The Beaten Path beckons for Bob Dylan

This has been a huge week in the career of artist Bob Dylan. It started last Friday when he opened the prestigious Desert Trip Festival in California with a set list very different to what has been heard on his tour over the last couple of years. The set ended with a blistering version of Masters of War, possibly more relevant today than when he wrote it in the early 60’s. Then on Thursday we heard the news that he had been awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, a much deserved award that has caused much debate across the world’s media. On Thursday he appeared in Las Vegas where he played the guitar on stage for the first time since 2012 to the delight of the sell out audience. Friday and it was back for his second show at the Desert Trip festival – no mention of his Nobel prize – just a solid set of well known numbers from his 54 year career culminating with “Like a Rolling Stone”

After the critically acclaimed Drawn Blank Series will we see any more new art from the international icon Dylan in 2016?

The Drawn Blank Series has run for 8 years and is the best-selling collection of art that we have had the opportunity to be involved with. Dylan doesn’t put his name to many things making owning a piece of Dylan art so special. Like his music, his art is like Marmite (also in the news this week) with the number of customers who absolutely love his work to those who are very critical. Perhaps they need to listen to more Dylan – after all he did write “don’t criticize what you can’t understand” in his “The Times They are a Changing”

In 2015, the Brazil Series came in two phases and sold out instantly – we literally could not acquire enough sets to keep collectors happy – it sold out in record time.

There are rumours abound of a new collection before Christmas – I have had several phone calls in the last couple of days asking if the rumours are correct, and his new status as Nobel Laureate will only add to the interest in any future publications from this great man.

We do have a few copies of the Drawn Blank Series from previous years available on our website at – including just one of the elusive Train Tracks, but, as Dylan’s work treads the beaten track only time will tell if we see another collection from this thought provoking, controversial and mesmerising artist. If you want to be amongst the first to know of any new work by Bob Dylan or any of our great contemporary artists, just visit our website and register for our newsletters.

Bob Dylan Drawn Blank Traintracks

Train Tracks by Bob Dylan

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Temper cover:versions

After a very successful launch in Bruton Street on May 15th, limited editions of street artist Temper’s new collection – cover:versions are now available in our gallery and on our website at

This is an absolutely superb collection of 12 limited editons based on the album covers of some of Temper’s favourite work he said ” Album covers were like an art gallery to me as a child, they had a magic about them that would transport me to another place; it provided me with a playground for my creativity and imagination”

Arron Bird (Temper) is a little (lot) younger than me, but I can identify with his words and his work – I grew up in the1960’s when boundaries in so many things were being broken – Bob Dylan led the crusade in making music more relevant to political and more serious issues, influencing other bands such as the Beatles to move away from the Ooo Ooo love songs onto producing songs with more cutting lyrics, Pink Floyd experimented with the new electronic music equipment to make sounds, the like of which were unheard of – I clearly remember my Dad catching me playing my air guitar to a Hendrix solo and being very embarrassed about it. Amongst all of this were the album sleeves – mini works of art available from your local branch on Boots the chemist or even better the local record shop (my local was called ” The Music Shop” – very creative!) listening to the new releases in a sound proof booth whilst admiring the work of Storm Thorgerson or Roger Dean – looking for references to the songs we were listening to.

Now, Temper has taken some of those works and added his own creativity to produce new fresh images that are full of depth and character. The background photo realistic painting is superb – and the addition of his B Boy characters give then a modern, vibrant and amusing twist. I love it when we have a collection of images in the gallery that make my customers smile  and these certainly do that!

Here are a couple of the images – A B Boy Road based on Abbey Road by The Beatles – and Pink Gum based  on Umma Gumma by Pink Floyd  – with the image replicated in the artwork on the wall (with a few changes) and then replicated again and again in smaller and smaller dimensions. How many references to Pink Floyd songs can you spot in this image?


A B Boy Road by Temper based on Abbey Road by The Beatles at The Original Art Shop

A B Boy Road by Temper based on Abbey Road by The Beatles at The Original Art Shop

Pink Gum by Temper based on Umma Gumma by Pink Floyd at The Original Art Shop

Pink Gum by Temper based on Umma Gumma by Pink Floyd at The Original Art Shop

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Temper – Cover : Versions

Internationally acclaimed graffiti artist Temper, who has been commissioned by the likes of Roman Abramovich, Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne, Saatchi and Saatchi and created graffiti art for Coca-Cola, is set to rock the art scene once again with cover:versions, his 14th collection in 20 years.

The collection, cover:versions, is a composition inspired by 12 of music’s most iconic records that have been transformed by Temper into works of art that see the artist create a collection using oils and acrylic, a first for the graffiti artist who is known for his skills with a spray can.

