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.

Monday, 24 December 2012

Wishing you a very cool Yule!

Sorry if it has been a all quiet on the blog front but as you already know it is nearly Christmas and I might have had one twenty thousand jobs to do.
I am open today and I  have had fair few visitors which has been nice. No last minute Christmas present buyers though. Shame as I've told you before there's some great stuff here.
Well, I will be closed now as I go to Egypt on Boxing Day. I cannot wait to go swimming with the turtles.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for reading my blog whether you are new comers or old timers. I hope that it has made you smile once or twice throughout the year and has kept you suitably informed about all the ups and downs at the gallery!
There is so much great stuff planned for the gallery next year, you owe it to yourself to check in with the blog from time to time to make sure that you know what events you can get involved with. 
I guarantee there will plenty.

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and very prosperous New Year and I hope that you will come and see me at the gallery in 2013 if you can.
Keep safe and dry I would say warm but the truth is that it hasn't actually been that cold. Maybe I should add down south.

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Are Your Eyes Open?

I have to tell you that I had a miserable day on Tuesday, the good news is that 'that was so two days ago!'.
Sometimes I think the best defence that I have is positivity. You should try it, it really does work. Don't get me wrong I have a really good wallow for a while. Then in the words of that famous song 'Pick yourself up and dust yourself off etc'.

I do not know how I can persuade you that you should see this show before it ends. But still I am going to try. There are fourteen local artists/crafts who have put a great deal of thought and effort into their work and you should come and see the outcomes.
They are really something else, but as usual don't just take my word for it.

As you know I am closed in January as I have some refurb work to do at the gallery. If I needed something to get me excited about February then Josh Hollingshead gave it to me yesterday. I am showing the work that I originally chose. I'll explain, Josh entered several of his paintings into Open Exhibitions and kudos to him many were accepted and he won at least one prize. This meant that whilst we had a great exhibition in September there were paintings that I wanted to show that were not there. Or should I say here.
We are remedying that fact by having a second exhibition, so Josh sent me some pictures of his newly completed painting. It is phenomenal I have said it before and I will say it again he is someone to watch.
Here's a teaser!

Monday, 17 December 2012

Purbeck Collective Exhibition

Is it bad that I can't remember if I wrote a blog on Saturday or not! If I didn't, then how lucky are you?
When there is a catalogue of things that go wrong and you want to just pull the duvet up over your head and stay in bed. Nothing cures that like going to work, unless that is followed by more things going wrong.
Oh well, I'll just carry on with the day! A few more visitors to the Purbeck Collective Winter Exhibition over the last few days. Thanks to all that have braved the weather and road works, your attendance is greatly appreciated.

I am starting to develop some ideas about how I am going to approach the refurbishments at the gallery.
I'm going to work from back to front. The office needs a tart up and then the studio needs a few jobs done.
If anyone fancies doing a bit of painting then just let me know.
I will be open right up to Christmas so it is never too late to pop in and find a late present. I have jewellery, ceramics, wood carving, stone carving, paintings and prints so there really is a great variety to choose from.
I am off to do some of my own work now.
That's not true, actually I had to send an email that was asking a very big favour so I stopped blogcrastinating did that and came back to this.
Featuring two pictures from Shirley Walker. Come and see the show for yourself.

Friday, 14 December 2012

Buy Local, By Locals!!

Jonathan Sells well Apparently!

As I have been adding so many things to the gallery Facebook page I often feel bereft of things to write about in my blog.
I'll carry on regardless though. The gallery has been quieter today if I had to guess, I would say it is because anyone with half a brain wouldn't head out in the torrential rain that has been managing to fall.
My kids came today and they finished making their Christmas cards after a few false starts it has to be said. I think it must be my brain. Since when were you able to mount A5 paper onto A5 card? The answer is never as they are essentially the same size.
I bought scissors that did not cut, card that was too small, and the wrong sized envelopes. All in all not a bad days work.
On the upside I forgot that at Christmas when you are a teacher if your students like you they give you stuff. Mmm...some lovely Chococo chocolates in this instance, thanks very much.
It has just been one of those weeks and that's really all I need to say.
If you are heading to Swanage then you know where I will be and I will be very happy to see you. Especially if you are looking for the unique gift, I may well be the answer t you prayers, if you are that way inclined.
Come and see the Purbeck Collective exhibition you know that you want to.
Whatever you have planned this weekend I hope that it is enjoyable and isn't filled with the horror of last minute Christmas shopping, like the droves of people that will most certainly be filling shopping centres this weekend.
Avoid them at all costs, look for quieter alternatives such as craft markets and artist open studio events. I'm betting that if you go to the right places you could get free drinks and nibbles designed to loosed your grip on your purse/wallet.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

I Am THE Boss!

Ok if you insist!

To say that today was an interesting day would be an understatement. But on the upside I am now officially the boss of 71 High Street, Swanage also known as L'Artishe Gallery and Studio.
Seriously odd day though, I've dealt with police, bank managers, solicitors, and other unbelievable people today. 
Don't let anyone tell you that being a business owner is dull. Well, it can be, but more often than not it isn't.
I have managed to do very few of my chores today which is just nuts as I've had all day but with the constant interruptions it was impossible.
Tomorrow is not looking good either. Roll on Saturday when I might finally complete some of my many gallery chores.
Visitors are coming back, I am hoping that it will be busy on Saturday as I am contemplating doing mulled wine and mince pies as there were so many left over from the Private View. What do you think?

Monday, 10 December 2012

I'm Going To Be In S.A.N.E Are You?

How do you fancy being in S.A.N.E?

The final exhibition of the year is here and I am pleased to say it looks great and that the Private View was a great success.
You need to come and see it as there are potentially some great Christmas presents here.
Important news about the gallery in 2013 there are going to be some fairly big changes so here goes.
I will now be closing on a Monday as opposed to Wednesday. This will allow me to have a more realistic workshop timetable and also a two day break.
The other big news is that I will be separating the studio from the gallery. It will have it's own identity and website. With a chance to book and pay for workshops online.
I will also be inviting other practitioners to deliver bespoke one off workshops to add a little variety other than just me.
Onwards and upwards for 2013.
If you want to get involved in anyway or have any ideas that you would like to share with me please get in touch.
I might be launching S.A.N.E too so if you have a look and might be interested then you know what to do.
I think that's enough for you to get your heads around for the moment.

