Saturday October 19th and Brexit

How could I not mark this potentially critical day for the UK, without mentioning Brexit. Personally I want it over.

I admit that I have never understood the minutiae of “the deal” and rightly or wrongly, I’m leaving it to the “experts” to resolve as I’ve had enough.

In common with many other sectors of business, the Art trade has been seriously undermined in recent months. Brexit, a weak pound and the need for new ideas are some of my hypotheses for this weakness. In my opinion what the country and economy needs is stability in order to get back to concentrating on developing trade and wealth. Money in the pocket is one feel good factor that make the collective mood lighter and I hope would begin to improve business investment, sales and a bright outlook.

As for Butterfly Art and my version of it, new designs and ideas are still work in progress. Numerous options are in the melting pot and amongst them gold leaf winged butterflies, LED illuminated boxes, using clients wallpaper or furnishing fabric as a background within a butterfly box.

There’s more but for now I will keep thinking.
Please check my ‘whats new’ page that shows my latest creations.

October 19th 2019

Changes

Almost a month has passed by since my last blog and oh, how the time flies when your’e having fun.

I’m still wrestling with the changes I’d like to make relating to my artistic direction. I am considering a collaboration with another artist. If that comes to pass, we might both benefit from fresh ideas and approaches.

I have received a new commission this week from a property developer. The 1200x1200mm butterfly box which when complete, will be displayed within a show house. At the behest of the principal, it will contain some real butterflies as well as the feather variety.

Fresh Art Fair Ascot was held last week and was a moderate success with one it of my works being sold via Linda Blackstone Gallery. Here is an image of it and I’m keeping to the style with additional new works in progress based on this ombre design.

4 works are off with Linda  to be shown at the Affordable Art fair in Singapore.

Finally, ombre heart shape 750×750.

September 26th 2019

ps. Zoe the gymnast is languishing in the corner of my workshop at present. I’m lacking motivation at present.


Relaxation and hidden strengths.

Since my last blog quite a bit of good stuff has passed my way.
I spent my summer holiday in Tenerife and it was was a restful break. The Hotel was disappointing but to give them their due, the staff and food were excellent. The rest was uninspired.

During my break I received a welcome order for 3 butterfly art works from Saudi Arabia. Obviously this was very pleasing and unexpected. The art is now on its way to the purchaser.

This past weekend I rode in an organised bike ride in Lincoln. I chose the 70 mile route and set off in the sunshine. It was gorgeous and for the first 40 miles, me and my bike, and the sun were shining. Sadly this was not to last. After 3 hours the skies darkened, the temperature dropped and it began to rain. With no advance warning of a bad weather forecast I had no waterproofs with me and toughed out the last 30 miles utterly soaked and cold but determined to complete the course, which I did.
It took me an hour to stop shivering at the end of the ride and eventually I recovered and my smile returned. I rose to the challenge despite all that UK weather threw at me to be a stronger, fitter and happier me.

September 4th 2019


T’is the season to view butterflies

Clouded Yellow Butterfly Stanmore August 5th 2019

 

There are lots of lovely butterflies in flight right now although it’s hard to capture them in a half decent photo. Just about made it above.

Tomorrow I’m leaving for a 2 week holiday & am looking forward to rest, recreation and time to think.
As mentioned previously the business year has been unpredictable and tough going. I’m still working on breaking the mould with new ideas and designs.
It’s not an easy process as there are potential risks as well as rewards in moving away from my tried & tested artistic themes.
Fortunately, enquiries are still hitting my website and its that activity which keeps me fired up.

My work on ‘Zoe’ the gymnast (see below) has faltered.
I know how I want her to look, but as yet I’m not quite there. I’ve put her on ice for a couple of weeks and will restart work on her in September.

The peaceful scene from Sarratt Green whilst out cycling last weekend.

And finally two heart shaped works, at the moment these are my favourite themes.

Michael August 7th 2019


Necessity, the mother of invention

No one can accuse me of ignoring the opportunities I come across in order to expand the reach of my work and of course increase sales.

In the last blog, I recounted my 600 mile round trip made to update client stock as well as to open with a new gallery in Cheshire. 

This week more of the same. Pull back stock from Gallery 21 Salisbury, open with a new gallery in Camberley Surrey. In addition this week I entered Cambridge Art contest. 

If successful this could result in my work being showcased in Cambridge where I have found it impossible to secure representation. Fingers crossed.

Of course there are no guarantees but I’m giving it a go. 

I have made a good start on Zoe the gymnast. She got a mention in the May blog together with an image. I’m working towards completing the piece within a couple of weeks.

Due to reflections the Image is not great but you might get the idea, its taking shape.

 

On the try anything once front, I agreed to place 4 of my works in a very upmarket restaurant called 1 Ashbourne in North London . 

Through Zebra Gallery of Hampstead who introduced me to the owner I’m hoping that showcasing my works in this prestige location will reap benefits. 

My website is being updated as it hasn’t been changed for some time. It will include items for sale direct from myself as well as news on new ideas and work in progress.

Happy holidays

Michael July 19th 2019


 

Not so much about Butterflies.

If music be the food of love……….then Exercise is the food of the brain. That’s the world according to Michael Olsen.
I’m waxing philosophical this week with my perspective on life, its problems and how to very effectively come to terms with them.

