We Came, We Looked, We Liked the View - Exhibition

Hello dear Mustard Fans,

It's with great pleasure I write this email to you.

I probably say this every time ( do I say this every time? ) but it's been a crazybusy chaoticallycreative flurry... And I'm so delighted to say, I think it's ACTUALLY going to come together. Even after all these years that's a huge surprise. Really it is.

What I'm talking about is my latest show at Panter and Hall, We came, We looked, We liked the View. And the Book, the Merchandise, the Dos...

And you'll want to know quickly ( if you're one of those people who like to buy original work ) that the paintings are on sale from this week. I'd contact the gallery right away if you are an origaholic (scroll down past the waffle for all relevant details or see the ecatalogue here) ... Otherwise sit back, relax, pour yourself a cuppa and I'll tell you all about it.

I started working on We came, We Looked, We Liked the View thinking about how, when I'm busy, I forget to stop and look. I take things for granted. I'm all about getting things done and ticking things off the list. And while that's useful, it can also take over. I find I'm just rushing about being busy for busy-ness' sake. I forget to take time to look at the view and smell the daisies. And while I was pondering, I leafed through some of my old sketch books and smiled at the memories. What a fantastic time we had in Africa all those years ago. And New York... that was a great trip. Awww and the Lake District, what could beat THOSE views! And all the lovely strolls along the Prom in Brighton when my old dog was a pup... Oooo and now I remember those elephants we met in Sri Lanka....

So the work for this Show came about because I wanted to stop and appreciate. To look again at the things that had moved me. To give myself time to explore. But conversely I got so filled up with memories and inspiration that I worked too hard and lost myself again. I guess I came full circle. But because of this journey there's such a range of colour and textures and feelings. And I don't often say this (because my work transfers so well into print I think) but some of the larger work especially NEEDS to be SEEN to be appreciated. I'm employing the talents of Innis McAllister Photography to document the show for all of you who live far far away. There's a lovely ecatalogue, not to mention my new limited edition picture book, and hopefully some goodies left to appear on Mustardshop after the event. But I do hope some of you can make it in person...

Last time at Panter and Hall, at my One Man and his Dog show, we launched my (now sold out) autobiography of the same name. Lovely as it was that the book sold so quickly, it took me over a year to make and now it's all gone! So, this is my new idea. Maybe do a little (not so ambitious) book each year to coincide with a Show. Including some pictures from that show plus other favourites from the year just passed. Build a library of Mustard! But perhaps this is too grand and expensive a plan, to self publish a collectible series? We'll see how this first one is received before committing ourselves... But it's a good little idea I think, and the book will be out (just) to coincide with the Opening Night!

We are busy arranging TWO Dos, for which you need to contact the gallery direct to get an invitation:

  • The Opening Reception, Tuesday 14th March 6-8pm
  • The Book Signing, Saturday April 1st 11-2pm
The Exhibition runs 15th March until 7th April 2017

Two very different events. The first being the more traditional private view, for the first viewing of the pictures. The second being a bit of a fun day, where we will have pop up shops and squash and biscuits as well as the pictures. Come to either or both but let them know at the gallery as we have limited capacity. And the show continues until 7th April but I will only be present at the two events.

On April 1st we thought we'd have a bit of fun at the gallery. You can still see all the pictures on the walls, the book, the bronzes, Graham Alborough's life size cast of Sir Moses Brown Dog... but we will also have some Pop Up shops to keep you entertained:
  • Collier Dobson with their wonderful limited edition prints,
  • Art Press with more Toftie greetings cards than you could shake a stick at,
  • and the popular return of Nan (mustardshop) Mustard with some exclusive We Came, We Looked, We Liked the View merchandise.
  • And the gallery is laying on squash and biscuits!!!
  • I will be signing and dedicating copies of my book.
  • I dare say there's fun to be had?
I'm very excited to see both the book and the merchandise, none of which are ready at the time of writing. All in the pipeline. Skin of our teeth kind of thing. Hoping that you'll like it. Hoping even more that I will!!

  • The Book: a small, square, 96 page hardback with grey board cover and full colour wrap around sleeve. Published in an unnumbered edition of 1000. Available from our online Mustardshop after the Show. A complimentary copy with every original sold. Otherwise £20. No preorders.
  • The Mug: tall bone china beaker with lovely elephant and Mustard drawing. A classic
  • The Bag: matching elephant and Mustard drawing on a cotton bag with long carry handles.
  • Wentworth Puzzles: Beautiful wooden jigsaws with whimsy cuts of flowers and elephants, clever dissected corners and flat sides to middle pieces. Beautiful recycled box and a bag for the puzzle pieces. A perfect gift. Two designs. One postcard size, one 250 piece.
  • Carolyn Brown's Handmade Cushions: If you are a follower of our Facebook group then you'll know what little gems these are. Get here early if you want to take one home. Old favourites and new elephant designs. 100% of the money goes direct to the NSPCC
  • Cadi's Jigdolls: Handmade, hand-painted wooden dolls. No windowsill is complete without one. For the true fan.
  • Postcards, pencils and badges. Essential.
Any items that remain unsold will be available through our online shop after the show.

In the run up to the Book Signing I will be having a competition every Monday on our Instagram site, regular updates on our Facebook group and a little tittle tattle on Twitter.

But for the now, me and Nan are taking ourselves off to Bath. Two girls together for a long weekend.  Mustardshop will be closed Friday to Monday. But we'll be sure to catch up with you all the minute we're back!

Please contact the gallery direct for all information about the Show. I'm sure they are dying to hear from you!

We came, We looked, We liked the View
15th March - 7th April 2017
PANTER and HALL, 11-12 Pall Mall, London SW1Y 5LU
±44 (0)20 7399 9999

On another note, we have received a few complaints about our colourful boxed mugs. We have decided to remove them from the website for the time being until we can sort things out. Whilst I am always distressed to hear of complaints, I am equally ever-so-grateful when brave people take the time to let me know what is wrong. I wonder if any of you has received one as a gift, found it faulty but didn't want to complain to the Giver? Please let us know! I rely on your feedback...

Thanks for your continued support as always. We wouldn't be staying in a Posh Hotel this weekend if it weren't for you!

Hope I'll be seeing you soon,

Warmest wishes,

Sam Toft

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