Friday, 7 December 2012

Purbeck Collective Exhibition is Up!

Just a quickie as I didn't get a chance to write my blog yesterday as I was hanging the exhibition I didn't intend to do that until today but the truth is that the work was all there and so was I so it is now up!
Looking sophisticated and stylish. There are some beautiful pieces in this exhibition so do pop in and have a look.
I've got a few jobs to do today which means that I am finally having a day out of Swanage.
The PV is tomorrow night and starts at 6.00 come along and have a glass of mulled wine with a mince pie!
Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Please Support Local Arts and Crafts This Weekend!

It was never going to be easy, but it was never meant to be this hard! I stole that from a song. I am waiting for the delivery of work for the next exhibition and this is always the nerve wracking part.
You need to have sufficient to put on a good show but just enough not too much.

Having shown really large work in the last few months I guess I am just use to the space being filled up.
I have to say on the plus side the work that I have got already is fantastic and it certainly is diverse. I have a personal favourite but I am not going to divulge who it is until the show has been seen by the masses.
Every exhibition there is one piece that I just love, with Mark Lloyd's show Dystopia it was the piece called 'History Repeats Itself in the Realms of the Digital Revolution'. So now you know!

Size really does matter! Or does it, I think small can be beautiful I must do otherwise I'd work much bigger.
It makes me nervous about my own show in it's tiny frames and boxes. Good job I've got some large scale pics to fill the space. Well I will have when I have finished drawing them.
On that note I am going to get on and do some actual work. I hope that you can make it to the Private View of the Purbeck Collective on Saturday it would be good to see you there.
If you are however Bournemouth bound you should definitely check out some friends of mine who have got Open Studios this weekend. They will have plenty of variety with unique gift opportunities there and they would really appreciate the support.

Locally The Boilerhouse in Corfe are holding an event on Sunday so get along to that if you want to see some unique.

I am fully supporting the whole ethos of buying bespoke and unique handmade gifts this Christmas so if you want me to plug them on my Facebook page or on here then just get in touch I will do that free of charge and it will be my pleasure.
I think that has everyone I know about covered! Please support local Arts and Crafts!

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Purbeck Collective Winter Exhibition 2012

Julie Winsor
I am waging a war....admittedly it is against my own immune system. I am sure that I join the legions of others battling with seasonal illnesses. Get well soon people, after all 'tis the season to be jolly' not snotty!
Another show comes down in preparation for the next one. The last show at the gallery for 2012 and it promises to be packed with a diverse range of works to suit all tastes and pockets.
So feel free to join us on Saturday for mulled wine and mince pies from 6.00 onwards. Bring plenty of cash as you might find that unique gift that you have been searching for in past weeks.
So my second year at the gallery is almost at an end and I have to say I cannot actually believe how quickly it has gone. I have not made you smile with any gallery related observations for a while so here are some of my best for 2012.

  1. If you are not going to buy anything it does not make me feel any better if you make out that you might.
  2. Work ready to be hung? Guess what it actually means ready to be hung, strung, clipped however you want to do it but ready please. The work, not the producer of the work!
  3. The saying 'if you pay peanuts you get monkeys'. I am no-ones monkey!
  4. Contrary to popular belief I can't afford to work for nothing. My bank manager takes a very dim view of my trying to deposit 'kind words and thank you emails'. Cold hard cash please!
  5. It's ok to say 'hello' back it won't mean you have to buy something. I promise.
  6. Do you really want my honest opinion? Or do you want me to say nice things? You need to decide this before you ask.
  7. Does it matter where I was educated? If yes, why?
  8. When does 'you missed a bit or you can come round and do mine' grow old? No seriously, I really need to know.
  9. How many times a day do you think it is necessary to say 'Mrs James, you mean my dead grandmother are you a medium?' Before the cold calling stops....dead!
  10. Is it wrong to kill off my 'business partner' and bury them under a pile of out of date Evolver magazines?
Just the 10 for you as that seems a good point at which to stop. The stunning image featured in todays blog belongs to the very talented Julie Winsor. I think they look amazing and if you want to see them in the flesh you know what to do.

Monday, 3 December 2012

Give Someone The Gift of Creativity This Christmas!

If you have missed me then you need to try and hit me harder! I have been off sick and now I am returned. The gallery was in very capable hands, thanks Shirley.
Mark's exhibition has now ended....it was fantastic and I hope that you managed to see it. I am gearing up for the next exhibition and that will be starting on Saturday.
My tree is now up and when I got it out of the box I have to tell you that I let out a fairly huge sigh as I realised how much assembly it actually required.
If I buy a tree in a box I expect on opening said box to join three fake bits of tree together and 'hey presto' a christmas tree stands before me.
I do not expect to have to spend an hour attaching individual branches that are colour coded in order of attachment. I am not joking, I wish I was. Each layer had 6 branches with five colour codes, that need to be bent into shape. BAH HUMBUG!
Just wading through the admin that piles up in my absence.
I need to remind everybody that the gallery will be closing on a Monday in 2013. I need to free up the week for teaching. Please remember this if you are planning to come and see some of the fantastic exhibitions I have got lined up for 2013.
I am selling Gift Vouchers for workshops in 2013 they are a great gift as they may be the start of a new hobby that gets people involved in the arts locally.
WE NEED YOU......aspiring artists and people that just want to have a go. Discounts available for multiple purchases.
I hope you like my cheesy title! I have been watching the adverts I'm learning a thing or two.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

70,000 Page Views Not Too Shabby!

