential purchase.
I have been asked whether I would run a pay it off in monthly installments scheme. What do you think? I worry that it would over complicate things and potentially could be disastrous if people failed to pay up. Or  maybe I keep the work until they do?
Any comments you might have would be gratefully received.
I am off to do my chores. I hope that you all enjoy your Bank Holiday Weekend, and for all you teachers out there the countdown is on.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Post Holiday Blues!

Come and see it before it's too late!
I expected my stats to say that there had been no page views in my absence but it would appear that just because I'm on holiday people still want to read about sex. Regular readers all know what I am talking about. I've been getting page views in the hundreds whilst I've been away. So sex stops for no man apparently!
I had my best ever holiday ever with plenty of of sun, sea and snorkelling. I will show you a picture as you might just like to see but I will promise not to bore you with the 1500+ that I did actually take. All underwater and some are definitely better than others. I am pleased to report that unlike my last holiday to Egypt I was not driven straight to A&E and managed to spend the whole week in rude health!
I have got to get the gallery gossip from Shirley who stood in for me and I'll let you know as soon as I do.
Since the start of this I have found out the gossip and the news is all good. A few sales in my absence and lots of very nice feedback about the exhibition and a few nice comments about the gallery.
I think that this does in fact give me license to go on holiday more often. Maybe not. It just proves great art will sell itself.
So a Bank Holiday Weekend is nearly upon us and I bet many of you are wondering what you should do. Come and see this exhibition before it finishes next week. It is fantastic! You know you want to visit Swanage and really enjoy the last Bank Holiday for a while.
I found out that lots of people took advantage of the fact that the artist was here on Monday and paid the gallery a visit. Well done you if you were amongst those that did. Shame on if you missed it everybody else.
Whilst I was away I came up with several ideas for other blogs that I could quite happily write if there were 29 hours in each day.  The Bog Blog is my current favourite! I would like people to be made aware of the successes and failures of a multitude of local/international establishments facilities. Why? Because it might shame them into moving into the 21st Century.
Anyway, the other thing I need to mention is the Colour Open if you're going to submit work the moment has come to do so. Bring it in to the gallery and I will gladly relieve you of it and £4 per piece.
It's good to be back even though the day has been spent attending to all of the gallery admin. I had to manually write something today and it occurred to me that the pen felt a little alien in my hand. I am so used having my underwater camera in it. Oh well, there's always the next holiday to plan.
Bournemouth readers I hope that you have suitably recovered from the bizarre floods of biblical proportions that happened last week.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Time For My Holiday!!!!

I started writing a blog on Saturday but what with one thing and another I did not get around to posting it. You can sit around all day doing admin and making sure that all the bills are paid and then suddenly realise that there are still a whole heap of things you haven't even thought about doing. Then go on to forget the ones that you have.
It has been an interesting time of late. I have three friends who have all been diagnosed with cancer within the last three weeks. It is a very trying time for them and their families. My thoughts are with them at this difficult time. I hope that they all make a speedy recovery.
I am very much looking forward to my holiday. I feel like this one that I actually deserve. I have worked solidly for a year getting the gallery off the ground and I think that I have done a fairly good job. I still can't quite believe that I have done it.
I know that I have been very fortunate to have had such an easy transition from redundancy to full time employment. I know for others it has not been so easy. I worry about the fact that there are some great people who just want a full time job and cannot find one. I am talking about qualified people, if they can't find work what hope is there for young people with no experience.
I am starting to get submissions for the Colour Open Exhibition which is always exciting. I hope that if you are reading this and thinking about submitting a piece that you get on and do it.
It makes sense that I am going to take a holiday from blog as I won't be at the gallery. I'm sure that things will happen that I will fill you in on when I get back.
Remember that the artist (Mary Jane Evans) will be manning the gallery on Monday 22nd August so that would be a really good time to visit the show if you wanted to find out more about the work on display.

I hope that you all have a very good week while I am away and that the sun which has been suspiciously erratic makes some day long appearances for you.

