March 2017

AlicePopkorn-smAs I get older, I find my patience challenged more and more. In those weak moments, especially if I am tired, it’s incredibly easy to ‘lose it’. But once I do, although I feel an instant weight of relief for having vented, a feeling of guilt for having ‘passed on’ that negative energy to someone else overcomes me.

The easiest thing to do when we feel pressure building up is to just let rip. But just because that’s our base reaction, it doesn’t make it right or healthy for us.

claire_henleyThese days when I feel that pressure building up, I stop… breathe… then ask myself one question: Do you really want to let this spiral out of control?

99% of the time our frustrations are built on something we have zero control over – a traffic jam, someone being late, something (like computers!) not working properly – so by ‘choosing’ my reactive outcome, something truly wonderful happens to me. I find a stillness wash over me, knowing I’ve regained control of the situation.

HilaryBut there’s something much more powerful that happens…

From not reacting with my base instinct, I regain all the power that I was going to spill negatively onto someone else, and ‘recapture’ it. Instead of venting that energy, I retain it, which in turn empowers me. I quite literally turn a negative dump into a positive self-confidence boost.

peter_symondsAm I able to do that always? Absolutely not…. a Buddha I am not! But when I am, the boost of self-esteem I get from taking back control of my emotions is astoundingly powerful. Like anything, though, it’s something one has to train oneself for. But I think it’s really worth putting in the hours and I try to practice as often as possible… if not for myself, certainly for those around me.

arnicaOK, me hearties. Before I get onto this month’s newbies and last month’s successes, I want to remind all those who may be in the Cheltenham area on Saturday March 11th, we have a co-exhibition with our partners, Arnica Dental Care where you can have a chat and catch up with the lovely Claire Henley and Hilary Stock. Any time from 10am to 4pm, the practice is open to greet you. Please RSVP under info@arnicadentalcare.co.uk or call 01242 655554. More details here: www.arnicadentalcare.co.uk/open-day. Hope you can make it, folks. Gonna be fun if Claire and Hilary are involved!

ben_taffinderRight, what can I say about what was supposed to be one of the quietest months in the calendar… apart from WOW! We’ve nearly tripled last year’s takings thanks to your online purchases of the awesome Ben Taffinder, the mighty Ilric Shetland and many others. Truly, thank you for kicking off this breathtaking year so audaciously.

We have an abundance of new work for you, so with no further ado I want to introduce you to our newest and the most remote painter to grace THG’s wonderful stable of artists… Kim VanDerHoek from California!

kim_vanderhoekKim has been on my radar for a year or two thanks to social media and, after (almost) meeting her in November, we chatted and she agreed to join us. She was intending to be an online-only artist, but within days of launching her page, she’d had such serious interest in sales that we decided to take her on in-house, too. So please, take a moment to welcome this incredible US artist to our humble home.

ilricSo what about other new works? Well, the aforementioned Claire Henley popped in last weekend and dropped in 3 stunning new pieces. Such a pleasure to work with that lady. Robin Mason dropped of a superb commission and the mega popular Stephen Higton added some newbies to his page, too.

robinThose incredible Peter Symonds‘ pieces arrived whilst I was swanning it up in Mexico, so it’s worth checking those out in-house and online now. And Joe Armstrong popped in with the creative flurry he’d created for us mid-month (gotta love that for service, eh?) so do pop in and enjoy those newbies as well.

higtonNext month I’m already over-excited to introduce you to at least 2 more of our four new maestros this year. Just itchin’ to share their awesomeness with y’all. But keep your eye on the website as they’ll appear there and on our social media feeds first! And like the first of Kim’s, you don’t wanna miss any Oscar-worthy Dreamworks (did you see what I did there?).

findmeFinally, I’ve got an unusual freebie giveaway for you! Hilary Stock‘s husband, Jon, has just released his newest novel under the pseudonym JS Munroe, Find Me Before They Do. I read it whilst away and if you like tense thrillers… you’ll LOVE this. Schamazballs! No wonder it’s raced straight to the top of the UK Kobo charts. Anyway, I over-ordered and have three hardback copies to give away to those who’d like to play ‘CrossPost’.

Sjoe_armstrongo, how to play CrossPost? For your chance to have a copy of Find Me Before They Do drop through your door, simply copy and paste the following wording onto any of your social media feeds: #TheHarbourGallery, I want a copy of #FindMeBeforeTheyDo please!

I’ll contact the winners next week and organise delivery with you… Good Luck!

OK me lovelies, that’s it for this month. You never cease to amaze me and Deborah with your loyalty, custom and overall splendidness. Thank you! And we both looking forward to seeing or hearing from you soon. Stay safe till then, cherubs!

Mark

________________________________________

February 2017

hosedown-smI recently shared an uplifting local story of dog that fell overboard and swam 2 miles to shore before eventually being reunited with its owner. The story went viral and made me wonder why sharing purely good news isn’t considered ‘press-worthy’, whereas the salacious kind dominates our news.

Some studies suggest we feel a need to react quickly to potential threats, so bad news might be a signal to our subconscious that we need to change our life to avoid danger. Maybe that’s why the press take the charming baseline of: “if it bleeds, it leads”? …  read more