• The Merry Month of June

    It’s the right weather isn’t it?

    It’s something someone said to me n Betty as we were walking across the golf course up at Hollingbury on a sunny day recently.

    Truth is, I DON’T like it too hot personally, but I LOVE that it makes so many people happy and chatty. For me a sunny day always seems like an extra thing to do. I know I should get out and enjoy myself, but a colder day just let’s me BE… And then I got to thinking, he’s right that man on the golf course. It’s actually always the right weather! When the sun is too warm it’s a welcome reminder for me to be resourceful. When nothing is uncomfortable, there is no incentive to change.

    Most of my life I’ve felt the pressure of being too busy, and it’s motivated me to make some changes. And when there’s a hot day I’m reminded I can do that then as well. Instead of feeling grumpy with the weather, I can walk the dogs early and keep the blinds down. I can open all the windows and dry my sheets outdoors. I can appreciate people’s sunloving smiles and feel slightly less worried about the those who live on the streets in all weathers. It makes me especially grateful for the trees and the cool of my studio.

    So to help manage the stress I can feel when I’m over busy, I’m going to take the advice of so many of you out there - thank you - and start doing less!

    I’m going to raise the prices of original work as I’ll be painting fewer pieces. Which is a lovely reward for anyone who has bought my work over the last 30 years … It’s about time your investment paid off, eh? I’ll be healthier and happier and able to spend more time writing, sculpting and walking the dogs.

    But this price hike is not undertaken without some feelings of guilt, a fair bit of awkwardness and a little shame. Why should I charge so much more when many people can’t afford it? Why shouldn’t I fulfill the desires of everyone who wants to own an original Sam Toft?

    So I’ve thought about this long and hard, and here’s the ‘half way house’ that will help both myself and my nearest and dearest.

    The ‘almost original’ experience: For people who want artwork with original sketches in the title line, we have the remarqued prints. For those who like things you can’t get anywhere else, there are self published prints, signed books and even Studio Proofs that come with a complimentary original drawing direct from my own Mother’s garage in Cornwall. Visit MUSTARDSHOP at www.samtoft.co.uk and find the Exclusive Limited Editions.

    For people who miss my own little shop in Brighton (now closed) or who weren’t able to visit because they live far faraway, during 2022 there’s a new Members’ Club! Here you will find an exclusive membership pack, monthly emails with competitions, prizes and giveaways plus a chance to hobnob with fellow Mustardeers. You can even give a Gift Membership. There are little films, interviews, bits of gossip, lots of social media content (@littlemustardclub) AND I don’t have to lift a finger. Little Mustard Club is run from my private studio in Hove by the fabulously brilliant Amber Elise. It’s the nearest you’ll get to ‘an audience with Sam’ without me actually having to be there. You can find it at www.littlemustardclub.com

    For people who want to visit an actual shop in the UK or buy mail order with real customer service I can heartily recommend The Braithwaite Gallery in York They have a dedicated SamToft room, a HUGE range of Toftie goodies and all the latest designs from limited editions to framed cards, mugs, treasures and all things Mustard.

    For people who’d like free postage and overnight service there’s amazon & eBay, or for nice wrapping and slow service there’s my Sister’s hamper company at www.mustardhampers.co.uk or Nan Mustard’s little mailorder shop again at www.samtoft.co.uk

    For cards, limited editions and the full SamToft merchandise collection visit the publishers direct at ArtPressCollierDobson or Artgroup. And for the big London gallery experience there are those lovely people at Panter and Hall. For double basses, violas and cellos visit www.timtoftviolins.com and for excellent help coping with life and it’s many challenges my sister has just launched @louisetoftcoaching … with over thirty year’s experience (although you’d not know it to look at her) in a whole host of techniques I don’t understand enough to explain. You can contact her currently only through Instagram until she gets her web page up n running. She offers free Clarity Sessions to find out if you’d be a good fit to work together. If you’re not on Instagram (why would you be if you didn’t need to, I’d say!) drop me a line and I’ll forward your messages.

    So I’ll close by sending you all the love from this tired heart. I’m very much looking forward to a quiet June celebrating my birthday month with a few little trips, some time off and a fair bit of sketching. The next opportunity to buy (VERY expensive) originals paintings will be in November from www.samtoftoriginals.co.uk where we have just received new stock of all the small edition bronzes. And do visit the shop at www.samtoft.co.uk SOON where the new self published prints have just landed. The Studio Proofs are selling fast!

    Warm wishes,

    A very grateful Sam Toft x

    PS for those Club Members who signed up for Pet Portraits… I’m getting through them very slowly. Remind me not to offer 12 at a time again. It’s taking me blummin ages!