I'm reading at the moment, but not a lot, and knitting as much as tennis elbow (stupid name, I've never played tennis, but knitting and in the past stocking wine shelves, is a devil for setting this off) will allow. Listening to a lot of radio, and unsuccessfully trying to limit the amount of Covid-19 related news I absorb. Twitter is my nemesis for this; on the one hand it's full of interesting news about books and podcasts, on the other it's people venting their frustrations which quickly gets overwhelming.
Thankfully there is Instagram which feels blessedly normal in a world of uncertainty and change, and on Instagram there is the #artistssupportpledge. Artists are offering work for sale, and pledging that every time they sell £1000 worth of work they'll spend £200 on a fellow artists work themselves. Prices range but overall because you're buying directly, the work is unframed or mounted, and there's no gallery margin, it's a fairly good deal for the buyer.
Along with books, art is something I've loved for as long as I can remember. I grew up with plenty of original art work on the walls, all our family friends had original art on the walls - a good few of them were artists, and I've been collecting prints and the like since I was about 20. More or less any bit of wall in my flat that doesn't have a shelf on it has a picture, and as my view is not great I've been feeling particularly grateful for them these last few weeks.
Because artists are being hard hit by the loss of exhibitions, selling space, teaching, and the rest. Nor are they likely to get much help for it, this seems to me to be an excellent time to think about buying something. More generally it's a great time to just be looking at something other than bad news, so this week is going to be all about artists who's work I like. Please also send me recommendations back, here, on facebook, twitter, Instagram, by email - all or any of them.
The first up is Lara Scouller. I've been a fan of her work since seeing something a friend had but I've mostly not had enough money spare for any of her larger pieces, even the prints, since first coming across her. The website doesn't give prices but the pledge bits she's had on Instagram do. It's her birds and lobsters that I'm particularly attracted too, and I do have a beautiful Gannet print that was an extremely modest buy and I really love.