I get a bad case of the guilts when I don't blog even though I know that my readership fluctuates more than this current double dip recession. I did start to write one yesterday but the scratchy throat, itchy ears and runny nose meant my ability to string a sentence together was virtually non existent.
I am totally ok with the fact that I write winners and losers though as it is a promise that I made to myself and two years in I have nearly written a blog a day.
Some are definitely better than others but I am only human (mostly).
I see it as my part of my current job to keep up to date with the latest developments in the art world and the link below is an interesting read.
As I teacher I was always perturbed by the removal of the core skills from the art curriculum. They were not removed completely but they were swept under the beautiful textile rug. By core skills I mean the old fashioned things such as drawing, composition and perspective. I have met degree students studying Fine Art who have not had to produce any drawing whatsoever throughout their degree. How is that possible?
You may go on to become the most abstract conceptual artist that the world has ever known but a grounding in real skills is important. So that you can apply your understanding to whatever you produce.
This article discusses the bursting of the shock factor bubble. I should add at this point I am not saying I whole heartedly agree with the article because I do not. But I do think it is interesting and you might too.

Entering the final few days of the current exhibition so if you can come and see it before it is gone. But I am already gearing up for the next one so check out the gallery Facebook page and get an idea of what is coming next.

Workshop Gift Vouchers are now available at the gallery they are the perfect gift as they will allow someone to learn a new skill, hone an old one and definitely provide them with a life long hobby.
An additional incentive is that all the workshop prices will be rising next year but vouchers bought this year will last for 12 months.

Monday, 26 November 2012

Hectic But Happy

Eliza Simpson

It has been an eventful morning with a surprising amount of visitors and a really long phone call to  Yell.com. I wonder how many times I have to say that I have got no money and that I am tied into a contract etc before they realise that I am not going to say yes right away. Even though in his defence he came up with some very good ideas that I think would be great for the gallery. I think that there are some definite possibilities. I'll have a good chat with my 'business partner' and I might go for it next year.
If you want to keep people interested then you have to give them free stuff. Well, that's not exactly true but you get the general idea. There will be offers available via the website so it will be worth your while checking in with it from time to time. Especially if you are planning to do a workshop.

It has been a busy few days with lots of teaching and driving. I am mobile again which is a good thing.
I always feel bad when I don't write a blog but I haven't got the skill to magic time out of nowhere.
I have spent the day doing the biggest amount of choredom that I have done in a very a long time.
That being said there isn't really much news, other than Mark Lloyd's exhibition is entering its last week. Please come and see it before it is gone.
The artist featured in todays blog is the ceramacist Eliza Simpson, she will be showing some of her new pieces in the Purbeck Collectives Winter Exhibition.
You should make sure you see it as they are really gorgeous.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

The Saga Continues!

Heather Gibbons

Having to do some pretty shoddy DIY in order to make my internet work, I am disappointed to have to report, it's still rubbish! Why is the ethernet cable that they supply never long enough?
Swanage is quaint and lovely but come on BT drag us into the 21st Century it's what we all want and need.
My internet is so slow at the moment that I can't update my website because the connection times out mid upload.
Guess what one of the main jobs that I need to get done sooner rather than later is?
Instead of being sat in front of a computer I am going to get on and do some more work for my exhibition.
The internet has just disappeared again. There's a big red bar across the top of my screen that tells me this when I am writing.

If you are at a loss for things to do this weekend there is the fantastic Swanage Comedy Club event at the Legion on Saturday night. You could make a day of it, visit me, fish and chips for tea, finished off with some comedy!
I hope to mobile again next week as that is greatly hindering my entire life. Minty the mini is being taken off the road for bad behaviour. I will be fixing her up and then moving her on. That does make me sad but we have had a good innings.

Remember that Mark Lloyd is still at the gallery for a bit longer so do come and see his excellent exhibition.
I will be featuring pictures from the people involved in the next exhibition over the next few days to give you an idea what will be on show in the PAC Winter Exhibition. Today is the very intuitive painter Heather Gibbons. This is my personal favourite.

Monday, 19 November 2012

Down Get Down, Get Up!

Happy Monday! Happy Monday? I'm not sure, but I hope that you are having a good one. I have spent the morning trying to wade through admin. It's like dancing in a swimming pool. You can just see my arms waving about and you aren't sure whether I am drowning or not.
Big businesses are surely going to be the downfall of little businesses. They are inflexible and not that helpful.
Just keep taking my money and give me a rubbish service in return. Thanks for that.
Imagine if I did that.......people buy a painting and when they come to collect it I say thanks very much for the cash would you like this shoe box instead? No it's not what you paid for but it is what I have decided to give you anyway.
I'd be closed in a matter of days. But apparently that is what big businesses do.
My internet is saying that it isn't currently working which is great as I am half way through writing this. I have changed wifi channels several times today and they are all running at a jurassic pace. Which means so slowly that it is trapped in rock and may only speed up if a fossil hunter unearths it and shows it the light of day.
Enough moaning, and let's have some things to look forward to. Do come and see Mark Lloyd's show before it goes. It will not be wasted journey I promise.

Mark Lloyd

The Purbeck Art Collective will be my last exhibition of the year and it is shaping up to be a nice diverse exhibition. If you are struggling to think of that unique gift for someone then you best make sure that you visit this exhibition. The prices will allow for every budget and you must support local artists and crafts people as they are producing bespoke pieces that you will not find in any High Street shops. Although I am technically on the High Street.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

People Are Back in Swanage....Phew!

It's That Time Already!

I am happy to report that people are ignoring the fact that the ferry is off and are once again setting foot in Swanage. Phew! A steady flow of people through the door today, Mark will be pleased.
I have spent the morning doing my favourite thing, well it's on the list of my favourite things. I have had a good clean and organise. When space is at a premium you have to keep on top of the cleaning. Especially when you now are looking after a whole collection of paintings.
I have got more work going today which is good. I am aiming for having absolutely nothing here other than Stephen's and my own work.
I thought I was going to share something interesting with you but apparently the site is temporarily down, maybe on Monday.
I have been noticing that all of the local businesses are already fully decked out for Christmas. I suppose I will have to follow suit. I can't believe that it is here already.
I have got to buy a new tree as I broke the last one trying to cram it into the box. I've had a black one but this year I think that I am going to go for white.
I've found these awesome baubles that are perfect but they are a bit pricey. But I think they are worth it.

