Looking Forward to 2017 and Skylarks Singing

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Skylarks singing, dewdrops on cobwebs, and flowers.

January the first 2017. I am getting dozens of emails, Facebook posts, Twitter, and other messages about the perils of 2017 and what it will be like.

But this blog is not another one. There is nothing about Trump, or Brexit, or climate change, or bloodbaths in the Middle East.

Instead it is all about skylarks singing, dewdrops on cobwebs, and flowers.

So ‘Skylarks singing’.

‘Skylarks’ is actually referring to the two Skylark Galleries in London. Skylark is an artist’s collective. I am one of the artist members of the gallery organization. So is my number one daughter Shyama Ruffell. Altogether there are another 30 or so artist members.

Skylark have two bricks and mortar galleries and a website with an online gallery. Skylark also shows at the Affordable Art Fair and other destinations. The group has been in existence for a couple of decades already. It is not a business run by a profit-motivated commercial body. The current leader is one of the artists. The work-load is shared by the artist members.

The future of the Skylark galleries is full of optimism. So we are singing.

‘Dewdrops on cobwebs’ refers to the biggest thing that has happened in the world during the last twenty or so years. That is the World Wide Web. The Internet cobweb has had the effect of making the whole world into a small village that is full of free information and friends. Anyone and everyone can communicate with anybody and everybody else. If you want to.

At Skylark we have created our own glistening dewdrops onto our bit of the web. Our little beads of dewy information include an online shop, a blog, artist’s biographies, and other tidbits.

‘Flowers’. Oh OK. I have cheated a little here and let my artistic licence run away. I have used the word ‘flowers’ in the cryptic sense where crossword setters use a clue that deliberately confuses. ‘Flowers’ can mean flowers that you find in gardens and flower shops. It can also refer to rivers. I know that has a slightly different pronunciation but the same spelling.

So the ‘flower’ in this piece is the River Thames. And that is where you can find both of the Skylark galleries.

The galleries are situated in wonderful locations on the Southbank pathway of the River Thames in London, roughly half way between the Tate Modern and the London Eye. Skylark One is in Gabriel’s Wharf, and Skylark Two is next door in the Oxo Tower.

Zillions of international visitors to London walk along the Southbank every day of the year. The galleries are found by unsuspecting art-lovers all the time. They like what they find and become friends and collectors of the Skylark artists and artwork.

The Skylark artist members will all take turns to look after their gallery. This is where the artist and art lovers meet and share. We artists gain hugely from feedback from visitors and interaction with other artists. The art collectors enjoy meeting the artists and getting art at direct-from-the-artist prices. Win win.

No wonder that I am looking forward to 2017.

The Skylark website is skylarkgalleries.com

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Colin Ruffell was born in 1939, then he was bombed, evacuated, educated, expelled, repatriated, married, bred, qualified and taught; until in 1965, aged 26, he became a professional artist. Since then he is proud and happy to have survived. He qualified from two Art Colleges in painting, design and printmaking, and the Open University in psychology and aesthetics, plus he has a reasonably clean driving license. He has founded, led or organised the following; Spectrum Studios, Artists in Action, Bayswater Road Artists Association, 9-Plus Artists Group, Buckingham Fine Art Ltd., Brighton Artists Workshop, European Fine Art Ltd., The Fine Art Trade Guild, The Fiveways Artists Group, and Crabfish Ltd.

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