Its been a difficult couple of weeks for me. I’ve suffered from a trapped and very painful nerve which has curtailed my work activities somewhat, however, I’m on the mend. The coming week sees a busy time ahead as a whole new summer range of beautiful butterflies are being delivered and prepped on Tuesday and the rest of the week. Preparation involves removing the butterflies from their boxes, clipping the individual wires to the required length. Then each item is sprayed with a UV protector to ensure, that they are colourfast and will resist fading. Each variant has its own container meaning that in addition to the butterflies, I have 75 storage boxes arriving also on Tuesday. I love new things and I’m hoping that the buying public will have the same enthusiasm as me for with this fresh approach.
Michael May 14th 2018
Despite the poor weather, It’s definitely getting busier. I’m getting enquiries from an increasing number of existing galleries and prospective new ones as well. I very pleased to announce that Bluebird Gallery in Derby has now joined my growing number of partner galleries and they will be receiving 2 of my works on May 4th. A gallery group in Germany has shown interest and I’m hoping to set up a meeting with their director at Hamburg Airport. The Mensing group have a number of galleries in Germany as well as in Palma Majorca so if they like my works they could be a great addition. Time will tell.I’m planning a road show to enable me to meet all of my Gallery partners within the next couple of months. I want them to see firsthand my new creations and find out what more i can do to promote my brand and their sales. Next week I will be able to show all of the new Butterfly designs I’m working on. This will bring about a fresh look to my work which is really exciting.
Michael May 1st 2018
If not consistent then at least there’s a lighter feel in the air. I have started to get more enquiries now which coincides with that mini buzz.
One of my clients, a designer is creating an amazing space within which the butterfly obsession of his client is very obvious. A Michael Olsen installation on the wall and beautiful Butterfly wallpaper on the ceiling. WOW!
Another granddaughter gets her 1st piece of butterfly art for her birthday this weekend. Finally, I’m working on a new collection of beautiful Butterflies for the 2018 season. More on this when they are ready.
Michael April 21st 2018
Just when I started to wonder where my next orders were going to come from or whether they would come at all, last week finally saw some action. The combination of marginally better weather coupled with the Easter & half term holidays seems to have brought out some of the art buying public.
I’m always looking for new ways to work and develop new products so at to keep my offerings fresh and inviting. That search has made me look in particular, at how I present new works to my gallery partners. I am now fairly sure that I will make one or two collections each year where older items will be phased out. This will keep my work at the forefront of affordable art and increase sales through the diversity of design and fresh offerings.
The giant auction piece is finally to be delivered to its new home in Essex. I’ll be posting images when they’re available once the beast is installed.
New design. Ellen and I are working on the following for an installation. It should be ready in a couple of weeks.
Michael April 12th 2018
I’m having an amazing holiday in Cyprus to celebrate my 73rd year. There’s been no butterfly action in the past week apart from me following some real ones in scrub-land surrounding our hotel.
I’ve been reviewing my life and the seven decades past and I acknowledge that I’m completely blessed with all that has passed before me. I’m filled with such energy, enthusiasm and joie de vivre that I can only see good things ahead.
When I was three years old I managed to upset a lady whose hat scared me. When I said so and she told me, a 3 year old off and I’ve been apologising for myself and trying to make amends ever since. What a waste of energy!
When I was 13 I shared my Bar-mitzvah with a boy who became a lifelong friend. On the day I felt like top dog and I’ve been trying to regain that feeling for 60 years!
When I was 23 I was excited, a new business on the horizon, my marriage around the corner and the world was going to be my oyster.
At 33 my life was panning out as expected, my business my family and my home, the world was indeed my oyster.
At 43 I was buffeted by the ups and downs of business and life, aspiring to impossibly high standards but not yet wise enough to realise that they were indeed probably impossible to attain.
By 53 things took a turn for the worse, marriage and business failing but not the will to succeed.
By 63 it all turned around, I met my wife to be who helped me realise that I was good enough exactly as I was and am.
Here I am today 73, feeling amazing, enjoying life, enthusiastic, and full of the joys this life can bring.
Michael April 5th 2018
I can’t remember looking forward to a break as much as I am to my trip to Cyprus on Thursday. I’m going to rest and recharge my batteries as I have no reserves of energy left. Its been quite a month what with getting the very big box ready for the Savoy auction but it was worth it. I’m looking forward to sales improving over the next few months what with new galleries coming online and weather that is more conducive to get potential customers looking for Art. I have new ideas being developed that I’m looking forward to developing on my return fully tanned and rested. Here are a couple of images, one from Zebra Gallery Hampstead which speaks for its stripey self and the other a gift to my lovely 6-year-old granddaughter Scarlett. See you in a couple of weeks.
Michael Mar 26th 2018
You may have seen the larger version of the Butterfly shape and it’s stunning. I will now be offering this to all galleries as a limited edition the numbers of yet to be decided. Unfortunately, my selling prices are having to increase due to continuing upward pressure on costs. Since the Brexit vote, acrylic cost prices have risen 4 times and I’ve absorbed these and other additional costs until now. If I’m to survive as an artist I have to be practical as well as creative. My workshop is has been without proper heating since I occupied it last October. Despite background heaters, it’s not very comfortable with the recent icy blast. Heating Engineers come and go but still no proper heating. I’m really happy that March sales are on target due to successes at the Affordable Art Fair and some sales action amongst the other gallery partners. Spring is on its way when sales should start to rise along with temperatures.
