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 21 October 2014

Happy but Sad

It is hard to come to terms with the fact that our latest exhibition has actually opened, at last.
I have wanted this exhibition to happen for a long while
I have planned and worried about it for a long time but now it is finally happening.

The two artists involved are very important to me as I admire their art so much.
Anne Bachelier the artist and Rachel Anne Stevenson the sculptor.
I am a very great fan of both artists, so I was very nervous about this event.
You could say that I was a little "star struck".

Unfortunately, although she had intended to Rachel was unable to attend the opening
Something that she was upset about as the two artists had collaborated on one piece
And she had wanted very much to meet her fellow artist.

Anne, however did make the journey from the French Alps, not only to attend but also to assist
in any way she could prior to the opening.
Of course this only added to myself induced stress levels,
It is difficult to be a fan yet remain "cool" when meeting a great artist you are in awe of.
I need not have worried.

Anne Bachelier, has been without a doubt the most normal [for a famous artist] person who has ever
exhibited in our gallery.
From start to finish the whole exhibition was nothing but a great pleasure.

It was also the most successful exhibition that we have held.
On so many different levels.
But mainly because it was an enormous amount of fun, it seemed that everyone enjoyed the event
The months of preparation and planning were well spent
If we were to close tomorrow, the whole purpose of our being has been completed.
The artists were working in collaboration with us, not for us, and the experience has been wonderful.

Of Anne, I cannot say enough good things.
The paintings that have moved me for so long were created by an extraordinary, yet very modest artist.
Her thoughts were always of us the gallery, not her the artist.
As a result the event was relaxed and very enjoyable, I can't even remember being stressed,
So that shows there is a first time for everything.

Anne was here for just four days, but four days that have meant so much.
I can not thank her enough for her great participation and the pleasure her and her art have given us
[and many, many others].
The exhibition may have been long in the planning but the opening was a delight for her many admirers.

Although a great deal sold at the opening there are still many beautiful artworks for sale.
The reason for this is because Anne is a very prolific artist
She even travelled with her paints, she creates because she must.
It is in her soul.

The visit by her and her husband Claude will never be forgotten,
it was a very unique occasion.

So, it was with great sadness last night that we said our final farewell to them both.

Just for a while.
I hope and think that our paths will cross many times in the future.

Before her departing she made a dedication [and a painting] inside one of her books for Irene and I.
It was very moving.
I will scan and show it in another post.

Meanwhile, I will start planning our next collaboration.

I am sure that Anne, Rachel and ourselves are meant to work together in the future.
I hope so.
Thanks to them both for such a memorable event.
Plus, a very big thank you to Claude, for braving the English roads in darkness to bring Anne here.

Of course the images are of Anne and her husband Claude.
A few of her sold artworks,
Plus the artist at work in her studio.

Wednesday 15 October 2014

A First

I had vowed to myself that I would never have a picture of myself on this blog
[for obvious reasons]
But there is a first time for everything, and this is it.

At the moment the gallery is in a state of turmoil as we prepare for this weekends opening
of the exhibition of paintings by
Anne Bachelier.
As we have just returned home from the Cambridge Art Fair there is a lot to be done,
and I must apologise to anyone who visits this week as we are in a state of disarray
[actually it is a bloody mess]
with boxes, wrappings, paintings and sculptures covering every surface.

I certainly do not have time to write a post,
which is a shame as for once I have a lot that I could write about telling you of our adventures and
fun at the Fair.

Our stand was manned by myself, my lovely son Sam and our best mate Paul.
There was a lot of stress and even more swearing
[mostly by myself]
but we all had a good time, and even better, good sales.

There is a lot to tell, so maybe another time, but let's just say that it "opened my eyes".
It seems that a lot of galleries tell "fibs" and indeed a lot of galleries don't even exist until there is an
Art Fair!

I have put aside my misgivings about pictures of myself because otherwise I would not be able to
show the photograph of me and my new customer.
Jeffrey Archer
I have promised that I would not record some of his comments [all good]
in fairness to the other exhibitors.

Since the Fair we have spoken and concluded his purchase of a beautiful sculpture.
As part of the deal he is giving me a dedicated book of my choice.
He asked me
"which book would you like, Kane & Abel"?
An obvious choice because it is perhaps his most famous novel.
I told him, no, I would like
'Not A penny More, Not a Penny Less'
[His first novel]

"My, you go back a long way", he remarked.
Which I think was a polite way of saying "what an old git you must be"
Something that is proven by my photograph.

The picture at the top unfortunately is not of myself,
it is Sam
The other is of "Jeff" [my new best mate] myself and Craig the Art Fair organiser.
In case you haven't guessed I am the old man that looks about 90 years old.

I was young once, "honest".

Wednesday 1 October 2014

Here is the proof that I am feeling under pressure, I have delegated!

I suppose I am what is described as a "control freak" [I hate that expression]
What I mean is that I am convinced that the only way anything should be done is "my way"
I trust only my own abilities to get the results that I desire.

Of course that doesn't include things like fixing the car, plumbing, decorating, grass cutting, ironing,
etc,etc,etc, the list is endless.
But with 'arty farty' stuff and anything to do with the gallery I only trust myself
and that is why I have been struggling recently
as there is a multitude of things to be completed in a short space of time.

One of the tasks that I wasn't looking forward to was designing the invitation for the coming exhibition.
This was not because I don't enjoy doing them, I do
But I just have a tendency to dither and try out different designs and images,
The result is I usually end up doing about four different versions which take just as many days.
I explained to Irene that "I just have so much to do in too little time".

She asked why I didn't ask for help?
"We will all help you, all you have to do is ask".
I told her that my next job
[making it sound like I was painting the Sistine Chapel ceiling]
was to design the invitation "and that's going to take for ever".

She took control.

"Right, I will ask Sam to do that, he will have it done in 10 minutes, while you get on with other things
[I think you can all appreciate just how bullied I am].

A miracle happened.
I let go.

It didn't hurt [except my ego] and the result was it was at the printers that same day.
Plus, I really like it.
It is different to what I would have finished up sending
But I think it has benefited having a fresh and different [dare I say younger] approach.

Of course, when things are back to normal [whatever that is] I will be back in control
After all if I wasn't in charge of everything
What else would I have to do?
Then before you know it they would have me doing "real" jobs
Like washing my own clothes.

Must go now, I've got so much to do.
Worry, worry, worry.
As Carly Simon sang to me "nobody does it better".

Thank you Sam.