Friday, 12 August 2011

I'm Flagging, It Must Be Friday!

I looked at the titles of all of my blogs yesterday and do you know what I realized? I am positively addicted to the exclamation mark! I really am! I don't think I have written one blog that hasn't had an exclamation mark in the title. What is wrong with exclaiming all the time? Nothing, I guess.
Yesterday 35 people came through the door of the gallery and today there have only been 10. I would always if asked anticipate that Friday would be busier than Thursday and it would seem that I would be wrong.
I've been working my way through my numerous lists of things to do and I am pleased to report that I have done everything that I needed to.
I have made sure that the office is nice and sparkly for my gallery sitters next week. I'm going to make sure that they have everything they need so they can enjoy the gallery experience. It is quite a mellow place to spend the day.
I am trying hard to motivate myself to some work but the lethargy has come over me and I could quite happily go and have a nice lie down.

As you all know that I like to publicize local art events and why should today be any different. Some friends of the gallery will be taking part in a sculpture exhibition at the end of this month. The poster above gives you all the names and dates. I urge you to go along and support the sculptors as they are often under represented in the arts. I hope to go to the opening of this show, I love going to look at the work of others it is so inspirational.
I am now thinking about what drawing materials to take with me on holiday. I would ideally like to take my iPad as it has every 2D material I could ever want to use at my fingertips. But I also know that as I spend so much time in the water leaving an expensive bit of kit unguarded on a beach can only end in tears. So I think I will revert to type and take a trusty sketchbook. 
I have been stockpiling books to take with me. I am an avid reader and I need to allow at least a book a day. I have five but I think that I'll probably get through at least one on the journey. On my last holiday I read the 'Girl with the Dragon tattoo' trilogy. No that's what I call holiday reading. I would welcome any suggestions for books that might challenge me a little intellectually as I am prone to reading literary bubblegum. Hence my ability to read them so quickly. Thrillers are my favourite genre. I make it my mission to make sure I read all the Booker Prize nominees/winners they are generally a much slower read.
Anyway, I hope that you have a great weekend and if you are stuck for something to do. Come and see me at the gallery. I think that you will love this current exhibition.  

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Time Off For Good Behaviour!

I had the best day off in ages. I did nothing remotely related to the gallery. I didn't even answer any emails. Bliss. I could do with several more of those.
I'm pleased to report that I have secured another booking for next year. I am really pleased. Today has been the busiest day at the gallery for ages, it's 3.30 and over 30 people have been in to see this show. Loads of great feedback but unfortunately no more sales. I really hope there will be some soon. I have told you already that this show is great but I think you owe it yourself to see it for yourself.
Oh the lists! I am off on my holidays next week and I'm leaving the gallery in the capable hands of a few different people. Which means I have to write lists to remind me to write lists for them. I know it's getting a little over the top because the multicoloured pens are out in full force. I'm not sure I've gone into multicoloured pen mode since I was teaching. But as I have no one leaning over my shoulder it's just my blog confessional that bears witness to my obsessive compulsive tendencies.
It's good news that the recent riots seem to have stopped. I am shocked to see the amount of professional people who joined in the looting of businesses. They are saying they got caught up in the moment. Which moment would that be? The moment that they forgot the difference between right and wrong? Stealing £5,000 of electrical equipment on a whim. Would they do that during the course of their normal day? I doubt it. What a total bunch of losers.
I am glad to see that there was a strong sense of community when it came to restoring order to the streets.
Let's hope that we have seen the last of the riots and that we can start to see all of those arrested being punished accordingly.
I made some paper today and the whole studio was awash. I have got to work out a dryer way of making it. I think I have thought of a way but I need my handy man to help me build something.
Paper looks good though.
I'm writing this on my iPad as I'm multitasking at the moment. So no picture today.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Make Art Not War!

