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, 30 May 2013

The Power of 'Sharing'

Yesterday, I asked people to share a flyer for an event that takes place on Saturday and I am pleased to say that they really helped me out. Nearly 800 people have seen then event advertised on the gallery FB page.
I would like to get all the artists and galleries involved. Imagine how many people we could reach if we all shared each others events. I consider this a work in progress. Feel free to help out when you can.
It can only help improve attendance and awareness of what is going on both locally and nationally. Let's face it the arts need all the help they can get. Wouldn't it be nice to know that just by pressing 'share' you could help out?

I think that I may have given the impression that I am going to stop blogging. I am not! Admittedly, it has been a bit patchy of late but that's due to being busy and sometimes just not having anything to say.
I actually really enjoy writing my blog and what is better, is that I have got a perfect record of events and happenings since before the gallery even opened.

I do look back sometimes and read what I wrote and there are some very funny observations. But I also will readily admit that I have reigned myself in a bit since the early days. I was quite free and easy with my content until I realised that people were actually reading it. Then my internal censor was put on red alert.

Time for a question as well as an answer. Do you think that you should visibly date your work? Obviously, this aimed at artists. I am conflicted about this because, I have a very good idea of when I produced what. It would inform potential buyers of when it was made. Do dates increase the value of work? I kind of know that there is a point to it, but I have to say that I don't do it. I should also note  that it is quite easy to tell the difference between my old work and my new work.
Of late especially as many of my new pieces are embossed I don't even sign them. I do on the back of the frame.

What are your thoughts?

Plenty of visitors to the Brian Rice exhibition, which is good but I am yet to be rewarded by any deep pocketed, long armed people. That's my cryptic message. It is a really good show spanning several decades. Original prints start at £100 and go up considerably, but definitely something for everyone.

Another great art event to get involved with , I will be there myself on Saturday.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Like The Gallery on Facebook!

I have no missive to deliver today, but I do have a few bits of fairly interesting information. If you don't already, can you 'like' the gallery Facebook page. I tell you why you should do this, in the absence of a blog I will always update that daily and provide you with any current information. It is the best way to keep up with the day to day gallery news.


I don't think that I can make it in any easier for you than this. I have some special offers coming up soon that you can get involved with but they will only be offered from my Facebook page.

What's next, the gallery has now become a designated venue for 'State' the Art/Photography magazine. I have just read it and I have to say for a free publication it is really, really good. Next time you are in town pop in and pick up your free copy. I would say it is like the Sunday paper for artists.

I told you a while ago that the gallery website page has been updated. It now features pictures from each of the current exhibitions to give you a taste of what is on show. I have handed that responsibility over to Shirley and she is excelling at it. Given you a link so that you can check it out for yourself.


Lastly, I am at your disposal for any creative kick starts that you might need. I am just itching to get teaching again. I only have one class booked in for next week. Come on and keep me busy.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

When Is A Print Not A Print?

After the sunny day yesterday we are back to the gloomth and the grey today. Oh well, it should encourage us all to make hay whilst the sun shines.

Lot's of great feedback about the current exhibition, people are really pleased to see someone of Brians' calibre taking part in Purbeck Arts Weeks.
It is really important that people get to see a broad spectrum of art during this fortnight. I hope that it is both aspirational and inspirational.

Yesterday it was framing, today is printing and printmaking. This has become a minefield for many an unsuspecting purchaser of art.
I am a fine art printmaker and produce original prints in fairly small editions.

A set of identical prints made from the same plate. Often a number of other prints – artist’s proofs, printer’s proofs, bon à tirer, andhors commerce (“not for trade”) prints – are made at the same time but are not considered to be part of the numbered edition. Each print in a limited edition is usually numbered in the lower left-hand margin. The form of this inscription is as follows: number in the edition/size of the edition (i.e. 15/50). To guarantee a limited edition, the artist or printer can “strike” the plate by incising an X on the printing face after completion.

There you have the correct technical definition of an edition. It is this very clarification that seems to be causing the problem. Now in virtually every gallery you can see giclee* prints that use the same editioning that was once solely used for fine art print. I have had some very upset people who have spent real money on a giclee print thinking that they had bought an original print. A limited edition of 500 is not really that limited or original and that's the problem. Ever the optimist I think that if the print is signed it may hold it's value. Definitely worth checking that something has been hand signed as opposed to a signature programme.


(zhee-clay) n. 1. a type of digital fine-art print. 2. Most often associated with reproductions; a giclée is a multiple print or exact copy of an original work of art that was created by conventional means (painting, drawing, etc.) and then reproduced digitally, typically via inkjet printing.

It is up to people who sell prints to ensure that people know what they are buying. It is a necessary evil that technology is allowing more people to access art via high quality reproductions but for the artists who are still trying to make a living from selling original works this will have some impact not particularly postively.

