A Year-End Reflection from Our North East Coastal Art Gallery
As 2023 draws to a close, it’s time to reflect back on the past year as we continue to live our best life running an art gallery by the sea! Thank you for joining us on this journey. We have so many loyal customers who support my artwork and our art gallery in Cullercoats that we couldn't do it without you.
Paintings of the Northeast & beyond
Over the last year, I’ve painted 39 new original paintings, with an extra 4 almost finished on the easel! Look out for them in the gallery in January.
Back in the summer, Ross and I enjoyed exploring the Northumberland Coastal Path and completed the sections from Alnmouth to Craster, then from Craster to Beadnell, with a bit of sea swimming on route! These walking trips inspire many of my paintings as I take my sketchbook and camera with me to capture the scenery along the way.
Beyond the Northeast I painted a collection of North Yorkshire coastal scenes to exhibit at the Staithes Festival of Arts and Heritage. We were delighted that the festival made a comeback this year, and it was a real treat to exhibit and stay in such a wonderful location.
To find out more, watch my YouTube video here: https://youtu.be/CWN5z9--CLk?si=5CNjedWdHiaf7caF
In an endeavour to broaden my creative horizons and offer something different in the gallery, I embarked on a fresh collection of animal paintings, aptly named "Furs, Feathers, and Fins." Thinking ahead to 2024, these images will be available as greetings cards for the animal lovers among us.
Sadly, in 2023, we saw the tragedy of losing one of our most beloved Northumberland landmarks, the Sycamore Gap tree. This tragedy was extremely bittersweet for us. As you all flocked to remember the tree by buying my artwork, it didn't sit right with us to profit so well from such a tragedy that we have made a donation to the National Trust Tree Planting Scheme.
I’m extremely grateful that I was able to visit and paint the tree from my own personal experience of this magnificent place before it was no more.
Connecting with our Northeast Community
It has been a busy year for community and charity projects.
Firstly, it was a pleasure to take part in the ‘Shaun on the Tyne’ charity sculpture trail in aid of St. Oswalds Hospice. I was delighted to have my design sponsored and displayed in the iconic Newcastle Cathedral for 10 weeks before ‘Sheep Ahoy’ sold at auction for £4,000. I still don’t know who the new lucky owner is, but I’d love to know where he’s living now?
Secondly, we were delighted to become the sole sponsor of the Cullercoats Community Advent Trail and invite the trail hosts to the gallery for a private gathering to celebrate the beginning of Advent. For my window display this year, I created a winter village scene with a miniature art gallery, church, and sweet shop! Thank you for all of the lovely comments. It delights me to see so many happy faces looking into our gallery window.
Last but not least, I donated an image of the Cullercoats Christmas Carol service to the local RNLI for their annual charity Christmas Card. I’m delighted to say all 12,000 cards sold out this year, so thank you to everyone who snapped up the cards!
Gratitude and Acknowledgments
"Big thanks to our amazing extended team – Laura, Millie, Jason, Ruth, Stacey, Uncle George, Jon, and Ellen – for their invaluable contributions in keeping our gallery thriving. Gratitude to Clare for her fabulous photography skills, and to our extended team of printers and framers – Paul, Jonathan, Huw, John, Peter, and Ian – for their dedication to maintaining our fresh gallery walls. Finally, heartfelt thanks to our supporters – every sale, social media engagement, and kind comment keeps us going. We couldn't do it without you!"
What's in store for 2024 I hear you ask?
Well, we are kicking off the year with a stand at ‘Spring Fair’ Brimingham NEC with our new 'Locations' greeting card collection. It will be fabulous to return to such a big event, regain contact with our stockists, and hopefully pick up some new retailers!
Beyond that, my aim is really just to get back into the studio and paint. I’ve got a sketchbook full of ideas that I want to get out onto canvas. So watch this space!
If you’d like to stay in touch and be the first to hear about new painting releases, please sign up for my ‘Collectors Club’ newsletter on the home page of my website. I usually send out a newsletter at the end of every month, so keep an eye out for it in your inbox.
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Best wishes for 2024 Joanne & Ross