I am almost certain that I should not spend this many hours actually working in front of a computer. I have absolutely no idea how those of you who do it for a living, manage. I start to lose the will to live. I get fatigue dyslexia. I just made that up but I bet there were many of you thinking that you have it too right? When your typing is just a jumbled mess of the right letters in the wrong order. Shall we try and get this officially recognized? I think that sounds like paln? (See what I did there?).
I am going to tell you why my fatigue dyslexia has kicked in. I had to manually export my entire email address book from my personal email to my business email. It was too tedious, 25 pages of it.
It's all done and I am sure that it will all now straight into everybody's spam/junk folder which is just great.

I have been disappointed to see the news recently. There have been riots in the area of London that I grew up in. All this violence and destruction under the guise of something else. Immoral behaviour by immoral people. It has nothing to do with the death of that poor guy. It is groups of people behaving like animals without a care for the lives/livelihoods of others. In fact I think that it is an insult to animals, I am sure other than survival, territorial battles and mating rituals there are very few instances of mindless violence.
It makes me feel glad to live in a very quiet seaside town, but my thoughts do go out to those people in cities whose lives are being impacted upon by the riots. I hope that it all calms down very soon. The police say that they will be dealing with any perpetrators of crimes swiftly and severely. I will believe it when I see it.
As I have spent the best part of the day clickety clacking on my keyboard I am going to put myself out of my misery and stop writing.

I hope that you are safe and that if you are living in area affected by the riots that things will go back to normal for you as soon as possible.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Hard At It 24/7!

It would seem that I have been very busy lately and that I have neglected my blog. I do apologize but that's what happens when you run everything on your own. You have to prioritize and if that means making sure that you get to the pub on time then the blog will just have to go unwritten. I am only joking, I just wish that was true. I spend a lot of time making sure everything is absolutely spot on for the artist so that they do not have to worry about a thing. This generally means trying to think of everything that they may have forgotten.
The Private View was a success, with quite a good turn out and a sale. I am hoping it will be the first of many as the work is truly stunning and I think now is the time to buy this particular artists work as I do not think it will be long before it will accrue value as Mary Jane Evans is definitely somebody to watch.
I am sorely tempted by at least three pieces but I have to make money before I can spend money.
I am pleased to say that on opening the gallery this morning I am pleased to report that there was only minimal window smudging in evidence. Phew! I now that it probably all part of my OCD tendencies but I do hate a dirty window. I actually typed a dirty widow and that made me chuckle!
Unfortunately, the weather has been well of it's meds and is continuing with it's very unpredictable behaviour. Sunshine and showers sounds more like April to me.
I feel like I should give you more value for money and write a long blog but I am also aware of the boredom factor.
So I will share this with you before I sign off, it is somewhat demotivating when I check my blog stats (page views) and before I've even got up and I've had 200+ page views and I haven't posted a blog in two days. I am sure I do not need to share with you why this is do I? It is a good ploy!
I also just wanted to draw your attention to the petition that I added to my blog today. I am not one for getting people to sign or join things but this is just one of those things that shouldn't be happening in this day and age. A long with about a million other things that are also happening. It takes a minute to sign and it might make a difference to an already endangered species. Thank you.

Friday, 5 August 2011

Have You Missed Me?

