After the concert I was invited to have a shop unit in The Quedam, Yeovil for 6 weeks…a fantastic way to spread the word about HNT and to raise awareness of what I do, who I support, and how the community can get on board to help.
So, a quick downsizing of my barn, collecting donated goods and setting up a shop…which suddenly became far more than a shop! Although goods were sold, the days became more of a drop-in centre where people came to chat, to seek advice, and to de stress. I met some remarkable people with remarkable stories about their lives, their past, their experiences and their difficulties. They were from all walks of life, a variety of ages, and most with some SEN connection, whether it was personally, through friends and colleagues or through family.
I also invited other charities to use the unit alongside to advertise their work..
In the first week, something amazing happened! A minister in Yeovil came to see what the shop was and said he would donate a couple of things. The same day, only an hour after he had left, he reappeared with a couple of bits and the most beautiful painting…an acrylic. I was totally taken with this masterpiece, and he told me that he was 82 and had started painting…all self-taught…17 years ago. He was fed up being on his own and just watching the TV and had prayed to God to give him a talent.
God certainly has done this! Stan, the artist, returned home and then reappeared again with 2 more paintings…again beautiful! He was donating 3 paintings to sell, and then offered to paint outside the shop on Bank Holiday Monday…bringing much interest. The painting was raffled, again the funds coming to HNT.
What was amazing is that Stan has never been told how good his art is! He had not thought about selling the paintings…and yes, Pete and I discovered when we visitors his home, he must have at least 60+ on walls, stacked up in doorways, and in his artist’s studio. Many were framed beautifully; a painting was half finished on the easel and he was telling us about his next venture.
The time he takes to do these paintings is even more amazing…3 hours maximum in total! He uses photographs, black and white drawings…or images from his head, paints landscapes, flowers, cathedrals and churches (see examples below)…but not people or animals.
One of his paintings has been now sold, and I am absolutely thrilled that Stan has asked if I can help him promote his works, put on an exhibition, and help home sell some pieces. He is wanting to give 25% of anything sold to HNT but I have explained that he should keep the money and perhaps donate a couple throughout the year for me to auction. It has been an absolute pleasure to help him and I feel very blessed to have met such a kind person with a heart of gold.
Stan takes commissions and so, as now the HNT artist as Larry Lagrue is the HNT poet, do get in touch if you are interested. A perfect way to give a present. Stan lives in Yeovil and would be more than happy to show a variety of paintings and to discuss your needs.
My contact details are on the HNT website.