In taking well-known album artwork, from successful and influential artists and next adding his own iconic graffiti characters – the B-Boys, which have been with him since the start of his career- he’s created a new and exciting body of work that’s relatable and nostalgic. This collection is the harmony between the landscape and the characters, which explores the old and the new. Temper’s successfully bought together two artistic concepts in such a way that a new narrative has been created and captures the viewers’ attention.

Combining a traditional medium with his signature conceptual style, wasn’t an easy decision to make, he says: “Using oil paint was so different to spray paint, spray paint travels out of the spray can at approximately 130mph so in effect my brain has to be working at least 260mph to keep ahead of the paint. Although, when it came to the use of oil it was quite frustrating at first to feel my brain rushing to my usual speed and realising that oil paint moves at 5mph.

“This was the hardship of this new experience with brushes; I had to really adjust my whole way of thinking in front of the canvas. Physically, I had dramatically changed the size of canvas too, so I had to get used to a smaller scale of painting, this also brought other physical demands, standing still with very little movement is so far apart from the dynamics of my spray paint technique.”

With cover:versions, Temper has ensured the integrity of his vision is realised through every detail, no matter how minute; the size of the canvasses on which the original art is presented measure thirty-three inches and one third exactly – in tribute to the revolutions per minute of a traditional vinyl album. The prototype for the original frame was hand-made from forty-five records and measures seven inches in width representing the original single format, and finally he has created twelve covers in this collection, which represent twelve inches or the size of a traditional album cover.

However, cover:versions, also shows how the artist Temper has progressed his career over the years, which has seen many highs that include him being the first to create iconic celebrity portraits in graffiti, in the collection ‘The Good Die Young’ that revolutionised portraiture. Speaking about the collection, Temper, born Arron Bird, says: “Coming from a working class background in Wolverhampton, my first introduction to art was seeing album covers in a cousin’s house and this is something that has always stuck with me. I’ve always been known for my photo realism and this collection has allowed me to show another side of myself and explore a new medium.

“When people see the collection they’ll be able to go on a journey through the records and see the skill it has taken to create each background and see how I’m always looking to push the boundaries and break new personal records.”

The originals of cover:versions will be officially unveiled at Castle Fine Art, Bruton Street with the artist on Thursday 15th May between 6pm and 9.00pm and will be on display until 1st June. Keep an watching eye on our website at  for more news on this fascinating collection.

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Spring is Here

It seems an age since I last added a page to the blog – a very busy Christmas slowed up posting at the end of 2013 – and I have just finished updating our website with all the new publications and artwork for the Spring season.

Sara, Shazia, at The Original Art Shop

Sara on canvas by Shazia Rashid

The latest piece to be added to our website is this stunning figurative work from Shazia Rashid – due in the gallery in April and on for pre orders now. This is a stunning piece of work that really tugs at the emotions. It is also available as a paper edition.

He's Playing our Song - Richard Blunt at

He’s Playing our Song – Richard Blunt at

Three new images from Richard Blunt- He’s Playing Our Song above is a romantic musical piece reminiscent of a holiday in Spain – see all three on our website – or in the gallery now.

Our House by Peter Smith at

Our House by Peter Smith at

Finally for today, one of Peter Smith’s new images – Our House – the family of Impossimals sit together on the sofa in peace at the end of another hectic day. Again one of three, each available on paper or on canvas where to see them? In our Preston gallery or online at

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Marvel Part 2

The Amazing Spiderman personally signed by Stan Lee

The Amazing Spiderman personally signed by Stan Lee

In the spring of 2013 we launched a range of limited edition prints in the gallery of some of the most popular covers from Marvel comics, reproduced to fine art quality standards, ad all signed by Marvel Comics founder, Stan Lee. They were an instant success, with some of the title selling out within a few weeks. So, we were delighted to receive notification this week of the launch of the second tranche of images of Marvel comic covers, again, personally signed by Stan Lee, which will be available in the gallery from November 2nd – you can pre order on our website now at
The four new images hand signed by Stan Lee featuring The Incredible Hulk

The four new images hand signed by Stan Lee featuring The Incredible Hulk

The comic book has stood the test of time, and is as relevant today as ever. The popularity of its iconic characters goes beyond the appeal of their special talents; they tapped into a need from society for someone to look up to, a role model for an ever pressured society fraught with worry.

Though Stan Lee never set out to make socio-political comment with his comics, his characters faced the same challenges that readers deal with. Spider-Man addresses issues of personal identity and social acceptance through a universally relatable character, Peter Parker.

The release of a new collection of limited edition Marvel covers signed by Stan Lee demonstrates the eternal power of the comic book world and celebrates the cultural significance of some of the world’s greatest ever role models.

Through the application of pen and ink a comic can be as socially reflective as any political discussion, as emotive as any gallery masterpiece, as uniting as any sporting championship and as relied upon as any religious tome.
For more details , visit our website at

The four new images, hand signed by Stan lee featuring The Mighty Avengers

The four new images, hand signed by Stan lee featuring The Mighty Avengers

Be aware, that if you want to own one of this iconic collection, you will need to be quick – we expect them to sell out very quickly!

