Monday, 14 January 2019

Van Gogh's 'Bedroom'

In the process of tidying up my office I just came across some old photos of Dave's. They were mostly from the late 1960s, about the time I first met him. It's when he was in the middle of a period of work which was totally dominated by Vincent Van Gogh. He worked in all mediums, but the biggest and most impressive pieces were large paper-mache reconstructions of some of Van Gogh's painting. Nearly all of Dave's work from this period has gone - either fallen apart or broken up to make space for later pieces. 

Van Gogh's 'Bedroom'. Dave built this slightly larger than life size. It was exhibited, I think at Liverpool's Bluecoat Gallery, along with other pieces from this period. Interestingly its mentioned (and illustrated) in Thames and Hudson's 'Environments and Happenings' by Adrian Henri, published in 1974. It says..."David Pearson. an obsessional artist from Lancashire, has emerged as one of the most exciting new artists in a series of recent shows. His work is almost entirely motivated by the life and work of Van Gogh...".

Tuesday, 1 January 2019

New Year - and a Sale!

The On-line Shop (see previous posts), offering a selection of smaller works by Dave Pearson has been a success - selling considerably more work in the pre-Christmas period than we had expected. 

But one surprise was that the prints - the etchings and drypoints that make up two of the seven categories on sale - didn't sell better than they did. I hoped that they would do well on-line, in part because they can be viewed quite well on a screen. This is in contrast to the paintings where, inevitably, the details of the brushwork get lost. Below are details of four example prints:

Admittedly they have to be sold at a price that covers the printing costs, because unlike the other work which is simply in storage at the studio, we have to ask the master printer Alan Birch to create new editions for us, and cover his costs. 

So we're trying out a new idea - which is to join the January sales, and reduce the price of each print by £100! It will be interesting to see if this results in selling some of these wonderful artworks. They are all in verified limited editions, and once sold this won't be repeated.

The Calendar Customs series of etchings are particularly amazing, full of detail from Dave's exhaustive researches into English customs. They are very attractive and absolutely crammed with minute detail: 

The Dave Pearson On-line Shop website is at 

Friday, 7 December 2018

The DP Shop...

The previous blog was about setting up our on-line shop selling only original artwork by Dave Pearson.

We've been able to do this fairly easily because of our cataloguing of Dave's work being done with software that has recently been fully connected with the internet, and hence enabled web trading. 

So three weeks ago we put our shop on-line with 7 galleries of artworks, and an eighth gallery where we could sell our film and catalogues. In total we put up 120 pieces of Dave's artwork for sale. 

Since then we've sold well. With nothing to compare it to I imagined that we might, if things went well, sell perhaps one item a week. In fact we've sold more than three times that. Our very recent sales include the following pieces:

The experience has been an exciting one. It's been great to discover that on-line selling can be fun, and we've made contact with new buyers and enthusiasts for Dave's work as a result. We've also had to learn fast about packaging and mailing out artwork...

In the New Year we'll update our stock to keep things fresh and lively. To take a close look simply go to

Thursday, 22 November 2018

Our on-line gallery

We've now completed the first-stage of our on-line gallery which makes it much easier to purchase original works by Dave Pearson through the new Dave Pearson Studio website

We've selected 120 pieces of work by Dave which are now available for sale directly. They can be paid for on-line by card or via Paypal. Postage and packing is included in the price, and we guarantee to post out within 7 days. Because the purchase is directly with the studio we've been able to keep the prices down. 

Most of the works are on paper and they can be easily and safely posted. The majority are gouaches and include some of the colourful and dynamic works that Dave created alongside his Byzantium work, and which would have informed his large canvases.

The amazing series of large etchings of English Calendar Customs are also available (example below), along with some of the smaller Byzantium canvases and a series of framed gouaches.

To visit the Dave Pearson Web Gallery and Shop simply go to .

Monday, 12 November 2018

Quantity...and the catalogue

The fact that Dave Pearson worked tirelessly throughout his life and left an exceptionally large number of artworks has often been commented on. It's clearly a notable and impressive achievement, but it has led to a number of problems. Ella Cole has been working for the Trust (now the Studio) since 2013 cataloguing the work, although this process has now just about reached its end.

