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 January 2013

Geek Artists Are Us!

Fundamental - Josh Hollingshead

It's up and looking great just one more day until you can see the new Josh Hollingshead exhibition. I have spent the day with Josh getting his exhibition hung and we both realised that we are both art nerds. We both get caught up with the minutiae of the materials that we work with and are fascinated with nature of how things behave when applied.
I only have one other friend who can get so engrossed in the details and that is the artist Mark Lloyd. He can spend days mixing the right colour for a specific part of a painting. What I should say is and is willing to admit it. That is not to say that there are not many more of us out there, because I am convinced that there are.

I am quite excited about the prospect of being open again and having the normality of regular hours. It means that I will actually work less which will be nice. I can focus on getting my own work finished for my exhibition.
It is amazing how the days just don't seem long enough even when I get up early. I miss my lie ins.

So the fellas have gone from the windows I have to say that they did a fantastic job of getting everybody talking. I hope that Robin Beuschers' exhibition causes as much of a stir as the temporary displays have.

If you live locally and fancy an evening of culture then pop along on Saturday at 6.00 and we will give you a glass of wine, some fantastic art and what more could you ask for at 6.00 in Swanage on a Saturday?

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

A Dream That Came True......Eventually

Call To Prayer
Josh Hollingshead

It is exciting to see new work in the newly pristine gallery. Josh Hollingshead has arrived and we will be hanging it tomorrow. If you didn't manage to get to see his earlier show then do come and see this one. I know that it is unusual to show the same person so quickly but I am seizing the opportunity to exhibit the work that has achieved national acclaim. I really don't think that it will be long before he is seen else where.

In other news, I might have mentioned once or twice that I have an exhibition in a months time. Well it dawned on me that whilst my current work is very well represented my retro stuff is a little thin on the ground. I have been in the attic and it wasn't there.
I managed to track it down in the most logical place, my studio at home. Carefully boxed up my whole art history. You will be able to see it in all of its glory.
I have a little story that you might find interesting.

When I was 24 I was asked to be part of a limited edition publication about Higher Education. They wrote a profile, took a picture and asked me questions. It was to encourage students from diverse backgrounds to consider degrees etc. I found it in the loft, now it all should make sense.
Anyway, this is what I said 'I plan to set up a printmaking and papermaking studio in Northampton and continue to produce my work. I am also quite interested in teaching so that might be an option'.
So I said that nearly twenty years ago now. I was right about the teaching bit I did that first, but I now have the studio I'd dreamt of with a gallery thrown in for good measure. The bit that concerns me most is that I thought I'd do it all in Northampton! Never! I moved down south aged 25.

I am off to see a local bookbinder tomorrow, I am hoping that he can bind the book that I have been meaning to bind myself for a year or so.
I also have had a few more ideas that he could help me with, because I have all the money in the world obviously.

Monday, 28 January 2013

Not Into the Internet...Outernot....That Works







Today I will be tweaking, fiddling and checking both websites. There are so many ways to get yourself noticed online and they all require more work than I have the patience to deal with.
I may well say that but the truth is that I am going to do it anyway. It is just that having spent so many days on the website now it's Facebook, Twitter, not to mention the 1001 online directories. I know that it will all be worth it in the end but in the here and now it is tedium personified if that is possible? Do not think it is.

There are some really good artists lined up for this year and I hope that you will get the opportunity to see some of their exhibitions.
It is so important for everybody to come and support the various artists and their shows. It is a very scary experience putting yourself out there for everyone to see. It is like standing naked in a crowded room. Everybody will have something to say about it, some good, some bad and some general indifference. But something to say nevertheless.

I came across some pictures of the gallery before it was finished today and I thought in light of it being three years since I opened. It might be quite nice to have a look at them. It has certainly come a long way.
See what you think.


Friday, 25 January 2013

Three Years Ago I Opened The Gallery!