I am getting plenty of enquiries about iPad art apps. If you are the proud new owner of an iPad well done! Whilst I am very happy to share my knowledge I do run classes and they are very reasonably priced. If you do the maths, if five people take 30 minutes per person of my time that's wages I'm losing out on.
I am going to have to be more business minded if I am to survive. It shall be my New Years Resolution. You all know how I relish being tough and business like! NOT!

Friday, 16 November 2012

There's New and There's News

Well, I will readily admit that it is caffeine that is holding me together today. I am very tired having travelled two hundred miles in under 12 hours. With approximately four hours sleep.
Just as well I managed to open on time as I actually had an important meeting with the artist Stephen Bishop.
You will be hearing a lot about him in the next 12 months, quite a lot of it will be from me but no doubt  he will be talked about by others.
He will be exhibiting with me next year and I will have a permanent collection of his work at the gallery. I've said it before and I will say it again he is one to watch. One day people will start listening to me and they will get (buy) whilst the getting is good (moderately priced).
It won't be long before the number of noughts at the end starts to increase. Don't say I didn't warn you, because I did.
I have a thick wedge of solicitors notes to read and I am blogcrastinating big time. I have to respond when I have read them and I have had them for a week.
Read 'em and weep comes to mind. So I am off and will be back in touch when I have actually read them.
I hope that you have a good weekend planned. I am going to making several phone calls to family and friends as I have been promising to do so for some time now and I am sorry to say I haven't managed it yet.
The picture is by Stephen Bishop I want to get you thinking about his work.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Art Rage Us!

Wow! I hardly had time to get through the door before I was asked essentially 'What's the point of art?'.
I then proceeded to have in depth art conversation. To say I wasn't ready would be an understatement. I produce art because I feel the need to. It is something that I feel compelled to do. I have famine and feast moments in terms of the production as it is reliant on how busy the gallery keeps me.
I was asked what is your work trying to say? Some of it is trying to say something and some of it is trying to say nothing. Specifically what it is trying to say is hard to pin down. (Especially before coffee number three)

Does the viewer need to understand the back story in order to like it? Two years in and I am going to say a definitive no! Some people are interested but I don't think it will change someones mind from dislike to like. I think they will gain a better appreciation of the work and understand it.
I think if they have made their mind up to own it they are generally interested in finding out more about the artist and their process.

There are lots of artists whose work I am impressed by, the technical skill, use of colour etc but would I want to own it (even if I had the money) not necessarily.
That is what art education is for though. I remember at 14 my favourite artists were all working in a very representational way. Depicting things as they actually are/were. I thought abstract art was an abomination created by people who could not really draw or paint. That is fact!

Then I grew up, and saw things differently and was taught how to see to a certain extent. Now very rarely am I moved by figurative art that accurately depicts life as it is. It has something to do with not being able to bring anything of myself to it. That it gives me too many answers and doesn't ask enough questions.

If you paint something that is photo realistic what is it you are trying to say? Look at me I am very skilled technically and I can paint something so well, it looks exactly like the photograph that I copied from. And......................?
I'm just saying.

Anyway, I like art and that's all, some of it more than others. I am guessing it's exactly the same for you! If you would like to discuss the topics raised in this blog any further then please free to ask the questions asked to any artists that you know. However, that does not include me!

Monday, 12 November 2012

Ferry Across From Sandbanks!

DO NOT be put off by the fact that the ferry isn't running until December. It is annoying I know but the road to Swanage is still open and despite the horror stories in the press I did the return trip to Poole on Saturday in virtually the same amount of time that it takes via the ferry.
It is disappointing that business owners in Swanage have been thwarted by weather, the Olympics and now road works. It was a tough summer for many as visitor numbers were down. Now we are being hit again.
The idiocy of planners in this area! Would it be too much to ask that they liaise with each other every so often.
Well, I think that the fact the ferry was off on Saturday did impact on how many people came to the PV which was a shame because the work looks stunning.
We found out that Mark has been featured in the Saatchi New Sensations of 2012 website. Click the link to find out more.
This is good news indeed for Mark he works hard and he deserves it.
I also found out that Josh Hollingshead who exhibited with me in September one the prize that he was nominated for and is currently being exhibited at Pallant House.

I told you he was one to watch. It will be appearing at the gallery in February so please come along and see it for yourself.
Date for your diary, Saturday 8th December will be the start of the Purbeck Collective's Winter Exhibition. It promises to have something for everyone. Join us for mulled wine and mince pies.

Friday, 9 November 2012

What's Not To Like?

If you haven't already done so please 'Like' the gallery Facebook Page

Guess who I have been on the phone to today? I bet you can't guess? Well I had to phone the lovely people at BT as my whole internet situation has become intolerable.
It is still not right and is causing me grief as it keeps disappearing when you least want it to. Which for me is all the bloomin' time!
I had people come into the gallery today who asked me where the naked dummies that were in the window had gone. I think that is genius.
Since I started writing this the internet has dropped out twice. So they have done an exceptional job of fixing the problem.
I am tempted to go back to my old hub which was far more reliable.
Mark Lloyd's exhibition starts tomorrow so if you fancy popping along to the Private View then please do.
If a big breakfast sets you up for the day why am I hungry? It's the big questions that fascinate me.
The gallery will be open a little later tomorrow as I have to get the PV organised and as I am without a car again, I have to rely on the kindness of others.
Can't have a PV with no booze or nibbles.
Going again now before the internet runs away again as it is threatening to do!

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Mark Lloyd - Dystopia Is Here and It's Now!

Mark Lloyd

Another eventful day at the gallery. I really wish that I had got a webcam up to record the reactions of people to Robin Beuscher's work. It would have made hilarious viewing, if you didn't see them then I am sorry to say that they have now been replaced by Mark Lloyd's fantastic new exhibition.

I now realise the full potential of the windows in between shows and I will be looking for  artists to give me window fillers for in between exhibitions.
There will only one criteria and that is that the work must be eye catching and preferably provocative.
I want to get people talking and challenge their perceptions of what art is.
I am not expecting people to love it, I do want them to find it interesting and if it gets them talking about it then it has done it's job.

