Somedays just start strange. Some days start strange, and get stranger, and this was one of em!
It started, after waking from a slightly disconcerting dream featuring among other things, Paul O’Grady serving me breakfast (!) to my friend K coming around for a quick cup of tea, to discuss dates for when I next draw him and his female friend in the nude, and how naughty or erotic the poses should be. Nothing strange in that, that’s normal for my day.Â
But it was the next bit….. after he’d gone….
A loud knock at the door, and on opening it, a parcel delivery man asked if I’d take in two large boxes for my neighbours? Yes, no problem. He manhandled them in, and I signed for them. He turned to go, then hesitated and said “Do you have a toilet I can use?”. Since he was already through the door, there wasn’t much else I could say, but yes, and turned to indicate the door in the hall for the downstairs loo. He went in, and I stood loitering in the hall, waiting for him. What else was I likely to do? I have a wooden floor in my hall, and alsoÂ in the downstairs loo, so noises echo around easily, and it was very clear to me that the guy was certainly having more than just a pee in my loo. Eweeuk. But, ok, its human nature, and I’ll try to block out the noises. Then I heard him call out “Hello?” and I said “Hello….?” thinking he’d run out of loo paper and was asking for a couple more rolls. And then he spoke, saying words that had no relevance to me, or what he was doing. And it was at that point that I realised the cheeky sod was having a phone call! In my house! Whilst he was taking a crap!!!!!!!!!!! Whilst I was standing there like a pratt, waiting for him, and listening to it! I couldn’tÂ believvvve Â it! And I bet the guy on the other end of the phone wouldn’t believe it either ! “Hello, mate, yes, I’m just having a crap in this womans house, whilst I’m on the phone to you!”. He appeared a couple of tense (on my side of the door) moments later and said cheerily “I LIKE your art!” as he’d obviously been looking at it hanging on the wall in the loo. And I replied with a terse “GOOD!” and ushered him out of the door, firmly locking it after him. My fella, when I told him afterwardsÂ laughed his sillyÂ socks off – is it a woman thing, that finds it well out of order? Taking the pee, and more! Â to the enth degree!
Soon after that, to calm down, I wentÂ for a short walk via the post box to post a birthday card, and came back the long way round,Â to findÂ one of myÂ close- but-not-next-door neighboursÂ busily gardening at the front of his house.Â Although I’ve lived in this house just over a year nowÂ I have never seen the guy face to face, in real life, Â so I stopped and introduced myself, shook his hand, and had a pleasant chat about gardening, art, living in the village, and general plesantness. All very upbeat and nice.
The rest of the afternoon was passed happily doing paperwork, dealing with emails, and whatever passes for normal in my day.
Then, later on, my mobile bleeped with a text message. I went to investigate, and was surprised to find a number I didn’t know but with a message starting “Hello Jackie, I don’t know if you remember me but…….” message that was from someone I’ve not seen in a few years, who I didn’t even know had my mobile number, who was interested in discussing the possibility of me doing aÂ portrait commission for him of someone in his family but being very discreet about who it was,Â because of the delicate Â nature of his work, and keeping a low profile about it. Of course, I said at once, that’s what I do, I’ve recently done a picture for someone in a high powered position in a company who’s name is very familiar to you, and that person has asked me to be discreet about keeping their name quiet, so of course I can do the same for you! We went on to discuss sizes of paintings, and I gave him some prices for the work for him to have a think about and get back to me. He told me how lovely I was, and how spiritual my artwork is for the people who have commissions done by me, as it touches their souls, and their hearts. Aw, thankyou!
Â Ok, so, quite an involved day, with a mix of conversations out of the blue. But the day wasn’t over yet.
Within two minutes of me putting the phone down from him, my phone rang again, just as there was a loud rap on the front door. What again! Its not that delivery guy back is it? Nah, it can’t be, that was seven hours ago before it got dark! I answered the phone, at the same time that I answered the door, telling the caller I’d ring them back, fortunately someone I’m close to, and looked closerÂ at the woman standing on my doorstep who announced she was in the business of art and as she looked at my artwork hanging on my walls in the hallway said “Oh, I see you buy art!” to which I grinned and said “Actually I sell it, I’m the artist!”. Then I asked the question….”sorry, who are you, and what do you do….?” She started to explain, and three wholeÂ hours later she was still here, telling me. THREE full, fast, and deep hours! It turned out, she is an artist, and also an art agent, selling artwork to her clients, as she decorates their houses for them, and provides the artwork too. She said that for her, the cold call of selling works. But I could see why. She had a positive presence, a forthright manner, business acumen, and the work of a lot of different artists under her belt – not literally, in either the case of the artwork, or the artists, her belt wasn’t that big! She asked what sort of artwork I did, and when I mentioned erotic asked to see some, but I said I couldn’t show her at that moment since they are down in London at an exhibition. But, I could show them to her on my website, and clicked on the screen to show her a selection of my work. She pointed at a couple of them, two of the ones I expected her to mention (why is it that some artwork always gets more interest than other pieces, no matter who is looking at it). She asked if I could let her have pieces like that, but painted in oils or acrylics. Yes, certainly. But, what do I get out of it, and what is your cut out of it? She talked numbers to me, and I could see that what she was saying was good business sense, she was neither being greedy, nor asking too little. The numbers made good sense.Â But then, the magic started to work. Bearing in mind she is an artist, and used to seeing art for sale, and art for her clients. One particular picture on my website wove its magic on her. She kept looking at it, again and again, her eyes kept flicking back to it.Â She suggested me repainting it, in a certain way, and said that it would be a fabulous painting, that could “easily fetch Â£5,000 to Â£10,000 in London!” “Really?” I looked at her in surprise. I know its a nice picture, and I always get more positive comments about it than most of the others put together, but I was surprised at herÂ assertiveÂ Â positiveness. Then she named Peter Stringfellows famous venue in London and said “It’ll look GREAT there!” and I agreed, with a large smile on my face, and said it would! Going on to name a couple ofÂ famous cities in the world where it would also be very popular. I took her word for it, but it was the next bit that was the important bit.Â
She said that I should BELIEVEÂ that the art would sell, for that price, in those places, and it would happen. “Really?” I questioned,Â querying her forthright assertiveness over it. The next half hour went in a blur of explanations of physics, the science of positive thinking bringing your heartsÂ desires,Â as the universe moves to do your bidding.Â AndÂ after listening to her, and hearing her assuredness over it, I would love tho believe its true. But I know things don’t happenÂ just Â by thinking, they have to happen by actions.Â Â She knows that too. She also knows that she was told a number of things shouldn’t be able to happen, but have done, because she didn’t listen to advice, but did what she felt was right, for her. And from that, has made a success where failure should exist.Â At the end of what should have been a five minute chat, but ended up an intense and very enjoyable three houred visit, she went to go, and I told her that I felt that we can be of use to each other. But I needed to think it over. Â She nodded, and I went to shake her hand. She said “I like the way you shake hands, you do it with a firm grip” . “Of course I do” I grinned at her, I’m like you, a business woman!Â She went off into the cold damp night, and I came indoors, my head full of focused thoughts, of business acumen, positive thinking, and ways forward into the abyss of the future.
By then, though,Â it was gone 10 pm, andÂ I hadn’t had any dinner! No, Â but what I had had was far better sustinence than mere food……