I have officially entered my third year of trading. Congratulations to me!

In many ways I cannot believe that I actually am writing this blog because I have had more than enough of being in front  of a computer for one life time.
My computer and Internet were behaving like a narcoleptic on sleeping tablets. If I see that spinning rainbow circle once more today I may well have a seizure.
Just because life is like this, the minute that I closed every thing down and thought let me just have a peek at Facebook...everything worked perfectly and quickly. Like a dream in fact, as opposed to the hellish nightmare that has been my day.

Enough whinging for now as there is other news. Yesterday I told you about my window displays and the fact that they are causing a stir. Well today I had to do my cleaning up chores outside. My smeary windows and pavement sweeping. Obviously, I am generally hidden out back swearing at my computer. Today gave members of the public a chance to tell me what they think. People were honking their horns to get my attention and giving me thumbs up. Some people said it was the edgiest art they had ever seen in Swanage. People eagerly anticipate seeing more of it. I think it is a resounding success, it has got people looking, talking and thinking. Isn't that what art should do? I think so, even the less positive comments mean that it has worked. It provoked a response that is good enough for me.

If you feel like taking a look at the new website it is more or less finished. I have just got organise the booking page. It is a mine field because it involves dates and money. Both of those things involve numbers, which = maths, which = my achilles heel! I anticipate that it will be up and running early next week.


I hope that you have a good weekend.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Local Press Taking Pictures @ The Gallery!


You know when something is doing its job when the local press turn up to photograph it. Apparently the Purbeck Gazette has had some emails about it. What am I talking about? The two new sculptures in my windows at the gallery.
They aren't even that controversial but it has got people talking. You've seen Red Tape Man before as I have used him in my blog and he is also on the gallery Facebook page. I think it is the bondage aspect that people are subconsciously bringing to it. If they started to actually think a little harder they would realise that they actually agree with the whole concept. Are we not slaves to bureaucracy? Bound by pointless rules and regulations? I think you will find the answer is yes. Let us not get started about form filling.

So keep an eye out because clothed mannequins are apparently more newsworthy than the naked ones that regularly appear in shop front windows. Long live 'Contemptuous Art'!

In other news I have published my website for the studio as I still have a bit more work to do I am not going to give you the link today but maybe tomorrow. I am very over it, I really cannot stand looking at it anymore. But this is just one of the glorious perks of owning your own business and not paying other people to do the work.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Website Eyes Are Us!

Well, I have spent the entire day fiddling with my website! It really is hard to keep motivated but I have uploaded all the images that Shirley and I took yesterday. She did a great job and they were ready for me to use first thing this morning. If you need anyone to do that kind of thing for you then I cannot recommend her highly enough.

The picture for today is of my new improved studio, it is light, bright and spacious. It is amazing what you can do when you reinvent a space. I have thrown away a lot too though. The pictures on the wall belong to Stephen Bishop. You should come and see them and me too. They are bold, vibrant and fantastically textured paintings that really do need to be seen in the flesh to be fully appreciated.

I am doing my first bit of teaching for 2013 tomorrow, I have no idea what I am going to do with them. Before you think I am being remiss they are regulars and I think that drawing is the way forward. Get those creative juices flowing.
I better stop writing this and get some kind of planning done for that then!

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Checkout My Windows!

A little sexist I know but it's the sentiment that I am connecting with. I really like to think that this is how it is.
A very productive day for me. The many unfinished things that I regaled you with yesterday are now complete. Phew! That did mean putting in some serious hours. 

I don't know how I managed to no mention the fact that I spent the afternoon with the extremely talented artist Debbie Lee. I was supposed to help her select work for her exhibition. I may have actually failed.
There is nothing more inspirational than going through an artists work alongside them. It can really transport to another place. Especially when the work you are looking at is based heavily on fairy tales and children's art.
I love it and I hope that you will too.