A couple of images just arrived of a lovely installation recently placed in an EC1 property by Mandy Englesman of MEC Designs Ltd.
Michael Mar 19th 2018
Preparing a number of works for the Affordable Art fair Battersea was my focus and that was achieved with time to spare. The two new designs, the small heart-shaped and 500 x 500mm aquatic project were on display when I arrived at Battersea and looked tremendous. I’m waiting for the lowdown from Lilford Gallery to find get a reaction and what sold (I know of at least one sale). The winner of the charity auction has, for now, decided to site the large Butterfly installation in her Essex country home. That will be delivered after Easter and I’m looking forward to finally seeing it in a home. Two new enquiries from Art galleries interested in joining the growing number of gallery partners are being considered.
Update March 14th.
A New gallery called Chelmer fine art has joined the network of galleries selling my works. They will be receiving stock in a couple of weeks. Affordable art fair was very good for me. Lilford Gallery sold all 3 stock pieces and has further enquiries for an additional 2.
The heart and fish didn’t sell, however so back to the drawing board.
A new size heart 750 x 750 being delivered to Canvas Gallery Winchester
Michael Mar 13th 2018
If you read last weeks blog you’ll know that the 2m x 1.5m installation was being auctioned in aid of the Princess Alexandra Breast Unit Charity on March 3rd. I spent pretty much of the week preparing it to look at its absolute peak as there was a lot at stake. Stress was very much in the air as the unknown logistics of taking this 80kg giant to the Savoy and onto the stage decidedly ramped up the atmosphere in my studio and my head. Added to this was the condition that after the auction the work could not be stored and only be collected after the party conclusion at 1 am! Saturday evening finally came around and my wife Debra and I arrived at this glitzy and very glamorous venue bursting with the rich and famous. It was clearly going to be a great evening nevertheless, I was nervous as hell. After being served a beautifully prepared dinner, the auction started at 10.15. Auction items preceding mine got off to a slow but successful start and at that point, I was concerned that my work wouldn’t reach anywhere close to the estimated valuation.
I shouldn’t have worried, the auctioneer started the bidding at £5000 and it rose quickly and finally sold for £13,000. I was exhilarated. and though the auction funds were, of course, going to the breast-cancer charity for me, it was a meaningful moment.
Suddenly my work had the credibility to raise that kind of money.
I introduced myself to the buyer and had a little joke with her that it might just fit in her downstairs cloakroom to which she replied no “I’m sending it to my new house in India”. OK, that quip fell a little flat. I’ve asked for photos which I hope to get one day. The evening was a massive success for the Princes Alexandra Breast Unit Charity and for me now it’s back to normality and a degree of serenity.
I have made a start on my aquatic project which I’m hoping will be completed in enough time to be displayed at the Affordable Art Fair in Battersea starting this Thursday, March 8. Other than that it was a week of preparing works for new clients such as Gallery 21 and the five pieces that are going to the Affordable Art Fair.
I’m now working on a range of a new range of butterfly designs. It’s always exciting to work on new items and to develop the creative opportunities they bring. This will, of course, change the appearance of my work which I will be very excited to see when the Butterflies fly into my studio.
Ready To Go
The £13,000 moment
Michael Mar 6th 2018
In last weeks blog, I let you know about an enquiry for a commission consisting of a circular box. I’ve now quoted and I’m waiting for an answer from Tanya Baxter Gallery in Kings Road Chelsea. This is quite a complex construction and because of that, it will be costly. However, if it comes to fruition it promises to be a stunning and unique design and could well become a stock size for the future.
I now have another Art Gallery coming into the fold shortly and so welcome Gallery 21 of Salisbury. Gallery 21 will be stocked within 2 weeks.
The Affordable Art Fair in Battersea runs from March 8th until the 11th. Lilford Gallery of Canterbury will be exhibiting my works alongside those of other artists and galleries in the park and I’m hopeful of buoyant sales. David Lilford the proprietor has agreed to highlight my new and as yet unseen aquatic themed installation.
And finally, the NHS charity Butterfly Ball is being held at the Savoy Hotel in London on Saturday, March 3rd. The centrepiece being auctioned is a 2m x 1.5m monster butterfly artwork I created recently which it is hoped, will raise funds for the charity to the tune of £20,000. My wife and I are attending and I’m thrilled to be a part of the charitable work being carried out in aid of breast cancer. Of course, I’m not ignoring the huge showcase this event will provide for my work.
Finally, finally, who would have thought that I would be in the Art world in 2018 and revisit the location where I started out in business in 1969, yes that long ago. The Tanya Baxter Gallery mentioned above is right next door to the Chemist shop I owned all of those years ago. Not only happy memories but happy today’s and tomorrows.
Michael Feb 26th 2018