Blog post poster - the end of wishy washy plus a new gallery

The end of wishy-washy season

Long term readers will know that I’m largely uncommunicative in the first 6 weeks of every year. I always seem to put myself on hold on December 31 and not press ‘play’ again until mid February. This year I was determined NOT to do this, and I did manage a few newsletters in January, but it didn’t come easily or naturally. Exhale. I can feel myself shifting into my New Year mode.

Painted papers hang on the studio wall above blank painting panels

Thinking about new paintings

So while I haven’t posted on Instagram (or Facebook) much this last 6 weeks, it doesn’t mean I’ve been idle. I’ve moved house (still in progress), painted, and am currently dealing with a water issue in my studio.

My Studio

The storage end of my studio with shelves of sketchbooks and paintings both finished and underway.

Storage end of my studio

Moving house hasn’t meant moving studio. I now commute to work which is a bit novel, and I’m still adjusting to the consequences of not planning carefully and forgetting something vital. I’m improving.
I love my studio. It’s large and I almost constantly reorganise it to tweak its efficiency. It’s pretty darn good after four years! But I did have plans for a bit of storage reshuffle anyway but my plans were sped up by the recent rain.
About a year after I moved into the space I installed air conditioning (what a luxury/necessity). Since then it has saved me in the humid heat, and the chilly shady mornings in winter. It’s worked perfectly in all weather! But being at the pointy end of climate change we are now getting extreme weather conditions. Having been missed by the fires, my studio couldn’t get out of the way of the flooding rain over that last week.
Open air conditioner above wet slat wall and stack of recycled paper towels

The water damage end of my studio

Not that it actually flooded, but the sheer intensity of the deluges filled the gutters and the downpipes. The water just couldn’t get away fast enough. My problem occurred as a result of the full down pipes which allowed the water to go UP the air conditioning outlet pipe and consequently siphoned the water through the air conditioner. It flowed down the wall, over my slat wall brush storage. small boards in progress, and my huge stacks of used paper towels for reusing. It pooled on the floor where it became deep enough to lap against the bottom of an old table made from MDF. It’s destroyed, no big problem there aside from the mess. That stuff just dissolves into something like soft toy stuffing! My brushes will dry, but I think my slat wall is ruined. Small paintings are ok (because I spend so much time sealing the wood before I begin), but my paper towels, what a job to dry them all out.
You actually don’t need that much detail, sorry I know I ramble. What you might be interested in is the subsequent reorganising. I had used two tv stand cabinets stacked on on top of the other to store my stock of wood panels and works in progress. I’m emptying them and fitting all the stuff into other shelves so I can open up the space a bit, move other storage and have a sink installed. A sink! The dream of every painter may come to fruition for me very soon. It will be my very first studio with running water! (Just running water of a different kind the what I’ve had this week!)

New Gallery

Painting "Seasonal Solitude" by Jan Allsopp leaning against reception desk in The Watershed Gallery, Pokolbin

Watershed Gallery, Pokolbin

During this time I’ve also been welcomed into the Watershed Gallery family. (What is it with water at the moment!!??) Owned and run by artist Lyn Hammond and her husband Ron, it is purpose built and smack bang in the middle of the Hunter Valley wineries area. If you’re in the area it is a must see. I’m thrilled to be included with such a talented stable of artists.
Once again I’ll be endeavouring to post weekly – see you then!
Jan

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