Debbie Lee
To say I had a really good afternoon would be an understatement. I am so accustomed to working on my own that it is a breath of fresh air to get someone else's input. I had Shirley come and give me a hand staging some photographs for my website. We had a good laugh and I am hoping that we got some really good pictures of the studio and of the processes that I teach.
The website is very nearly done so there is not much to do only the most important thing which is the booking and paying page. It's the most difficult and as I am a true procrastinator I have left it until last.

Working from home tomorrow and I bet you cannot guess what I will be doing?

Robin Beusche'rs sculptures are now installed at the gallery so please check out my windows!

Monday, 21 January 2013

Some Really Good Things Happening In 2013

My Favourite Painting in The Tate

So much has happened since I last wrote my blog that I can't actually remember it all. Here are the edited/remembered highlights.

  • Studio is finished
  • Gallery is very nearly finished
  • Windows are clean
  • Office is finished
  • Website very nearly finished
  • My own website (nowhere near finished)
  • Stuff for my own exhibition (nowhere near finished)
  • Stuff for Josh Hollingsheads exhibition finished
  • Cultural Fix - @ Tate Modern finished
  • Dead Stuff Fix - @ Natural History Museum finished
  • List of things to do (nowhere near finished)
  • Updating my diary kinda finished
  • Sculptures in the windows at the gallery not finished
There you have most of it but there are a few things that are not so easily categorised. I got a lovely letter this morning from Sheila Girling and she informed me that Tony will put a piece in for my drawing exhibition. How good is that?

Josh Hollingshead has had some great free publicity which in turn means great publicity for the gallery. Click on the link to see it for yourself.

I have said it before and I'll say it again people are starting to notice Mr Hollingshead and he is destined for great things.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Same Mistake Twice!

Just one more bit of painting and the gallery refurb is done! I don't know if you remember but last year I told you about painting the studio floor and forgetting something in the office so I had to walk across the wet paint in my socks?
Well, this time I was determined not to make the same mistake twice so I took everything out of the office, turned everything off and painted my way towards the gallery.
Finished it all, turned the final light off and got ready to go. I think you can tell where this is heading right?
What was the one thing that I had overlooked?
Only the keys to the gallery that were hidden under the pile of mail on my desk IN THE OFFICE.
So once again I had to walk across the the newly painted floor in my socks. However in a curious twist of events. The trainers that I had carefully left in the gallery were just too far away for me to reach. Enter socks of and paint on bare feet.
Seriously cannot wait to be able to afford to pay someone else to do all this menial work for me.

On Monday there will be something interesting in the windows for you to have a look at so keep your eyes peeled.
I have been researching websites and I have to to tell you that I may well resort to what I know.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Now Booking For 2014!

Is it wrong that I am envious of all the people who have been featured in the Advertisers '10 minutes with' section?
For those of you who aren't local to Swanage this is a column that focuses on local people who are interesting (or not) depending on who you are.
Well, this is not my ego but I think that I am quite interesting and I live and work locally. Maybe the truth is that I am a little too interesting. I like to think like that.

The work at the gallery is progressing well, I have finished all the white and I need to go and get the black tomorrow so that I can get the last bits finished.
Then I will be installing some sculptures in the windows to fill the spaces until the next exhibition.

I have two bookings to confirm for 2014 and that makes me very happy indeed to get bookings for next year in January.
If you are thinking about hiring the gallery then you need to think about possible dates and get in touch the prime slots are going to fill up fast.

You may find yourself reading my blog on another provider as I may be moving to Wordpress. I will be exploring it today and I'll get back to you.
Have a good day!

Saturday, 12 January 2013

A Whiter Shade of White

Look Closer

The last exhibition is finally down, a gallery fact coming up. It is safest to keep the work up rather than try and store it safely else where. It has slowed down the decorating process though. This is largely due to the fact the amount of dust that is created is not at all good for art. Not to mention the attractive speckling of fresh rolling. I think everyone, including me struggled with getting organised straight after the Christmas break.
I am a third of the way through the decorating, I did the worst bit first. I am going to motor on and hopefully get all of the walls finished on Monday.

