Thursday, March 18, 2021

They can't cancel Spring

"They can't cancel Spring" started last March with a message from David Hockney.

He posted the iPad drawing below to Instagram - from his base in Normandy where he was under lockdown.

The Art Newspaper (and various others) took it up and published A message from...David Hockney: 'Do remember they can’t cancel the spring' exactly a year ago today.

Jonathan Jones followed up in the Guardian with his article on 2nd April How David Hockney depicted a spring for self-isolationists

Spring Cannot Be Cancelled

Spring Cannot be Cancelled
by David Hockney and Martin Gayford will be published by Thames and Hudson on 25 March 2021. (The link above goes to Amazon UK - my copy is already on order!)

This is 
a new book of conversations and correspondence between David Hockney and his long-time friend and collaborator Martin Gayford, in which the artist reflects upon life and art as he self-isolates in rural France.
Hockney moved to Normandy after he became 80.
when Covid-19 struck, it made little difference to life at La Grande Cour, the centuries-old farmhouse where the artist had set up a studio a year before, in time to paint the arrival of spring. In fact, he relished the enforced isolation as an opportunity for even greater devotion to his art.
The book is illustrated with images of Spring drawn and painted on his iPad. Many who viewed his major exhibition at the RA in 2012 (see my post Review: David Hockney RA - A Bigger Picture) will remember how much Hockney said he exalted in the arrival of Spring and loved to paint the foamy blossom on the Hawthorn bushes in in the East Yorkshire Wolds west of Bridlington where he lived at the time 'on location".

This time we'll see what he makes of Normandy!

They Can't Cancel Spring also the name of the Spring Exhibition of the Royal Watercolour Society. See They Can't Cancel Spring on the RWS website

This opens this evening - with a virtual evening reception on Instagram....

Our wonderful home @banksidegallery maybe be temporarily closed but we’re bringing the opening night fun to a screen near you. Pour yourself a drink, click to our online show and join in with the celebrations right here from 5pm.

You can see the works on display here and this is an ONLINE ONLY exhibition until 24th April.

Note how all artwork is being priced for sale UNFRAMED - which I personally think is a very smart move. It means people can frame according to their own preference - when we can get access to framers again - and it also potentially makes it a lot cheaper to send to a purchaser.

Time for a Spring Clean too?

I remember when I first started blogging, I used to bang on about how a website was essential for an art society - followed by why they also needed to be on social media. I watched as art societies gradually got better at "being online".

I'm afraid I'm now becoming used to websites where every artwork listed is part of a database which mean you can interrogate it in such a way that you can:

  • find the genre/type of paintings you are interested in (e.g. still life / landscape / abstract etc)
  • view the artwork in your price range
  • ideally by the size I can accommodate and/or view in terms of the size within the context of a standard room
I'm happy just browsing artwork "as is" shown on a website - but if I'm buying I do want a LOT more features these days.

If art societies are serious about selling the artwork of their members online, maybe it's time to give the Marketing & Communications Strategy a "SPRING CLEAN" too?

People are now VERY used to buying online - having been buying virtually everything online for many many months. Indeed a very large proportion of sales of work by artists during the pandemic have been executed online.

In my opinion, it's time for both artists and art societies to:
  • review how artwork is currently offered for sale online - and think about how they can do it better
  • revise the current offering to make it very much easier to 
    • persuade people to buy - by giving them the info they need
    • but art online
  • update websites to deliver the best experience buyers can have - within the context of your available budget
  • ensure compliance with all ecommerce regulations (but's that the subject of another blog post!)

and finally......

I'm now trying to work out where I put my coloured drawing - after Van Gogh - of Almond Blossom in Provence (made during my MEGA Van Gogh Project on this blog in February 2007)

A copy of Van Gogh's Almond Blossom 1890 (in the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam)
9" x 12", coloured pencils on hot press paper
copyright Katherine Tyrrell

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