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, 31 January 2012

Time Is Going Sooooooo Slowly!

Well today is considerably better than yesterday. I have managed to get loads done and I don't feel like the gallery is just keeping me away from my bed. I have managed to write a new list which is always a good start. Now I have to focus on what the bloomin' hell I'm going to put in the gallery after September.  I have a few ideas but it means that I need to get my act together pretty darned quick.
Can someone explain what the point of coming into the gallery to find out if I'm here then going away and saying they'll be back later? I'm sure that it could interfere with my ability leave work early all I can think is how inconsiderate.
I have just looked at the time and I fail to understand how I have only been at work for two hours when it already feels like four. It is a little bit ridiculous.
I have an insurance person coming this afternoon to give me a quote on the business insurance. Who wants to bet that it is way more than I am paying already?
It's not a hard one really.
I have got so much computer work to get on with this week, not only have I got to design a new website for myself, I have to add work my old website and and edit all the photographs that have been taken of the newly refurbished gallery.
Now I am going to go and get on with it.

Monday, 30 January 2012

Happiest Monday Of The Year So Far......I'm Not So Sure

When is a car not a car? When it doesn't start and I have to walk to work in the rain. Is this really the happiest Monday of the year? I beg to differ.
So 375 blogs down how many more to go I wonder? I'm sure you can imagine how crazy hectic Saturday was, hence no blog. The first anniversary party went really well. Lots of people and plenty of very nice comments about the gallery refurbishment. I told you how it was going to be the first time anyone had seen my new work. Well it was a little nerve wracking but everyone said they loved it. They could have been being polite so I'll wait to hear what the public at large have to say.
Remember many moons ago I mentioned my neighbour who wouldn't let me open my windows? Well she's gone and apparently now I'm not allowed to make noise after 9.30pm on a Saturday night. It would seem that I am destined to have annoying neighbours.
I have just written to Tracey Emin to ask her a favour. What do you reckon my chances are? You have to be in it to win it. I know that she is a huge supporter of good causes and I'm a very good cause, well at least I think I am.
It is the first of many letters I intend to write to a whole variety of artists. I'm going to see how many people I can get to work with me in the next few years.
It is a fantastic show at the gallery, my friends have done me proud it would be lovely if it got plenty of visitors so do pop in if you can.
I am hoping that tomorrow will see me being way more active than today as I just feel totally exhausted. It's the price you pay for working four 12 hour days in a row. I feel another holiday calling my name. At least this week I might actually get a day off.

Friday, 27 January 2012

Anniversaries Can Be Sexy!

Happy Anniversary to me and the gallery! This is going to be my shortest ever blog. Too much to do and after pulling two 24 hour days I am about to start my third. Party tomorrow night at the gallery starting at 6.00 if you can come it would be great to see you.
I am going to celebrate by using the picture from my most read blog of all time. It's funny and apt.
I have to say that the gallery is looking all kinds of good right now. Using new instead of recycled materials makes a big difference. Come and have a look for yourself.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Happy 1st Anniversary To Me!

If you have been wondering where I have been then I will put you out of your misery. I have been having a very quiet nervous breakdown about the fact that the artists that agreed to be part of this show seemed somewhat surprised when I asked them to bring their work to the gallery or arrange collection.
Running a gallery is the best job I ever had and working with artists reminds me of my old job and the question 'Where's your homework?' That was met with a glassy stare. In all of their defence I was worrying about nothing, they have come good and I think it should be a pretty good show.
The plain and simple fact is that I have been super busy and I have actually started to write a blog most days but failed to post it.
The gallery is looking all good. I am however a little perturbed that most people come in and fail to notice the major changes that have taken place. Scary that it has taken me over a week to make them and they were never meant to be subtle.
I bit the bullet and bought myself a ladder, what I need to tell you next is that rather than climb the dizzying heights I have asked a window cleaner friend of mine to do the very top windows for me. I chickened out.
So Saturday is party time and I hope that you can pop along and have a glass of wine with me. It should be a great night.
I better get on and get ready to go work.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Happy 'Fly Suicide Day!'

