Home Is Where The Art Is

If you are an artist, a lover of art then I hope that I can inspire you to do what you love.

Thursday, 31 May 2012

Lovely Jubilee! An Extra Long Weekend!

I am by no means a royalist but I think in this time of terrible unemployment the Queen should be applauded for holding on to her job for the last 60 years. I think the majority of us are happy that we get an additional day off. Result!! 
I chose this picture because it is made entirely out of jelly beans and I think that it is very impressive. I had to have an arty take on things and I will not be having any bunting at the gallery. But I think that there is enough surrounding me at the moment.

Today was my last class with my regular students and they both produced a fantastic painting each. They were also lucky enough to be able to share their work with Sheila Girling. She just happened to be at the gallery at the same time. They do not know how lucky they were.
It has been a bit quieter today and the people through the door have been very impressed with the show. It is always nice to hear positive feedback.
My cake painting is already on display next door so have look if you are passing.
I should let you know about my opening hours over this weekend. I will be open the same as usual so don't worry about catching me in because I'll be here.
I have a very naked calendar at the moment and I am hoping that all of the interest that I have had can become confirmed bookings. That should happen very soon.

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Paint Your Cake and Eat it Too

I have spent the morning painting cakes. I guess it makes a change from the skulls but they are not nearly as interesting. I think they will be pleased with what I have done for them. If german coffee and cakes are your thing you should check out my new neighbours at Kaffee and Kuchen. I am being paid in coffee and cake so I hope that my waistline can take the pace.
Sheila has come and signed all the copies of her book so if you want a copy you should come and get one.
I know that I have got some good things going on at the moment as people seem to want me to be involved in various projects. All very exciting.
I can't say too much about them right now bit needless to say when I know more so will you.
Not much to report on the gallery front it has been a bit quieter today but still steady.
My car is now on the mend having been prodded and poked with a screwdriver and all the rust being cut out and some new rust free steel put in its place.
I cannot wait to be mobile again, I don't mind walking to work it's the walk home that I have no patience with.
I hope that you are all planning to squeeze some culture in over this long bank holiday. I will be open making sure that you can see my fantastic new exhibition. I might have mentioned it once or twice.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Two Days In, Steady Traffic!

You should see this painting for yourself  as it is breathtaking

It is important that the sun does not completely abandon us before the long weekend. There are threats of rain and chilly weather. I think that we should really use our combined powers to make the weather god/goddess ensure the sun stays with us.
It has been steady at the gallery for the last couple of days and I am happy to say that many people have been clutching the PAW and DAW brochures. That means that they are working.
The truth is that people will more willingly walk through an open door. What I would like to know is why crane your neck through it to try and see what is on the wall when you could take no more that three steps and look at it properly?
I will endeavor to invite people through the door but they run away like frightened rabbits.
There is an Ali G phrase that I could use here and if you know it then you will be smiling to yourselves right about now.
I have got it in my head that I would like to do some of my own work today but I am also feeling not very motivated. I am going to boost my energy levels with a third cup of coffee and see what I can achieve.
I will let you know tomorrow how I got on.

Monday, 28 May 2012

PAW Is Officially On! So is DAW.

I had such a good time at the Private View on Saturday and I am pleased to report that so did the Caros. It was intimate and all the right people came, those who really love the work. Just as a good PV should be. There were a few sales which is good for me and for Sheila. I hope that there might a few more, I cannot say any more about how good it is and that you should definitely see it.
The other positive upside from having such a successful exhibition is that two very talented artists have agreed to show with me next year. What can I say I have got my new calendar up and I am looking forward to getting started with my marker pen.
I managed to get out and enjoy some of this lovely sun that we have been having but you already know that the sun is not a gallery owners friend in a seaside town.
Culture cannot compete with sun, sea and sand apparently.
I was open yesterday and I am pleased to report that I had 21 people come to see the new exhibition.
It's been slower today but I anticipated but not a wash out.
I hope that you will take the time to visit the many open studios that are all part of PAW or DAW. There is some stunning work out there if you look.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Sheila Girling Today At The Gallery

The day is here... my nerves have all but gone and now the excitement has kicked in. I cannot wait to get the PV underway. I have done all the cleaning that I intend to do and now I am going to spend an hour on the beach and then home to get ready and then bring on the madness.
I think that it is going to be very busy.
I have a few observations.

