'Bella and Bugina'
Frame and half the title courtesy of Stu
New painting by myself -
'Bella and Bugina'
Frame and half the title courtesy of Stu
Framing up a storm - great colours going on today, although my photos utterly fail to do them justice
Brought in some more books for browsing as my Redon book has been leafed so often I thought I'd add a few to the collection
There is a downside to starting a new business - insecurity, fear and worry to name a few, but the benefits are clear too; some obvious and others more subtle. Had a fantastic busy day yesterday which was very positive, but also had some fascinating conversations with people coming to visit us; definately one of my favourite benefits.
A wonderful lady (whose name I failed to remember- darn!) talked of bumping into Salvador Dali in New York in the 1960s, discovering mountains in New York state, walking the Scottish Highlands, an Orkney plane pilot who looked like George Clooney and Miro. Later on in the day I was again enthralled by a discussion about Rothco, 18th Century engravings, and Constable's drawings. Framing work coming in too, so Stu is in his element calculating, pricing and choosing - some beautiful work that I am sure he will do justice to!
On a more mundane level, it dawned on me today how great it is to be able to choose what to wear to work in the morning (hey, I'm a girl at heart) after fifteen years of black suits and charming polyester uniforms. Cowboy boots today - maybe reading Annie Proulx is getting to me...
I have no idea why we do it - we who should know better after what seems an eternity working in catering... second guess the trade patterns of any given week. Sagely we explain and predict, re-explain and re-predict, and it never follow anything resembling a regular theme.
So today, expecting our 'usual' busy teatime rush, were left wondering where everyone had gone... Luckily the day ticked along happily before then, but it sure was a funny one.
Started a painting (above - undercoat only!) and resisted eating cake.
Did some more work on the 'big wall' too, both on Ralph, peeking at the cakes with his new waistcoat on...
And Cecile ascending the escalier past a slightly wintry Sacre Coeur .
The silver lining? Just when I was resigned to a quiet day on the takings front, a very lovely gentleman arrived to collect Senja Bownes' painting on which he had paid a deposit earlier in the month. Hurray!
Today we learned some new things:
1) If lilies are left in a vase on our day off when they are 'fading', petals can fall off en masse and set of the alarm..
2) How to fix the framing underpinner (like a huge 3D stapler) when a wedge (big fat staple) gets stuck in the groove. Requires a lot a patience and small, fiddly hands.
3) How to make a lemon polenta cake (Stu) and vanilla butter icing (me). Also how quick it can vanish.
4) How long it takes magazines to find you and offer advertising space; two point five weeks. Three called today.
Not an exciting picture, but I am truly proud of my fixing skills today...
Also pleased to get my two wee pics framed - Bon himself and Jigsaw Girl; they have been kicking around sad and unframed since we opened.
Lets see what we can learn tomorrow...
The last couple of days consisted of many lists and many 'ticks' against small and necessary tasks. The storm winds on Monday kept things quiet in many ways, but drew in some of our nearest neighbours who sought shelter and food!
Working away on the 'Big Wall project', to the interest of visitors, playing with frames for some of my work and quotes for other peoples, debating new cake recipes...
And on Tuesday, our home-day... sending emails, checking figures, finally scaling the accounts mountain (all up to date!!), annoying various publications with messages telling them about the business, Costco shopping, rummaging through filing and, finally, eating and watching a movie. Leisure time!!
My Wysteria has its first ever flowers and kept them despite the storm-battering. Some other plants needed a bit of help back to their normal growing positions...
Interest in another painting, so hopefully we will have a couple of sales this week; a good end to our first three weeks, and a Bank Holiday to boot. Fingers crossed for the sun.
I guess it was asking for trouble putting a big smiley sun on my outside blackboard this morning... it was superb at half six a.m, but the day slid slowly downhill via a few squalls into a truly dismal evening. Maybe I shall start tomorrow with a cloud illustration and see if that works. Flowers still look sunny and the Hibiscus is flowering happily now it is indoors!
