My loyal reader contacted me noting the reduction in entries here this year, wondering whether this reflected the family changes. In actual fact I think it relates more to simply being out of the habit and possibly a slight move away from social media prompted by the way it has become very much a platform for political views of all shades and volumes.
As my visitors and the occasional customer will know, the gallery often has the feel of the village pump where friends and artists gather. There are moments where the suggestion that there should be an inscription over the door "licensed to sell art .... and listen" feel very pertinent. Rather like a visit to the hairdressers, the environment here seems to encourage conversation with unburdening of worries and uncertainties. I don't do hair, but I do offer coffee and I do listen.
Recently a number of artists have confessed to uncertainty as to what their work is about and to it's future direction. Rather like the paucity of my scribblings here, it is a form of writer's block common to all who aspire to being thoughtful or creative. My take on it is that if we didn't have these moments of uncertainty and questioning we wouldn't be much good at what we do - be it writing, painting or anything that prompts thought.
As I have noted before, the work we show varies considerably, but a common theme is that all the makers believe and hope that the best is yet to come and most have a degree of insecurity. As for social media, most of us apparently feel that if we don't engage with it you will be forgotten. In reality, I don't think this is true. Many artists achieve extraordinary numbers of 'likes' to their work on Instagram and Facebook, but that this is not reflected in sales, which of course exacerbates any underlying insecurities and uncertainties.
Perhaps then, as long as these feelings are kept in proportion, social media can be a force for stimulating creativity and development, whilst the more negative aspects can always be assuaged by looking and enjoying - maybe even purchasing - art. And to leave my loyal reader happy here's something that should soothe the most savage breast.