1. Blue Tack is a gallery owners best friend.
2. Dust is very dusty.
3. Some people are just idiots.
4. Great art sells itself.
5. I don't care if it doesn't match your wallpaper as long as you buy it.
6. Do not tell me you can afford it and then not buy it.
7. The most talented artists are humble about their achievements.
8. If the sign says open and the lights are on I am open.
9. If it is too sunny people will opt for the beach instead of culture.
10. Window smudgers are here to stay FOREVER!!!

I wish all the participants of Purbeck Arts Weeks Festivals a very successful fortnight. May you have many sales and visitors.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

A Little Light Lunch With Sheila Girling

To say that yesterday would be up there as one of the best days ever at the gallery would be an understatement. I spent the best part of it with Sheila and Anthony Caro and their incredibly handy man and all round legend Pat putting up a really fantastic show. The scale of the work is impressive and the breadth of the imagery is also impressive.
I know I have spoken before about the fact that a jpeg does not do the majority of art work any favours. The picture I used in my blog and all the publicity for this exhibition called 'At Days End' is huge and really is quite breathtaking. As is the picture titled 'Light Lunch' above, that is another great painting.
It is refreshing to spend time with two bastions of the British art scene who are totally down to earth and are just quietly brilliant.
There are many people who could learn a lesson or two from people like them. I'd really like to teach them myself if you know what I mean.
I am very excited about the Private View for this show I am also worried that I don't have enough booze. I have bought loads but I think it will be very busy so there will be someone on hand to do a run to the off license if necessary.
After a very successful hang we all went and had a really nice lunch. All in all a perfect day.
I think that it may just have spoilt me a little bit. Enough gushing it was a great end of story.
So to other things and news. You all know that I like to support any of my friends endeavors and here is another one. There is a new app for smart phones called IAMKONKI, it is an app that will allow you to put all the things that you are interested in, in one place. From news, art, music and video. Check it out and see for yourself. It's free so you can't really go wrong.
I have got a few jobs to do to make it perfect at the gallery but I have to wait for the ever brilliant Matt to make me some new stands for Sheilas' paintings.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Hanging With The Caros

Well it is slightly surreal being sat here waiting for the Caros to arrive. I was here bright and early making sure that I have cleaned everything within an inch of its actual life. All my friends are teasing me that the gallery is shrinking because I keep repainting the walls. If they saw how much sanding takes place they would know that it isn't true.
I'm writing pre the hang as I'm not sure I'll get time later. I have to say that I am nervous. It's such a big deal.
I got to spend yesterday afternoon in the sun. It was impressively hot and I went for a suitably long walk. By my reckoning it was about 3 miles, but I have to admit that I am so very lucky living here, within minutes you are out of town and on a coastal path.
However, I am going to resist the temptation to poorly render it in some artistic way. I understand how inspirational it is but I know even with my skills base I can't compete with the real thing. So I am not going to try.
It seems that the weather decider has been listening to all of entreaties and has decided to respond favourably. I hope that if you are able to at all to get out in to the glorious sunshine that you seize the opportunity as it does not happen very often.
Well, I have to go as the work has arrived. So catch you later.

Monday, 21 May 2012

Sheila Girling in 2 Days Time.

