Monthly Archives: April 2014

Introducing Mr Monty’s Art Emporium

Elaine and Graham – ‘the staff’ have been out and about searching for talented UK artists for Mr Monty’s Art Emporium.

They’ve gathered together some excellent work and I can hardly wait for the open house weekend on 10 and 11 May at our cosy little home in Surbiton.

I’d like to welcome on board, in no particular order, the following lovely talented artists. Drum roll please…

Linda Miller imageLinda Miller – embroiderer extraordinaire who has created five exquisite little pictures exclusively for my Emporium.  Linda has work in the permanent collections of the V&A and Crafts Council and we are delighted she wanted to be part of the Emporium.

It was one of her pictures – Sooty the Wonder Cat – that started the staff’s collection. They had just got a gas bill for the same amount as Linda’s picture cost. The decided that, in 20 years time, they wouldn’t remember the day they paid the gas bill, but they would still have Sooty.

They’ve looked at this lovely picture every day since. And the gas bill got paid somehow.

Cat-Bag.jpgShane Thompson – illustrator based in Falmouth, Cornwall. Shane has designed a fabulous motif and printed it onto tote bags. Again, the design is exclusive to Mr Monty’s Emporium.

Peeping-cat.jpgBridie Cheeseman – illustrator, also from Falmouth. Bridie has produced five delightful gouache images for the Emporium. I call them ‘secret cats’ because you have to look hard to find the cats in some of the paintings. Take a close look at the self-portrait in her bio too…!

Laughing-Cat.jpgJane Adams – ceramicist, painter and gallery owner in St Just, Cornwall. The staff have been customers of her gallery for a few years now, and love her fun, quirky, cat ceramics and paintings. They were thrilled she wanted to be part of my Emporium.

Jane has been owned by many cats over the years and is now employed by four felines.

Sweet-Peas.jpgAlison Barter – Herefordshire-based painter. Alison works from an idyllic studio in her garden surrounded by beautiful countryside. And it’s reflected in her work. Her main focus is botanical painting but she adores cats and can’t resist including them in her work. The staff tell me her work reminds them of Elizabeth Blackadder’s paintings – I’ll have to take their work for that.

Alison also does commissions. So you could ask her to do a painting of your cat together with your favourite flower. Or you could commission a gift for a cat lover.

Cute-cat-admiring-cushion.jpgNicola Barter – Alison’s daughter. Nicola has a business called The Catkin Boutique and she makes cushions, bags, earrings and even temporary tattoos printed with images of cats.

And she’ll make earrings based on your own cat! I think Elaine should have some of moi…

Lost-cats-quartet-4-of-4.jpgPaddy Hamilton is a Dungeness based artist. He doesn’t usually do anything to do with cats – he has two dogs…

But he did have these very poignant prints called ‘Lost Cats’. They were inspired by a notice stuck to a lamppost about a cat that had gone missing. The notice was still being replaced three years on. So sad. I think the story reminded the staff of when I went missing and they stuck notices on trees and lampposts around where we live.

Oh OK then. Here are the dogs

Fly - he's the daddy.

Fly – he’s the daddy.


Jet - Fly's boy.

Jet – Fly’s boy.

Elaine Mason and Michael Farnsworth run Glass on Glass from their studio in Herefordshire.  Elaine is the main designer and produces a beautiful range of glassware including bowls, coasters, candle shades and cheeseboards.

The staff have chosen some very nice cat inspired pieces!

Dena O’Brien is a very talented fine art printer based near Redruth in Cornwall. She’s busy making some pieces exclusively for my Emporium, which will include a print of me! I hear she’s making cat print lampshades too…

Dena will do commissions so keep a look out for the Monty print to give you an idea of what she could do for you.

Poppy Robinson is an illustration student at Falmouth University. Although she’s never had the good fortune to share a home with a cat, she has always been drawn to us. She says she is inspired by our colourful personalities, our elegance, and our playfulness. What a nice, clever lady!

Poppy has created paintings in gouache just for my Emporium. Thank you Poppy!

CushionNicola Walker is a Surrey-based textile artist.

She’s producing several pieces of work including some fabulous cushions with applique cats. You could ask her to make one for your cat too!

The staff will also have work in my Emporium. Graham has made a range of fabulous painted textiles of my good self, each with a quotation. Some are about books and reading, and others are quotes about leadership inspired by me and my cleverness.

Elaine has a range of feline photos – framed and unframed, and some have been made into cards.

We’ll have other artists joining us over the next few months as well, so keep an eye on the website.

And we have a fabulous vintage range too. I do like to keep Elaine and Graham busy and focussed.

How you can buy the work
We’re launching Mr Monty’s Art Emporium with an open house weekend on the 10th and 11th May, then you’ll be able to buy work online.

If you’re interested in something online but would rather see it in person, you can make an appointment to come and see us. Or my staff will come to see you with the piece of work you’re interested in if you don’t live too far away.

I’m planning to send the staff off to do markets and fairs too so  watch this space!