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.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

It is unlike me to make another 'blog' entry so soon, even when I often promise to do so.
This one is because I felt that I needed to, sooner rather than later.

A"blogger" [I follow] recently wrote that he felt that due to the lack of comments that he received, he often felt that he was just writing for himself. I know exactly how he feels.
Another, I remember saying he wouldn't write about his life as his 'blog' was just intended to record his working life as a Potter.
A more recent post by another potter/ weaver/ sculptor/ craftperson, stated
"Bloggers are the Best".
Maybe they are, but perhaps not all of the readers.

So what has the above got to do with what I am writing?
Well, what I have recently found that you never know who is checking or reading your 'blog'.
The chances are that they are certainly not 'bloggers' as I have just found out.

In my last entry I mentioned that I had some reasons to be sad and this was the reason I had forgotten to mention our latest exhibition.
Yes, my thoughts were elsewhere because I did have a reason to be a little sad.
Irene my wife and best friend had learned that she had cancer, of course like everyone the very
mention of "that" word has scared the crap out of us.
As a family we are still a little numb with shock, but are coming to terms with it and now feeling
positive, we know it will just be time before she is back to normal.

So writing the last post my thoughts were "anywhere and everywhere" and I would have liked to talk about how it had affected me, writing would have helped.
The realisation of how much this woman means to me.
The understanding of what she has given up just so that I can live the life of my choosing,
and the support that she gives me I had never really considered,
until now.

But I had decided like the "potter" to keep my real life private, as we all need somewhere to retreat,
Somewhere that is private and special.
But like the first "blogger" I didn't understand who reads what you write.

The result?
Several "artists" assumed that the "sad" news meant that the gallery was in trouble.
[After all I write of nothing but the gallery].
And of course, being the sensitive people that we all understand they are
Some have been demanding their "art" back before we closed!
To say that this shocked and saddened me would be something of an understatement.
But reflecting upon events perhaps it is good,
as they say "every cloud....................................."
Now at least we know exactly who are genuine artist friends are.
As a result we can move on to a nicer future with good people.


We did have our opening of the new exhibition, and it was a good day,
in every respect.
It had a really large turnout of "Karen" fans and supporters, which was no surprise.
Karen, Colin her husband and their baby were here
Sales were really good
But most importantly the atmosphere was a lot of fun and we felt surrounded by friends.
Which, is of course what most of the regular customers have become.
Those that I had told of our news were "rocks" and so very genuine in their concern and support.
The good day ended with us all going home feeling happy and looking forward to the future.

So above are just a couple of Karen's incredible ceramic wildlife sculptures.
She really is clever.
I intend to get pictures of others before they have all sold, but knowing myself only too well
I will probably get "side tracked" and talk of something else.

For instance.
The three pictures at the top are the work of my latest discovery.
An incredibly talented woman, who we are exhibiting later in the year.
We "showcased" this piece at the weekend [as a tease] and the response was fantastic.
But before I talk more about her [and I really will]
I think my next post is more likely to be about an exhibition that we are holding at the end of June.
It could possibly be our biggest to date.

On a final note.
Think before you write, you may have more readers than you know of.
Not all of them genuine.


  1. You have my thoughts and best wishes, it is a democratic disease and no respecter of anyone. I wish your wife and family well and hope that you find a way to live through this well.

    I am truly sorry that people you trusted followed their assumptions and then acted crassly on them.

  2. Thank you Charlotte
    Your thoughts are really appreciated.
    We know things will be OK but it is still a shock.
    As for the others? Glad to be rid of them.

  3. John, give Irene our love and tell her we are thinking of her. I'm sure this is not an easy time for either of you. If there's anything we can do to help from this side of the ocean, let me know.
    All the best to both of you,

    1. Hello Hollis
      Now just why aren't you a bit closer? You could mind the shop for me.

      Your good wishes help as much as anything, you wouldn't believe how much better it makes you feel just thinking that there are other people that have you in their thoughts.

      Talk with you soon.

  4. Oh John & Irene my heart goes out to you there are amazing places and spaces to be found within the twists & turns of the waltz with Jimmy Dancer... on a practical note take a notebook and write everything down, the doctors will want instant permissions to go ahead with their procedures but you will need time to digest what they are saying, to discuss & weigh up the consequences of each stage along the way, sometimes just an hour or a day will help heaps... the good thing is you will get to meet some of the most amazing angels in the most unlikely places... I have taken this dance 3 times in the past 8 years & it all just makes every day we have left even more precious.

  5. Oh and I love the wild hare box and Karen's fox is brilliant! as always you show the best work!

    1. Mo
      I always look forward to your response to anything I write or show.
      This time your wise words are really appreciated, it is good to have advice when you venture down unknown paths.
      Thank you.

      By the way.
      I also like the Fox [and even more an incredible Hare that has sold],but it is the box that has me obsessed at the moment.

      I hope we get to meet and swap stories about these things one day.

  6. My love to you and your wife. My husband had a stage 4 cancer in 2001; it was terrible as he had to stop working and we had children still at home. The old saying, one day at a time will never mean more and there really are silver linings that will come. By the way, my husband is still very much with me. The comment thing is true. I get very few and it kind of stings. A blogging friend called comments heartbeats, so people should do so, I think. My best to you and yours.

    1. "one day at a time".
      These have very much been my thoughts Donna.
      Perhaps the silver lining might be that it will make me appreciate my life outside the gallery a little more.

      Your comment about your husband being "still very much with you" has made me smile. And that felt good.

