Though Liz Shaw says she loves art she probably never expected to own over 100,000 pieces.
She has limited editions, prints as well as original oils and watercolours – and a large exhibition space so she can share them with the public.
Liz, who lives at Holbeach Hurn, has opened Art Cornucopia, a large art gallery, at Baytree Garden Centre in Weston.
It’s in a conservatory and the building to the rear of the garden centre’s restaurant, so plenty of space, plenty of light for viewing the exhibits in the best possible way, plus the convenience of having food and drink on the same site.
“The Billie Holiday original oil painting is one of my favourites and the Audrey Hepburn print,” confesses Liz, who until recently has had a rather more unusual occupation.
She has been helping her partner of 25 years Jason who renovates old red telephone boxes.
Over something like 18 years, they have sent phone boxes all over the world, including recently providing the telephone box decorated in the Union Flag colours for Britain’s Got Talent’s tenth anniversary.
The year before they provided a telephone box sofa made of fibreglass with leather upholstery for the X Factor series, and once sent ten boxes to Gibraltar.
Conversions have also included fish tanks, a wine cooler that went to California and all kinds of other quirky uses.
Liz says firmly: “It is something I am not involved in any more, though Jason will continue it.”
Instead, having acquired the stock of the former Lincolnshire Gallery, Liz has turned her attention to the art world, having taught herself to mount and to frame pictures.
What she can’t do, according to Liz, is create art.
She says: “I love art and I love looking at pictures. I just wish I was good enough to produce something truly amazing like a lot of these have done.”
The pictures in the gallery cover all subject matter and are from artists from across the country. Some are unframed so that customers can choose their own, and there is a ten per cent discount for customers referred by Liz to Spalding Picture Framing at Andrew & Co.
Liz does have some work by local artists Mavis Stancer, who has watercolours of daffodils on display, and new artist Simon Haw, who is exhibiting for the first time with an ink and watercolour called Deadpool, based on the recent movie.
Liz says: “We will have a dedicated area for local artists and local scenes. We want local artists to get in touch with us so we can have exhibitions of their work here.”