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.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

What to write about?
Each day that passes I feel the need and desire to write something, but what can I write?
I want it to have at least a little interest, but on a daily basis not enough happens that I think
would interest anyone, so I tend to let things slide for "another" day.
There is a blog that I read everyday by a dynamic lady named Tracey Broome
who lives in America.
I delight in what she writes, records and rants about, such an honest, open woman.
If only I had the nerve to record events as she does.
Still I suppose that telling the world that one artist or the other is on a big "ego trip" is not really a good thing to write.
At the same time I have to subscribe to the British lie that everything is great.
"Recession, what recession"?
According to some English artist's we should have more of them, as they have
"never had it so good".
Fantastic artists or fantastic liars? Hhhhhmmmmmmm.

Without a doubt some of the very best artists are doing really well as their work is
perceived as an investment in these troubled times.

Hang on!
What troubled times?

It is so very refreshing to read blogs and receive mails from people
and galleries from around the World
who actually have the courage to admit:
"some shows are shit, all people want to purchase is a beer and burger".
It is having contact like this that makes me smile.
My vote is going to Tracey Broome for president of the USA,
not only for her courage to "tell it like it is" but also for the amount of work that she does and the beautiful unusual "folk art" that she produces.

So what can I write that would be as interesting and honest as someone like her?
Not a lot, other than the usual self promotion that we all get a little bored with.

Well, I could have written pages about our present gallery location and offers of other premises, but a lot of that is too sensitive and would involve a lot of swearing, and I do enough
of that each day without putting it onto paper [screen].
So I come back to my dilemma of what I can write about.
Things like, "I sold that, I didn't sell this but there is a lot of interest in that painting"
it doesn't make really good reading.
But these are the daily events and it wouldn't interest me to read it, but maybe I am wrong
and these are the interesting things, because I suppose thinking about it seriously,
my life isn't ordinary.

So for better or worse here is today's offering.
One of the things that gives me great pleasure and much cause for excitement is to often wonder "whose art will I be showing this time next year"?
What a thought.
I know that there are so many fantastic artists out there who have been producing amazing work for many, many years, yet I do not even know of their existence.
But next year I might be exhibiting their art and we might even be friends.
What an incredible thought.

It has made me think about where does our gallery art come from
and how did it all come to fruition?
So here are a few examples.

An artist that I have mentioned before, "Kate Leiper", has been someone that I have chased after for years. Unfortunately so have many, many others, and as a result her work is in great demand and the chances of us getting anything here were very slim.
But, I can be an very persistent, [others would say rude] so I never gave up with her.
How could I, as I love her paintings so much?
Eventually she conceded to my many requests and we now have her work on the walls.
It is impossible to describe the pleasure that this gives me, it is something that I once thought would never happen but it has.
Her paintings "in the flesh" are even more beautiful than I imagined,
what a thrill, they are here and we are selling them so who knows where it might lead?
That is fun to dream about.

Earlier in the summer I visited a wonderful art fair. It was a three day event but I had to visit
the day before the opening to return some paintings to an exhibiting artist.
In a way this was like a very "private view" as I was able to look at so much varied work by so many artists without being hampered by other visitors.
I found one artist whose work was so very different, unusual and beautiful.
Carole Bury
I would "just have to have [I told Irene on the mobile] her best piece in the gallery".
I wanted it so much it hurt but I also knew that it was a waste of time to ask for it as the woman had three days of exhibiting in front of her".
To cut a very long story short, I showed her my heart and when the show ended I drove away
with her work in the car.
What she creates is so unusual.
It is individual paintings that are stitched between layers of transparent paper.
You have to see them to understand them.
Since the day I left with her 'masterpiece' in my car, she has sent me many others.
A kind and very talented lady.

Frequently I get chased and called by some artists who would like us to show their work.
This I find hard as I can be a little fussy plus I hate rejecting people,
I know that it is so easy to kill enthusiasm and talent, and it seems unfair
when the only criteria is my own taste and thoughts.
From experience I understand that a few negative words can cause a lot of damage.
I find it easier to be rejected than to make the decision to reject the
people who approach me, but I do it, and on a weekly basis.

So it was with one young sculptor who approached me, I felt that her ideas weren't right for me,
I liked a lot of her work very much but a question mark hung in the air.

One year later we met early in the morning, miles from both our homes and her beautiful
work was transferred from her car to mine.
What a result.
I love it, it is well conceived and crafted and each piece tells a story which for me is so important, it doesn't matter if the story that it tells is different to the one in her own mind,
it tells a story and provokes a lot of thought.
So thank you, Clare Walker
for persisting, calling and mailing me many times, you have made me feel so very fortunate to have your work on show.

Other works have arrived recently, each with a tale to tell but my day has been long and I want
to go home to a welcome of dogs.
The people at home gave up on seeing me hours ago.


  1. Loved it. That's 'exactly' the kind of things you should be writing, just going with the flow. All those fascinating artists you have contact with. We all get something from it.

    ... and I agree, Tracey for President!
    Her blog has been my hub to so many other fantastic creative individuals.

  2. I always enjoy what you write and the beautiful art you share. Your words show so well the passion you feel for the art that touches you and the respect and admiration you have for the artists who create it. I also find your honesty and openess very refreshing. So please keep writing what you feel and keep giving us a glimpse of some extraordinary art :)

  3. Wellllll, I don't really want to be president, haha! I am very flattered by your post, but you are selling yourself short. Your posts are always wonderful, enjoyable to read and I always love the artwork you feature. I have to "rant" and say what I say on my blog otherwise my head would explode, but I don't recommend it for everyone. Some days I go to my blog and think "what on Earth did I say that for"! I use my blog as my own journal mostly so I try to be honest with what's going on in my head, scary as it is some days :) But I thank you for your kind words!
    I find it so surprising that artists would turn you down. But I do understand you having to turn artists down. As long as you are kind about it, there is no harm in being fussy about what you want in your gallery. But as I have posted on my blog, I have had some gallery owners that were absolute snots. There is really no need for that!

  4. another inspiring post John full of fabulous new (to me) artist's work to explore, thank you!

  5. Thank you all for your comments.
    It is good as it reminds me that someone might actually be reading my "ramble's".

    As you say Tracey you treat your blog as a journal, which I think is what it was intended for.
    Sometimes I sit writing to myself and then I remember that someone
    might be looking over my shoulder reading my thoughts, so I have to delete the post.
    As they say [whoever "they" are] "if you can't say something nice about someone then say nothing".
    I admit at times I am not thinking something nice so I say nothing.

    The most important thing is you all seem to like the different art that I show and that has been rewarding, I can never tell what the reaction will be in the gallery as everything is chosen because it gives me pleasure and if the public that come here don't like things it bothers me, so it is nice to find that people further away like and enjoy the the work and it encourages me to search for more.
    Having said that, most of the people who come in always come over to tell me how wonderful everything looks.
    I try not to get excited [after all I created none of it], but sometimes
    nice comments can make all the difference.

    So thanks for your nice comments.