Friday, 26 February 2016

An introduction to my world

I'm having a little bit of a painting avoidance day today so thought it would be an ideal opportunity to show you my setup.

Five years ago I found myself single and in need of both a home and a studio. Rather than buying a normal house I decided to buy back my old place, the Grosmont Gallery. By doing this it meant I'd get a property that would pay for itself as well as giving me plenty of space.

It looks quite small from the front but the back drops down a bank and it has a total of five storeys. I was to live in the top two, the gallery is in the middle and the bottom two at the back are a holiday cottage and garage/workshop.

It's huge and cheap relative to a normal property, one of the reasons being it is in a quiet rural location. Well when I say quiet it does have the North Yorkshire Steam Railway running through it and their engine sheds, which means a large number of visitors invade over the summer months.

Grosmont high street and railway crossing.

As I bought the building I started seeing my now fiancée, Jayne, who promptly stole the top two floors and turned it into a B&B. So much for my plans for a fantastic bachelor pad...

I didn't even get the dancing girls round.... not that Grosmont is famed for dancing girls.

I've set up my studio at the back of the gallery, there was also enough room to allow for a café which is run by another Jayne, Jayne Harrison. 

Fortunately I don't mind working in front of people which is strange because if I ever go out to do some plein air work I become very self conscious.

Like many creative people I am extremely untidy, I like to think it's because my mind is on higher things rather than being lazy. Anyway what ever it is it works.

The work space is a little cramped if I'm honest but that is probably because I've also squeezed a pottery in. In the summer it does sometimes get a little too busy so it's nice to have a little haven to escape to and close the door for some peace and quiet.

Down the back of the building is my wood workshop, where all the framing stuff happens. Having the ability to frame is hugely important. Framing is expensive and my work doesn't sell at high enough prices for me to out source the work.

On the bench you can see some Ash moulding that is about to be stained. It will then get cut to size with a guillotine and then staple together using an underpinner.

It took me quite some time to discover this moulding, mostly I used to leave my work unframed which is fine for larger pieces but not so much for small.

No comments: