With the cuts in government funding for the arts the climate in the art world is growing distinctly chilly but artists have been busy creating since the dawn of time.
On a warm afternoon in 1940 in southwestern France two young boys hunting rabbits discovered the cave painters of Lascaux when their dog chased a hare down a hole beside a downed tree, and they followed. Once underground, they stepped into an 18,000 year old gallery of paintings and art.
Those early artists did not have financial interests at heart when they painted their immovable art works on the walls at Lascaux. Just like those early painters artists today have something to show the viewer about their world through many styles including watercolour paintings.
True artists who paint do so because, like all artists, they are creative and they feel the need to produce art work like they feel the need to breathe, to interpret their world in a visual way and to communicate what they see and feel to the viewer.
However Cuts in funding will make a huge difference to the arts and governing bodies are obviously questioning the value of the arts today. Without funding will artists be able to continue to produce work at the leading edge of culture?
Many people say 'I know what I like' but do they really? The public often becomes fond of what it sees regularly and is exposed to repeatedly; Fashion dictates what we find pleasing.
Is this because fashion captures the spirit of the age or because we like what we are told to like believing that it is of quality because it is what every one else seems to appreciate at any given time?
We do not always enjoy being stretched or challenged in what we find acceptable and admirable. JMW Turner, The great British landscape painter was caricatured in his day showing him as a hobbit-like little man wearing a huge top hat.
In the cartoon Turner brandished a mop in his hand like a spear, yellow paint dripped from the mop about to be daubed on to the Canvas. He was popularly considered to be a madman who painted with 'soapsuds and whitewash.' Yet now his work is greatly admired and seems contemporary even today.
In our time art supported by the Art's council has widened our horizons even if we are not aware of it by showing us new things or old things in new ways and making them part of popular culture Showing us new interpretations that challenge our preconceptions and force us to think outside the box.
We may not initially like what we see chosen for us by those with artistic experience and educated judgement. Sometimes this may however profoundly affect the common appreciation and move us forward in new ways. Popular taste can miss work of high quality if the tools to appreciate it are under developed.
Lack of support from the Art's Council will mean that financial considerations will determine the way that art is developed in the future and artists will be less inclined to create that which is not readily acceptable to popular taste. It may seem a luxury to invest in art but if art is able to educate and expand the mind then it encourages what the British excel in which is great design and inventiveness.
The impressionist painters are very popular now but their work was mocked in its day and the term impressionist refers to a title given to a painting by Monet as a derisory comment.
The name of the movement is taken from the title of a Claude Monet work, Impression, Sunrise (Impression, soleil levant), in which the art critic Louis Leroy invented the phrase in a satiric review published in Le Charivari. The impressionists exhibited their work in the Gallerie de refuses an exhibition set up for art work refused by the salon jurors at the Salon des arts in Paris.
The public taste was not ready for this style of art which is so acceptable and admired today. Many critics and the public ridiculed the refuses, which included such now-famous paintings as Eduard Manet's Luncheon on the Grass (Le dejeuner sur l'herbe) and James McNeill Whistler's Girl in White. But the critical attention also legitimized the emerging avant-garde in painting
As never before artists now have a global show case for their own work through the internet. Over the World Wide Web art work can be seen free of charge as never before and artists can offer their work for sale to global markets without leaving their studios. So now the public will decide what happens to art,voting with their credit cards.
Art works are available so long as artists have the time resources and energy to create them and with continued public interest in the arts perhaps a new age is dawning.