A few weeks ago, somebody remarked that my work reminded him very much of the work of Grandma Moses. I knew almost nothing about her, but when I went looking for her, here, I saw that he was right.
Then, last night on one of those television antique shows, there was a painting by Fred Yates. And once again, somebody said 'ooh - that's your kind of work!' You can see some of Fred Yates's wonderful pictures here and make up your mind whether I'm the new Grandma Moses, the new Fred Yates, or something else entirely!
What would you call my style of painting? Naive? Outsider? Folk? I'm never very sure. I paint what I see, or do I? Perhaps I paint what I feel. I know that the way I paint, see, feel seems to be nothing at all like the way other people see, feel and paint. I'll never paint a still life, seldom will I paint a landscape but when I do, it always seems to involve some vivid and rather disturbing elements. Sometimes I feel I'm illustrating something - but what? Often I'm not. I'm just creating colour, light, people in a certain setting - telling a story.
I'm invariably telling a story.
Summer has come to this beautiful little village and Alan has been working on various new projects. It also helps that he has just begun some new and - allegedly - revolutionary treatment for his arthritis. We'll report on his progress as the year goes on.
The problem for any artist - and Alan is no exception - is marketing. He's far better at promoting his wife's novels than he is at selling his own wonderful artworks. I've even used one or two of his pictures for my eBook covers. (The one above is a little volume of short stories - the illustration is one of Alan's pictures of the Isle of Gigha.) But once people are here in his little gallery, he's very comfortable chatting to them about the work, what inspired it, how it's done and so on - and people love the interaction.
We've been thinking of having our own 'open studio' events, three or four times a year - a sort of pop-up gallery. But we're also thinking of taking an occasional stall at our local antique market a few times a year, just to get the work 'out there' - especially the more affordable and very beautiful prints.
The other thing we've been thinking about is opening a shop on Etsy. Alan's work is already on a couple of sites, including eBay, and this website can host a store, but we're also thinking about Etsy since it's such an inspirational site and both of us are fairly comfortable with mail order. We've been supplementing the creative arts income for a little while with some part time dealing on eBay, and packing is no problem.
What we could really do with, though, is a few celebrity endorsements, so if your second cousin is married to David Tennant's aunty, or Geena Davis is your long lost relative, please spread the word!
All in all, a few changes are coming, but we're not quite sure what they are yet. Watch this space ...
We'll be blogging from time to time about Alan's work, what he's working on and what's for sale. Watch this space for news of forthcoming exhibitions too!