Today, I started to give some thought to Christmas,
You know, the last minute thoughts that most men have, what should I buy, what would they like,
and I bet I get it wrong again this year.
So it had me thinking about which days I should go where to get whatever.
Counting off the days made me understand that it really is getting closer and I haven't even started to show anyone some of the lovely and unusual work that is in our seasonal exhibition.
In fact I don't think I even mentioned that we have one, well we do, and I have been told by many people that it is the best Christmas show we have done, which is not a lot of good
if nobody knows what we are showing, so here's just a few pieces that we have on display.
Rather than show a complete mixture [plus I have many pictures still to take] I have decided to
start with paintings.
To my great delight we received a new selection from Anne Bachelier,
and as always I have been undecided about what to show first so I have started with one
that I feel really reflects this time of year,
it is called 'Winter Morning' or more romantically "Matin d'hiver" which sounds much nicer.
For me this painting really gives me a feeling of the 'Green Man', the character of legend and mythology plus it has a cold winter feel about it,
although the painting is small it moves me in a large way that I can't define.
Below her painting is one by Nom Kinnear King, who is our most recent 'new' artist.
I came across her paintings for the first time at an art fair in London.
I loved them and I kept returning to the stand where they were shown, just to look one more before I left for home, just so I could etch them in my mind in case I never got to see her art again.
To my great surprise it turned out that she was really local to our gallery.
I hadn't heard of her, she hadn't heard of us.
Now of course we are friends and I am truly enjoying the paintings that she has let us show.
Our exhibition is titled
'The Light Before Christmas'
Even though she only had two weeks notice Nom insisted that she wanted something on show which had been created especially with that title in mind.
The painting speaks for itself.
There is another artist that is new.
Not a new artist as he is firmly established worldwide but he is new to us,
What I most love about Marks's work is it is all about light, or sometimes the absence of it.
I find his work very moving, evocative and it talks of a times gone by.
He paints scenes of places like New York, Venice, London and the English landscape,
all of them very moving.
After my initial task of persuading him to show with us, then real problems started.
He asked me to choose [without restraint] which paintings I would like to show.
Each day I would make a choice and then talk with him, but that was too late.
They were selling faster than I could decide so in end I just sent a wish list ten and told him I needed
five of them.
A result at last, we now have some beautiful paintings hanging here in the different rooms.
This Christmas we are also doing something we haven't done before.
We are showing the work of different print makers.
There is something about the quality of hand made prints that I have always admired, the best seem simple yet they rarely are, they are the result of talent and time,
The skills to produce exceptional prints are a labour of love, in theory it all sounds so simple,
wood block, lino cut. Surely we can all do those? NO.
Below are examples by two of the print makers we are fortunate to be exhibiting.
Both acclaimed and well collected, and both producing beautiful prints.
The cover of our invitation featured another of our new paintings by Anne.
'Un Papillon dans un cercle d'or'.
Just reading the title makes me wish I could speak French, it sounds so lovely.
So is the painting, lovely, gentle and telling a story.
I suppose if there were to be one common link to all of the paintings shown it would be
that they all tell a story.
They show places and people that you can let your imagination dream about,
some give me happy feelings some sad, but they are all very similar
because they give me such immense pleasure.
I am just a custodian but until Christmas they are mine.