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This year, it is 25 years since we decided to leave our well paid jobs in the corporate world, and open our picture and framing gallery in Preston, the same site that we are still occupying all this time later. I though that in this blog, I would give a few tips on getting your art to look its best in your home.

1. Choose the right piece for you. Sound obvious?

When it comes to choosing artwork for your home it’s always important to ask yourself, “do I really want to look at it every day?” It may sound obvious but getting this right will make the other decisions about hanging your art much easier. Don’t get me wrong, it’s also important that the piece suits your home, but make sure you choose artwork that you will love and enjoy every single day.

2. Consider the frame.


New York, New York, a portrait of Audrey Hepburn, by Simon Claridge

The framing of a piece can quite often be just as important as the actual image itself! The frame needs to compliment the tones and colours of your chosen image, adding to its overall effect while taking nothing away. Sometimes the frame can be a nice juxtaposition to the actual image, such as Simon Claridge’s piece ‘New York, New York’ (above). However this ornate type of frame is not for everyone, or indeed every image. Also, remember that the pieces in the gallery are framed the way they are for a reason, so feel free to use our expertise as inspiration!

3. Give your art the space it deserves.

After you’ve purchased your art, the most exciting moment comes when you take it home; then comes the challenge of deciding where to hang it! I always think that it’s important to make sure you allocate enough space, whether this is dictated by ceiling height, wall width, or any other artwork that you are displaying alongside the piece. You wouldn’t want your art to look crowded or out of place in your home.

4. Lights please!

Lighting can be another important factor when hanging your artwork. Often clients worry that their home doesn’t have a lighting system like we have in the gallery; my opinion is that it doesn’t matter. With the natural light constantly changing throughout the day, and even throughout the year, you’re always going to see a different effect on your artwork. If you do have dimmers at home, great – get tweaking! If not, switch a lamp on in the corner of the room and marvel at what the dusky light has created.

5. Hanging Mechanisms

Hanging fittings are very much dependent on what type of wall you have, so make sure the one you purchase is going to be able to support the weight of the art. You need to be confident that once placed, it is not going to fall, ESPECIALLY if it is hanging above a bed! I would always recommend using at least two hooks to distribute the weight, and, by using two hooks once you have the picture level it will stay level. Be careful of using cheap hooks purchased from £1 shops and the like – they are cheap for a reason. We stock a wide variety of hanging fitting, and unlike many galleries we always supply fittings appropriate to the purchased piece of art free of charge. Every piece purchased from us also has a strong hanging wire already fitted – so no wasted time visiting the DIY store when you buy from us.

6. Think about layout: measure twice – drill once!

When it comes to working in a gallery, hanging the art has to be my favourite aspect of the job. I always feel it’s important to create a fluid movement between each piece, with each artist’s work moving naturally to the next. We will always do our very best to advise clients on where pieces should be hung. Above all – as a client once said to me – when you’re happy you have chosen the right spot for your art, measure twice and drill once!

Finally, we are one of the few galleries with an on site framing workshop so we can change frames on any picture to suit our customers décor, and we can also frame our customers own artwork, certificates or memorabilia without having to send it away to a remote site, which speeds up the process and halts the problem of things going lost in transit.

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Paul Horton – Love and Hope

Paul Horton’s new museum collection – Love and Hope – Limited edition prints available from

We are pleased to announce ‘Love & Hope’, the forthcoming museum exhibition by Paul Horton.

‘Love & Hope’ opens at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery’s, Waterhall on 12 October; a prestigious show where Paul Horton will exhibit around 80 new paintings and four bronze sculptures.
Predominately in high quality pastels, ‘Love & Hope’ will also include “a handful of oils, some nice big charcoals and some of the personal, initial designs and concepts,” alongside a series of new prints from the Birmingham artist.

Birmingham born and bred, this exhibition comes at a point when Paul Horton is more popular than ever and is sure to pique the interest of both art lovers and newcomers, as Paul reflects life back to us in his charming pastels and accompanying narratives.

“This is the pinnacle of my career to date,” explains Paul Horton, as he discusses the workload and deadlines surrounding such an extensive exhibition. “To be able to showcase a major body of work, which has gone through so many twists and turns over the years, is such a great opportunity.”

Horton’s portfolio has drawn comparisons to the subject matter of Lowry, the methods and materials of Degas, and the myth that allows Chagall to so vividly explode. But his work is identifiable, in both presentation and subject; there are clear and constant truths that belong only to Horton and his audience. And that’s the beauty of Paul Horton’s world; despite being intrinsically personal it can be your world too, whatever you conceive that to be.

A new collection of limited edition prints is being launched to coincide with the exhibition, and they will all be available in our Preston City Centre gallery and also on our website, in the next couple of weeks. In the meantime, here is “Days of Love” to whet your appetite.[/caption

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