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.

Monday 26 November 2012

I will attempt to conclude the story from the last post, although this will be a very shortened version.
Firstly because I have attempted to write it four times and have been unsuccessful because
'Blogger' has changed since I last posted and I now have great difficulty placing images.
Secondly, because Irene tells me that every time I tell this story she can see people falling asleep.
I don't care I like the story, but I promise to keep it short.

So, above you can see the different work by three very talented artist's,
George Underwood, Terry Pastor and David Bowie.
Three artists sharing a common link.
As I mentioned before George grew up and went to school with David Bowie, in fact it is because of an incident in their schooldays that Bowie [I don't know him well enough to call him David]
has an unusual appearance.
Two different coloured eyes, have you ever noticed that? Most people have.

At the age of fourteen they fought over a girl, well they didn't really fight,
George just punched Bowie in the face, something to do with a few "fibs" being told and the girl being
lured away from George. I can understand him being upset, especially as he asked her for a 'date' first.
The full story can be found online, with accounts from them both, I won't bother to give you my account as I am sure to add a few little pieces of my own just to make it even more interesting.

So, there is David Bowie on the floor with a hand over his eye, all for the love of a girl.
The result was eight months off school, two operations and different coloured eyes.
You might think that this ended the friendship, but no it continues to this day.

George went onto become the artist I admire and Bowie the musical legend we all know of.
Their friendship and combined talents brought them together much later in life when Bowie
recorded the album Hunky Dory.

Lets face it if you want a good piece of artwork you might as well ask an artist you know, admire
and trust to produce it.
We are talking something like 1973, a time when George was sharing a studio with an artist named
Terry Pastor.
Terry was something of [and still is] a master craftsman with an airbrush, a tool that was needed to
produce this unusual yet simple album cover.
George explained to him that his mate David needed some artwork done and asked Terry would he do
the airbrushing that was needed?

The album produced hits such as 'Changes', 'Life on Mars' and 'Oh!  You Pretty Things.'
So it would be safe to say that it was a bit of a success.

Bowie followed this with 'Ziggy Stardust'.
He had liked the previous artwork so much he went back to see his friend and his partner and
requested some of the same magic be used again.
The result?
Well, I think we all know that.
The album made David Bowie a world star and the album cover is hailed as being the second most iconic cover ever produced. The Beatles 'Abbey Road' being the first.

In recent years the cover has made Terry something of a celebrity, it has even been used as a Royal Mail stamp. It seems that hardly a week passes without Terry appearing on radio, television or
in a magazine.
The amazing thing is that he is now my friend, plus a neighbour.
Once or twice every week he calls in to have a chat, and although I know him I still can't resist asking
for stories about the 'old days' when we were all young and life was innocent and fun.

Terry has produced a special limited edition set of [just 10] prints using an
'out take' of the Hunky Dory cover. We always have one of these plus much of his other work on show in the gallery. 

We also now have a copy of the painting that George produced of the original cover.
This was painted as a gift for David but became lost for nearly 37 years until George discovered it
recently, while he was clearing his garage.
It went on sale a few weeks ago in London, priced at £16,000,
But our version is a little bit more affordable and is one of the first prints produced.

How strange it all seems to me.
What would I have thought all those years ago when I was in my 'den' listening to my latest
purchase [Hunky Dory] with my girlfriend [Irene] if someone had said:
"One day when you are much, much older, you and your wife Irene will have a gallery and you
will be showing this album cover on the wall".
Life can be hard and a little bit funny but sometimes it can be fun and brings surprises.

The wonderful picture by George is called 'The Three Muses Return'
[actually they have gone again as I have just sold it].
Terry's new version of the old album cover is of course called.
"Oh! You Pretty Things".

Wednesday 7 November 2012

I have a feeling that this will have to become a two part post as different things that are happening in the gallery all blend, and together they make for an interesting story.
I think it's called serendipity.
But I do intend to write about lots of things but it never seems to happen, so let's see.

The picture above will form a little piece of our Christmas exhibition.
It was painted by the artist that I mentioned before.
George Underwood
It is a painting that I absolutely love, it ticks all of the right boxes in my imagination, desires and loves.
Oh! How I would love to own that picture, unfortunately someone else does but the image will still be
here for sale in a couple of weeks, well that is the plan.

As usual I seem to be fully occupied preparing for another exhibition,
which at times seems to be my full time job.
As soon as one is finished I seem to be behind on preparations for the next, but I suppose with the next
one I should have no excuses, after all Chistmas happens every year.
So the last week has seen me busy trying to prepare a full page advertisement for the coming show.

Having been involved in advertising for most of my life I now feel very cynical about it, in fact I am
sure that it is on the whole pretty ineffective, but it is certainly a quick way to get rid of any money
For me the only adverts that work are the simple bold ones with strong images, the sort of thing that makes you pause as you are turning the page of a magazine.
So by choice I would just show a picture and no text.
Idiot that I am, even I understand that might be a bad idea, so I just go for minimal text.
So with great anticipation I was looking forward to the pictures of the paintings from George,
I just knew that he would have something I could use, and of course he did.

He sent me many pictures, all of them beautiful, but.
There was one painting I was in love with and which I felt had a seasonal feeling about it, but understanding that we would have nothing of this to show I prepared another advert after
spending hours deliberating over his many beautiful paintings.

I really liked my final choice and felt sure that it would have an impact, then, just as I was about to send it to the publisher the image I was besotted with arrived from the artist.
So it was back to the drawing board and four hours later our overdue Christmas advertisement was sent off, next time to be seen in a magazine.

The picture I chose is called 'Of the Lowlands', it features the angelic looking Knight.
I was so happy that my original choice was going to be printed, and then things got even better.
The next day the publisher contacted me to ask if they could use one of George's other paintings for the front cover, they attached an example of how the cover would look.
My Christmas had come early.
They were going to use 'The Man Who Fell to Earth' painting of David Bowie.
All in all not a bad result and certainly one that should attract a "little" interest.

I don't think that it is hard to understand why I am excited about this particular artist,
his paintings speak for themselves.
Unusual, beautiful and all with a story to tell [one of your choosing].

It now seems [fingers crossed] that we will have for sale a limited edition signed print, [10 only]
of my favourite painting, an edition that will be unique to Imagine Gallery.
There is still much to be done and the quality has to be vetted by the artist, so let's see.

I must admit that none of this is what I had intended to write but as you know I get easily distracted,
so maybe now the two part post will have to be a three part post, or perhaps an abbreviated version of what might have been.

The clue is the David Bowie painting.
Not only is Bowie a great collector of Georges paintings but they also went to school together.
That really is a story for another day, and perhaps not mine to tell.
But you know how I like to talk.