What goes up must come down. The INKA ladies and guests have now finished and I have spent the rest of the day making the gallery beautiful. I have very nearly finished there are a few bits left to do but they should not take long at all.
I am just sitting down to my write blog at 4.50. But that's ok as I can take it easier tomorrow before the big hang on Wednesday. I am very excited. This is will be a real milestone in the gallery's history. I am a little nervous as I have never had such an important exhibition. But I know that I have done everything to make the show a success.
I have got to cut this short as I have to get some bits and pieces for Saturday and I am at the mercy of someone with wheels as my car is still off the road.
If you want a sneaky peek then the I will be open all day Saturday before the Private View later on that day.
Please tell as many people as possible about my new exhibition I want to get as many people a long to see it as possible.

Friday, 18 May 2012

50,000 Page Views

Well thank you all. I cannot believe that so many people have read my little ole blog. That's nice to know. I have spent the day getting the gallery tidy. I want everything to be perfect for the next exhibition. People that regularly visit the gallery will tell you that it is really tidy. I am just really good at hiding things.
It is a skill that you learn as a teenager when your mum shouts up the stairs 'Tidy your room if you want to go out!'. You all know what I am talking about.
It is like a shiny new pin at the gallery now, well the studio and my office are the gallery will have to wait until next week. Then it will get the treatment.
Can someone please tell the weather to sort itself out. I should not have to have the heaters on in May. My electricity bill should be going down not up.
It's dull and dismal and more importantly the gallery is quiet. I have been neglecting some of my admin duties. Because they ARE BORING!! but I will stop writing this and get on with that.

Have a great weekend! If you are in Swanage please come and see the INKA Printmakers. Just a few days left before it ends.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

The Countdown To Sheila Is On

Apparently, a cat can have an abscess the size of a golf ball and still hunt. So I found out after seeing the vet yesterday. I told you some time ago that my cats are all being actively bullied, well cat bites are horrible and get nasty very quickly. So that is the end of that £100 later and a very grumpy shaved cat later, all is on the mend.
I got some bad news today, my car which has been poorly for a while is dead. Cost too much to fix it and would be throwing money away apparently. I am gutted as I really love my car but if it's not safe to drive then it really is time to part company.
On a more positive note the gallery has been really busy today, no sales but lots of positive comments.
I am going to say it again, this is a great little exhibition and you should see it as it will be finishing on Monday.
Then it is time to gear up and get the gallery ready for Sheila Girlings show, I am so excited about it I cannot wait.

I am going to have to indulge in some serious cleaning before now and then as I predict that the gallery will be getting lots of visitors. My studio is in a state of disarray.
I have already sanded and painted the front doors as they were looking a bit tired. Just all the walls that need filling and sanding then painting etc.
I love my job. No I really do.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

A Day In Slow Motion

It is seriously quiet at the gallery so I am trying to occupy myself with choredom but I can't quite summon up the enthusiasm. I have had a productive morning but now the clock is almost moving backwards. I am debating doing some of my own work to fill the time.
So I stopped typing and painted a picture. I think it's ok, I may well need to do a bit of fine tuning but I am quite happy with it.
I think the schizophrenic weather is keeping people inside. I hope that we have some better weather soon and that visitors start flocking to Swanage.

So why is it that just when you thought your day could not get any worse, that your resident gallery slightly interesting person who visits a little too often pays you a visit. I had to pretend that I am really busy typing and couldn't possibly stop to chat.
I am generally a quite sociable person but there are limits and today my limits are limited.
Day off tomorrow and I'm going to be taking one of my cats to the vets as she has been wounded by the evil black cat. I really would kick it up the backside without doing it any permanent damage.
Then painting the rest of the hall.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Get On My Facebook!