Well, have you? I can only say that I have been so busy that I really haven't had time to write my blog. I was at the gallery for 12 hours yesterday. I took down Maria Jirats' show and then put Mary Jane Evans work straight up. I have been closed for one day which is an all time record. This new show is dynamite! It looks truly awesome in the gallery. I have been told so by the many people who have already been in. It doesn't officially start until tomorrow but if it's all up I may as well be open.
I am looking forward to a nice sit down and doing nothing. I suppose I will get plenty of that when I go on holiday. I would like to thank Shirley Walker for being indispensable yesterday. She helped me unwrap the 100 or so pieces that were lovingly wrapped up like Christmas presents. She is also going to be opening up for me when I am on holiday so if you come expecting to see me and see her instead please say hi.
I have told you before that the artist will be at the gallery on Monday 21st August so if you are keen on ceramics and fancy a chat about the work then that would be a good time to come in.
I have to talk to you about the horror of window smudgers who are trying to spot the 'What's Not My Line?' object. The windows have taken a an extreme amount of smudging over the past week. I'm out there daily with my Windolene and microfibre cloths giving them a once over.
The amount of people who ask me if I am the artist is amazing. They all seem a little disappointed when I inform them that it isn't me. The next thing they ask is where's your work? It's not as if they don't have enough to look at already. The gallery is crammed with beautiful work and they keep going all Oliver Twist on me.
For the last time I would like to take this opportunity to invite you to the Private View at 6.30 tomorrow evening. It should be a good one. There's going to be Pimms and nibbles so if you fancy a nice start to the last night of Swanage Carnival I could not possibly suggest a better one. You would also be able to catch the fireworks at 9.45 if you hung around for a little while.
I hope to see you at the gallery very soon.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

The Sun Keeps Them On The Beaches!

It Is Lovely Here!

All quiet on the gallery front. It has been another fairly uneventful day. I know I always ask for the weather to be nice but the truth is that I am much busier when it isn't. But as I am not a selfish individual I am happy that the sun is out and that people here on holiday can actually enjoy the seaside.
So, what goes up must come down. A fairly swift turn around this time with the old show coming down on Thursday and the new one going up on Thursday. That'll make life interesting for me.
I have already invited you once but I will again as the times I ask the more likely you are to actually come.
The Private View will be on Saturday night from 6.30 I think I will be serving Pimms and nibbles. It would be great to see you there.
When you're hot you're hot apparently. I have had yet another enquiry about a booking for next year things are really looking good. I may be able to buy myself something nice one day!
I have a few observations that I would like to share with you as you know I like to from time to time.
Apparently, if art looks too real it is not good art. I overheard this in the gallery the other day. Anyone know what that means exactly? I had a complaint from someone who said that every time they come to the gallery it is closed. I asked them what day and what time? They said Wednesday at about 5.30. Yes, they really did say that. Guess what? Newsflash....... I do not open on a Wednesday and I close at 5.00.

Last week I told you that I have been working on something. Well it is now finished so please check it out. I forgot to mention that it is flash but it has a mobile friendly site that you get directed to if you look me up on there. Also remember there is now an iPhone app for Swanage called Herston Lime. It's free and it has lots of great information on there. I'm on it too.


It is all my own work and there's still a little fine tuning to be done but I do not think it's bad for my first attempt. I will be adding e commerce and a calendar shortly. I will be regularly updating the information on there so please check back from time to time.
Day off tomorrow and predictably the weather forecast says it's going to rain. I am just that lucky. Can we all use a little positive mental attitude to try and change the weathers mind and guarantee some sunshine please? Thanks.

Monday, 1 August 2011

I Just Can't Get It Out Of My Head!

That's how an empty gallery makes you feel!

I have to tell you that if you didn't come and see the fireworks on Saturday night you missed an absolute treat. They were great and they seemed to last forever. I am a big kid when it comes to fireworks I really love them.
If the thought of traffic put you off on Saturday they do a midweek fireworks show during Carnival Week.
I opened on Sunday and I have to tell you that there wasn't much point in that as I had no one through the door. Much like today really, the gallery has been open since 10am and only two people have been in.
On a more positive note it would seem that Purbeck Art Weeks are upping their game and I am convinced that next year it will be on everyones list of things they must definitely try to attend. I am very excited about being involved but I can't say too much about it as things are still in the developmental stage.
I have got a whole lot of work to get on and do as I have been spending far too long doing all my choredom. I am feeling that I have not been flexing my creative muscles as often as I could have been recently. I do suffer from withdrawals.
I have imaginings in my head of a large scale painting I think about it every night before I go to sleep. I think the time has come to remove it from my head and out into the world. But as Morrissey said, 'These things take time'.
My friend Lisa won the 10 points for correctly guessing Radiohead.