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, 28 February 2012


Well if I wasn't an artist I do not think that I could say the following. I have spent the whole day mounting. It is a thoroughly arduous and boring job. But now it's done, I can safely go another 10 years before doing it again. Updating my portfolio incase you were wondering. I suppose it was quite satisfying on one level putting  all my new work in order etc.
I read my artist statement and if there was a prize for pretension and waffly shullbit then I could quite easily win first prize.
I think in retrospect that it is far more just to be honest than to try and big yourself up using artspeak.
Now for news about the Kimmeridge Open Exhibition I have already seen some fantastic potential entries so if you are thinking about entering you had better let me know as I think it is going to fill up fairly quickly.
I have to think about my lists as they seem to be spreading out to my phone, my iPad and my diary. I am a little concerned that what will actually happen is that I won't get as much done. Spreading myself too thin.
I had some visitors to the gallery yesterday who knew it as the bike shop. They could not quite believe the transformation and when I actually think about it neither can I.
I have to say I take it a bit for granted that the gallery looks the way it does now. But when I think back to how it was, I can't believe I did it all.
Day off tomorrow and as usual I have to work. Oh well, I have to earn a crust.

Monday, 27 February 2012

Could Tuesday Please Be The New Monday?

Just One of My Skulls

Well it would seem that not posting my blog is the new not writing my blog! I actually wrote one but I forgot to post it. So the fact that I wished my mum a happy birthday went unread and all the gossip from Friday also went unread.
So to recap, on Friday my in house photographer Murray Lambert came and took pictures of all my new work for me. This means that my website should be finished at some point this week. I can't wait to get it live online it feels like I have been doing it for ages.
I managed to get away with a two hour day on Saturday, it does come in handy having a printer and internet access at the gallery. I love being able to say of course you can use my printer etc if you wouldn't mind opening up for me. Genius!!
I've had some good feedback regarding the affordable art event that I am planning to put on in December.
I have also got some fantastic textile artists interested in the textile show I'm planning for October. So all in all there's some good stuff to look forward to later on in the year.
If you are planning on visiting Swanage at Easter then you should definitely come in and see Jan Dagleys show it promises to be an absolute stunner.
I have had to postpone the second Bizarre Bazaar as I have not nearly enough time organize it properly and neither has Dave. We are thinking that we will get the next one organized for the summer. We are actually hoping to put on a few evening markets in the summer. So watch this space if you fancy some live music and some great unique stuff for sale. If you are a maker of such wares then getting busy as there will be the opportunity to turn your skills into cash!

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Hot Like Me!!

Phew....it's been a scorcher today. Felt like spring had sprung! Comparatively I mean, as it's been so cold. I am down to just the two heaters. People come in and say how come you've got so many heaters on when it's so warm outside. It's got a lot to do with sitting down all day (well nearly all day). My halogen heaters are all giving up the ghost which  has meant that I have had to spend more money. But at least I will be toasty warm.
 I have been Spring cleaning not that I need an excuse. It's crazy how the sunshine shows up the dirt even in my sun starved office. Where does all the dust come from?
I had a class this morning and we made miniature museums. It's a great little project to do with kids and I'm guessing adults too given half the chance.
Well it's official I take stupidly wonky photographs when it's of my own work. Good job Murray is coming to do them for me tomorrow.
Better late than never as I really need to get my own website finished.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Square And You Know It!

Do you remember when your mum used to say if you watched too much TV that you would square eyes? Well, I think that my eyes are well and truly 100% cuboid by now. If the same thing applies to computer screens that is.
I have been finishing off website stuff and sending the mother load of emails. I have now finished and then I realized that I hadn't written my blog.
I've always prided myself on being a fairly good speller ( I ironically misspelt that the first time ). But as time goes on words that I felt that I had a really good idea about are starting to elude me. I think that it might have something to do with the fact that everything is so americanized that my 'z' and' 's' seem to keep finding themselves in the wrong places at the wrong times.
Keeping it short because I want to go home and make some pancakes and then stuff them in my face. happy pancake day to you all.

