Sunday, December 19, 2010

Pollyanna Goes Shopping!

Gallery Walk

For many years I held an open studio at the beginning of December, in conjunction with a local Craft Studio Tour. This was a several day event, and because my house WAS my studio and the art WAS the walls as well as what was hanging on them, it meant that my whole house was on show. In the beginning I tried to clean the place up, but after a few years I let the perfectionism relax and the house just be the exhibit, messy studios and all! So it was that when earlier this year a viewer of this blog commented that she would love to see some more of my ART, I thought I might try to hold an Open Studio in my blogland world. Before you get your hopes up that I will be showing you ALL my studios here in my new house, I will tell you they are too messy and NOT ready for showing! That will have to come another day. But to make amends for making you wait, I will show you ONE wall of my new house. This is the wall where I hang the Christmas Cards I have drawn over the years. Every year I draw a picture that I send out to family and friends, and over time it became a scrap book of the family history, because I always drew from what had happened during that year. The drawings started out as pen and ink, and eventually added watercolor paint as color reproduction became affordable. These are each 8.5 by 11 inches in dimension. There are now more than 25 of them..... they continue on another wall. Sorry about the poor lighting..... poke the pictures to have a closer look!

And then, just to make amends further for leading you on about seeing ART.... I will take you with me as Pollyanna goes Christmas shopping! She has heard of a new bunch of shops that have opened up with some Galleries she wants to check out! They are in a new up and coming part of town and there is a sweet little park nearby.

Pollyanna stops to have a look. Should she walk through the snow to see the little pond? She's NOT wearing her snow boots!

The first shop she comes to is "Serendip Gallery". It has Old World paintings on display.

The owner is Will Peters Ott. He is from Europe, of the Switzerland Otts. He has many connections in Europe and imports fine art for his Gallery.

Pollyanna immediately starts thinking of filling the walls of the Lovely Old Dollhouse with Old World portraits.

Mr. Ott is very charming and knows a great deal about all his art.

Pollyanna is particularly taken with a couple of portraits of beautiful women from long ago.
(Just in case you were curious, I painted these MANY years ago when I was in my teens. They are not entirely original, as I was copying from actual portraits that were in a volume of costume history I owned. They are acrylic on cardboard with a varnish coating. The frames were also carved by me.)

Will Peters Ott also owns the shop next door "Otts and Ends", where he displays antique furniture and textiles.

He is only too happy to show Pollyanna around this Gallery as well.
Pollyanna sees many things she would love to buy.... but she really is trying to do some Christmas shopping! So perhaps she will be back.

The next shop is "Aileens Basement". It is owned by Mr. Aileen. It is not as "high end" as Will's shop. It has a little bit of everything from old bathroom fixtures to old bicycles.

Pollyanna immediately spots an old dollhouse in one corner.... should she get that for Annabelle? Is Annabelle old enough for such a fine old dollhouse? Hmmm... she will have to think about this some more. Perhaps she will be back.

The shop next door is run by Mr. Aileen's wife, Sherry. It is called "The Jewel Box" and is a Gallery catering to modern, little known, but perhaps up and coming artists. Pollyanna is intrigued.

The space has such a clean and polished look after the mess next door!

Sherry introduces herself and explains that the current artist she is showing is a multi-disciplined artist. She has only watercolors to show in this exhibit, but knows this artist also does murals, and furniture and sculpture.....

Pollyanna wants to see every painting.

It seems this artist has traveled in foreign lands!

This one is from Scotland....

And Switzerland......

And very recognizeably Greece!

And Sherry explains that this artist is also known to have painted directly in BOOKS!

In fact, she has one on exhibit here if you want to take a peek.....

Pollyanna says "You mean she painted these directly in the book?"

Here, have a closer look!

And another page......

(This book was bought in Florence, Italy, a blank book. I painted on some of the pages, intending it to be a sort of sampler, with examples to use in later works, a scrap book of sorts.)

