Lots of new things to show and I can't believe that I haven't been displaying them here,
but I have come to understand that I don't enjoy writing and showing things when I feel down.
Unfortunately there has been one prolonged ongoing incident that has been really annoying me and I find it amazing that one bad feeling undermines all of the good things that happen.
But such is life.
I won't mention the subject of of my recent cause for disappointment at the moment as it would detract from what I will write about, and that is not fair for others.
But I will just say the problem was caused by bureaucracy and small minded
Because of the long lapse I am really behind in talking about current and future events,
one of which is almost upon us.
Anyone who has read things that I have written before will know that we always have on
display some of the original paintings by the Artist, Author, Illustrator
Next week sees the publication of her 28th book [well I think it's 28].
She not only writes and illustrates her own award winning books but also produces the covers of books for many famous authors.
In fact it was only after we started showing her art that I realised that much of it I was familiar with without ever having known that she was the creator.
In fact anyone who has been into a bookshop in the past ten years will probably recognise her art as it is featured on the covers of so many "best selling" books.
So next Saturday we are going to do something that we have never done before,
we are holding a book launch.
Well actually it's not just a book launch it is also an exhibition.
Jackie's new book is an illustrated collection of children's nursery rhymes, so it was decided
[probably by me]
that we would hold an exhibition based upon the theme of "Nursery Rhymes"
to accompany the launch and book signing.
Well that will be something different again because Jackie being the unusual person that she is
doesn't "just" sign her books, she always draws a unique sketch in the front of each book
which makes each unique and collectible in its own way.
So it's Jackie, signing and drawing plus a very unusual exhibition.
I admit that this event is bringing more than its fair share of stress
[referred to at start of post]
and is going to be "close to the wire", as I kept thinking of different people that I would like to participate, as a result there have been lots of late calls made and there is still work being
created by different people.
I know it will all come together at the last minute but at the moment the next week looks like it will disappear in a flurry of trips around the country.
In fact while I am writing this I have just thought of another sculptor who I think would
be interested, but of course it's far too late to contact her, isn't it.
No, yes, no, "oh, don't be stupid John of course it is".
Right that does it, as soon as I have finished this I will call her, after all she must know by now that I'm mad, and would expect nothing less.
Mad and excited by beautiful things, that's me.
The new book by Jackie Morris is titled 'The Cat and the Fiddle' but this was a last minute change by the editor as for a long time the book was to be named
'A Rhyme in Time'.
Indeed Jackie had painted the front cover and it was this that became the inspiration
for the exhibition.
The cover was to show her painting of a "magical clock", a clock depicting many famous characters, animals and creatures from nursery rhymes.
I fell in love with the painting of the clock as soon as Jackie sent me an image.
"If only it was a real clock", were my thoughts.
Now it is.
An old friend from childhood who is now an incredibly talented jeweller was persuaded to create the clock as a real working timepiece.
I know that Jon understood exactly the amount of work that he was committing to, but for some reason he agreed to "have a go".
Have a go, in Jon's language means "you will get the best clock you can imagine",
and we have done.
In fact it became a collaboration with his artist/sculptor wife Jan, as it was she that undertook to paint the brass figures to replicate the original painting.
Of course the book editor decided to disrupt all of our plans and two weeks before the book
went off to the printers "she" fell in love with another painting and decided that this would be the cover, and guess what?
The title didn't fit the painting so she changed that also.
So the clock painting became the "end plates" for the publication.
I admit that it was a long time before I had the courage to call Jonathan and tell him the news.
Still why should he mind? He had only been working on the clock for two months.
It says a lot for his nature that he took it in his stride, there were no ego problems here.
He continued working on it and finally with the additions of Jan's painting it was finished.
The painting brought to life.
A real working clock, created from copper, brass, silver and gold and including precious stones.
It is now in a case hanging in the gallery and it looks beautiful.
Next week the original painting will hang alongside Jon's creation,
I would love to think that they will find a joint home, they deserve and should stay together.
In memory of the original title and as a dedication to Jonathan's countless hours of work
our exhibition is called "A Rhyme in Time".
As well as many unusual pieces of art there will be other clocks on show,
but none that took as long in the creation as this.
The pictures above show the invitation cover depicting Jackie's inspiring painting.
The clock in the "early" [six weeks] stages.
The back cover showing the clock before being secured in a case.
The inside of the invitation showing various works by different artist's including the one that
has been the cause of my recent upset.
But I will tell you more of that as the artist really deserves
recognition for the effort that she took to be involved in this exhibition.
If anyone wants to order a signed book with unique illustration let me know as we will only
have a limited number and we are expecting a lot of Jackie fans at the opening.