Monday, 20 February 2012

Another Day, Another List!!!!!

Well hello Monday, how are we feeling today? I'm in 'let's get proper organized mode'. My ever growing list is steadily being added to and I am still surprisingly chipper considering that it's growing instead of shrinking. Oh well never mind!
I hope that you all had a good weekend? I went to see a band called 'Pussycat and The Dirty Johnsons'. They were very entertaining, I would like to congratulate the Rockahula Club for bringing real live music to Swanage. Not a cover in sight!
If you are at all interested I have updated the gallery website, there are a few more things on there for you to look at. I've got a bit more work to do on it this evening.
I am looking for textile artists at the moment as I am keen to put on an exhibition that is totally different to what I normally do. I have been getting some positive responses and I hope to have some more news on that at a later date.
I am getting 'doing my own work withdrawal symptoms'. It feels like it has been an absolute age since I sat down and did even just a drawing. I fully intend to work late tonight to try and free up some time later on this week so that I can get on with my work.
I may even have to take my work diary home just so that I can ensure that I tick off the things to do list as I go along just to cheer myself up a bit.
I got my Marie Curie donations box for the gallery today. I hope that if you do come and see me that you will generously donate to a very good cause. I've seen first hand the work that they do and they are truly brilliant!

Well, I guess I could blogcrastinate a bit longer but I should really continue to work my way down the list!
Thought I'd give some examples of other list makers lists!

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Free Ninety Nine, My Favourite Price!!

Have you missed me? Well try harder and you'll hit me. The gallery was left in Shirley's very capable hands last week, whilst I swanned off to Bristol for a few days. Thanks Shirley! As a Londoner it is hard for me to admit this but I think I might like Bristol more. I think maybe because it is more compact and everything is more or less within walking distance.
I love the really apparent creative vibe, with lots of music nights and pop up galleries, not to mention the food scene which is by far the most reliably good I've ever experienced. Every meal I ate was a winner from meals that cost £5 to £20 and upwards. I wish Swanage could be as consistent.
So I'm fatter and happier on my return. There was an excellent show on at the Arnolfini Gallery, it's called Museums 2. It features artists who produce work that is specifically intended to look like museum exhibits. Which is exactly what my whole new body of work is based on so it was right up my street.
I have to tell you about the strange thing that happened this week. I am usually bemoaning the fact that I send numerous emails and seldom get any responses. Well........it would seem that what I have to do is be out of the office for a few days. I had more emails in the last three days than in the last three weeks. All requiring fairly urgent attention and all bringing good news which was nice. For all of you who hate new technology and go on about phones that should just be used to make phone calls etc. Without my iphone this week I would not have been able to respond to the many emails I received as promptly as I did. I love technology (when it works).
The gallery has been selected as a venue for the World Book Night giving of books, which I am really happy about as I applied at the very last minute and still got in. I will be putting on a display of artists books to go alongside the FREE books that I will be giving out so please come along and get your FREE book. I've chosen a good one, very apt for the gallery in a lateral way.
I hope that you all have great plans for this weekend regardless of the weather and can I remind you that the anniversary show is still on at the gallery it's well worth a look.

Monday, 13 February 2012

Lessons To Be Learnt!

My advice would be don't over do it on a Friday night when you have to get up and go to work on Saturday.
Seriously, I'm not kidding. Abstaining all week, is all well and good as long as you don't go silly at the weekend.
I threw caution to the wind and I didn't find it again until some point on Sunday. (That's not to say that I went on a weekend bender, just Friday night). I've spoken before about the fact that I am usually very sensible as I have to work on Saturdays. I tried writing my blog on Saturday to tell you all about the busy week that I'd had at the gallery. I got three lines in and realized that 30 minutes had passed and I thought I could not inflict my incoherent prose on my unsuspecting audience.
I will be revising my Friday social life accordingly.
It was really busy at the gallery lat week with workshops, bookings etc. I am really happy with the way things are progressing. I am throwing as much energy as I can at everything and it now seems to be paying off.
I've uploaded the Kimmeridge Open Exhibition form to my website so if that's something that you might like to enter then please just download it, fill it in and send it back to me.
I am also thinking of having an affordable art fair in December. A great opportunity to buy great art at a reasonable price for Christmas.
I'll be putting a form on the website as soon as I've designed it.
The next show at the gallery is going to be a retrospective of Wendy Wharam. It promises to be fantastic so please do put the date in your diary.
I'm going to be taking a few days off so if you do visit in my absence say hi to Shirley and if you have any questions/enquiries she'll do her absolute best to help you out.
Happy half term everybody.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Livin' In Da Hood!

