Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Promote, promote, promote!!!

Today was a day of promotion, well sort off........

Firstly I put my new car door magnet on my little brum brum, I only bought one as it was free on vista print ( well as free as anything is on vistaprint) and I didn't want to pay for my own design as I need to have a rethink about that, so any design was fine for now. I wanted to put it on the back of the car but the bits and bobs on there, stopped me so I put it on the drivers door. As I was driving along it occurred to me that the majority of people were on the passenger side, ( walking along the pavement) so I changed it to the other side, after this photo was taken.
At the same time I bought the car magnet I also bought a small banner, so I wanted to put it up and take a photo , it was a nice day for a walk and I also nipped across the road from where I was putting it to get a picture of this lovely house, that is at the entrance to the National Trust property, Clevedon Court, When it opens again in the spring I will go and have a proper nosey, as I have never actually been in the 22 years I have lived in the area.

As I was putting up the banner and walking round, this chap was watching me the whole time, I think he thought I was bonkers and never took his eye off me. He then came right up to the fence to get a better look. Beautiful isn't he?

The banner is only small but I am really pleased with it, it stands out and replaces the white one that I did myself.

But it does look a bit weedy next to the Craft centre one.

The old one that I took down wasn't very good as I had done it will marker pen and it just didn't show up. It seemed a shame to waste it so I got out my acrylic paints and went over it again. I think it looked much better and decided to put it up by the motoway junction.

That sounds a bit riskyI know, bit there is a path that goes from the back of the craft Centre to the motoway roundabout. So another walk was in order. I knew there was a pathway round the roundabout as I had seen people walking on it before. But opps when I go half way round the pathway disappeared down the back to industrial estate. So after a little detour, I had to back track and then walk along the grass verge of one section of the roundabout to get to where I wanted to put it. There are loads of banners just on the road leading up to the motoway junction so I thought it seemed like a good choice and wasn't a distraction to any driver. I also noted that the other signs had been up for months so I knew they weren't being removed so they obviously weren't causing a problem to traffic.

Its the little one on the end, probably not very noticeable among all the others but hopefully a couple of people will see it. I pass it everyday as I go to the centre, so I will keep an eye on it.

After all that I just had time to do a bit of painting........ I know yet another wave, but I am obsessed. There is quite a bit to do before its finished but it a good start I feel.

There were also a couple of comedy moments today.
One couple couldn't open the door to get out ( my door is sticking a bit) I couldn't get past them to help and they wouldn't get out of the way, I just had to leave then to struggle and stop myself from giggling as in their panic they actually locked the door.

I then had a couple of elderly ladies that came in to ask me if Jeff the jewellery maker was around, I told then he should be back any minute, so they said, 'Thats ok, it will be nice to have a look round all the lovely studios', then promptly walked out without looking at my studio!!! haha obviously mine isn't one of the lovely ones???

After all that I am quite shattered, so off to have a nice cup, ahhhhhh

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Studio - doors, names and chairs

Well this week has been strange. There have been visitors coming to the centre, but not unfortunately through my door. I have no idea why but its very odd that people come all the way out to the centre, go into the 2 studios at the beginning then, don't go any further. Those that do make it further just don't come into my little space. I think there are 2 reasons for this, firstly I am having to keep my door shut ( brrrr), and even though I do have bigs signs saying please come in, I think people find it hard to go though any door with no window or limited view of what is behind.. Also I quite often hear people outside the door, read my studio name, 'Wellydog Gallery' and then say, 'Its only paintings", This leads me to think if its the word Gallery that puts people off. I used to be Wellydog Designs, but when I started to put my paintings into a Folksy shop, I needed a name just to distinguish between the 2 shops. Instantly I came up with gallery and it seemed appropriate so I went with it. This name just then came with me a year later when I set up my studio. So I am thinking when I move to my new studio I will change it. I wont give up Wellydog, I know a lot of people don't think its appropriate and doesn't imply what I am doing, but its personal to me and I really want to keep it.
So the choses so far are
  • Wellydog Art- studio and workshops
  • Wellydog - Studio and workshops
  • Wellydog - workshops and studio
  • Wellydog Art
  • Wellydog
Have I lost you yet or sent you to sleep? If you have any suggestions I would love to hear them.

Talking of my new studio, I bought some furniture. I found this great site on the internet that sells off ex-business furniture. I bought 12 chairs from a lovely lady which unfortunately had to close her successful cafe, due to a lease problem. I bought them all for £48, this is what they look like.
Can you guess what colour I may paint a feature wall? ( still not totally decided yet).
The new studio is taking up a lot of my thinking time, and it has started to make me wonder about how much time I waste in other areas. I am particularly thinking about my folksy shop. I spend a lot of time promoting items that currently for various reasons, Folksy re-design problems and Christmas being a couple of them, don't sell. So I think I am going to have to stop promoting, my online work, while I concentrate on my studio relaunch and focus on advertising my workshops and art lessons, ready for the new year. I will keep my shop, I just will probably be very quiet for a while about it.

I have done my new timetable, for classes, which you can see on my website

I have a new banner that has just arrived to put up at the end of the road and I am starting to send out invites for my opening on the 7th.

I have been buying so much for the new studio that when I saw I needed new business cards, I worried abut the expense, so I set about making my own out of old art work, cut to the correct size with my details hand written on the back, hopefully they should keep me going until I need new ones.

What do you think??

Monday, November 21, 2011

An Invite

Grand Opening

As from the 1st January 2012, Wellydog Gallery and workshops will be moving to Studio 4b at Clevedon Craft Centre. All future workshops will be in the studio itself. This offers easier access and facilities aimed specifically at Art students, including the free use of a small Art library .