After several false starts with hanging Marks very first painting it all went up like a dream.
I have probably told you that I hate drilling holes in my walls, needless to say I still do. I am however an excellent filler inner, and sander and then painter.
He is very happy with it and so am I. Let's exhibit some great art and I'll settle for that.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

The Internot As I Like To Call It!

Welcome to blog no. 514. I hope it finds you well. I am having to write my blog at home because my internet connection at work is so shockingly poor that I can't do anything.
I did mention that I am between shows at the moment and Robin Beuscher was kind enough to lend me two sculptures to put in the windows.
They are a bit controversial and very eye catching and I think that it is definitely going to get people talking.
My only wish is that I had a camera set up to record peoples reactions. I have seen double takes, people walk all the way past and come back.
I've included 'Red Tape Man' in this blog and you'll get an idea of what I am talking about. I think it's hilarious. You judge for yourself. If only all bureaucrats had to dress like this, it would make all of the rules and regulations so much easier to swallow.
New show up on Thursday, it's always exciting putting up new exhibitions especially when it's a first for the artist.
I hope that you can make it.
I have promised to select a winner from my new 'likes' from the gallery Facebook page, who will be the  proud owner of a piece of my work. Due to the technical difficulties I am experiencing at the gallery I have not been able to post a picture of the prize. Due to this fact I am going to delay choosing a winner until I have posted the picture.
All you have to do is 'like' the gallery Facebook page and you are in with a chance to win.

Monday, 5 November 2012

No Bloggy and a Very Sick Moggy!

Don't blame me, blame my erratic internet connection. So the textiles show has finished but that does not mean that the gallery is not full of exciting new images. Well technically, it isn't full as of yet but give it a day or two and there will be some stunning new work on display.
It is Mark Lloyds show that starts on Saturday we will take our time hanging it because it will be his first solo exhibition at the gallery.
It is going to be edgy and challenging and I should imagine it will raise a few eyebrows but that's exactly what I hope it does.
There will be those that won't like it as it isn't a beautifully painted seascape but art is not all about beautifully painted seascapes is it?
My aim has always been to champion the work of an eclectic mix of practitioners who work in a range of media and work with diverse subject matter.
I do not want to play it safe and provide Dorset with yet another gallery full of 'nice' art. That isn't to say that I don't want to show fantastically produced beautiful art because I do.
But every now and again I want to push a few buttons, get a few tongues wagging and fulfil my role as a curator/educator.
My rant is over come and see for yourselves. That is why I am here.

My few days off didn't happen as Merlin my cat decided he'd like a mini break at the veterinary hospital! Nice of him I thought, slightly more pricey than my planned visit to Cornwall. £156 a night which did include bed and breakfast, some interesting fur shaving and a drip. (At the Vets) I do curse the day the black cat came to town. He may well bankrupt me way before the double dip recession that we are in or out of depending on what you believe.

My gallery windows are going to be looking interesting let me know what you think if you pass them!

Monday, 29 October 2012

What Is The Time Again?

This Has Been My Day

My horrible internet connection has been awful for the last three days. I would like to say that I was too busy to get my blog written on Saturday. But the truth is that my connection kept dropping out and I could not get my blog to save.
Since I started writing this I have to sign in to my own broadband twice. I am going to employ some super speedy typing to try and get this written before it decides to leave me again.
It has been a very busy day at the gallery, I think it is because people have cottoned on to the fact that this exhibition finishes tomorrow.
That is a good thing because the more people that think that the better.
Has any one else been totally thrown by the clock change thing? It dawned on me that I have got far too many clocks in my life.
Forget to change them at your peril!
The gallery will be closed from Wednesday until next week, when Mark Lloyd's show will be starting.

Friday, 26 October 2012

Sew Much to See and Sew Little Time!

Jane Colquhoun
It's not on show but I like it!

It is the last time that I am going to try and persuade you to visit one of the most beautiful exhibitions that I have ever had at the gallery. The six very talented textile artists have had their work on show for nearly three weeks. The people who have seen it love it so I'm guessing you will too.
I am now going to promote the next exhibition. Mark Lloyd will be showing his latest paintings and drawings at the gallery starting on Saturday 10th November.
His work will challenge you and ask more questions than it answers. But it will impress you that I can guarantee.
Mark Lloyd

I hope that you will be able to come and see it. 
I am still busy with my own work for my own exhibition, I have produced some new work that I am actually really happy with. I know, I know! I always hate the work at first but this I actually like, I may live to regret it because the public at large may beg to differ.
Only time will tell.
I hope that you have some great plans line up for this weekend I'm guessing there will be many Halloween inspired events. I am attending two parties this weekend!
Have fun!

Thursday, 25 October 2012

One Month Off.......Being Fully Booked in 2013

Do you ever have days when you are shocked by your own genius? Me neither. Well if I tone it down a bit and ask do you ever have days when you realise that your being forward thinking and speculative can reap rewards? I can now change the answer to 'yes'.
I have now booked the end of November for next year. That means that  I now have just got to get a booking for December and that will be that. A WHOLE YEAR BOOKED UP!
It warranted capital letters, I don't use them often so I know you will forgive me.
I do not know how the time flies. I have been updating my gallery Facebook page very regularly but forsaking my blog. I think it's because you get instant feedback.
All that instant gratification that we are used in the noughties. How could I stoop so low?
Today it was all about seeing how much blood could be shed at the gallery. I had to crack open the First Aid kit twice. I was teaching linocut and even though my mantra was 'keep your hand behind the blade' they both managed to leave with plasters.
They are young they'll heal quickly.
Only a few more days left for you to come and admire the beautiful textiles exhibition. I will be open Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday next week. Then I will be closed for the weekend.

Monday, 22 October 2012

Imagine What You Can Do!

Story of my life!

Well, no I haven't been. That's why there has been no blog. I have had the weekend off as my sinuses thought they would revolt! They were indeed revolting!
Better now, so I hope that you had a good weekend. The textile show continues to draw the crowds, it seems to be making textile fans out of people who did not even realise that they liked textiles.
You have exactly 10 more days to come and see it for yourself! Don't let the general sogginess of the weather put you off. You will not be disappointed.
Got another booking for the gallery today for next year so that means that I only have a couple of slots left. How exciting!
How nice it is to teach someone who as full of ideas as I am! It's scary, but my mind just keeps thinking of possibilities. Sometimes, I have too shut up because the poor person on the receiving end is in danger of being overloaded with more and more 'out there' ideas.
I can't imagine not having an imagination. Is that a paradoxical question?
Having said that I bet those who unfortunate enough to lack imagination generally sleep much better than I do.
I'm off again, there's banking to be done!