Note to self 1: When wearing two pairs of jeans because you are decorating outside do not under any circumstances underestimate how long it will take to undo them with cold hands when in desperate need of a wee.
Note to self 2: Wearing your iPod does not stop people talking to you and asking inane questions.
Note to self 3: Just because I am up a ladder does not mean that I am confident enough to paint and talk at the same time. This is NOT something I am comfortable with.
I hope that my having test driven this saves you the white knuckle ride that is the trouser/toilet emergency.
I think  that Tuesday 17th January should now be known as 'Fly Suicide Day'. I think you already know how I have spent my day. I have been reveling in the glory of gloss painting. Before you ask, no I do not want to come round and do yours for you, neither do I think I missed a bit.
The flies were desperate to test my wet paint for me, it ultimately resulted in their untimely deaths. I grieve for them as I would never knowingly kill anything other than wasps. I'm not soft enough to be a vegetarian, but suffice to say if I had to kill it myself you could sign me up right now to the Linda McCartney Fan Club.
I should also add at this point that since I discovered how important the role of wasps to our very existence I reluctantly will despatch them to wasp heaven but only if it's a case of them or me. (Incidentally happens to be the case more often than not).
So I have achieved the majority of the front of house painting with only the hard to reach places still need touching up. Isn't that always the way.
Now it's time for a rant. Dulux Once paint is RUBBISH! It has turned a nicotine yellow in the space of one year, and this may come as some surprise to you but you cannot smoke in the gallery. What a big fat con! I will not be buying that over priced crap ever again.
Rant over!
Just would like to remind you that the gallery reopening is happening on Saturday 28th January at 6.00 till late. Come and help me celebrate my first year of trading.

Monday, 16 January 2012

Wobble On Carefully!

Does Anyone Know What They're Doing?

Who can guess what I've been doing today? I know you will struggle but I dropped a few hundred clues in the last couple of blogs about what chore I would repeatedly be doing. Give up yet? It starts with a 'p' and ends with a 'g', sounds like panting but isn't. I know you know, I have painted the gallery today I have only done the white as as the black will get dusty if I do it before I do the rest of the work that needs to be done.
It smells all fresh painty in the gallery. My arm only aches a little bit now but I can guarantee that by tomorrow it will be throbbing.
I have very nearly got rid of the work from the last show just a few bits still to be collected. They better get them soon as the gallery is all wet paint and dust again. I'll do my absolute best to keep them safe but I cannot be sure that it will be.
I had a good old wobble this morning as I was painting above my head on my shonky three step ladder. There were one or to full hand prints on to wet paint scenarios but other than that it was fairly painless.
Have I ever told you that I hate clearing up after painting. I keep telling you that I am borderline OCD and if cleaning was an olympic sport I would definitely be representing Britain this year. But when it comes to painting and decorating I have a a very well defined lazy cleaners muscle. Washing out rollers, can't be bothered can always by a new one, the same can be said of paint trays and do not get me started on gloss paint out of brushes. If there was a world record for how long you can leave a brush soaking in white spirit I sure I could be a contender for that too. Why am I so lazy? I have no concept of why I am all I know is that I am. I have all the best intentions but then just can't really be bothered to follow through.
If you have got jars half full of white spirit where the paint has actually formed a skin over the liquid and it is a particularly fetching shade of diarrhea brown then you'll know exactly what I am talking about.
Guess what I am going to be doing tomorrow?

Friday, 13 January 2012

Queen of Multitasking

Ok, so today I am going to crown myself the Queen of Multitasking. I have been website designing and drawing at the same time. It isn't as difficult as it sounds. This is due to waiting for photographs to upload, it gives me sufficient time to work on a drawing.
I need a favour, I have mentioned before that I have got the gallery listed on TripAdvisor but I am still waiting for my first review. If you have been to the gallery and have liked what you have seen here then please will you write me a nice review. I would really appreciate it. I have attached a link to make it even easier for you to find.