From January 1st, I will be running regular art groups. These will allow people to develop their own work. Or alternatively be set with new challenges, with the support and help from a qualified art tutor.

(inexperienced artists will be advised to attend beginner's and improver's workshops before attending these groups)

These will be every Wednesday afternoon and most, but not all Saturday afternoons.

Exhibitions will be held at least once a year for all my students who wish to enter work

You are invited to a Grand Open Day on

7th January 2012

(11am – 4pm)

You will be able to view the new studio and book sessions at a discounted rate.

(If booked with a deposit before the end of my 1st opening week)

For more information, to book or request a copy of my new timetable and price list

Please either


or ring


Please feel free to pass this on

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Any artist or photographers, please can you spare a couple of minutes to do my survey please?

Saturday, November 12, 2011


Can I introduce you to Dida..
I am so pleased to be able to show you one of the commissions I have been working on. It was a real joy to do. I believe this is a Christmas present for a sister who has adopted this little elephant, who had fallen down a drain.
I had loads of pictures to choose from and she was so beautiful I thought it would be great to combine a few images together. So this is the finished result. I had great feedback so am very happy and am quite sad to see her go. She has been a bit of a talking point in my studio of a few weeks while in progress.

Friday, November 11, 2011

New Studio

I thought I would give you a sneak preview of my new studio, but I can only show you from the outside. There is currently items being stored in it that means I can't get a good photo, but hopefully I can show you later.

The studio is right down the bottom of this section around the corner, by the barns at the bottom. It is one of the worst places at the centre, as people sometimes don't get that far. But as I want to move their to get my workshops going better, then I wont be relying on people just dropping in so much, as they should be coming down to me specifically to take part in events. That doesn't mean I wont do everything I can to get them down there.
This will be my new front door,

The photo above was taken from this garden opposite my front door, which is lovely but massively underused by visitors.

So I have to paint the studio soon. I have also been thinking about how to fit in everything I want. As the workshops are the most important aspect then I need to sort out desk/tables. I can't use normal tables as I need the extra depth to get drawing boards on. We have been working out spacing and think I need 3 desks put together. I have been looking at these from Ikea

I also need to get some chairs, so that is my next search. I have to keep costs right down, so I am looking on ebay and will start trawling the charity shops for chairs I can paint. I probably need 6 for when we are doing lager work but 8 for other times, so I may get 6 and a couple of folding chairs. I looked on Ikea as I like some of the plastic ones, but they are just to expensive, with having to buy the tables and lots and lots of paint. I will stay mostly white in the studio as its the best for displaying art work, but I may go for a bit of splash of colour, but I have time to think about that so wont make a decision just yet.

I know it sounds silly but I am excited about having an indoor toilet and room for a fridge, some nice home comforts will not go amiss.

This does seem very serious now, before, in my little studio, it still felt like a bit of an indulgence, but I really have to get this right, if I don't want to fall flat on my face.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Studio - I'm leaving !!!

Yes you read right, I am leaving my lovely studio at the end of December. I handed in my notice today..........

And immediately agreed to take on a larger studio at the same place. Yay!!!!

OMG panic has now set in, I had contemplated it a little while ago, when I knew the bigger studio would be coming available, but thought it was to soon to move and so had decided to forget it. But life is never good at following plans and circumstances pushed the idea at me again. So after much deliberation and money working out then I decided, to just go for it.

Don't get me wrong I love my little studio and my new one is not as pretty and is not in such a good place at the centre, but the advantages I think outweigh the disadvantages,

The new studio is huge, it gives me space to run my workshops inhouse, rather than having to rent the teaching room, which was less than ideal. It has an inside toilet and also a storage and kitchen area. It also means I can run workshops as and when I want and get some regular groups going. I also have loads of ideas, including renting wall space and running mini exhibitions, but I need to look realistically how they would work.

Of course I am worried about the extra money, my costs would effectively double. but Mr WD put it all in to perspective for me, and we agreed it would be stupid not to give it a go. I could potentially earn a good income from it, if it works. But the loss if I failed could be managed, as long as we keep to an agreed time scale to assess if it is worth continuing.

I am very, very excited at the prospect of what I can achieve in my new studio but also a little sad, my little studio has been a joy and I will be sorry to leave it.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Mess and Tearoom

I thought I would let you see the other side of my studio that I normally wouldn't show you. You can see that I have the essentials, a kettle and a sink, but no hot water and no room for a fridge. But it serves its purpose well.
I have a table by the door it has lots of bits of information on like a newsletter and comments book. People can leave their information if they want to be contacted with information about the centre. We are trying to build a good mailing list, Romy who makes handbags in her studio has a postal mailing list and I am now doing the e-mail list. We are going to produce a newsletter every month about the centre to send out, which should be good.
I you look close I have a stained glass mirror that I made a few years ago, I moved it a few weeks ago and it had a huge spider behind it, so its lucky it is still in one piece!!!
It is a mess under the table but I have tried using a cloth but it just falls off and is a pain so for the moment it is all on show.
I also have just been out a bought a piece of white vinyl that I am going to paint up and put as a banner at the bottom of the road, I am thinking it should say

Art Classes at Clevedon Craft centre and my phone number.

But I am worried that as its a mobile it will be to long and as people will only glimpse it when they pass by then it wont work, but e-mail is even longer, hopefully they will just come into the craft center and see for themselves, but its worth a try until the council remove it.

Dottie in the Tea room has asked me to do some pictures for her to display, I have done the tea and cake one that I showed yesterday, and today I started to paint the actual tea room itself. Its a long way to go yet but quite a good start I think.

I was also pleased today as someone went to a local gallery and asked about art classes and they sent her to me. She booked onto a beginners workshop this afternoon. It is nice people in Clevedon are starting to know about me.