Monday, 27 May 2013

You've Been Framed!

Had a very nice PV on Saturday and I will be thinking very long and hard about how to rename them. I don't think that they should be Private, quite the opposite really. I think I might call them 'Opening Night' events. What do you think?

If I don't mention the weather you will all think something is wrong. The truth is that I am more than a little envious of the people who are out enjoying the sun. I am still sat with a heater and thermals on inside the gallery. Rubbish but true. Enough said.

It has been suggested to me that as an artist/educator/gallery owner I could impart some useful info via my blog that could help fellow artists out. So over the coming weeks I will be sharing my knowledge and I hope that it is of interest to you.

Today I am going to tackle framing. First things first it is expensive, if you use a framer. The key is to plan enough in advance.

  • If you complete a piece that you know that you will want to share with the world, get it framed. Spread the cost by drip feeding your framer your work.
  • If you intend to frame an entire body of work, consider the overall appearance of the work. Uniformity of framing can really add something to the feel of the work. This also applies to mounts.
  • Shop bought frames can be fine on small scale pieces, but they are not great when hung using certain gallery hanging systems as they will pull apart under their own weight. A tip to buying shop bought frames, look at the mitred joins. If they are tight and neat that is a good start. Look at the width of the frame from behind. If it is too narrow, you will not be able to attach any alternative methods to hang with. Also many shop bought frames will not hang from the manufactured pre fitted hooks in a gallery. 
  • Spend as much as much as you can afford, as a gallery owner I think a poorly framed piece of work can make the difference between being offered an exhibition and not. Especially the case in 'Open' exhibitions.
  • Remember you want people to focus on the work not the frame.
  • If you have to stack your framed work, stack it glass to glass. This will not only protect the glass but your hanging hooks etc will not scratch the front of your frames.
  • Always bring your work to a gallery ready to be hung, stringing your work is your job.
  • A well made frame can last a long time, if properly looked after. Make sure when storing your frames your corners are well protected. They generally take a battering.
  • If you are taking your work to a gallery spend an hour giving all the glass a clean, and making sure that they don't look like dusty relics. Touch up (sympathetically) any superficial damage.You may also find debris has fallen into the frame if you know how to, try and get that out too. You wouldn't buy a new car with dirty carpets the same applies to a picture behind glass.
I think that's plenty of tips and guidance, I would just like to finally add that do ask the advice of your framer. They are professionals and can often suggest better solutions than you have come up with. It should be a collaborative process.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Art Is Everywhere!

The gallery is spotless and freshly painted. The windows have been cleaned inside and out, I even ventured up a ladder and cleaned my sign. It was as unpleasant as usual but it does look shiny.

The artist and his work arrives tomorrow morning and I am hoping to have it all up and labelled by the end of business tomorrow.
You know that you are more than welcome to join us at the Private View at 3.00 on Saturday. It's tea and cakes as opposed to wine and nibbles. I am just hoping that I have enough cups, I have 100+ wine glasses but not so many cups.

Brian Rice

PAW is nearly upon us hence all the preparations and plenty of opportunities to get involved. There are several events and it starts today. Unfortunately, I can't make it which is a real shame as the kids that I taught a few weeks ago are exhibiting their work that they produced with me.
It starts at 4.00 and is at Rollington Barn. If you can make it along there then please do.

It is really frustrating to not be able to visit all of the artist studios and see the many activities that happen because I am always busy with my own work.


Just incase you needed something else to fill your weekend with next week. There are so many art events, you should get out there and support your local arts and crafts scene. I hope to see you at one of these art events very soon.

I think there is an Art Fair in Boscombe this weekend. So if you live that side of the water why not go along to that?

Monday, 20 May 2013

Getting Ready for Brian Rice and PAW.

Brian Rice 
Just because I am not technically at work doesn't mean that I can't write a blog. I have been busy doing the behind the scenes stuff for the show that starts on Saturday. Sorting out the refreshments and some decorating that has been neglected.

I have spoken many times of the exhibition scars that each and every single exhibition leaves. I want everything to be absolutely perfect for the big opening on Saturday.

I have got some cakes on order and will get some fresh ones on Saturday. Please do come along if you can it should be a really good opening.

I have got some time this week and could easily squeeze in some teaching if anyone is interested?

Just a reminder that the gallery will be open 7 days a week during the Purbeck Arts Week Festival. So there will be no excuse for you to not visit this exhibition.


Check out the link and have a look at the fantastic work of Brian Rice, then you can come and see some in the flesh.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Always Something To Look Forward To

Brian Rice
25/05/13 - 09/0613

It's not just the weather that is freezing. My blog completely froze me out on Saturday. It was not going to let me write a word. So I didn't. Don't worry you didn't miss a thing. It was the quietest Saturday in quite a long time.
Strange as it wasn't particularly bad weather no worse than usual anyway.

