My on-line diary began in the 1990's from my studio in the North of England. After a lapse of ten years, I resumed posting from my present studio on the Caribbean island of Dominica.

From the far beginning, the intention has been to give an insight into my working methods, and to share the triumphs, trials and tribulations of work-in-progress.

My diary pages are followed by thousands of artists, art students and art lovers in over 50 countries.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Will it pay?

The theme of today’s post was prompted, first by an article bemoaning that painters of the nude have difficulty selling their work and second, by an announcement today that the government of Dominica will be offering low interest loans to musicians.

The very last thing an artist or artiste needs is the burden of a bank loan, no matter how low the rate of interest or how long the grace period.

Capital in the arts relates to talent and innovation. Curiously, these two attributes tend to come to fruition when spurred by challenges rather than when couched in ease. If I were to draw a graph of my brief periods of financial ease against my poverty motivated creative accomplishments, the two would be at odds.

I first declared myself as an artist on the pavements of France with work sold directly from the pages of my sketch book. I earned enough to feed my wife and young daughter and at the end of the year my paintings were on show at one of the leading galleries. The next spring we sailed our canal barge back to England and survived by selling pictorial map prints door to door. A couple of years later we spent a summer pushing a pram loaded with our camping gear through the byways of Southern Ireland and sold paintings along the way.

In a similar vein, one of the most memorable musical recitals that I have heard in my 75 years was played on a penny whistle by a struggling student on the pavements of London.

The spur of impending poverty motivates my creative muse to this day and it is now helped by time’s winged chariot hurrying near. I’m not bemoaning the current scarcity of buyers for my paintings and sculptures. I’ll get by without a bank loan and I want no provision for old age. When my work is finished, I will be finished.

Here is the pictorial map print of which we sold a print run of 1,000 door to door.

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