When I first mused with the idea of opening an online gallery it struck me – can those two things really go together? Fine art and online shopping? Aren’t they mutually exclusive? And what about the mysterious “art code” never make your prices visible? (who came up with that anyway?) Needless to say, I’ve had much to ponder on over the past few months…

Sitting here, on the eve of the launch of my new online venture, I can't help thinking about the amazingly positive changes that have happened in my life in recent years. The best thing I have done is to take things into my own hands for a while – starting with the decision to open the gallery in Trentham first, then find my voice on social media, and now this new store. 

What I’ve really had to accept is that while my paintings are steeped in tradition, the rest of the world has completely moved on. In an age where technology has taken over most of our day-to-day, my art is still created using similar techniques artists have used for centuries. I am proud of that, and even more so that I am able to embrace the new technologies to share it with a worldwide audience. I feel so very lucky to be in this position.

When I think about other artists working globally at the moment, and what technology and social media means for all artists living in the 21st century, I wonder… what would Picasso do nowadays? The master of marketing and self-promotion – would he have an Instagram feed? How many followers would he have on Facebook? Would he be a prolific tweeter? Write a blog? A newsletter? Would he be on LinkedIn? Is anyone?? And how on earth would he find the time to juggle it all AND paint? (I’m yet to figure that one out…) AND would he have gallery representation or would he go it alone?

My decision to not seek out gallery representation is purely a personal one, but the right one for me at this time. Taking back creative control has strengthened my relationships with clients and art lovers. I am the spokesperson, the question answerer, the problem solver, as well as the receiver of feedback and compliments - all fundamental to my future. This decision acknowledges that ‘the life of the artist’ as we know it, has changed. 

I say bring it on Picasso, it’s an even playing field now! I’m going to embrace it with open arms, hang on for the ride and see where it takes me!

Much gratitude goes to the little team of two who’s support and guidance have made this all possible – Andy Wapling for his design skills and never-ending patience, and the gorgeous Kathy Douglas and her way with words.

And I wouldn’t be here without the support from valued clients from different countries and all walks of life who have bought my work over the last 15 years. You have given me the confidence to take this leap of faith into the world of e-commerce. Thank you all so very much.