Still getting used to the new business patterns - we seem to have a strong morning trade, followed by a long gap over lunchtime, then a teatime flurry that is often the best couple of hours of the day. Pre-lunch and post-lunch, so to speak. Meant that I had a spare hour to continue the 'big wall' and had a good painting head on so I had a ball. Friends in this morning are just off to Paris, which is the setting of the painting, so that further spurred on my efforts. Love painting on this scale and so rarely get to do it! Bill, my best school buddy and I had a good trade in murals and stage sets when we were in the sixth form, so it is a welcome return....
Lets hear it for Deandra, whose name I may have spelt wrong... Her eagerness to 'support my local peeps' means that she gains honorary status as our first regular - not only appearing most mornings for a coffee-to-go, but bringing guests and introducing us to her very lovely dog Gypsy. Yesterday she added a whole cake to her daily order, and despite Stu managing to overcharge for the morning coffee (till issues) bounced in to collect last night as it popped out of the oven. Regulars, we salute you - I am sure there will be many more, but it is so encouraging to see familiar faces returning already.
Arrived in style today in a 'man with van' bringing in this painting from the studio - Le Chien Perdu. One of my bigger pieces which has been confined to the studio because of its size. Had some interest in it so it seemed sane to bring it in to the gallery, where it will be far better sited even if the interest does not translate into a sale! Fond memories of Montmartre, lost dogs and pink evening skies; and the angels that I felt sure must live there...
Stuart's frame mouldings also arrived today, so we can get on with the third side of the business!! One of his first jobs has already been ordered - framing some amazing woodcuts for me (!) which we bought on our trip to VIetnam two years ago. Wild-eyed water buffalo and zingy coloured lino prints of ladies carrying fruit; soooo looking forward to having those on my wall at last.
Stu made a fresh batch of scones this morning which seemed to spark a scone frenzy in the world; I guess the smell of a freshly baked scone has that effect. Okay, so I had one too; late breakfast...
Monique Sliedrecht sent over a pic of us looking suitably studious at last week's opening of the 'Shadows of the Divine' show.
Stephen McLaren, one of our exhibiting artists popped in en route to the opening of a new show at the Braewell Gallery; I took the opportunity to show off the new bit of painting on the 'big wall' including some of my favourite potato printing.
The show was excellent; Liz Knox, Alexandra Gardner, Frank McNab and Paul Kennedy; this sneaky shot between elbows is a fantastic piece by Liz.
We are tantalisingly close to starting our framing operation; just as well as we have a queue already. Time to get sending quotes out to those who have expressed an interest. Just waiting on samples of the mouldings we will be working with (or more correctly, that Stuart will be working with and I will be watching!). The ones pictured are all ready to go 'off the peg' in sizes that suit postcards and greetings cards; an excellent gift or something to fill that silly corner of the hall, bedroom, kitchen... We are custom-painting and staining bare wood, so can match pictures, decor or create a contrast with stencils and gilding.
Here are some samples of the bare wood before it is lovingly waxed and stained; we are ordering in samples of all kinds of different profiles, sizes and shapes; of course we can always find more if you have something very specific in mind.
Meanwhile... I spent the day making tea and painting 'Russian doll' elephants. Watch this space.....
This is your new blog post. Click here and start typing, or drag in elements from the top bar.
Painted a small cat today in between visitors; liking this kind of work. Cats appear as support acts in a few of my pics but customers had been expressing a desire to see them on their own so.... here we go! This is Chester.
And spent some quality time at the end of the day reading my good old Taschen book on Odilon Redon. Has to be one of my favourite painters, especially after meeting his 'Buddha' in the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam just before we started setting up. A teary moment was had.... made a change from blubbing at puppets in Montmartre (long story) and pretty much every gig I have ever been to.
Served a lovely couple who had just visited the 'Shadows of the Divine' show at New College, so we had a good blether about that, over the obligatory Walnut, date and honey cake.
Ingrid, and Stu sometimes