I'm not sure that it was the best idea I've ever had. It's alright you can wonder what on earth I am going on about. Getting my hair cut short at the coldest time of the year was not one of my better ideas. I'm not sure that becoming a gallery owner that permanently wears a hood whilst sitting inside the gallery is a very positive advert for the gallery. 'Hoodie in da gallery' that could be my gangster name.
I have totally had my teaching fix this week a workshop on Tuesday and a class this morning. It is a lovely way to spend the day. It's nice to see the kids improving all the time.
I have started to make some kind of a dent in my list of things to do. All I can say trying to work out how I can magic some cash out of thin air should really be at the top of my list. The sooner I learn that particular trick the happier I will be.
I've looked into advertising nationally and it's quite expensive, but there are a few options that are within my price range. So I'll tell you where to look and when.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Brrrrrrrrilliantly Busy!

I can't quite believe how busy I have been of late. Usually, I have my blog done and dusted by the time I leave the gallery. Recently, I have had two Hopes, Bob and No Hopes. It is obviously a good thing that I have been busy. I had a great day yesterday as I did my first workshop of the year. I love teaching people who are so keen to learn. It is totally different from my old day job. When you had to cajole, bribe, manipulate and sometimes bully to get students to even lift a pencil.
Enthusiastic students really do bring out the best teacher in you, so a big thanks to the members of yesterdays workshop group.
The real reason there was no blog on yesterday was because my internet had done a disappearing act. I have no idea how the good people of Swanage who run internet businesses get on because the broadband drops out more than a 16 year old on the wrong course at college. That happens shockingly more often than you might think. On both counts.
I am looking into how to get some publicity together for my big exhibition in May. I am very lucky to have two very well connected friends shoving me in all the right directions. I'm going national (if I can afford it).
If you are struggling to think of something cheap/free to do in Swanage you should totally come and visit the gallery. I've got heat and I'll even pop the kettle on for you, not to mention the fantastic show that is currently on.
I'm going to go and eat my dinner, but my last thought is if you are doing something that the good people of Swanage etc should know about, then please feel free to contact me and I will help you to promote it. I also have space dedicated to advertising local events at the gallery so come and see me if you think you could use it.
Keep Warm and Keep Smiling!!

Monday, 6 February 2012

Back To Front (The Gallery)

My back has the front to feel much better today. It obviously had a plan that I wasn't aware of, and that involved getting better in time for the weekend to be well and truly over.
It's just as well as I have a really busy week ahead. I have been the Queen of The Email today. Do you ever have days where you can see exactly what needs to be done and you manage to get on the case and be super efficient? When at other times you just seem to be wading through a mist of indecision with a distinct lack of direction. I am more often the latter than the former.
Not today, I have sent a ton of emails to which I imagine I will get a mere smattering of responses. I have written things down that I have done today on the corresponding page in my diary so that I know when I sent what. For me, that so transcends my normal level of organisation it's not even funny.
I have had such positive feedback about my work it is very encouraging. I think if I can get through all of my gallery choredom in a realistic time frame I will book my own show for next November which is exactly a year from when I originally thought that I would have an exhibition.
I am have been designing my own website and it could not be more different to the gallery website. I feel it is more me at my creative/lateral best as opposed to the much slicker gallery approach. My sister says that music on websites is passe but I really want music. I might just limit it to the gallery page so that it plays whilst your browsing through the work there it's on in the background.
I have a workshop tomorrow so I hope that my back does not play up as that will be painful on a whole heap of levels.
If you're snowed in I hope that you're making the most of it, Swanage is a balmy 6 degrees. I went to break the ice on the pond only to see the fish happily swimming in a fully thawed pond.