I hope that you write something nice. I'll return the favour if you have a business that I have visited recently.
I have so many things to get done that I am going to keep it brief today. The Taste of PAWF show finishes tomorrow so please come and see it before goes. You'll like it I promise.
I know that the readers of my blog are all lovely people so I have another favour to ask. I know of two 10 year old cats who desperately need rehoming. They are outdoor cats but very cuddly and obviously house trained. They are in good health and are brother and sister. They really need a good new home, I am sorely tempted to take them myself but as the saga of the 'Black Cat' continues I'm not sure it would be fair. I am undecided. Is 5 cats too many? Bear in mind that I have a very big garden.

You know that I like to publicize local events whenever possible so the picture at the top is another comedy event that promises to be as riotous as the last two. My advice is buy your tickets now as they are selling out fast.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

I Have Smurf Fingers!

I love the smell of white spirit and ink in the morning? I have spent another day making prints as that's what I do. I am happyish with the outcomes. I don't know if any of you are like this but I do work then have to hide it away from myself as my instant reaction is that I do not like it. So I'll look at them again next week and see what I think.
I think it is ironic that I am a printmaker as I really hate mess and printmaking has to be one of the messiest mediums to work in. Admittedly, if I was to follow correct practice I would wear latex gloves to stop the deep staining that takes place when you don't. But I hate sweating inside latex gloves and it adds a layer of detachment that I don't enjoy. So I will sport my Smurf coloured fingers with pride.
I am now counting down the hours until I shut the gallery for two weeks. I cannot wait to get stuck in and get it all tarted up. The question is do I buy a new step ladder? Know I need one but also hate getting up them. But in order to do the redecorating I think I need to get some.
I ordered the mother load of books this week. I have probably mentioned that I am an avid reader. If you are too then you should definitely check out the Book People Sale. It's really good. I bought 50+ books for £25. I am now stocked up for the best part of the year.
Other news is that we are holding another Bizarre Bazaar in February and if you would like to be part of it them let me know as we need to get some idea of numbers.
I have got so much work to do that involves being sat in front of the computer that I could almost cry. Give me smurf fingers over that any day of the week. It's crucial that I crack on and get it done though as my future income depends on it.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Who Says Rudolph Is Just For Christmas?

I don't know quite how I've managed it but I am on cold number 3 for this unseasonably warm winter. Really not happy about it as I need to concentrate and my tap like nose is a constant distraction.
I have got all the good stuff ordered for the gallery revamp it is really quite exciting. I am quite looking forward to whiting out the windows and getting on and dealing with it. I have said it before but 2012 is really the time to shine. Especially as I'm cranking up the amount of light that there will be at the gallery. No more comments about how it looks closed I hope.
I have been over the road to Sansom to talk to Chris about my framing, I think he can do what I want. I am probably going to put about 8 pieces in this anniversary show. So you should come and see it even if it's just to be nosy about my new work. It is all brand new and has never been seen anywhere before. Literally, hot off the printing press.
If you have seen my old work be warned it is quite a departure from that.
After the relative busyness of yesterday, today is very quiet. Probably a good thing as my ability to string a coherent sentence together is probably about -5 on the sneezing scale. I have sneezed in excess of 100 times today. I kid you not.
Who says Rudolph is just for Christmas? I'm doing a stellar impersonation of him right now and we are well into January.
For all of you out there who are suffering from horrible colds, flu or the dreaded stomach bug I wish you all a very speedy recovery and I hope that you have a really healthy 2012.
I'm off to rouge up my nose a bit more with rough toilet paper! All of you who are full of cold know exactly what I mean.