What an amazing Private View!! It was very busy and there were plenty of sales. Another month with food on the table. I have had several comments about this exhibition and I thought you might like to hear them.
Many of the visitors to the gallery think that this show has a really good mix of abstract and figurative work. The scale of the work is very accessible in terms of it being easily accommodated into the average home.
Now you don't have to take my word for it, you could make the journey and come and see it for yourself.
There are always things that make me smile, and one of them is that at a Private View I obviously serve red wine and white wine, orange juice still and sparkling water. So part of my PV duties are to offer people drinks. The amount of people who ask for a dry white wine is hilarious, like a buy an assortment. The choice is red or white. What I will say is that I never buy absolute rubbish. It's always good quality though.
I am so glad that I took the executive decision not to open yesterday. I just wanted to spend one day that was not inside. I was 100% successful. I did the coastal path walk and it was amazing. Brilliant sunshine, loads to look at and saw some good friends. I am even more glad now that the weather has resorted to its recent poor standard.
Yet another walk to work in the rain.
I have updated the gallery Facebook page. It is actually a bit of a pain as for some reason there are two. It says if I delete one it will delete the other as well. Which is rubbish. Please can you like for me as the more that I have the more that I want.

I am less than 300 page views away from 50,000 so if you like to read about my exploits can I please ask that you consider sharing me with all of your friends via Facebook.

I promise to tell lots of stories about all the gallery weirdos and absolutely everything funny that happens to me. Like this, I have just been the victim of a dive by pooping! My gallery windows have decorated by some lovely white pigeon poo.

Some excellent exhibitions in the pipeline for next year. If you are thinking about showing with me then you need to get a shuffle on as the choice slots are going fast.

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Outlook Is Just Fine.

I was worried that the sun would mean that people would not come to the gallery today. I am pleased to say I was wrong. It has been steadily busy. I have to admit that I already have a bit of weather envy, I don't love being inside when the sun is shining. But I am just going to have to get used to it. I really hope that is the case. I would rather it be sunny than not.
Shirley looked after the gallery for me yesterday as I had some chores to and she sold the first print of this exhibition. So thank you Shirley, I hope that it is the first of many.
I have done the gallery ablutions in preparation for this afternoons Private View.
I listened to all the familiar comments about 'you've missed a bit' and 'you can do mine when you are finished'. These comedians are genuinely wasted in Swanage. Or are they?
I am of the opinion that being pushy does not make you friends. What do you think?
It is not an attractive trait and nice people do get much further in life generally. I am going to remind pushy people of that whenever I get the chance.
I hope that if you are in town that you will pop in and see this show as it really has such wide price margin that there really is something for everybody and it is all quality.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Putting A Dampener On Things!

Why do Police make me feel guilty? I don't know if it is an innate reaction that I have no control over but every time I see them I start thinking are they looking at me? They may well be but I don't like it. The Swanage rumour mill is rife about exactly why there are so many police in town. I'm not going to speculate but I will say this, in a small town a huge police presence is really obvious.
The good news is that I managed to make my misbehaving computer behave. I had to Google it but found that it was a common problem that was resolved in a few easy steps.
This weather is just miserable and it is keeping people away in droves. Come on we are now officially out of April can we please leave those dull April showers in the past now? Please?
I may have to shut my open door as it is not that warm.
I hate having to do that because people rarely walk through it when they see it closed, even with the open sign on the door.
It is important that you pay attention, there is a new show on at the gallery and it is very good. I am biased as it is printmaking and as a printmaker I was always going to love this exhibition.
The private view is this coming Saturday from 4.00 - 7.00 so please feel free to pop in and have a look.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Inka Little Fingers!

Little pictures are not the most fun to hang! Fact! I spent far longer than I imagined putting up the current exhibition. It is fantastic but there are lots of little prints. The problem with that is I can't use my hanging system. I have to pin them all to the wall. Which means lots of nice little holes to fill before Sheila Girlings' show. It's a good job I have a couple of days grace between the two as there will be quite a lot of work to do to get the walls looking lovely again.
The sun is out and I am still managing to feel freezing it is an innate skill that I have managed to perfect.
Today is being sluggish. It is dragging its heels and not passing nearly as quickly as I want it to.
I have been busying myself with various chores but the time is just not passing quick enough.
I will have to work harder and then I won't even notice.
The new exhibition is up and open and it full of some really good printmaking. The Private View is on Saturday please feel free to drop in and see it for yourself.
Lots of very affordable art of a high standard in this show, but don't just take my word for it come and see for yourself.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

