Thursday, 29 November 2018

Writer's block?

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.

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

A week is a long time

Change is all around us and the pace seems to be accelerating. Everything is uncertain. Talking politics? No, nature. For even this seems to be slightly more chaotic just now.

Just a week ago my early morning walks were serenely calm with sunrise and mists floating over the landscape.

There haven't been any notable extremes in either temperature or wind and yet in the last week most of the autumn colour has disappeared, seemingly overnight. Just a week ago the beech trees were in their full glory and looked set to continue for a while.

This morning, at about the same time and the same place, it's all gone – well nearly. The trees are largely bare and the colour has disappeared.

I'm not suggesting anything unexpected has happened; it is after all late November which by most peoples reckoning is the end of Autumn. It's just that the change seems sudden, or maybe faster than some years. We missed out on Spring this year, going straight from the chill of the beast from the east to high Summer, or so it seemed, so maybe this is the continuation of that, with Winter having blown in from the North Sea. Or maybe not.

On the basis of last week's chaos in the world of politics and today's position, we simply don't know. It might be warm and sunny by the weekend or it might be snowing – in both the political and natural worlds. We can be fairly sure though that the leaves won't be back on the trees, at least not until after next March.