Thursday, 27 October 2011

Extension update!

As I mentioned in my last post, there has been a lot going on here at home. So I thought I would take this opportunity to catalogue some of the progress. 

After months awaiting the proper council authorities to grind slowly through the business of dealing with the application to build our new garage extension/laundry room/shower room, and then the dreaded 'Party Wall Agreement' with the neighbours, not to mention parting with several thousand pounds for all of this it was time to start. And after all that waiting, the builders arrived and they are pretty darn fast. Fueled by tea and Radio 2, work started:

Having dug down, concrete was then poured into the foundations:

Then the base was made ready, along with the drains, and more concrete poured:

 Now we were at floor level, and it was time to start going UP!

Yes that is a specially designed cat tunnel, ready for cat flap, for the most pampered puss in Suffolk. I didn't want to ruin our new door by cutting through it, so the cat gets his own door!

Speaking of new doors, whilst all this was going on, the window fitters arrived to put new windows and back doors into the house. The dust levels increased massively, and I am still finding it in the saucepans. It has become second nature to clean everything before using it...

As I write this the builders are already up to roof level, more photos to come soon, and everything crossed that the good weather continues to hold.

Discomfort has been minimised by practically living in the studio, and here are some lovely flowers, bought by my art class as a thank you for organising the Gallery 47 exhibition.

Final sales tally was:

6 framed paintings, one unframed original, 3 prints, 2 cards, 1 pack of tags.

Well done everyone!

Monday, 17 October 2011

Gallery 47

It has been far too long since my last blog post and I have a ton of news, both about the changes to the house and about work, but I will confine this post to one subject: My exhibition with my students at Gallery 47 in Sudbury!

After half a year preparation we finally hit the last two weeks. A last minute panic ensued as I tried to get 14 people working as one to have work listed, labelled, delivered and hung on time, with associated publicity and private view evening. As well as keeping up with my existing commitments and work, making endless cups of tea for builders and window fitters and trying to cook in a kitchen coated in brick dust.

10 hour work days ensued, days off and gym trips ceased and much junk food was consumed. After weeks of hassling my students to get their work ready on time, it suddenly dawned on me that I didn't have enough of my own, already being commited to several other exhibitions this month. Time to finish a couple of quick mosaics:

Inspired by starfish in various shapes, a 'Cushion Starfish' in pinks, greys and browns:

And a 'Spiny Starfish in orange on white:

Then last minute, some of my new linoprint gift tags, decorated with collage and sequins:

And suddenly, after a summer of absence, the temperatures took a dive, and look who is back on his window seat blanket! Yes Gimlet has returned to the studio...

At last everything was ready, and about half the class and myself set about hanging the exhibition. After 2 hours, working in little groups we somehow pulled it together and it looked fantastic:

Final tweeks were make to hanging systems, glass was cleaned and numbers were applied.

At last it was time to hold the private view. Everyone showed up at once and the wine glasses ran out immediately. I phoned home and got boyfriend to put every glass in the house in a box and drive it down. My mum, the teen and some of the students ferried glasses, cleaned up mess and poured wine. It was busy, lively, everyone agreed the exhibition looked great and despite the recession, sales were made. At the end of it all I felt like I needed to sleep for a week!