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Ouchy Ouch Ouch!!!

If only everyone that walked through the door in the gallery who talked to me bought a piece a work I would have made a fortune this week. As you will already realise that was not the case. I have some how managed to hurt myself and I have absolutely no idea how. But it hurts when I breathe and do virtually anything else so I am at home moving around like I have a stick up my bum.
Luckily I have someone who can cover for me so thank you for that.
There are lots of things to get excited about in the next few months especially if you are a creative person. If you are busy making stuff and putting all your artistic christmas presents to good use there will be another Bizarre Bazaar in March. So let me know if you are interested and I'll put your name down.
There's the Kimmeridge Open exhibition that will take place in July. If you needed a starting point or inspiration why not start there.
Gives you plenty of time to think about it and produce the work. There are also plenty of competitions for painters, printmakers and draughtsmen ( I wanted to put drawers as in draw-ers people who draw). I'm not sure I like the term draughtsmen as I think it is a little bit sexist.
Check out the AN (Artist Newsletter) website there are plenty of shows that you can get involved in.
It would seem that I have been sat in this position for far too long and I'm going to have to move.
Have a great weekend and whatever you do make sure you keep warm.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

It's More Orangey Than An Entire Pack of Jaffa Cakes! Or Dale Winton!

My Beloved!

As I sit here in halogen glow with three heaters on full blast painting the office with their warm orangey tones, I think to myself why is it that I have not had the good sense to fit central heating?
I know the answer and it's a bit too complicated to go into right now. Needless to say that my warmth relies heavily on the kindness of strangers.
Long may I freeze.
How wrong is it that I am seriously thinking about booking my cats into a cattery so that I can wreak my revenge on that nasty black cat. (There were several not very nice words that I could have written there but didn't)
It is going to rue the day it bullied my cats causing them all to require a trip to the vets. Last time I looked I wasn't depositing gold or money in the toilet. Where the money is coming from is anyones guess.
It's been a strange day at the gallery it's kind of been busy but not at the same time. I have had time to catch with some friends but also I have not achieved very much. As my reports always used to say 'must try harder'.
The good news is that I have found the whole pile of work that I have mislaid for some months now. The thing is that you didn't even know that I'd lost it.
It's all trimmed and ready to be photographed.
I have got to go now because I need to tax my car. Yes that beautiful green mini that hasn't moved in a week because it is dead., needs taxing. How cruel an irony that actually is.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

One Day Off and I'm Writing My Blog

Get Involved

Wow! A blog on my day off. I have just spent the last two hours working on my own website. Which is fine as it has been on my list of things to do for the last ooh let me see.........six months. Imagine my absolute delight when the server crashed and is yet to get back on line and I don't know whether or not it saved all of my changes. It is about now that I could use a rather large glass of wine.
I read an article in the paper today about how in this age of multiple ways of communication there are less responses to correspondence now than ever before.
They said that it is causing people to be more disillusioned than ever.
It made me smile and nod in agreement as I have to confess that I send on average five emails a day, not phishing usually in response to requests for information, or asking questions pertinent to a future exhibition.
On average I get about one response if I'm lucky. Those are not great odds when you are running a business. I'm lucky if people reply to my texts.
The news on the street. I am thinking about having my own show this year. I have started by putting 9 pieces in this current exhibition. I'm going to build on that and produce some new work.
I told you that the next Bizarre Bazaar was going to be on Saturday 12th February but the truth is that both myself and Dave have been way too busy with our own things to organise it. It has been put back until March now. So if you are interested then you should get in touch and let me know.
I will also hopefully be involved in World Book Night, I submitted my application and I am now waiting to hear. I will probably exhibit some artist books to coincide with that, it's in April so please come and check it out.