As I have said before, the gallery may look closed but I am generally to be found out back tinkering with some job or another.
If you need to get hold of me then the best thing to do is just try the door if it doesn't open I am not there.

If you check out the gallery Facebook page there are regular updates of what I am up to. Big news coming very soon but in the meantime get ready for the  first exhibition of the year. Josh Hollingshead 'Revisited'. It should not be missed.

New edition of Evolver at the gallery now. Plan your cultural visits to brighten up January.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Maximising Your Own Potential in 2013

I might be ready to write this now. It is that time of year that we are reflecting on what has gone before and thinking about changes that need to be made.
For those of us who are self employed it is about maximising our earning potential. This is not as easy as it sounds. No matter how willing you are to work, if no one has anything for you to do, there is a lot of thumb twiddling and navel gazing.
This is the time for doing all those jobs that have been postponed. The ones that will put you firmly on everyones radar.
For me that means a solid programme of website designing my own and the studios but the problem is that my internet at the gallery is on a virtual go slow and uploading high res images is making the computer groan and subsequently die.
It also is the time to start all of those creative endeavours that are put on the back burner due to everything else getting in the way.
For me that means getting ready for my exhibition. Still a fair bit to do for that, I am more than half way though so that is a relief.

The fact that my neighbours have every complained about noise is crazy! If you could hear the row going on up there you would know that it should be me complaining.

Monday, 7 January 2013

Josh Hollingshead Starts Saturday 2nd February 2013

If I said 'cleaning' I am wondering if I actually need to flesh that out with any details? I'm guessing that if you are a regular reader the answer is a resounding no!

I have created a much more spacious studio for 2013. Having lived with it for two years and seen all of its shortcomings I have stripped it right back to the the bare minimum.
I want to be able to deliver bigger workshops and I think that is now possible. So if you wanted to bring some friends along and do something creative I think that I now have the space to accommodate that.

I am waiting for the rest of the Purbeck Collective to come and take their work down as the major work is in the front of house. Can't get started until the work is done as it is a long and very dusty process.

Ok, it is time to start plugging the next exhibition. I have said before that Josh is making a return visit, this is due to his very successful entries to Open Exhibitions robbing me of the work that I had selected for the first exhibition. I know it is an unusual thing to do but I am striking whilst the iron is hot. Josh is headed for bigger and better things and I want to have shown his entire body of work here first!

If you would like to come along to the Private View then please feel free to join us on Saturday 2nd February at 6.00. I have a feeling this will be a historical event, in as much as I think in the next few years it will be really difficult to see Josh's work locally. You heard it here first.

Friday, 4 January 2013

Happy 2013 May You Be Creative and Prosperous!

Fire and Ice

Happy 2013 everybody! I hope that you all had a really fantastic Christmas. I spent the holidays swimming with turtles in Egypt. They are so graceful considering their size and if ever there was animal that exuded peace they surely are fairly high on the list.

Gallery news, the Purbeck Collective Winter exhibition has ended and I would like to thank them for putting on such an interesting exhibition. It was great to have such a diverse mix in there.

I am gearing up to do the great fill, sand and repaint the walls at the gallery. Each exhibition takes it's toll and the craters that are created can only be hidden by work for so long. I have also downsized the studio so that I can run bigger classes in there. You will need to keep an eye out as I will be relaunching the studio as it's own entity in the next month. You will be able to book workshops online and pay for them. So there will be much sweating and swearing as I design yet another website.

I am in talks with a really great artist about the possibility of showing with me later on in the year. I will let you know how that pans out.

I will keep you updated about the developments at the gallery via this blog and the gallery Facebook page. Please keep reading and thank you for reading in 2012.
Picture in todays blog is one of my new drawings, hope that you like it!