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Perspectives, Issue #027- Winter in theTropics
July 05, 2013

"Perspectives" - Winter in a Tropical Rainforest Climate

Winter has come to the tropics. It’s so strange but, each year, when heat and mugginess gives way to cool nights and sunny days, it’s hard to imagine ditching the jumpers and cosy doonas for withering blasts of hot air balanced by the respite of freezing air-conditioning. Herb and veggie gardens thrive and it is the time of the year to enjoy outdoor activities.

We are so lucky to live in a reasonably prosperous country, where one can traverse several different climate zones in a few hours’ flight from north to south or east to west and still be ‘home’. Had enough of southern winters? Pack up and head north; if you are a ‘grey nomad’, take all your creature comforts with you in your RV or caravan and plan to adventure in the sun for a while.

If work keeps calling, make the most of short holiday breaks at one of the many excellent holiday resorts that abound. My grandchildren and their friends have just had a wonderful week’s stay with their families at the Sheraton Mirage Resort in Port Douglas, where huge, inflatable pool toys brought great fun for all ages.

Most artists would question this assertion about prosperity, struggling as many do to provide the basics of food, shelter, clothing and education for their families. Their situation has become much more precarious since the GFC, when ‘discretional spending’ on artworks has been largely curtailed in such uncertain times.

What can artists do about this?

* Increasingly, they are using social media to connect with each other, friends and potential clients.

* They are diversifying and listening to their customers.

* Many are deliberately gaining new skills in arts practice or in marketing.

* Production work is a good income stream to fall back on in hard times so more artists are making giclee prints of originals or developing other images into merchandise.

* Being so competitive, it is rather difficult to be accepted by top galleries so many artists are moving to the online marketplace by building their own websites or blogs or joining sites that promote thousands of other artists (the latter is a big mistake in my opinion).

This would seem to be a buyers’ market – so ‘go for it’ all you seasoned or would-be collectors out there!

What is Art in Tropical Australia doing to help artists?

There are many ways, most of them interactive, in which artists from all over the world may promote themselves through the website at no cost. Take a look at the choice of subjects available. Do join in!

Artists about whom I write in-depth articles, such as those linking from here , pay me a small annual fee and are offered the opportunity to ‘value add’ to their presence on the site by being part of various projects, developed just for them.

Recent examples of these are the TV segments, published Australia-wide and soon to go international. and the resultant videos. Then there are the artists’ journals, which give you an insight into what artists are experiencing and planning.

Linda Jackson was invited to be Artist-in-Residence at the Bendigo campus of La Trobe University for 2013. Just in is her account of some of her experiences. A current project for Art in Tropical Australia artists is the exhibition, Asian Influence. Read about it here . I shall upload images of the whole exhibition for you, once it is hung.

Now, a question for you:

What else would you like to see on the website? What do you think about the idea of featuring new work by artists, changing monthly and available for purchase through the site?

Many artists print cards or postcards. If they were sold, in small bundles of 5 or 10, from the website, would you be likely to buy them?

Would you like to advertise your artwork or art-related product on the site?

If you have a moment to respond I would really appreciate it.

Silk Scarves

Thank you to those of you who have purchased my silk designer scarves in the last few months. I do hope that you have enjoyed wearing them. As some of you have found, they make excellent gifts (especially as ‘hostess’ gifts for travellers as they are so light and small to pack in your luggage).

Now, as promised, a dozen new-look silk scarves. Which is your favourite? Best wishes and thank you for being part of this wide-spread arts community!


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