I am like a mad woman at the moment – yes, I can hear you laughing all the way to Castelton– but more so than usual my friends.
Having gone through a Summer of madness and mayhem at my Gallery in Rowsley, NOT painting and NOT sitting down for more than two minutes at a time, I am still finding there aren’t enough hours in the day to get done what I need to. I still have pet portrait orders pouring in, trying to get as many done as I can per week, and the world’s gone Christmas mad - I spoke this aloud today, to a lovely elderly lady from Matlock who stayed in the shop a good half an hour. She asked,
“When do you actually get time to paint?” At the time I was serving three people at once, a certain hare card had run out and I had to print it, pack some more for them, I was supposed to be framing three of my prints while a customer was having a coffee and due back at any minute, then the phone rang – “Do I paint people “
I apologised and said I didn’t sorry – people portraits take forever and are often not right when I’ve finished them– even though I have painted the photograph identically I might add. The last one I did of an elderly woman from Buxton, before I hung up my paintbrush for people once and for all, was that I hadn’t painted her smiling – er- excuse me, but just because you look a miserable so and so in the picture, I cant magically paint a smile on you can I ? Well, then a little conversation on the phone revolved around - could I just paint the dog larger sitting on the lap and then I could paint the person smaller – it wouldn’t take as much time then would it?
I politely reminded them that a giant cocker spaniel -sat on a midget, may not be conducive to a particularly nice painting. I hung up several minutes later, having apologised profusely – several times, but I’m not going down that road again.
The elderly lady laughed and we chatted while I flitted in and out of the back room, cutting mounts, framing more prints to hang on the wall where the gaps had appeared- my Peak District prints are flying out at the moment – particularly one called ‘ Gaggle at Bakewell’ I painted about 12 years ago – it was my first foray into watercolour and incidentally my first painting to feature an animal in it! Not my finest work but it’s seriously popular nonetheless.
I talked to my lady in the shop, “There are not enough hours In the day” (told you) I said and I gulped when she retorted, “When you get to my age my dear, there won’t be enough days left to live” - so I shut up– pretty quick.
Now I’d really like to have painted her – taken a few years off for her, bless her – it makes you think doesn’t it?
This blog was brought to you by Helen Clark