Each piece of work has had to be given a title, photographed and measured, and a decision made on what type of art work it is - painting, drawing, print, gouache etc etc. This information is then fed into the database, which gives the piece a 'catalogue number'. 

We have used Artlook Software to help us with this process from the beginning, and have been very impressed with it. Especially since it recently upgraded to a fully digital cloud-based application. Now, when we look at our catalogue on a screen, we see something like this:

It's easy to scroll through and call up and look more closely at individual items. It tells us whether a work has been sold or not, its price and year of origin. It's also simple to search for work under a wide range of category headings. So, for example, we can just just select 'etchings' and the screen will show only the etchings within the catalogue.

We're often asked about the quantity of work created by Dave. Ella completed her cataloguing at roughly item number 13,500.  But the catalogue started at number 110 rather than 0, and although the occasional mistake can be easily altered or modified, each change will move the numbering forward by one. So it might be more realistic to say that there are about 13,000 items in the catalogue. 

However Dave's many sketch books, many of which contain between 50 and 100 drawings, have simply been catalogued each as a single item. Similarly some folders of work (mainly sketches or monoprints) have been catalogued in the same way. In addition to this, we have never catalogued most of the the very early work, which is stored under not very good conditions in the cellar. It's mostly in poor condition but must amount in total to several hundred pieces. Finally, I estimate that there are perhaps 2,000 pieces of work at Dave's old house, now with his son Chris. So, taking these things into account there are probably about 15,500 pieces of work, in total, by Dave Pearson.

But - and its a big but, Dave never threw anything away. This has been very helpful in tracking his work through from its inception in sketch form through to the completed pieces. But it also means that there's a considerable amount of work which are best considered as sketches, sometimes scribbles, or as trial pieces, and as test pieces. I think, had Dave lived, he would certainly have rejected some of these and have archived them, and removed them from the catalogue of his work. 

Looking at this issue - and dealing with it - will be one of our major challenges in the forthcoming year or so. It might well mean that the estimated 15.500 pieces of Dave Pearsons catalogued work will finally be reduced to a catalogue raisonne of half that number, or even fewer.

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

The Plough Jags of Burringham

From time to time we receive queries about the provenance of a Dave Pearson work that has found its way into someones' possession. 

These are most frequently works not by 'our' Dave Pearson at all. There are one or two other artists out there going by the same name. Fortunately their work is immediately recognisable as being by a different artist. 

But yesterday I received a query about a print, and the sender sent me several photographs of it:

Interestingly it was signed, as an artists proof, by Dave, and dated 1980. It also had a title 'The Plough Jags of Burringham'. This information has been very helpful as we've not had an accurate date until now as to when Dave made the series of prints based on English Calendar Customs. Neither did we know exactly what the subject was. But with a little research I've found that 'The Plough Jags' are a folk group of mummers from the East Midlands, and Dave would probably have found a photograph of them during his researches into calendar customs. 

So we're been able to update our own records, and include this information on the Dave Pearson on-line shop, where freshly printed copies of the etching are currently available:

It's also given us further clues about a series of very large pastel drawings made by Dave Pearson. We knew that these were of English folk groups and customs, but were less certain as to their date. It means that almost certainly they were also done sometime around 1980:

Friday, 12 October 2018

RAT 2018

Last weekend was the annual local open studios event - Rossendale Art Trail, or RAT for short. We took part as ever (it would be hard not to as I'm the coordinator). This year our sister organisation, Apna Rossendale, also offered a very special exhibition. The Slough based artist Shamina Haq, who not only exhibited a number of her geometric pieces but was present throughout, giving demonstrations and discussing her work with visitors. 

The event naturally brought a larger proportion of visitors from the South Asian heritage communities, and most extended their visit and came upstairs to see the selection of smaller Byzantium-series panels by Dave Pearson. We had well over 100 visitors who came to see us during the weekend, and we also sold four pieces - a gouache, two prints and a ink and watercolour drawing.