Well, it’s taken a bit of time for me to take stock after the hectic Hidden Histories end to last year (not complaining!) and the start of a new one. Stuck on a delayed train to London last weekend, I scrolled through a fair few photographs and made a brief account of what had actually gone on concerning my work over the last 12 months….and realized it hasn’t been a bad year at all thanks to the interest and enthusiasm of my customers and followers. From home here in Whaley Bridge (now on the map in its own right after the near-dam-catastrophe of last summer) to London and my successful meeting with the retail manager at The Royal Albert Hall to orders from the USA (I guess now I can say I’ve gone ‘global’. Ha!). My work is definitely ‘getting out there’ it seems.
With local buildings at heart and a new event added to my calendar, the FAB market saw the launch of The Mechanics Institute, Whaley Bridge, Hidden Histories. A building central to life here in my own town it was a pleasure to uncover some fascinating facts and enjoy the support of local customers all keen to own their very own art work of this much-loved iconic building. The newly refurbished Pump Room in Buxton has also been added to the Hidden Histories Collection in 2019 with its launch at The Buxton Crescent Heritage Trust Artist to Artist Event. Nerve-wracking though it was (for a non-public-speaker!) it was a huge opportunity to present my work (and explain it). As I’ve discovered, I ‘sell’ my work by talking about it. It’s always an utter pleasure to see the realization on people’s faces when they look deeper into my illustrations and see for themselves the hidden elements concealed beneath the layer of pastel and pencil crayon. Following the presentation I was excited to be asked to be the first guest artist to exhibit in The Pump Room.
With ‘Firsts’ recurring throughout the year, I should mention Derbyshire Open Arts (May Bank Holiday) and my astonishment at how many visitors came through my door…and the distances they’d travelled to get here. Needless to say, I’ve signed up to do it all again 22-25th May 2020 (I’m planning on adding the Friday night as an preview viewing of framed originals) More to come on that….In August, The ‘3 Generations’ Open House proved successful too and gave me the chance to exhibit alongside my wonderfully talented father and twins (before they headed off to that London-Town to study since graduating from Glasgow). It would be nice to imagine we can offer the same again in 2020 with the addition of my eldest son and his stunning photography (I’ll have a word!)
Ofcourse, I am forever grateful to all my customers but especially those who entrust me with commissions. It’s always a privilege to work on personal pieces. Whether it’s family homes, holiday homes, favourite landmarks or non-Hidden Histories such as portraits of beloved pets, they are always welcome on to my drawing board. I rarely say ‘no’! In fact 2019 was the year of oil painted portraits and made-to-measure wall panels for local business ‘Everything’s Rosy’ in Buxton and my expansion out of Buxton and further afield with my Bakewell Collection now available in the Visitor’s Centre there. With the ‘thumbs up’ from The Royal Albert Hall in November, my thoughts are very much with producing more London art works…all have been added to the never-ending list of pieces to get on with.
So, I guess committing an extra day to my freelance business (I now only work 2 days at Atticusboo in Buxton) was the right decision. I’ve managed to produce more work and organize myself better (some people may want to debate that point…my framer and printer included!) but with the ‘birth’ of an additional new business (‘artichoke’) now giving me even more opportunities to explore and illustrate architectural ‘beauties'(watch out for more on this bespoke hand drawn wallpaper product). Thanks to The Old Hall Hotel Buxton, The Trevor Osborne Property Group Bath, and Fairhursts Design Group in Manchester for their support and orders already.
Ofcourse, the reason I’m even writing this ‘blog’ is down to one very talented student and my daughter who created this website (and on whom I depend to lead me tentatively down this road of technology-training through frantic phone calls and spontaneous tutorials on how to add products, pictures and text.) I’m ‘flying solo’ right now so whether this account ever reaches the website pages is yet to be revealed. We’ll see!
Speak soon x