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Calamity Jane Falls From Ladder Shocker

Blog Posted on 07 Mar 2011

To be, or not to be ........ a decorator, a plumber, an electrician or a wood chopper-er and fixer to walls person? That is the question.



The answer is: No - No to any of those alternative professions for me thankyou very much.

This is what I have been doing all week. The opening of the new Villager gallery at Caudwell’s Mill, Rowsley looms ever closer. I have pushed myself sooooo hard this week to get as much done as is womanly possible, so we can open by the end of the week. GULP. Grown up stuff or what?



I have been a cross between Tommy Walsh and Calamity Jane. Sometimes the job I was doing worked beautifully and I was so proud of myself for my expert DIY and sometimes it didn’t work quite so well, but at least I gave it a try.


Now, this artist knows how to:
Saw wood to the correct size and not guess - ‘cos when it’s wrong  she throws a major temper tantrum.
Paint a ceiling not once, twice but 3 times over – this was a particularly favourite part of the renovations – Not . If it was the Sistine Chapel maybe, but not Dulux Brilliant white – bor -ing
Make counters from scratch (as in shop work surfaces NOT tiddlywinks).
Know what size screw to use with what raw plug and not to touch the drill bit when you’ve finished a load of drilling as it’s a tad hot.
Not to shimmy up a ladder outside in the rain when there’ s no one around, to try and  get on a slippy moss covered roof and then not to fall the last 4 rungs and lay on your back like an over turned tortoise.

What a glamorous life I have. It will all be worth it and next week’s blog may also have some actual new painting featured. (I have to first un - bury all my paints from the huge pile of stuff waiting to be transported to the new shop.  I can’t wait to be able to just set up my easel and paint again)


I shall miss my old little studio and its regular wildlife visitors. This is the tabby cat that comes to see me every morning and these baby swallows lived just outside my door to the shop. They flew the nest last June. The parents had 2 broods last year – 9 babies in total. I literally had a bird’s eye view of them. They’ll still come this year when I’ve moved as they’ve been regular visitors for 20 years now.


The new Gallery will focus on all my new wildlife Villager Helen paintings and Villager Jim’s stunning famous wildlife photographs.


I say famous because some of them truly are. Quite a few have been used on Spring Watch no less. When I first heard of this I was so impressed. Not only could Jim take amazing photographs but this man might know Chris Packham - the animal artist’s, thinking woman’s crumpet.


I did wonder if Jim knew Chris personally and could get me an invite to sit in that cosy shed on the telly and boot Kate Humble off the sofa – she needs to go brush her hair anyway.


Alas I’m still waiting for my invite...........


Here’s my painting next to Villager Jim’s photograph:
I get a lot of people in the Gallery proclaiming knowledgably that this little baby starling is in fact cuckoo. I nearly had a fight with one customer from Matlock who was adamant it was a cuckoo.





One: Cuckoo’s look absolutely nothing like this 
Two: It’s a baby starling. The photographer was indeed there watching all the other baby starlings getting fed at the time.
Three: it’s not a cuckoo 


But can you tell ‘em? Not on your nelly. The customer is ALWAYS  right – except when they’re wrong.


Wish me luck for the opening and no ladder- bungie jumping this week – promise.


Blog brought to you by Helen Clark, The Gallery, Caudwell’s Mill, Rowsley

Type Of Art: Painting
Location: Rowsley

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