Years ago I went through a particularly difficult patch in my life.  Through running, I discovered that the exercise helped me deal with the effect the problems had upon my brain and my mood.
After a longish run, my frustration simply melted away and my mood lifted, as if by magic. I was then able to see the issues facing me with a greater perspective and most importantly was much much happier. Not much if anything had changed, only my perception.

Fast forward 30 years and last week frustration had set in and anger started to bubble to the surface. After festering away for days I remembered my forgotten miracle cure for the condition and gave myself a very healthy dose of exercise, this time on my bike. 
6.30am Sunday morning I awoke feeling fed up, angry, frustrated and negative. But 50 miles and 4 hours later….problem what problem!  This is what works for me, and of course its been known for years that the endorphins released during activity work wonders. Today’s I’m feeling wonderful, uplifted and ready to take on the world.
Nothing has changed, only my perspective. IT IS WHAT IT IS, apparently.

Last week I drove 600 miles in 2 days visiting some of my gallery partners. This was tiring but essential in order for me to re-supply some galleries and say hello to the owners I’d never met despite them selling my works for some time.
I am happy to announce that Vermilion Gallery in Knutsford Cheshire are now gallery partners and I’m looking forward to a long and happy association with them. The owner James Blinkhorn, an artist himself additionally operates a large and eclectic gallery close by which will also display my work but within a much larger space.
This is what it looks like from the outside:

 

Michael June 24th 2019


 

At a crossroads………..

Recently I’ve been thinking about the direction of my art as I have been creating much the same style of work for the past 7 years. Whilst the installations have been highly sought after and appreciated by a growing audience, I feel that now is right time to change direction. 

In the back of my mind there has been an intention to make changes to designs and layouts, but little of consequence has altered apart from subtle developments & improvements.

Having recently spent time speaking with other artists, I realise that I need to build on my past successes and develop new work at a faster rate, in order to keep it fresh and desirable . This could be a complete re-invention which is scary prospect.

I won’t know whether my new art persona will be sufficiently desirable and accepted by the public until created. However, nothing ventured nothing gained and in these difficult times I believe that this re-invention will be a good thing.

If this is of interest, please keep an eye on my blog for updates, prototypes and ideas. In the meantime here are one of two recent room settings displaying more recent works.

 

Michael June 10th 2019


 

The Real Thing

I managed to capture an image of a beautiful Peacock butterfly at the weekend. Sadly it’s not resting on a natural surface but here it is all the same.

 

The commission mentioned previously for Montagues Gallery has been confirmed as a 1500 x 1000 x 100 cm piece of wall art which will look very dramatic when complete. I’ll be using the new seasons butterflies so more on this as the project develops.

Mentioned in previous blogs, my latest project is beginning to take shape. This will also be 1500 x 1000 cm and I’m very keen for it to start taking shape. At this stage I’ve sketched the outline and shortly will begin to prepare the panel to take the butterflies. 

 

I’m planning a road trip to visit some of my gallery partners within the next few weeks. I will be changing some of the installations in order to keep displays fresh looking and improve customer interest. I’ll also be searching to find additional galleries in areas such as Cheshire and Bath.

On a personal note, I discovered reformer Pilates a while back and I absolutely love it. For an old boy like me it a perfect combination of body strengthening, stretching and general mobility. Coupled with my other fitness activities I’m feeling healthy both physically and mentally. Highly recommended.

Michael May 29th 2019


 

New Gallery Partner and More

Earlier this week I spent a superb & relaxing 3 days in the sun cycling in the Isle of Wight. It’s a beautiful place.

 

Stunning scenery, great cycling country with the added bonus of one or two butterflies on the wing.

It was sunny but chilly & I wasn’t able to get a butterfly to stay still long enough for a photo. However, it was lovely to see the few of them that did cross my path. 

For me the Art trade is still unpredictable and is unlikely to change anytime soon. Having said that I’m still getting enquiries which keep my enthusiasm bolstered and creativity fuelled. I’ve responded to an enquiry from the WNDR museum in Chicago.

I know its been said before but watch this space.  A client of Montagues Gallery in Kings Langley has enquired about a cylindrical display box for my butterflies. It will be a first & if it becomes a reality I’ll be really excited to see how it looks at 1 metre in diameter. 

Below are a few workshop close ups of some of the 2019 butterfly selection. I can’t wait to make a start on using them. 

 

Finally (for this blog) I’m happy to announce that Thompsons Art Gallery are now representing my work in Suffolk. They are located at 175 High St, Aldeburgh IP15 5AN tel  01728 453743. 

Michael May 17th 2019


 

A Good First Week Back

I completed a private commission and the client is very happy with the outcome in which case, so am I. Image below.

 

I’m re-organising my work-space in order to make it more efficient and allow more display space for the new butterflies.

A new gallery has come on stream in Victoria central London. Welcome to Luminaire Arts who specialise in providing artworks to the Hotel, designer and yacht industries. 

Here’s an image of my new project. 

 

It will be a large piece measuring 1500 x 1000 cm on a black acrylic panel.  Watch this space for progress reports. 

Weather permitting, I hope to deepen my tan by cycling around the Isle of Wight from Monday to Wednesday next week. Oh yes and get a bit fitter.

Michael May 9th 2019