I'm Open

Imagine my horror when my computer starting speaking to me. No really can you imagine it ? Everything I moved my mouse over was vocalized by a guy called Jack apparently. I have no idea how I managed to get it to do that. It obviously took me much longer to get rid of it. I also managed to turn on some kind of sound effect that made every action on the screen make a noise. I have skills they're multiplying.
On a more serious note I am wondering whether my computer has noticed that I have been looking at new computers. My iMac is now about ten years old and is running on all the old systems. But I need to sell many more pictures before I can realistically upgrade to a new one.
I opened late last night and I am not sure that it was entirely worth it. I think that most people switched the heating on and then sat in front of the goggle box. Last night was much like a winters eve.
I did however meet some very nice people so that is always a bonus.
New show starts tomorrow and it is my first exclusively printmaking exhibition. I am excited about getting it put up.
I have just noticed  that my computer is now putting a black box around everything.
This really  could be the beginning of the end.
Have a great Bank Holiday Monday!

Saturday, 5 May 2012

From A Great Height

I've told you before about the fact that I frequently sign emails Shaton by mistake obviously but it does always make me smile. There are few frequent spell check faux pas that are worthy of a chuckle.
My favourite is Word will not recognize Purbeck it would rather write 'pubic' which makes for uncomfortable reading when you are writing about the Pubic Arts Weeks.
Yesterday I was uninspired therefore there was no blog. I know that people like to read daily what I have been up to but trust me there are days that it really isn't that interesting.
I went to the opening of the Gallery at 41 in Corfe. It is compact and very tastefully  put together and filled with beautiful art work from local artists. My personal favourite were three small semi abstract landscapes by Judy Tate. I liked them so much that I had to email her this morning to tell her so.
If you are into more traditional art then you should definitely make a point of visiting the gallery next time that you are in Corfe.
This town is a dust bowl this afternoon. That might largely due to the fact that is blooming freezing. I walked to work today and I thought that I would wear the same jacket as I have been all week. That was my first mistake. Oh well, at least it is not snowing.
I will be open until 7.00 tonight if you fancy popping in.
Opening Sunday and Monday 12.00 ~ 4.00. See you then if you haven't gone back into hibernation by then.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Rain, Rain Go Away!

There is quiet and then there is quiet and then there is Swanage on a rainy day. It is one of those days that never quite achieves brightness. I can't tell what time of day it is. Well I have had a fair few window smudgers but they will not cross the threshold.
Did my class with the two kids that I teach once a fortnight we had fun experimenting with painting and paint techniques. A right messy business though.
I have had all the work delivered for the next exhibition and I have to say there is some really great stuff. A good combination of figurative and abstract.
There is a lot of it so that will make it an interesting show to hang.
I know I have mentioned it before but the gallery will be opening late on Saturday from 5.00 - 7.00. If you fancy popping in on your way to the pub then you should.
I have been buying provisions for the gallery and I hope that there will be plenty of opportunities for you to see them put to good use through out the gallery and my work.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Sunshine and No Showers

Well I have had some feedback about the questions raised in yesterdays blog and it would seem that many of you agree. The title is secondary. What can we debate today? I'm not sure that I need to think about anything in that much depth today.
I have had many people in the gallery today and they all wanted to have a conversation with me which has meant that I am a little late in getting down to the work that I need to do.
It is always nice to spend the day talking about art though.
I have been continuing to develop this new body of work I keep going on about and I am really happy with the way things are going.
It is nice having something to work towards. I'm not entirely sure when I will exhibit it but rest assured you'll be amongst the first to know. Be prepared for it to be quite unlike anything I have done before.
Keeping it short today as I really do have to get on and get things done.
We are entering the last few days of the Spring Exhibition and it would be good to see a few more faces through the door.