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Care in the community

I had visitors over the weekend, my fellas son and his newish girlfriend stayed overnight and arrived bearing a fabulous bouquet of exotic flowers and a delicious bottle of Sauvignon. Lovely to see them again and welcome her to my house as she’s not been before, as we only met her at Christmastime. Its quite obvious to people when they come to my house that its the home of an artist, there are pictures on the wall, some as a reminder to sell them, some are my own personal ones that I will never sell.  She looked around the walls with interest commenting on a couple, as we caught up with news, laughed, and chatted before going out for a Thai meal in our favourite local resturant. In the time before we left I was asked if I was working on any new paintings at the moment, and I said with a smile that I was currently in a lull as I’d finished an erotic painting for a couple in Kent, and the wedding picture for the couple in Stoke had been collected by the daughter for the wedding this weekend and I was excitedly waiting to hear about the great unveiling of it and the family response to it. My visitor asked with interest about the painting, and I started to describe it to her and she said wistfully that she’d love to see it, so I smiled and said it would be easier if I showed it to her on the computer so she could see what I was talking about. As I scrolled down the screen through my artwork she exclaimed how diverse my artwork was and I smiled and explained “And that’s why galleries don’t like my work, I don’t do all the same sort of thing or style, or subject matter” to which she responded “But isn’t that a GOOD thing?” and I agreed, that as far as I was concerned, it was! I showed her the wedding picture of Peter and Miranda in their wedding outfits of black suit and red Medieval gown outside the church they will be married in, and all of it in moonlight and she exclaimed “Oh, it doesn’t look how I expected!” which surprised me but tPeter and Miranda, past, present and future (2)hen a picture tells a thousand words and I’d only used a mere 827 to describe it 🙂 .  I scrolled down, opening up random pictures to show her how diverse my artwork is – a tiger portrait, a dog portrait, a Tudor house which I described as “…..a simple watercolour” and she retorted “It doesn’t look that simple to me!”, and when I showed her the “Contemplating the shadows” watercolour painting of one mans relationship with three women depicted as a panoramic landscape complete with dragon and castle, she could see what I meant about *complicated* as opposed to simple! I showed her a swimming tiger, wolves hidden in trees, flowers, erotic couples and seacapes, oils, acrylics, watercolours and pencil drawings of old mens faces. So much to show and yet I only touched the surface……… 

 Contemplating the shadows (2)

After the weekend my car was due to have a couple of small jobs done on it and I took it to the local garage since the guy there has far more idea about how cars work than Kwikfit have of recent times.  Within five hours of dropping it off I had the call to say it was ready so walked over there to collect it. The woman who does the admin there is someone I’ve only met this year when the car went in for another small job done on it, but this time she had more time to chat with me, as we talked about problems with cars and some of the strange requests they have to sort out, one memorable one being a guy who said the lights on his dashboard were flashing and couldn’t understand why but neglected to explain he’d dropped the keys in the dogs water bowl the day before. I’m always interested to hear other peoples amBurning brightusing work related anecdotes and she obviously found me a good listener as she happily chatted, then because I mentioned I’d only moved to the area just over three years ago she asked why here particularly and I smiled and explained it was because I got divorced and had to find somewhere to live and there were actually two houses in this village I could happily have lived in, and was happy it was near to Ashby de la Zouch because I was a member of one of the art groups there. The conversation flowed elsewhere but she came back to me as an artist and asked what sort of work I do so I took my usual deep breath when asked that question and started with “Well I had my first commission at 13 for my history teacher at school and I’ve painted many pictures for people all my life, I exhibit locally, and paint all subjects, landscapes, pet portraits, people portraits, house portraits, complicated pictures, erotic art, surreal, abstract, traditional, fantasy, camoflague art, oils, acrylics, watercolours, drawings, whatever people want I can do it for them, I don’t do just one subject, I think that if you’re an artist, you can paint anything!” and described some of the pictures I’d painted. She listened and said that there was a guy who lived locally who was an artist and mentioned his name and I smiled and said I’d tell her my tale regarding him……. he judged Ashby Art Club’s competitions when I was a member of it about 12 years ago and the picture that won “Best picture in the whole of the exhibition” was my tiger portrait! And better than that he asked me to take some of my artwork to show him a selection of what I did, and his wife ended up buying that picture from me then and there! Yay! Result!  ……

… …. My new friend smiled at that piece of news and asked if I painted on canvas “Yes, I do, tell me what size you want, what picture you want, and your price range and I’ll do a picture of whatever you want doing!” She told me that she knew of someone who was thinking of having a motorbike photo put on canvas at Tesco “But its better to have it done properly as a painting on canvas, isn’t it?!” and I nodded and smiled, and said emphatically “Yes, it is! Because then you can have a different background added or things taken away that you don’t want in it, to make it your own special picture” . And as we said our goodbyes and I came away smiling and noted with pleasure that the little dashboard light that various garages had told me couldn’t be replaced without it costing me a fortune, had been done for very little cost.          79p to be exact, and half an hours labour!

Small business people always do a better job, because they care more.