The current exhibition is at an end so it means that I can get on when the sun come back that is, with some minor refurbishments with the outside of the gallery. My doors need repainting, the potholes mean that the amount of debris that gets kicked up onto them is ridiculous. You can imagine how much I am looking forward to that.

Look out for my advert in Evolver it shows what is next and then some. I am very excited about Brian Rice it would seem that others are too. He has quite a following, I hope that I am able to do him proud at the gallery.

Compared to Saturday the gallery has been very busy today, everyone wanting to come in and have a chat, about the work and art in general. it has definitely got people talking which is great. Many people are really glad to see something so provocative and challenging in Swanage.

I am hoping to go and join the first drawing event for the PAW Draw tomorrow if I can get away.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Packed Full Of Goodness!

Piers Rawson
It is always nice to meet the artists, well nearly always nice. Today was no exception, the photographer Piers Rawson came to have a chat about his exhibition in November. He has some truly beautiful images.

I am really selective about photography exhibitions as I am seldom moved by it. I like it well enough but there's so much mediocre stuff out there. That being said, I cannot wait to curate this exhibition. It strikes a chord with me and I am fairly certain that it will with you too.

I have finished my current bout of website tweaking. It has to be done when you are in the right head space or else the desire to smash your computer is overwhelming.

On to my next big thing, Brian Rice is my next big thing. He is my guest artist for the PAW Festival, I am very honoured to be showing his work.

Every year, I have the good fortune to work with some really great artists as part of my association with PAW. This year I have invited my own guest artist.

This will mark my third and final year of having an artist for PAW, for a while anyway. I will be hosting an exhibition for Dorset Art Weeks next year.

That was such a great segue way into my next thing that I want to share with you. I know that we all like to have something good to do in our leisure time and I have an event that I would like to share with you. I hope that you will think about attending at least one of the events, as it is important to support the local art groups as there is now very little funding available from anywhere. So to get anything happening takes so much work behind the scenes you would not believe.

So here it is, and I will be attending the event on the Saturday and I hope to see you there too.

I have somt time next week for workshops so if you would like to come and learn a new skill then you know where to find me.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

The Gallery Is Full Of Dummies!

They keep freaking me out. It looks like that people are in the gallery.

I am becoming a stranger to my own blog. Blame being too busy to write and that would be the truth. I have been pimping my website and that it very time consuming as I have very little technical knowledge and my fail safe is trial and error. Well, to be more honest there are far more errors than trials. Although as the word trial also means to be trying then it definitely is that too.

Did you manage to catch the write up about the current exhibition? It was in The Bournemouth Echo on Saturday. If you have a copy look at the Later section.

Please take a peek and let me know what you think. I am trying to make it a bit more interesting to look at. I have an idea that I will get Shirley on the case as she regularly photographs my exhibitons and I want a current show slot. I have started but now the job will hopefully be handed over.


I hope that you all managed to get out and enjoy the glorious sunshine at the weekend. I actually did manage to sit in the sun. I went camping with friends and it was hilarious, first camping trip of the year and I hope there will be many more.
I spent a good chunk of yesterday hammering at bits of slate. I was fossil hunting it was great. I found three totally intact ammonites. I like to think of these things as treasure, so I found some free treasure at Charmouth.

It has been quiet today and that is not a bad thing as it has meant that I have been busy with the gallery admin. It is a job that I love. Or I might be lying.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Can't Face(book) Tweeting and Blogging!

It's exhausting and that is all that you need to know. What is? This is! Keeping up with my various web presences. If I'm not Twittering, Facebooking and Pinteresting I'm blogging. All in the name of pushing the gallery name further up in the world of Google.

Sometimes I don't know if I'm twittering, sharing or pinning. Just imagine in the old days (by old days I only mean the 80's) I would have had to rely on word of mouth and recommendations I suppose. I probably would have been in the Yellow Pages, and the Thompson Directory. I cannot tell you how phased that makes me feel.

I could not have set this business up then, apart from the fact that not many teenagers own art galleries. I can't imagine relying on snail mail and phone calls. I think Fax machines might have been around then.

'Let your fingers do the walking' I do love a good catchphrase.

I might have an monthly 'retro' day where I only use old school technology. It's ok, I am just kidding. If  I told you that just typing that sentence made my heart beat a little faster and my palms sweaty, you would believe me right?

Contemptuous Art is just that and it is still amusing and bemusing everybody that sees it. But it is definitely getting people talking and looking.

Got another two bookings for next year, so the gallery calendar is looking nice and full already.

Just written a little article for the Bournemouth Echo so keep your eyes peeled for that and I have also got one in the Purbeck Gazette. Anyone would think I like writing or something.