I've been more than a bit lazy and it's been over two months since my last blog post. Granted I've moved house, am busy planning for the new gallery and have been producing new paintings to fill it but that's no excuse. So it's high time for an update.
We're nicely settled into our new home, Glasfryn Hall in lovely Caerwys (the biggest house in the smallest town in Britain - that must be some sort of claim to fame?).
The plan is to create convert and extend an outbuilding into a 1000 sq/ft permanent gallery that will sell my own work alongside that of other local artists. At the same time, we'll be opening up the house and gardens for special exhibitions three or four times a year.
Work on the house has been pretty straightforward. We've re-decorated, a hanging system is installed, we've sorted out the lighting, bought and fixed up display cabinets and we've even got walls full of 60+ paintings. Bloomin' Gardens from Pantymwyn are working on the 3 acres of gardens.
Unfortuantely, there hasn't been quite as much progress on the permanent gallery.
It's the planning process that has been holding us up. There are no complications or issues (as far as we are aware) but it is just taking forever. We submitted our application in April and were told to expect a decision within the usual 8-weeks. However, here we are 15 weeks and two missed deadlines later and there is still not an inkling as to when we might hear something.
The upshot is that the gallery and therefore the whole business venture has to wait. We can't even speak to builders until we know what it is we are going to be allowed to build. It's all very frustrating.
But enough moaning. Thankfully, we haven't lost our sense of enthusiasm and excitement for the project. The aim is now an Easter 2020 opening.
In the meantime, there are plenty of other things to be getting on with, not least getting ready for Helfa Gelf, Wales' biggest open studios and art trail that will be happening over two weekends in September. That will be an interesting test of whether what we have done with the house actually works and, touch wood, we'll have some approved plans for the permanent gallery to show people. Hopefully some artist's impressions too.
So, do come along and say hello during the Helfa Gelf weekends of 14/15 and 21/22 September. We would like as many thoughts and views as possible. You can find out more about Helfa Gelf, including all of the other artists taking part, at helfagelf.co.uk.