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Don't Leaf Me This Way!

Yes, it is a leaf!

Today could not be anymore about the gallery if it tried. I have spent all day so far organising all aspects of my gallery existence. I know you think that I do this all too often but the truth is that I need to address my storage solution in some practical way. I need to be able to store my work and other peoples safely and securely. Not the shove and bung (after encasing it lovingly in two inches of thick bubble wrap) solution that I currently have.
I keep looking up in the studio and I see all this space that is not being used in any meaningful way. I feel some gallery improvements coming along in January. I need a storage rack for paintings. I am going to design my own as having looked at the price of them I would need to sell the gallery in order to pay for them.
Considering it is dry, town seems quiet today. I like it when it is busy, although I do have to moderate the volume of my music when people come in. It is designed to motivate me not necessarily suitable for art browsing.
Fully booked up for half term week with workshops but will be able to make an escape for a few days to Falmouth. I've never been, I'm going to get the tour of the art school. Should be good.
Starting to make real head way in the preparations for my exhibition. It is going to be a little crazy but that means it will be a true reflection of myself. If you are planning on coming then be prepared to be amused.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

It's A Stitch Up @ The Gallery

Mark Lloyd

Another busy day at the gallery with groups of textiles enthusiasts coming along to see this show. It is great to know that this exhibition is being so well received.
If you haven't seen it why not? It's not like I haven't invited you along at every available opportunity. What are you waiting for? If you are thinking that textiles are not your thing then come on and challenge that perception. You owe it to your cultural well being to to explore new things.
I probably should have been doing one thing but today I've mostly been doing the other thing. That is I am cracking on with making some new art. I am undecided about whether it is any good but you should know that I am always like that about any new work that I produce. I have a loathe/hate relationship with it. I am sure all artists are the same. I like to hide it away from myself until enough time has passed and then I'll get it out again and try and make some kind of decision about whether I like it or not.
What is interesting is that I am a perfectionist when it comes to my own work and the techniques I am currently using take most of the control away from me. I'll have to wait until March to see what the public at large think.
Now I think about it, I am not sure that I want to be at the gallery for the entire three weeks whilst my show is on. I may well have to plan to have some time off.
The picture by Mark Lloyd is one of his new drawings, just trying to whet your appetite.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Painted Love by Soft Sell

Can you tell me what you would prefer? Ok, I am two years in as a gallery owner and I am convinced that other than a friendly 'Hello' people generally want to be left the hell alone when looking at the work in a gallery? What do you think? I think if people want a conversation they will initiate one. Am I wrong? Would I sell more art if I spoke more? I know that I ask these questions and that I am unlikely to get a response but I genuinely want to know what people think.
I think if people like the work enough to ask about it, I am happy to engage in conversation. This is just a Monday ponder as you do.
I do not believe in the hard sell. I want people to have the time and space to fall in love with a piece and come to the decision themselves that they can't live without it. Then I will happily relieve them of their cash.
It was busy again on Saturday, lots of textile folk staring intently at each and every stitch. No sales, but let's face it, it isn't just about the money. I love the fact that people have travelled considerable distances to come and see this exhibition to enjoy the craftspersonship (I may have just made that word up). It's just that craftsmanship seems a bit sexist.
Since I started writing this blog I have been offered a very interesting proposal. It would seem that I will be diversifying a little. Stepping into the field of curation/representation. I am going to do some homework to find out what I need to do. If this comes off it will be a really exciting side to running the gallery.
I have been doing my pipette drawings and quite a lot of people have seen them and so far the feedback has all been positive. You'll have to come to my exhibition if you want to see them.
So it is time to plug the next show you already know the current exhibition is worth seeing. Mark Lloyd is up next and I already know that it is going to be brilliant. I've seen the work.

Friday, 12 October 2012

The Best Week Ever

Justin Smith

In so many ways this has been the best week ever at the gallery. I needed confirmation that I was doing the right thing, extending the lease that is. When you work on your own there isn't anyone to tell you that it's all going well and that you should persevere regardless. As if by magic so many great opportunities have presented themselves to me and all of them a positive move in the right direction for lots of reasons. Not to mention the positive feedback and sales from the current exhibition.
The textiles exhibition that is currently on, is the first that I have properly curated. I put the people together with a little help from my friends I must add.
People are saying that it is and I quote 'a beautifully balanced exhibition'. It helps that the artists that I have had the pleasure of working with have been fantastic in every way.
It has given me the confidence to start thinking about the next group show that I can get organised for next year.
I would like to approach some of the newer media artists. I am looking to buy a screen so that I can exhibit animation, digital art etc.
All in all, there are lots of exciting possibilities on the horizon that should mean that throughout 2013 there will be some great exhibitions.
It's not too late to get involved just get in touch.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Textile Art At It's Very Best!

Stole this from Jane Colquhoun but it's a great picture of the current exhibition.

