Sunday, January 13, 2008

In the last blog, I told you how we met Alastair and Caroline artists of repute if not always liquidity. Hard-working, talented English fine artists living in Brittany they may be but, lacking celebrity status, their income is more like that of a church mouse rather than Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin. Over a glass of English beer (Adnams bitter, a favourite of mine and I mean a glass each, not just one with three straws) we discussed all this and Caroline mused that Art was a luxury item—i.e., not essential to life—and so that they should not be surprised that they didn’t sell more work. I baulked at this and was sure some philosopher must have said something like “man cannot live by bread alone.” It seems that this phrase is a nineteenth century proverb with it’s roots in the Old and New Testaments and is now taken to mean that people need things such as art, music and poetry as well as food (and beer!) in order to live a full and happy life.

Pursuing this thought later, I came across this quote by Seneca the Younger (Roman philosopher, c. 4BC – AD 65) “As the soil, however rich it may be, cannot be productive without cultivation, so the mind without culture can never produce good fruit”, which I thought an excellent quote to link Permaculture with Culture. What provoked me to get all culturally philosophical is that I’m listening to Gabrielle practise her violin with Maryline and her accordion whilst warmed internally by another pint of Adnams (see video clip above).

My thought for this Sunday afternoon is therefore (if you have the money) to go out and support your local artists by buying art. And think on how many hours they’ve worked to produce the piece before you look at the price tag. Enjoy the music!


Anonymous said...

What a wonderful clip! I loved the music. I would support this art if you had a cd. I mean it. Such enjoyment. Thanks. I know what you mean about artist not getting the money they deserve for their hard work. Here in the US, most people almost faint at the price of hand knitted socks. It takes a lot of hours to knit a pair of socks, but most people have no touch with that anymore. I have enjoyed your blog for a while now. Enjoy your beer!

Stuart and Gabrielle said...

Thanks for your comment, Ann. We're pleased that we've made you smile, such a long way away from our modest French smallholding. Gabrielle made a load of handmade hats and felt bootees for babies and spent two days at a Christmas market locally but only sold four pots of marmalade, what can you do! And the beer was lovely, thanks!

Val Grainger said...

This is one of my favourite subjects! I make all sorts of woolly stuff and I can never recoupe the cost! I often have people come along when I'm selling and comment stuffily on how can I sell 'home made' stuff for more than the shops!!......I tend to point out that thestuff in the shops probably came from China and the person making it probably received 3p! Can we see some of the lovely bootees please?

Anonymous said...

When someone asks me when looking at the price of a picture.."how long did it take?", I sometimes reply "about forty years!".
Which, after all, is the time it took practising and learning my craft, to reach the stage at which I was able to produce said 'oeuvre'!