"Cheetah's and Cherries", these have been the recent bane of my life.
Tomorrow, or to be precise in the middle of the night I am driving across the country to visit Jackie Morris in Wales and then back through Southern England to see Amanda Popham collecting the works for our exhibition which opens next weekend.
I am looking forward to the very long journey as it will be a total break from the gallery and it should with luck give me plenty of time during the drive to resolve many of the problems that I have running through my mind.
Not real problems, mainly problems my own mind creates.
Things like, who we shall show when in the future, what would be the best title for a Christmas exhibition, who should I invite to exhibit, what kind of lighting and displays should I build for the new gallery, who haven't I written to, etc, etc, etc?
Not very real problems in the scheme of things but still thoughts that take up too much of my time on a daily basis, as a result I get less done as I am distracted.
One of this weeks big distractions is answering the telephone just to hear someone asking about "the Cheetah Cherry" paintings.
As you might recall the cover of the latest invitation shows a painting of a bowl,
curled up in the bowl are a pair of Cheetah's. The sort of thing you see every day really, in fact it was only last night when I arrived home that Irene asked
"could you eat the last of the Cheetah's they're going stale".
They originated from the mind imagination, plus slip of the tongue of Jackie Morris.
In a recent conversation she explained that she couldn't talk longer because
she wanted to get home to paint a Bowl of Cheetah's and a Cherry.
"Are you sure about that" she was asked?
[Of course she had meant a painting of a bowl of Cherries and another of a Cheetah].
But pausing for a moment after being questioned she replied.
"Yeah, I'm sure".
So started the Cheetah and Cherry paintings.
After seeing the original I knew that it had to be the invitation cover.
Then that was followed by 'Cheetah with Bowl of Cherries'.
Wow! Fantastic this is what I want, were my thoughts.
Then came 'One Cheetah One Cherry', followed closely by 'One Cheetah Two Cherries'.
So it went on.
I am not sure at the moment how many Cheetah's with how many Cherries we have got up to.
The amazing thing is that even though they are not even here on the walls they are selling
faster than the woman can paint them. She has been desperately trying to have at least have one unsold on the wall before the exhibition opens.
But, I suppose the early bird catches the worm, or in this case cherry.
As a gallery owner of course this is fantastic but both Jackie and I would like at least one to be left for the first person through the door.
If there isn't, don't worry there is at least one "secret" painting being held back for the Christmas exhibition.
Blimey! This takes me back to worrying about who we will show in December.
The good news is Jackie is moving on to Lions.
I am looking forward to getting back here next Tuesday so that I can start photographing everything and getting pictures on the web site and in the catalogue.
In particular I really am looking forward to [in a perverse way] photographing Amanda's work.
I say perverse because I have no idea what it is like but I know I will want to own it all.
That's when frustration and finances step in.
All of the above aside
I had a really enjoyable 15-20 minutes last night.
I had just collected some new pictures from our framer and couldn't wait to hang them.
Having positioned them on the walls and in the window I stood back to look at everything,
then slowly walked around the shop, looking at and caressing objects as I went.
It amazed me how many beautiful things that we have.
I know that I always go on about our art and how brilliant it all is, but yesterday evening I really felt this to be true.
I thought to myself "if this moment never comes again, I know now that we have achieved something very special here".
Now, this month, this year, in this time.
So a really heartfelt thank you to all the amazing people who have created these things that
enabled me to have that experience.
Let's hope that it works for us all in the future.
So above we have a collection of 'Cherries, Cheetah's or Cheetahs and Cherries'.
I have lost account of what is what.
I just can't wait for the Lions.