Monday, 9 January 2012

Bloggus Interruptus

I hope that you all had a good weekend! I did, crammed lots of socializing in and even managed to make my garden look less like it belonged on a housing estate. I don't know whether it is because it's on the road that used to go to the dump or the road that leads to a massive caravan site but fly tipping is live and well and living in my garden.
Not anymore, it is looking very tidy and now I am plotting what I intend to grow next year. The truth is I need to grow a few additional hours on to each day if I am going to do my garden justice this year. I am hoping that Shirley will come to the rescue so that I can spend a little more time there.
I have produced my first prints of 2012 this morning and I am very pleased with them. I thought I had better do some of my own work as I intend show them at the anniversary exhibition. I may well do some in colour too. I should explain that they were embossed images so no colour whatsoever on them.
I have had an incredibly busy day as my phone has not stopped ringing and I've sent 15+ emails.  Maybe my phone would stop ringing if I answered it. Just kidding.
I have updated my website and and phone site and I will shortly be revamping my blog. So I envisage another few days in front of the computer.
If it wasn't enough that the saga of 'The Black Cat' is still rumbling on, Barney my fat cat that is on a diet is depressed. I think he had been comfort eating as a result of the bullying. If you have seen Shrek you will know Puss In Boots. Barney is ginger and does the whole eyes thing every time I go in the kitchen. He jumps up in anticipation of food and I then proceed to give him 25g of diet biscuits. It is truly tough love.
I am going to end with a question. Do you decorate in sock, shoes or trainers? Or do you have a designated pair of shoes?
My last blog raised lots of questions about the correct decorating attire. Please let me know what is your preference.

Saturday, 7 January 2012

I'm Here, Where Are You?

I am the Red Balloon

I am happy to report that Barney and Puss Puss (Yes, I know it's a silly name, but she had the name for a year before I got her and she's stubborn and obstinate and refused to answer to any other name) have been given a clean bill of health. Well, Barney has got to go on a diet as he is a kilo and a half over weight. So it's super expensive diet biscuits for him for the next 6 months. Why is it that I think it will be my bank account that will be considerably thinner in 6 months time?
My article is in Evolver magazine so please make sure you keep an eye open for it. I have not achieved any of my lofty decorating ambitions as it's freezing and I forgot to wear my decorating shoes. Everyone has decorating shoes don't they? I actually meant to write clothes but I quite liked the idea that special footwear is required for decorating. Like I need an excuse to buy shoes. I do not.
In typical Swanage fashion we convened the first 2012 meeting of Friday Club last night. It was a good laugh. We have decided that a group holiday is required I'm a little scared of the idea as I feel sorry for wherever we may end up.
There are so many interesting and exciting possibilities in the pipeline, none of which I can really go into at the moment but I promise you that you're on the list for those to find out first.
I am blogcrastinating as I have a nice long list of things to do so I'm going to go and get on with them.
A bit of gossip though before I go, I may have got it wrong about what my new neighbour is going to be. I have now heard that it might be a deli. I think that would be great but it might make me fat as I love food from delis. Not so much artiarse as lardyarse. That is not what I meant when I said I want to grow my business.
Enjoy your weekend!