The positive feedback just keeps coming for this current exhibition. I had no idea that there were so many people that were into textiles. I felt it was an unsung hero hence the exhibition. People are coming in and staring long and hard at each individual piece and discussing how it could have been made. I am glad that the artists gave me comprehensive descriptions so that I don't have to do too much explaining.
I managed to do something that I have never managed to do before today. That is I managed to break my phone. I have told you before about my excessive reliance on gadgets and technology. Well, I can virtually run the majority of aspects of the gallery via my phone other than physically opening it and sitting there door watching.
Just a moments clumsiness and I shattered the screen. Oh well, I'll get it fixed and that will be that.
I bet you cannot guess what is keeping people from visiting the gallery today.
I'll leave it you to work it out.
I taught a very successful lesson this morning, my students produced some fine prints. It's very satisfying when show someone how to do something and then they run with it.
I am expanding my remit at the gallery and I have to say that I am very excited about it. I will be working towards getting artists into other galleries up and down the country.
Whilst continuing to try and get people to exhibit with me.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Five New Pieces On Show

Jane Colquhoun

I came in early today as we had to replace the work that sold yesterday. I have been red dotting like a lunatic as I think that it is important for people to know that the work is replacing the work that has already sold. So thanks to Yvonne Morton for driving all that way to bring me replacements in this awful weather. Luckily, I had some spares for Trisha Forshaw.
The price list is amended, and if you have already seen the show and enjoyed it then do consider the fact that there are now five new pieces on exhibit as of today.
I am happy to report that the weather is not keeping people away, I think that it is a safe haven from the afore mentioned weather. Textile enthusiasts are also spreading the word among themselves and that is good news. New faces in the gallery who previously did not know that existed.
I set myself all sorts of creative targets for myself today but I cannot seem to get myself motivated. I have done one thing and then I sought comfort from writing my blog.
I  am going to start marking out my pages for sewing together. That will keep me occupied for the next three hours.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Three Sales On A Monday!

I know I've mentioned before that my ideal way to start a week is to make a sale. Imagine my delight when I sold not one, not two but three pieces this morning. I told you that Yvonne Morton's work was beautiful and it would seem that others agree.
It has already been a successful exhibition with two sales on the night of the Private View I am confident that there will be more as the work is really good.
Yvonne is bringing me some more work tomorrow so I won't have a gaping hole in the display.
I am still fighting a cold and today is the turn of the tickly throat. It is far from ideal to keep clearing your throat every five minutes especially when you are trying to talk to people about the work on the walls.
Tomorrow I plan to embark on a series that I intend to call my 'pipette' drawings. You'll have to wait and see how they turn out as will I.

Saturday, 6 October 2012

The Art Of Textiles Starts Today.

Jenni Cadman

I have been conspicuous by my absence. I have been up to the usual getting work hung, and price lists written and general housekeeping duties. The new show is now up and looks fantastic. It is a very diverse show with all the textile artists approaching their work with totally unique styles.
I can assure you that it is not just pretty patterns  they are serious works of art.
The artists involved are  Yvonne Morton, Jenni Cadman, Jane Colquhoun, Moira Searle, and Trisha Forshaw. They really are at the top of their game and are well respected within their field.
I am fighting a cold so I am sat here feeling sorry for myself. It is quite perturbing to know that I have still got the PV to get through later.
No one entered the competition to name the artists/paintings shown in Josh's Impossible Exhibition so I am guessing that I will have to win the bottle of wine. Excellent!
I have got some classes running next week, get in touch if you are interested. I am going to stop writing now as this has already taken me far too long.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

The End Is In An Hour

Pablo Picasso

I have had a great morning hanging out with the textile artist Yvonne Morton. It is always lovely to meet new people especially when they are on exactly the same page as you. We laughed a lot and she showed me her work and then I showed her mine. We had a little mutual admiration going on. I am not a textiles aficianado but I do know what I like. I am very glad to report that not only do I like her work but I am really pleased with the overall selection I have from all six artists.
We discussed our obsession with art equipment, I cannot walk past an art shop without going in to 'perv' on all the things that I do not need but still want. If I had to guess, I would say that 90% of all artists are like that.
So the day has come for the show that has been brilliant to come down. Josh and I are obsessing about the weather as we have to get these mammoth images back out of the gallery and safely back to where they live.
It has been refreshing to get the feedback from people about the work. Is 'impactful' a word? The dotted red line underneath it tells me it isn't but as you know I love to invent new words. That would be the best one to describe what this exhibition has been.
The other would be a product 'marmite'. I strongly believe that if art is doing it's job then it is perfectly valid for it to be like 'marmite'. You either love it or you hate it. There is no 'like' in the equation. Luckily the people who have crossed the threshold have been of the ' loving it' variety.
So I am off for a couple of days, getting  ready for the next exhibition. I have to go to the mainland for the PV stuff.
I also need a haircut it has been 7 months since my last one and my hair is looking particularly rubbish at the moment.
Be back blogging on Friday so have a good week!
I just wanted to share this one last thought with you. I have essentially written a books worth of blogs, is it just me or is that just a little bit impressive?

Monday, 1 October 2012

Tomorrow Is The New Today

The necessity of doing admin was upon me today and my usual procrastination was thankfully absent.
It is nice to know that it is all done but I can tell you that it saps what ever creative juices that could have flowed today. My brain is fried.
This is the penultimate day of Josh's show and I hope that a few more people will visit it before it comes down tomorrow afternoon.
I have nearly got all of the work for the next show at the gallery and it is already looking good and I have not even taken it out of its wrappings.
Forget everything you thought you knew about textiles and come and see the work of these six very talented textile artists.
The PV is on Saturday and you are all invited it starts at 6.00 and ends at 8.00 the usual drinks and nibbles will be served.
Nothing else to report as I am no longer a weather forecaster!

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Fourth Sale And The Sun Is OUT!!

I achieved my target yesterday and I guessing that nobody worked out what it was. I managed to not mention the weather. I have noticed that I do tend to go on about it a lot but I guess that is because my business is so weather reliant.
Another sale today which is always nice for a Saturday or any day to be honest. That takes it up to 4 sales, I am very pleased with that as I think Josh really deserves the success.
I have had more of the work for the next show delivered today. It really is going to be knock out. In a completely different way to Josh.
There are just two more days left of this show and the Textiles show starts next week on Saturday.
I am hoping that as the Textiles exhibition is on for three weeks I will have time to do some of my own work. I have to start to get it framed asap as there is so much of it.
I hope that you are able to make the most of the weather this weekend!

