Dearest hibernating honey bears,
New! Here is a link to two new wobblin' hissin' stocking fillin' arty art prints, just in time for Christmas:
and in other news...
Every autumn, I dread the darkness, damp and the leaves turning orange. Not even toffee apples help in my least favourite season.
I found this sweet poem which reminds me of why I prefer the winter and its promises.
Outrageous weather in late October didn’t stop me from attending the Whitby Steam/ Goth weekend again. It was a short visit but I enjoyed the spectacle and applaud the effort made by the faithful. I very nearly lost my wig a few times in the wind.
SJ (left) and fellow steamloon Becky in search of authentic Gothic cod and chips
Getting into my 'making the best of autumn' stride, on bonfire night I found myself in an outdoor hot-tub for the very first time. This particular tub is positioned high in the Pennines, so it was in rain and strong winds that old friends and I watched the fireworks in our bathing costumes praying that we wouldn’t be the end target of a stray rocket. As it turned out I was a casualty of something else and I now know that you shouldn’t overdo the bubbly in the bubbles. Something about the fizz, too much oxygen and the vigorous pummelling of internal organs transformed me into a lightly chlorinated, catastrophic mess - from which it took nearly 4 days to recover.
Fangs very much!
Far more important than my daft weekends, I need to say a big thank you to all those who gave a home to an artwork at any point over this year or if you have taken time out to visit my studio gallery.
*all serious now*
If you don’t mind I’d like to deliver a small sermon on the matter of collecting art prints.
I’ve been publishing art for more years than I dare calculate. It’s been a truly heart-warming experience to find so many people willing to give up their wall space to my work. Back at the beginning in the early 90’s, my then publisher took the risk of printing runs of 500+ copies. Mostly it worked well, so they did their thing and I did mine, never much thinking about the numbers.
Experience taught me that the art industry, like so many others, was placing profits above integrity and over ten years ago I decided to become an independent publisher. I immediately reduced the number size of my limited editions. There were assorted reasons for this but mainly I wanted the prints to be genuinely restricted, no improbably high numbers of artist proofs, United States editions, remarque’s or spare ‘insurance’ copies. I always keep in mind that ‘just because you can, doesn’t mean you should’ so if the certificate says 10 copies, then it’s 10 copies, world-wide. I can set this number as low as 2 although usually it is between 20 – 50 copies and certainly never more than 100.
The downside of slashing print numbers is the risk of becoming Miss unpopular. In the case of the recent ‘Love Bite’ and ‘Deeds, Not Words’ images, they sold out on the day of release; lovely from the artist’s point of view but frustrating for collectors who failed to get a copy. I do try my best to be fair and make it up where I can but it's not easy. Luckily most collectors are very understanding, so thank you.
I have now completed phase one of my experiment in running a retail gallery. Having the space has enabled me to meet interesting people and collect lovely new local artfans but like so much of provincial Britain, it’s very quiet on the high street these days; often more so in seaside towns and, despite its recent tarting up, canny old Whitley Bay is still rather out on a limb. Worse than that, I’ve discovered that I’m not Superwoman after all: trouble with my wayward, deteriorating eyes and a recent diagnosis of bone growths and arthritis in the upper spine (most likely the result of years in front of the easel in cold studios), I would now prefer to dedicate myself solely to creation. There will be no downing of brushes until I'm forced – so the gallery will close for now and I'll be painting: while I still can.
My masterplan is to open for special events and YOU CAN VISIT THE STUDIO/GALLERY ANYTIME! Please just contact us (with a little notice) to arrange a time. JAM will also be open Saturdays until Christmas 2018.
I will leave you with this new family portrait painting (private commission) 'Christmas Crackers'.