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Helen Clark - Peak District Artist swaps jobs for the Summer

Blog Posted on 09 Sep 2011

Well hello strangers - it’s been a while. How the devil are you all?

I am truly sorry not to have blogged sooner but....STOP PRESS - I haven’t actually painted anything since the middle of July – unless you count the garden shed.

I could have blogged about spending my time at home, my valiant efforts in trying to prize my teenager out of his bedroom to actually walk (walk? Heaven forbid) round the 2 streets where his friend lives - rather than stay in his pit all day and talk to him via Facebook  - but that wouldn’t have been very interesting for you would it?

I could have blogged about my time spent as a shop assistant, told you how many cards I have had to make, fridge magnets I have had to print, mounts that I have had to cut – but again – you’d just be bored - I know I was.
The six – sorry , my mistake- silly me, seven weeks school holidays are the most busiest, the most fraught, the most frustrating time in my Gallery at Rowsley. On the one hand it is fantastic because it is soooooo busy and I get queues at my till – that’s quite a  rare thing and every half term I forget what it’s like and run around like a headless chicken, but hopefully this is just in my head.

On the outside I really hope I am a cool and collected swan, her webbed feet paddling furiously under the counter trying to keep up with all customer’s demands, the sweat not really appearing on her calm face. Sadly I think I am totally transparent and I don’t feel ashamed in the least, at the porky pie I tell when some customers ask if I am the artist. Forgive my dishonesty but sometimes it just has to be done- to save my sanity.  The main reason being because that’s not the first of the questions –oh no - what follows is a demand for an up to date CV of my entire life and once I’ve told it the first 50 times, I’ve sort of had enough?

I’m ashamed now to admit I have said no, I am NOT the artist actually, on several occasions this Summer- I hold my hands up to you now. I have agreed that Helen Clark is indeed a very talented lady and yes I wish I could paint like her.......sometimes I have to say this in more than one language - true.

I also admit here and now I am well practised in the art of deception. When I get a cold caller asking for “the owner of the business “ I fib quite easily – ‘tis true.  I say she is away on business and won’t be back for several weeks. Ooh the holidays that I have supposed to have had.......

I have had a brief respite, my saviours being the Peak District Summer Shows - Bakewell, Hope, Ashbourne and especially Chatsworth. The craft centre goes a little quieter so I scurry out of hiding and paint a little then -just enough so my nerves aren’t in tatters with the stress of not being a ‘creative’ - dahling.

Talking of Chatsworth, how fantastic was it to see the Red Arrows? Everyone there had a lump in their throat and a tear in their eye I am positive. Sadly, this year I couldn’t attend that day, having an appointment with a customer from Hathersage late afternoon last Friday, but I was on my way back and had just climbed past Longshaw when the formation flew over my car. I put my foot down and stopped at a lay by with lots of like minded folk and we all watched the display unfold in the valley beneath us, as the heroes turned and twisted over Beeley and back. It was an absolutely incredible sight and we all swapped hankies, so moved were we all.

Just look at this link to see the most incredible images taken by the Peak District Online Photography team:

This blog was brought to you by Helen Clark


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