Friday, 28 September 2012

Time Goes By.....Very Slowly

I have set myself a target for todays blog and you will have to guess what it is as I am not going tell you. Last week I was singing the praises of a certain telephone service supplier. I am no longer singing their praises, I am still waiting for my new hub.
It's fine, it's only three days late. There are days that pass really quickly then there's today. I got in and busied myself doing the usual chores. But managed to have them all finished by 11.50 how is that even possible? That was with interruptions so by my reckoning it will take at least 3 days 2 hours and 53 minutes and 24 seconds until the end of my day.
I will have to get on and do something new so that I can distract myself from clock watching.
Taking delivery of some of the next exhibition so that will be a Christmas like experience for me. It always is. The unwrapping of work that I have only seen jpegs of. They never do the work justice so I am always happy when I get the new work.
Josh has just got some other paintings accepted to another big open exhibition this is really good news. Especially for the those who were lucky enough to have bought some of his early pieces. I am convinced that they can only accrue in value.
So congratulations to him and let's hope that he goes from strength to strength.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Drawn To The Sun

I started this morning in glorious sunshine and took my two students who started with me again at the gallery today, to do some drawing outside. We spent nearly two hours sitting by the quay and they produced work that they should be really happy with. A good start to the new term.
Who would have thought that less than two hours later that the torrential rain would drive everyone inside. Certainly not me.
I have been paying my bills and that is just depressing. But on the up side there is still some money left in the bank to do the necessary refurbishments in January.
There are just a few more days left of the current exhibition so if you haven't seen it then you need to come in and make sure that you do.
I am working hard to get all my new ideas up and running. I am planning to have a live webcam feed from the gallery so that people can see all the exhibitions from the comfort of their own home. The idea is try before you buy. If you see something that you like then you can come to the gallery to see it in the flesh.
It's a technical mine field, I've already been reading tutorials and I am still none the wiser. But I will get there.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

If You Have Not Seen, It Why Not?

Josh Hollingshead

A catalogue full of minor and major irritations is how would describe the way my day went yesterday. It all started with leaving the house and went steadily down hill from there. I had to pay for my camper van yesterday it is all up and running. That's great! What wasn't so great was when I went outside to get in my car to drive to the garage to pay for it. My car wasn't there. No, it hadn't been stolen it had been sensibly left in town on Saturday night. So a nice jog to work for me.
I also found out yesterday that I have been conned by my electricity board into a 4 year contract. They are total B words.
My windows that I lovingly cleaned on saturday were so dirty that you could hardly see through them. Thanks to the great British weather for that.

On a more positive note the PVwent well, I would have liked more people then don't I always say that. It was catered and I have to say that Trina did an absolutely fantastic job and I was so impressed that I want her to do the for for my PV which she has very kindly agreed to do. If you have never eaten her food before then you really will have to come along and try it.
It continues to be busy at the gallery despite the less than clement weather. Thanks to all that brave the elements to come and see the new exhibition.
We have had the late addition of some large scale drawings that are really interesting and as soon as I have titles and prices then I will get them out on display.
Something new for you to look at.

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Come To The Gallery @ 5.00 Today

The window smudgers are out in full force and that is because they all want to get a look at the fantastic paintings that are at the gallery right now. I just love to be up a ladder in my best frock (that was an in joke and if you know me you are smiling to yourself right about now!) cleaning windows.
It has been busy again today so let's hope that it is great evening as well.
People are fascinated by the sheer scale and detail in his work. They are crazily good, I bought some of my friends to the gallery last night to have a look, literally seconds later they all had their phones out and taking pictures to post on Facebook. It is just that good.
Do not worry if you aren't able to see it as he will be back in February showing his newest paintings. They are causing some controversy which I think is fantastic. He has his finger on the political pulse and one of his images has caused such arguments that the selection committee argued amongst themselves for an entire day about it.
I think that is exactly what good art should do. Provoke some vigorous debates amongst the art hierarchy. It's when you know that it is working.
I hope that you are making the most of the sunshine because apparently it is all going to Hell in a basket tomorrow. Just in time for my day off.
I have to visit the dreaded IKEA as all of my tables are starting to bear the scars of the workshops that I have been doing.
Wish me luck as I seldom come out with just what I went in for.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Meet Josh Hollingshead At The Gallery Tomorrow @ 5:00

Over caffeinated is what I was last night. It is amazing what you can achieve when you are fuel injected. I have been haunted by the ghost of gallery Facebook Page past for ages which has meant that instead of posting my blog to the current gallery page it's been going on to a page that at the last count had one like.
That has been the biggest pain, they do not make it easy to delete anything I had to look up how to do it. It is now done and I hope that from now on I just get more likes on that page.
I spent the morning printing and I have to say that I am a bit disappointed with the outcomes. But no change there then. I might like them by the time I look at them next week.
It has been another busy day at the gallery today it just goes to show that if you put up an exhibition that is striking enough then people cannot resist the temptation and walk in.
I am really looking forward to having the PV tomorrow night. There is a competition and you could be the proud new owner of a bottle of wine if you can name the most artists that feature in the painting Impossible Gallery.
I am going to get on and do something else but can I please ask you that if you 'like' the gallery then can you please like it on Facebook please.
I have made this nice and easy just follow the link.


I hope that you have some great  plans lined up for the weekend. The last day of summer tomorrow so best make the most of it if the weather is good.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Josh Hollingshead Continues To Wow Visitors

Back again, it just keeps happening. I was busy doing a printmaking workshop which I have to say went very well. 
Then again I probably say that about them all, I do love teaching so it is a very pleasant way to spend the day.
I am sorry to report that every single last halogen heater that I have bought has died. So what? Well in the autumn chill that is falling upon us I am missing them dreadfully. I have been trying to source replacements but the truth is that they are all a bit rubbish and I may well have to bite the bullet and get some heating fitted.
You know how I am always moaning about how rubbish BT are.... well they are. But in true contradictory fashion they have actually done something good for me today. They have given me my broadband package and a new hub for £16 a month with 2 months free broadband and 2 months free line rental.
I am very pleased with that as I was paying £10 more a month for broadband. make the most of this praise of BT because it will not probably be happening again any time soon. 
I also have had a quote about replacing my front window! Bang!!! There goes my holiday!
So it's the PV for this show at the weekend and I really hope that as many of you as possible try to attend. It should be good. Come and meet the artist and have a glass of wine.
Josh has had one of his paintings selected for the Chichester Open and the same painting has been nominated for a prize which is truly excellent news. He is definitely someone to watch. I believe he is capable of great things.