Friday, 6 January 2012

Cat Fights and Late Nights

My favourite spelling mistake has to be when I sign off emails 'Shaton'. Every time I do it I am tempted to leave it. I could add location, 'from a Great Height'.
Youth speak would have me declare today an 'epic fail'. I had all the ideas of sanding down my paint work outside getting it ready for a new coat of paint. I have been sat in front of this computer solidly bar two toilet breaks since 11.30.
Admittedly I have achieved quite a lot but it just wasn't the kind of work I felt like doing today!
I did however spend a pleasant hour with Jan Dagley today, we are trying to come up with a new name for  our collaborative workshops. The one that made me laugh the most was Artiarse. Apparently,  the domain is free. In another lifetime I would so have chosen this. Good job that I have grown up just a little bit.
I'm tired today as the saga of the black cat drags on into it's 10th day. I haven't told you about it but to cut a long story short, my three cats are being bullied by a big black cat. He waits for them outside the catflap ready to pounce. He has wounded two of them badly enough to warrant a vets visit tomorrow morning. I am a cat lover but I would quite happily give this big bruiser tom a swift kick up his artiarse! Do you see what I did there?
I have sorted the writing for my windows at the gallery. It will be put on in the next couple of weeks. The thing that I need to do most is paint.
Maybe tomorrow if the weather holds and the rain doesn't come bucketing it down I'll get to what I thought I'd be doing today.
Where would I be without the Internet? I cannot actually envisage life without it. Since writing this I have sent two emails just because I remembered that I needed to.
Slightly busier at the gallery today, and I mean slightly. Let's hope that it's sunny tomorrow and that people are fed up with the January sales and fancy some fresh air and a bit of culture and go to Brighton. Just kidding, and come to Swanage.
Have a great weekend whatever you have got planned.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Sshhh....Swanage Is Asleep. Or Is It?

I spent the morning teaching so that is a great way to start the day. I really enjoy the whole getting people interested in art and design. Especially kids, it's very rewarding.
I've started getting organized for the gallery make over, and that means spending money. Something I usually enjoy. But I much prefer spending other peoples money. Don't we all?
I have been experiencing a few problems posting my blog on Facebook as it keeps telling me that I am posting abusive and offensive material.
You know that I'm not! I just don't do abusive or offensive.
A date for your diaries is Saturday 12th February, there will be another Bizarre Bazaar. If you make anything a bot unusual or quirky then you might want to have a stall. Let me know and I'll make sure that you get one.
I have new neighbours at the gallery, it is going to be a cafe. I'm glad that there will not be two empty premises next to me. The more reasons there are for people to come up the High Street the better.
As I expected it has been very quiet at the gallery. It is the quiet season now in Swanage.
I have so much to do that it is probably a good thing.
I hope that you have had a productive start to 2012. If you fancy doing a really good workshop you should make it your mission to come and see me. I will be teaming up with the fantastic painter Jan Dagley to do painting and printmaking master classes. If you want to unleash your inner artist you should definitely come and visit us.
There will be an Open exhibition in July called Kimmeridge, if you have been inspired by the place and produced work in any media based on the place you should seriously think about entering it.
I'll be putting an application form on my website very soon.
I'm off to fill some holes so see you tomorrow!

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Back To Life, Back To Reality!

'There are people who make things happen, there are people who watch things happen, and there are people who wonder what happened. To be successful, you need to be a person who makes things happen.'

Ok, so I've womanhandled the Christmas Tree back into it's box. Considering the care I took decorating it, I was once again the queen of grab, shove and bung when it came to dismantling it. I'm guessing my patience levels may have taken a post festive season dip. Would I be right in surmising that, that would be me and everyone else who had their first day back at work today. A longer break after Christmas would be great wouldn't it?
Things you need to know about the gallery. The opening times have changed for the next two months, this is due to the fact that Swanage will now go into hibernation until February half term. I will only be opening from 12-4 everyday except Sunday and Wednesday. Which is apparently a word that I cannot spell. 4 attempts later and I managed it.
I will also be closed from the 14th January until the 28th January. I will be working hard to do all the refurb bits and pieces that I want to get done before the grand reopening.
If my blogs start to get a bit heavily ladened with comments about how much painting a person can do. You'll know why.
I have been writing the most extensive lists and they are starting to make me nervous. It got me through 2011 and I am hoping that it will get me through 2012. I have resolved not to make any resolutions, at least not make them publicly known. I can pat myself on the back if I achieve them but if I don't I won't have to face the look of disappointment from all the people I told.
I believe that 2012 is everybody's time to shine. Anything is possible, if you work hard enough at it.
I really hope to see some more of you through the door in 2012. There are some really good exhibitions lined up.
Be creative, or else!!