And of course, a few more paintings.... this one from Scotland again.

(These paintings are each about 2 inches square, and were painted in another small book that I carried with me on my travels. These framed versions are photocopies of the originals.)

And another painting, slightly larger than the others....... Pollyanna really likes this one....

(Sorry about all the reflections on the glass... they are hard to photograph...)

And yet another, this one a bit different from the others.

Pollyanna wishes she had enough money to buy some of these..... and somewhere to hang them!

She will have to come back to this Gallery again after Christmas!

When she steps outside again, it has grown dark... the days are so short at this time of the year! But the lights are lit and the shops all look so festive!

She passes Will Ott's Gallery and waves to him! She will be back!

So dear readers, I have not shown you my studios... but I have shown another glimpse of my miniature ART. Some of this was intended for the dollhouse world, and some was not..... and it only occurs to me now that some of it might work well in the dollhouse world!

And now I will confess that today I had INTENDED to work on drawing this year's Christmas Card! It is on the drawing table and already started, but NOT YET DONE!

And instead I have PLAYED with my dolls!

This is a shot of the set-up in my basement...... about the only place left in my house where there is room for a row of shops - tucked into cubby hole shelves!

It is dark as Pollyanna heads home past the snow covered park...... she thinks about the star-filled sky and Three Kings setting out to take gifts to a new born babe....

She still has a LOT of shopping left to do!

Pollyanna Goes Shopping


  1. I love your post-cards and all the mini art! You are a very talented Lady, Betsy!
    And I love the lamps in your shops!

  2. Your story is really exciting! It is nice as you move your characters in your fantasy world. I read with great interest the story of Christmas' shopping.
    Everyone has got an air of magic from the snow park to the shops.
    Congratulations for your post-card, for a mini book, for your watercolors and for everything ......they are magic! You are a true artist!
    I think Pollyanna will bring more money for shopping when she comes out next time. At these parts there are things too interesting to buy.
    I wish with all my heart Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

  3. Dear Betsy. thank you for showing me your art. I love them , every one . You are blessed with a really special gift and I can see you have nurtured, nourished and love it with all your heart.

  4. What a fun post! Loved the art tour.

  5. What a wonderful talent you have. I too loved the tour and the story along with it. I love your little book - will all the pages be filled one day?

  6. It's extraordinary! How wonderful to see all these well-known dear little pieces in a new setting.

  7. Thank you for sharing your wonderful miniature art with us, I think I recognized at least one of the lady portraits :-) Your christmascard tradition is wonderful, so nice to have a wall filled with 25 years of family history!
    Fun story and I love the little shops as well, and the wall hangings in the antique shop are gorgeous!
    Merry Christmas Betsy!

  8. Thank You Ewa! I have been so busy I have not had time to reply! Your gift arrived two days ago and is being saved for Christmas morning! I can't wait!
    The lights in the shops are Christmas ornaments I have saved because I always thought they would make wonderful dollhouse lights!
    Merry Christmas to you!

  9. Thank you Rosella! I have looked at your Nativity and am in great admiration of what you have created! It is beautiful! Merry Christmas to you!

  10. Thank you Sans! As usual... the artist in me says (without modesty) I have not done nearly enough! But the art just happens, it is a part of me that can't be stopped!

  11. Thanks Josje! I aim to amuse my readers!
    Merry Christmas to you!

  12. Thank you Christine! You have asked the important question that no-one knows the answer to! I always aim to complete my projects.... but a lot of them are currently unfinished...... so we shall see!

  13. Thank you Mom, (in Daydreamer's profile) for your wonderful support and your wonderful presence here!

  14. Thank you Helene! I am so glad you enjoyed the tour! And you have a good memory... I did show a couple of those paintings in a very early post about the earliest creations of mine..... :) I have saved them all these years.... it is nice to now have an antiques shop to display them in!
    Merry Christmas to you too!