This year will see some innovative changes to the way I work, as well as exciting new technological advances that I'm sure are going to delight future buyers and collectors of my artwork!
As part of my personal strategy for countering winter lockdown blues, I decided in December to purchase a van to convert into a mobile studio. This will allow me, not only to transport artwork around to galleries, etc., but also to roam the countryside with much larger canvases than before, in order to paint. (You can't fit much into the boot of my VW Eos, however much I love that car!) It even came complete with an awning and tent, so I won't even need to go home, if I get engrossed in a particular landscape! So please tell me your favourite spots in Cornwall or Devon, so I can have new places to paint.
The van conversion hasn't yet begun, but I think I'll just be organic about it - to see how best it might work. It's already carpeted from floor to ceiling in the back, which is a start. I'll keep you informed of further developments and photos. I’m planning also to have some of my own artwork on the sides, although I must say the Celtic cross is kind of cute. (Strange as the van came down from Derby?!)
Now to the technological advances . . .
A good friend of mine Marcus, who happens to be Robin's dad - Robin my studio PA - well Marcus is what you call a techie geek genius! He’s been developing software lately that we are now planning to merge with the artworld. In principle it should provide a complete online provenance for every piece of artwork we apply it to. In case you’re not familiar, the provenance of a work of art is the official record of its authenticity by the artist, as well as milestones in its history, where it gets exhibited, sold, etc. Only on rare occasions have I ever been asked to provide this kind of authentication. It tends to be when collectors are really serious about the value of their acquisitions.
But get this - the provenance we are developing will go way beyond anything ever done before - I mean it! This is how it's going to work:
Whenever I begin a new piece of work above a particular size/price threshold, a QR code will be generated and attached to the reverse of the canvas. (I think we all know about QR codes now, even if we didn't before Track’n’Trace!)
This code will link directly to a website where the whole history of the piece will be held - not from when the piece sold, but right from the blank canvas stage! By going to the provenance website, you will eventually be able to see photos and videos of where the painting began, the place that inspired it, various layers of paint applied, any anecdotal stories arising from the piece, perhaps me talking about it, or someone else, where it was exhibited, and finally the handover to whomever eventually buys it! (And even after that, there will be facility to add more, if the piece gets sold on.)
How cool is that? The whole history from conception to birth of your work of art, all encapsulated in time and certified online for anyone to view at any time, with easy access through the coded website. (Of course, it goes without saying you’ll need a smart phone or computer!)
So, there we have it in a nutshell. I’d love to hear what you think of the ideas, or any comments questions you have. Maybe share them in the Facebook comments below, so we can all read your thoughts, and I can reply as fitting. I’m calling 2021 my year of the lesser reset - and hopefully I might be allowed to keep the diesel van for a few years yet! Lol.