Thursday, 22 July 2010

To 'Sir' With Love...

I stood watching Garry with increasing pride as he put together this large piece for a customer yesterday and was inspired to photograph him as he worked. "Why do you do it?" I asked him. My eyes welled up with his answer "Do you have any idea how proud I am of working with all these creative people?" It was a question I could answer myself on any day. "Yes...", I replied, "...I do". I was emotional because of his passion which resonated with me. He genuinely loved what he was doing and he was committed to making sure that every bit of attention was paid to every tiny detail, even the lovely scented polish he was using.

While I pondered his response, it struck me not for the first time how very privileged I am to be doing something I really love and I guess that is how Garry must have felt as well as he lovingly and carefully polished the mounted print before making up the packing case.

We feel even more privileged to be in a position where we see nothing but beautiful creations each day, every one of them being unique in their own right. You see we print and mount loads of pictures every day and no two are ever alike.

The piece Garry was working on was sent to us by a regular client (of a number of years), Ken Lewis. Ken is a talented nature photographer and also has a wonderful portfolio of skylines from his native Liverpool. This 3 metre long print which was mounted on 3mm aluminium Dibond(tm) had been commissioned by his client to be hung in their reception area.

So when our customers call or email us to thank us for the print they have just received, we are able to respond genuinely... "the pleasure is ours, really it is."

Saturday, 3 July 2010

When women artists could not exhibit their work

Did you know, a mere 153 years ago, it was considered too shocking for a woman artist to display her work in London? When a few rebellious women formed their own society in 1857, there was no shortage of women artists, but some changed their name to protect their families.

The Society of Women Artists (SWA) is that same Society. Vibrant as ever, far from clinging to the modern world by their fintertips, they are proud of their history and bursting with talented artists vying to show their work at their 149th annual exhibition.

The show was opened by HRH Princess Michael of Kent, patron of the Society at the prestigious Mall Galleries in London on June 30th.

You can imagine how excited I was when on the evening before the show opened, I received a 'phone call saying my painting 'Harbour Market at Elmina II' had received an award for 'most original oil painting' and I was to be presented with the award by HRH Princess Michael of Kent.

My anxiety soon turned to concern when I realised I did not have the required 5 days I would need to groom myself and paint my toe nails. Would I need to learn how to curtsy and how would I address Her Royal Highness?

My anxiety soon turned to pride when I arrived at the gallery to find it heaving with people and a delighted Princess Michael soon put me at ease by wishing me well. She was very complimentary about the vibrancy of the painting.

So here I am in yet another proud moment of my painting career with HRH Princess Michael and Barbara Penketh Simpson, President of the Society.

I was both honoured and humbled. The talent in the room was overwhelming.

If you want to see the show (and it is worth seeing), it's on until 10th July.