Welcome to the Gallery

Imagine is set in the Suffolk village of Long Melford.
This is an attempt to record the daily trials, tribulation and pleasure of running an art gallery.

Thursday, 29 April 2010

It has been so long since my last entry I almost forgot how to log in.
There have been a number of reasons for leaving it so long, in fact too many to remember,
 but I do recall one of the reasons was that I started to question the wisdom of a gallery owner blogging. After all blogs are for artists not galleries, galleries have web-sites.
I have always disliked the blogs that blatantly shout "look at me, I'm a star I am" so I had resolved that I would try not to go down that road, in fact I wanted to do what blogging was intended for.
Keeping a journal and record of events, and that I have enjoyed.
But as a gallery owner I have realized that talking about events and people can be a silly thing.
We live in an Internet age, and we all know that it is cheaper going direct. Don't we?
So I suppose that I shouldn't have been surprised when some artists started asking for certain
pieces back as they "have managed to find a private buyer".
Odd that it was always pieces that I had shown and talked about.
Even stranger, a gallery owner started approaching the artist's that we stock telling them that she was a friend of mine and that I had recommended that she should approach them.
She was believed because she was able to talk about me and the gallery.
Of course,
I have never heard of her or her gallery, so how stupid am I?
Mum always told me I talk too much.

Of course as with everything in life there are always exceptions, exceptions and nice people.
One example being when one of my favourite artists was approached for a private sale of a piece of work that we held.
She told the would be buyer that the picture was only available
from Imagine Gallery.
" I know what she was up to, she was hoping to cut out 'the middle man', but it just so happens that I like my middle man". The artist told me.
How nice and generous was that?
Everything works both ways and that sort of loyalty is repaid in kind.
People like that artist are 'championed in the gallery, if there are any disrespectful comments about their work then the public are directed towards the door, usually in a not too polite manner. Sometimes it's nice to be rude, and I just feel "how dare they" be disrespectful about the work of these incredible people.
I suppose I have let these thoughts play on my mind too much, after all the great majority of people are full of nothing but praise about the work we show.
As an example, recently a lady came to the desk to thank me for showing such beautiful things,
" if it wasn't for you we wouldn't know these things existed".
Those few words sum up everything that I want to do: 
To show beautiful art that is rarely seen, from around the world, so that people can enjoy and marvel at it as I do.
Hey! If they buy one now and again that's not bad either.

So just how have I let a few negative things change my perception of things. " I dunno", but recently I have given a lot of thought about what 'enlightened' people consider art.
One things for sure they won't find it in my gallery as I intend to carry on showing work
that moves the heart [well at least my heart] regardless of how regarded or not the artist is.

If you own or work for another gallery "please look away now" or at least follow your heart
not mine, likewise if you want to puchase art 'on the cheap'.
"Well that's made me feel better", even if it only makes sense to a few individuals.

So where was I?
ALICE? Bin there done [doing] that.
Things are moving on at a pace, part of my mind is occupied with our next exhibition
Jim Malone 2010 Exhibition.
Where we will be showing the ceramics of one of the worlds greatest and most famous potters.
This exhibition has now gathered a momentum of its own, my article [6 pages ] about it has been published and is out there "on the street".
In regards of promoting this exhibition I can do no more, so I can rest in the knowledge that
however it works out I did everything that "I" could.
Mind you, I still have the invitation to produce, six pages with an insert.

What has been occupying my thoughts more is the exhibition that follows that, even though it's
not until July different things have to be set in motion now.
So my work [good thing I haven't got a real job] this week has been to produce a page advertisement for the magazine 'Ceramic Review'.
This has to be good, but a lot of it is out of my hands as I am dependant upon the pictures that I am sent by the artists.
The exhibition is titled 'SCULPTOR' and we will be showing ceramic sculptures by some of the worlds leading artists.
I would hate to favour one over another but really it is to be a showcase of two great talents.
All the artists involved have been sending me images and I have felt a little like
'The Three Bears'.
Too small, too large, and nothing just right.
So after producing 16 different versions of the advertisement I will show you the one I think
[only think] I will use.
I will have to sleep on it plus put it to the family committee before I am certain but in all its glory here it is.
Below it are images that I nearly [still might] use.
Feedback would be appreciated, I will of course ignore it but, it would be appreciated.


  1. I like ALL the images... love the bold contrast of the invitation and love the exuberant gesture of the image you chose. I also really love the second image, the partial head.... serene and earthy. Sooo, my opinion is that they all would work really well! How's that for no commitment?

    And, on another note, I am an artist in the US... how I would love to have the kind of dealer you seem to be... I just don;t feel that close to mine, though I surely would give them a cut when folks find me through their efforts, integrity is important to me. But art as a commodity is necessary and complicated, just so. I'm glad for your blog, its lovely to see the variety of work you have and to feel your BIG heart and how you appreciate your artists! Thanks!

  2. Quite frankly, I drool over this blog. It is such a treat to see such soulful, beautiful art that I would otherwise never see.

    When I finally get to England, I will be stopping by. :)

  3. Thank you both for your kind comments.
    It feels strange to sit typing out your thoughts to no one, and then to find that there is someone reading what you have written, and then to learn that they live in another country, amazing.
    It would be nice to one day meet, so start saving Ms. S

    On another note I am scrapping the advertisement and starting again, this morning it looked wrong, plus also a little rude not to be using the first names of the different sculptors.
    I tend to think that "less is more" but in this case I think less was too little.
    In about 7 hours from now I may have a new version to show.
    I hope so.

  4. Be looking out for me as well... I have one or two places already listed on my "stop by" list for my someday (and hopefully soon) visit to the UK...!


  5. Valerianna.
    I have checked your blog and I am totaly intrigued.
    "I like this" were my thoughts.
    It would be lovely to meet you one day.
    For me even better if it was at your workplace. It looks so romantic.

  6. I love being able to have a wander around the gallery from my studio in Wales John. It is difficult being an artist. People will quite often approach an artist, even at a private view, and ask if they can buy dirrectly from the artist. "We don't buy from galleries" they say. Well, fine. My prices are the same with a gallery as they are at home. I don't see people at home, don't have my own gallery, other than the one on facebook. I paint, write, draw, walk, take photos. I don't want to sell, although sometimes it is good to meet buyers. I do understand what people mean sometimes as some galleries just take the piss, if you pardon me saying so. Massive percentages and they take moths to pay the artist. I no longer have to deal with these kind of parasitic establishments.
    I don't think of you as being a middleman. Maybe more of a catalyst. I find myself sometimes doing a piece of work because I know you will like it. And I feel very proud to be shown with the work you have in your gallery.
    And, I like reading your blog.
    Pick up some more paintings when you come up in June.

  7. Thanks for visiting me at RavenWood. And, you are welcome to come visit in the physical anytime! Though first let me actually get back into the studio and clean up! After a month of writing a grant and finishing teaching for the semester, I feel a bit of a stranger to my artwork. With a studio that does triple duty- garage, tool shed, and general storage (guess thats 4 things) it can get messy pretty quick!

    Curious what the final invitation looks like... I'm sure you'll show us soon.....