      Thank you for writing, and I promise that "I will" remember to leave a comment or two in the future.
      I certainly should have about your bird.
      Our bird [an Owl] died in Irene's lap so many years ago, but the hole he left has never been filled, so we know that feeling.

  7. As you know, I love and follow your blog and I always enjoy hearing about the artists you represent. I use my iPad mostly now for blogging and it is harder to type,so I'm not as good as I should be with commenting. But I did want to take the time to tell you that I am very sorry for your news,cancer touches every one of us,it seems. My dad had cancer many years ago before there were so many more advances in treatment. Good news is you are living in a time when treatments are so much better and cures happen every day. My thoughts are with you and your family, I know what it's like to hear those words, "your dad has cancer....."
    I do think bloggers are great, I have made so many wonderful friends through my blog. My reference on the day I posted that comment pertained to several gifts I have received in the past couple of months, just random acts of kindness from bloggers. I have had a few nasty commenters, but they are not really what I consider to be a "blogger", they are just assholes, haha!

    1. Hi Tracey

      When I mentioned you in the post [you must have noticed] I gave up on trying to describe you.
      I could have added, photographer, politician, theatre designer, etc,etc, etc. The list would have gone, but I think "nice person" would have covered everything.

      Thanks for responding with your kind words, it seems odd but it makes a big difference.
      Take care.

  8. So sorry to hear that news, and I do hope things progress well. People always think the worst but I am glad the gallery is open. I will never get to be there in person but I love what you show.

    1. Thanks Penny

      That you are here in thoughts is enough [well for me], and at the moment it is the thoughts that are making a difference.

  9. best wishes and healing vibes to your wife and you from across the world! xoxoxo
    And I love reading your blog and discovering these amazing artists that you share, it's so very inspiring, but I must comment more often! being a blogger myself I completely know what you mean ;P

    1. I hope those healing vibes arrive Nadia.
      I tell myself that all will be OK, in fact I know it will but I certainly won't turn good vibes away.

      And I will comment, because it is nice to know we are not alone.

  10. Sending healing thoughts to your wife, Irene, from afar and wishing a speedy recovery. It's a tough to learn some are not genuine but good to know many others are.

  11. At least I know that you are genuine Linda.
    And your caring thoughts are good have, I'm sure the distance will not diminish them.

  12. So sad that people jumped to the wrong conclusions. But how wise of you to recognise artists are a bit precious(selfish) when it comes to what they have made, and could do with a wiser head so they can stop and think more logically. But I am equally glad it was only a few.

    I realised your 'sad news' had to be personal because you tell us about the shop. and so I have had you in thought since then.
    As you say you often have a full schedule anyway and with something extra going on I thought you wouldn't post for a while, but checked today in case.
    Will be glad to hear your dear love is improving, but only when you want to say.
    Sandy in Bracknell

  13. Dear John, Like many I have been an avid follower of your blog and always look forward to seeing the wonderful artists and artworks that you've shared with us over the years. I understand that many of us keep our private lives out of our blogging but occasionally something happens that hits us so hard that we can't keep it in.

    My thoughts and love are with you and your family and may the wonderful help that modern medicines can give work their magic....but it might also be good to look at how natural foods etc can help too! There's a lot of info out there. Keep strong!
    x x Jenny

  14. I am one of those 'silent followers' who read your blog regularly to wonder at the astonishingly beautiful artwork you share. I am so sorry to hear about your wife's illness, and send you both very warm wishes.

    I wonder if some of the artists who jumped to the wrong conclusion and asked for their work back, had in the past had bad experiences with some gallery owner less honest and scrupulous than yourself? If they previously had problems where their work had been 'lost' in such a situation, they may well be wary now.

    Best wishes

  15. I follow your blog for some time and like most silent. The truth is I'm too lazy to write. Just to give you hope, my wife also was diagnosed a year ago by the lung cancer smoking habit after all treatment is cured. Now there are many advances in treatment. All will be well. regards

  16. Hi John, me and Marion follow your blog, but with so much going on in our life at the moment we both seem to have missed this last few posts, normally one or the other will read blogs and we then discuss them at the workshop while we are working together, it's great to be able to talk about our blogger friends, and whats going on, it makes us feel like we are part of a big family. Any way we just wanted to say, we are thinking of you both.X

  17. Dear John and Irene,
    So sorry to hear of Irene's cancer diagnosis. I am sure she will be the first to let you know that it has been a privilege and pleasure sharing the years with you and having such a caring, interesting life together. Not many are blessed with this; it is indeed quite a gift.
    This will be Graham & my fortieth year here in Bladon with our own studio/gallery. I go soon in similar circumstances to hear more from the oncology department in Oxford if this wretched disease has finally stopped me in my tracks. This will be our third time, and that does not include the pulmonary embolii or peripheral neuropathy - both from chemo- which affects my walking and handling. However, I always look at the cup half full; I survived it initially in 1997 and I hope to still be here to see Graham getting on with his long-term goal of painting again after all these years trying to get back to his first love...after me, that is!
    Irene, like me, choose your most cherished pot and leave your instruction that you are to go in it on the mantelshelf to ‘keep an eye on things’. We have managed over the past 3 years and despite wishing 2013 could be our year onwards and upwards,it wasn't to be, but we still are being reminded so often why we started our own venture together. With kind wishes from so many people we are getting through. Try to keep hold of all that kindness, those wonderful memories and of all that amazing work you have managed to be the conduit for. With all our very best wishes, Corri & Graham Piggott