It got me thinking, some of you may baulk at paying a thousand pounds for a piece of artwork but it is all relative. You see, you might say that you could have a holiday for that. Well, maybe you could but after a week or so the memories will have faded and you will have nothing left. A small original or limited edition print at a hundred pounds or so equates to a meal out and a few beers. Except with the latter all you get is indigestion and a hangover. A piece of artwork will bring you pleasure every day, forever.
Although you do not value art by an hourly rate, which is probably just as well as many artists would be on less than the minimum wage, you value it for its beauty, originality and skill. If you consider how much it costs to get a tradesman out (if you can find one!), you could be charged £150 for a plumber to change your kitchen tap! The difference is that I could do their job (and have done) but could they do mine? The answer is, of course, no. The same applies to many other professions whether that be accountant, lawyer or train driver. With enough dedication and training anybody could do these but not everyone has the talent to be an artist.
You may also argue that art is not essential and artists do not provide the necessary services that the aforementioned professionals supply. I would obviously disagree. Sir Winston Churchill allegedly said in response to a plan to cut money for the arts to fund the war effort by saying: "Then what are we fighting for?"
Apparently he never actually said this however true the sentiment may be. What he did say though was, "The arts are essential to any complete national life. The State owes it to itself to sustain and encourage them….ill fares the race which fails to salute the arts with the reverence and delight which are their due."
And that's the point. We need balance in our lives. Without beauty and 'food for the soul' as an antidote to the day-to-day overcrowded train journeys, tax returns and lawsuits there wouldn't be much point in life, would there?
The true value of art can only be judged by the benefit it can bring to the individual. So, you see, I provide an essential service to the nation bringing beauty and pleasure to the masses. It doesn't hurt to splash out once in a while and treat yourself. You have to ask yourself, "Why should I buy this picture?" And the answer has to be, "...because I'm worth it!"
A selection of Rob's seascapes, some of which are on display at his Changing Light Exhibition on til 21st June.