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.

Friday, 31 July 2015

As anticipated I have been unable to do "a little often", however here is a little.
I am honestly losing track of different things that have happened so here are just a couple of events that are still very much in my mind.

I have been very overdue to make a visit to see the artist
George Underwood.
This is always a trip that I look forward to [not the driving just the visit.
But just before I was about to make my journey he announced that their lovely old dog had died.
It is amazing how many different little things and events lead to a relationship.
For me a visit to see George and his wife is always associated by being greeted first by their dog.

I have many memories of him running to greet me, pushing his head forward for a fuss,
and always in my mind a vision of him chasing across the lawn to catch a ball.
A dog full of life, hiding the fact that he was getting old.
I put of my visit for a couple of weeks as I understood that they both must be feeling their great loss.

Although he is now gone his beauty will live for a long time.
George had been asked to contribute a painting to a book about the art history of dogs.
The book portrayed the art of the dog going back 5000 years.
Of the many, many famous paintings [by famous artists] that appear in the book
only one was used for the cover.
What a lovely tribute for a beautiful friend.

When I arrived for my belated visit I was delighted to be greeted by their new arrival.
A puppy.
I was so pleased that there was a new little person who would help fill that chasm of sadness.
Leon will never be replaced he will always be remembered and missed
But a new little life has come along to make the family whole again.

As usual my visit was really enjoyable.
It feels so good to be visiting old friends, yes we are working partners but the friendship comes first.
George allowed me to choose whatever paintings that I wanted.
I told him that I felt very guilty about this as I felt I was "robbing" him.
"don't be silly take whatever you like".
I did
Here are a few of them.

Something else has been "very, very" much on my mind.
Our forthcoming exhibition of ceramics by
Maureen Minchin

Five years have passed since we hosted an exhibition of her work so the anticipation and excitement has been growing.
But with only weeks to go I was becoming anxious that we had nothing to photograph
to illustrate the invitation.
Understanding how busy she is and how time consuming her art is I hesitated to chase her.
Until panic really set in as the printers deadline grew closer.

I called her
"Maureen, I must have something NOW or I won't have invitations in time"
I could imagine her looking out of her window with the beautiful view towards the sea and the far distant islands,
Wondering, just why is this man so stressed.

But my panic must have communicated [perhaps it was me sobbing that did it] as she replied
"I can send you a few pieces in the post".

Three days later her ceramics started to arrive.
It left me wondering why I panic so much, but I have decided that someone has to,
so it might as well be me.

Thursday, 23 July 2015

As usual I am very behind with events and things that have happened
In fact I have trouble remembering what happened when, I really need to do a daily post
But, as like now it is at the end of the day and when the gallery is closed and I have finished all of the chores that I remember that I have not written a single word.
So, who cares?
I do.
I would really like to keep a daily record of events and happenings, however small.
This will never happen so I am going to attempt a short "catch up" over the next few days.
[ My mind just told me "won't happen, will never happen"]
Let's see

I have long anticipated and looked forward to a visit by the French sculptor
Elisabeth Dupin-Sjostedt
I originally met her in Paris earlier in the year when she agreed to exhibit with us later this year.
This was something of an achievement as her work is very collectible and her list of exhibitions are almost "back to back".
But over a coffee in a Paris cafe she agreed to exhibit with us in October.
What was more exciting for me is that she also offered to bring us a few sculptures in the summer
so that her art had a presence here in our gallery.
I have been waiting in anticipation ever since.
A few weeks ago it happened.

With her husband she made the long journey just to deliver four sculptures.
Very few people would do such a generous thing, but I am beginning to understand that the artists
of France are both generous and also very hard working.
I think their work ethic must me "you take out what you put in".
Elisabeth certainly went to a great effort to deliver her work, she not only had two exhibitions in progress but she travelled at a time when travel from Europe was difficult.
There were strikes at the French sea ports and tunnel.
But, she had promised to deliver and she did.

We only had a short time together as this was intended to be a "whistle stop" delivery
So as is becoming familiar to me now with visitors we had a quick trip to the 'Bull Inn'.
For some reason, like the artist 'Charly' who visited before her
'Hot Chocolate' was the drink of choice.
I have to wonder if they are all still fascinated by the film 'Chocolat' with Johnny Depp.
No, impossible, can't happen, what woman would like him?
I tried to keep the French flag flying by forcing down a glass of red wine [or two].
Someone had to do it, didn't they?

But, on a more serious note
When the time came for Elisabeth to depart I felt that I had only learnt a very little about her and her sculptures.
There are still many questions that I want to ask, about her inspirations and her techniques
But with only an hour or so it is hard to "scratch the surface" with an artist.
This was only meant to be a delivery of her sculpture and a quick meeting, which was good.
If only it hadn't left me with so many questions that I would have liked to ask, but as I have found the more that I become to know an artist then the more I want to learn about them.
This is good because I have much to look forward to come October.

The following morning before they departed Elisabeth came to say "farewell".
Even though there was a French speaking customer in the gallery who was in conversation with her and her husband [which was enjoyable] I urged them to leave.
Just in case they were delayed at the famous M25 Dartford crossing.
So after lots of enjoyable double cheek kissing [you get to snog twice in Europe] she departed with plenty of time to spare.

They did arrive home safely and had no problems on the M25 crossing.
But it take an extra day.

We had all forgotten the strike at the French ports.

Still, it was a beautiful hot day so it was good for them to extend their visit,
What better way to spend an English summers day than sitting in a car on the road to nowhere?

Thank you both for making the journey.